A baby’s vocal chords and mouth is perfectly capable of reproducing the sounds of any language, from Chinese to Arabic, Russian to Portuguese, but will obviously only copy the sounds it hears.
Gradually the child will learn to string those sounds into words and phrases, and then sentences. The necessary movements of the tongue, mouth and vocal chords will be strengthened. The ability to make the ‘foreign’ language contortions will fall away with underuse.
Isn’t that interesting?
We are all born with the potential to do or be anything at all. We have individual traits and gifts, which pull us towards certain interests, but so much depends on the environment we are born into and how we are socialised.
At school we are generally discouraged from copying each other’s conclusions and results. Art and creativity, however, flourish in an environment of free exchange and cross fertilisation. In this way we support each other in exploring the boundless extremes of human imagination. We can adopt an appealing technique, a style, an approach, to help our own process.
The internet has given us limitless access to images and ideas from all over the world. We can learn new techniques for free on YouTube, join online forums and display our work in global galleries. The potential audience that we can reach and interact with is countless millions. Anyone who has access to a computer can contact anyone else with one. That’s both wonderful and daunting, isn’t it?
The downside for artists displaying their art on the internet is that their images are exposed to theft and unlawful use. It’s so easy for anyone to download pictures, and there’s little or nothing that can be done to prevent it.
It's one thing to be inspired by someone else’s work, but quite another to pass it off as your own, or to use it commercially.
Under international copyright laws, when an artwork is sold, it becomes the property of the buyer. He or she can do what they like with it; even destroy it if they choose to. BUT, unless a formal contract is signed, the work cannot be reproduced in any way shape or form without the permission of the artist. This also applies to pieces donated to charity and to work that is found, gifted or auctioned. An artist automatically retains the copyright on every single piece of work that they produce unless they agree to sign it over to a third party.
It’s worth learning how to ‘resize’ your images on a site such as Photoshop or Paint.net.