Right before the holiday I had a chance to pick up the latest issue of Mark Lipinski's Fabric Trends.
In September I reviewed the first issue and wasn't thrilled about it. At the time I thought there wasn't enough Mark and too much "press release" in the articles. I also had some reservations about how the "digital" fabric looked in the quilt mockups, although I understood the reason behind using the digital images.
Anyway, I liked the newest issue much better. The quality of the magazine itself is high, and for the price, $6.99, you will get a lot more for your money than from other similarly priced magazines. This time around I thought the digital quilt mockups looked better, I actually had forgotten they were digital at first. Very well done!
There's a lot more of Mark in this issue, which makes it a better read. Last time around I thought it was too "informative" and not as interesting. I also liked the featured fabric designer articles, and an article about color trends.
The one issue I had is with an answer Mark wrote to a reader who was having problems with the "sameness" of the fabrics and designs currently available. I've addressed this issue before, and Mark had essentially the same answer; that manufacturers are following trends and therefore the diversity of styles aren't what they could be. He also lamented the lack of "originality" out there, noting that his and other's ideas had been copied, and that others weren't being as original as they could be.
I agree with him on all of these points, but there was a hint of bitterness about it that didn't go down well. I'm sure that he and the others who are being copied resent it, and I understand that it affects them. However, there's not a lot you can do about that, it's going to happen as long as there's no way to take the copiers on legally.
I've worked in an environment where my work and the work of my colleagues was copied unmercifully by competitors. My boss actually avoided publicity because she was so paranoid about the copycats. Any field that is creatively driven, and even those that aren't, are subject to trends and fads. I used to tell her that instead of worrying about being copied you should be moving towards creating the next trend. In any creative field it's dangerous to rest on your laurels. Due to the fact that the public is used to constant change, we have to work hard to set trends, not follow them.
Of course, the "business" end is only interested in profits and will ride trends they didn't create till they oversaturate the market, (hence making the trendsetting artists obsolete). I understand the resentment of the artists, but unless your copyrights are infringed on you can't own an "idea" or a color scheme. It's a compliment when you're copied, although it is frustrating.
However, moving forward as Mark is doing is the right way to handle this kind of thing. Sure, you're going to be copied if you do something well, there's no way around it. But, if you're smart and talented, you can keep the copiers working overtime. The point is to not let them catch up!
All in all, I'd recommend this magazine and I'm only about half way through it. I hope you'll give it a chance as well.