Don’t be a copycat! but do learn from others


A fishing story to teach you a few things about what being a copycat is…….

ALLOW me , an old(er) guy, to tell the story of the fish that I never did (mostly) manage to catch

It was the early 2000’s I suppose or something like that and I remember it well.  I was down by the river, Fishing worms night after night was almost no success.  I had spent quite a time back in my child hood drowning worms to Trout in little streams and being meh, (somewhat) successful.  But Like a Fish out of Water in this big river place; it was a pointless affair.  Practically a pointless crime against worms.  And that’s when he found me…

It was a guy named terry and he had been watching me for a while, as he was clearly absolutely addicted to fishing in this river.  he came in with a friendly air asked the question of how I was doing (and knowing that I hadn’t caught a thing in many nights and weeks of determined fishing) and did something that would change the next many years

What did He DO?  No he didn’t hit me with a fishing pole or anything ; in fact it was a little understated because he hadn’t quite made up his mind at that point on whether he wanted to truly help me…. That would change in a few weeks and then my ‘Luck’ began to change

 What happened next?  And why was it so amazing??

 Welp. You gotta understand.  Us fishermen for all our hokey ways are generally a pretty lonely and reclusive lot.  We love to BS and perhaps crack jokes with the guy standing next to you… but there’s an unwritten rule , especially when it comes to the highly prized and delicouos river fish called a walleye- that you never divulge ‘secrets’

My New Friend Terry would break that rule and on the next many weeks and months freely share a heck of a lot ; including often fishing right next to me in the best spots in the river! it was great and helped a lot!!

INTERLUDE.  WAIT, WUT?  I thought you said this was a story about copycats or something.  Are you starting to develop Brain problems??

No I’m always this way.  I’m not done , give me a chance to explain

 Ok. Ive confused you, perhaps, but I have my reasons for bringing up this story.  But let me emphasize something at the TOP!  I was and AM Never going to be as good as that guy catching walleyes.  Literally he would stand right next to me, using the same thing, in nearly the same ways and dramatically- almost always outfish me.

IN fact, the more I fished the more I realized that improvement for me Was in doing things in a slightly different way than my mentor. Even if the general place, time and method was similar.

Next our friendship would fade as secrets were shared and it became so painfully clear that the information he hung onto wasn’t hard to figure out and more like – Having Confidence doing things that made sense and not giving up until your lucky moments have passed.  I still consider us friends but he was and am a little too stingey with information that doesn’t feel so very ‘classified.’  Anyways. LIFE.  Im old and I’ve been drifted out of friendships lots of times. (its always sad when it happens)

OK, Now for the analogy part 

Ok. So you guys are not fishermen. And this hokey fishermen story may or may not appeal to you.  But give it a chance cause I see a real analogy.

When we are Like New artists trying our hands at getting money with our art,  We are all very much like n00bs come to the river when our small stream methods and not getting anything.   NEXT we meet artists, whether its on youtube or elsewhere that are pretty dang awesome at selling artist. (take a bow RAFI, in this analogy your like clearly awesome).  Said artist- goes out and offers his prized secret spots and methods to you; despite the fact that artists are known to be secretive about how and where they get all those delicious INCOME STREAMS.

And THEN we try our hand at it! And ….. results are much less impressive

But the big point is NOT that the artist was wrong in anyway. Its just that in the long road he traveled he found out his OWN best way of catching art collectors; a way he could excel in and venue’s where folks could learn to love his art and his story

The BIG conclusion

Remember HOW I commented on the idea; that my river friend, simply learned to have confidence doing rather obvious things and waiting until the lucky moments?  I think it applies to selling art, too.

NEXT, never ruin a good friendship fishing too close to a generous mentor. KEEP in mind their fishing/art “secrets” are important to them.  They’ve gained them in the hard knocks of many seasons.  Like I was saying its often NOT likely you’ll be as successful as they were COPYCATING THEM….  Instead, do it your own way and mix it up.

LASTLY, one of the reasons I brought THAT particular story up is that I believe that You are NOT a copycat if you take a look at something someone is doing that is working and TRY IT ON, YOUR WAY.  Good artists and even fishermen share this stuff because THIS information isn’t as mysterious as it seems and out of admiration for you, the beginner that are trying like heck to make unuseful or Irrelevant ideas useful.

Masterful artists sharing to those that are interested- This creates a community and that kind of community can be a powerful force for good, as us RAFI rogues shows.  Just like the RIVER has enough walleyes for a new hardworking n00bs- Our community will grow when artists learn from each other, too.

NONE OF THIS is copycatting; especially when YOUR doing (what you see that works) in YOUR way. So keep on being AWESOME!

ps  YES. in case your curious. I have found that its rarely successful to fish with worms in a river at night.  WORMS simply aren’t what walleyes are into eating.


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