I am angry today, birds.
And my coffee is feeling a bit like my black powder this morning.
I'm two stamps from postal.

I love what Instagram has done for my business, I love the fellow artists and entrepreneurs that it has brought me close with, I love the friends that it has given me both here, in the US, and overseas. It really is a great application. It has helped me to grow my brand, make sales, pay my bills...
It's great.

With that being said, it is also a terrible device for those who cannot think on their own. It has become a system for some to follow others and do, what I like to call, "inspiration shop." And it is driving me absolutely mad. People who follow me are now starting to create a blurred line between my own work and theirs, people who I talk to everyday. People here, and people overseas. It's just saddening.

My Talismen are one of them. It's what makes me the most upset. It's, quite honestly, my most treasured design. My favorite thought that has ever come to be.  That first one I made, do you remember it? I can't tell you just how proud it made me. How it made me feel different. How people took notice and I really felt like I could hold my head up high. I felt like I had made the perfect product of myself. And now? Six. SIX different metalsmiths are knocking them off on Instagram. It's heart breaking.. I understand this may sound petty to you. I do, I get that. But for me? This piece was a ticket. It was, and still is, my heart in metal. It was what I had always wanted Ashley Weber | against he grain to be. Something different. Something bold. Something beautiful.

We all agree, coincidences happen. They do. They completely do- we are all very much inspired by a lot of the same, and literal translations are destined to reflect the same kind of look... but these, these are not that. 
I'm in a very tight knit circle of metalsmiths, and we are all seeing it. We are all frustrated... but do we leave such a powerful application behind, just because of those who cannot create on their own? Do we give up that avenue? Do we call others out? Do we hope that their cheating does not effect our business? Our art? Our passion?
I'm lost here.
I'm shocked.
I'm sick of it.

Thank you for letting me vent here, lovies.
I know you are all so wonderful and supportive.
I know most of you probably understand these feelings.

I know we all are here to enjoy originality.
I just hope I can keep my line as thick of a divide as possible.
I don't want to sacrifice myself.
I will not sacrifice myself.