We all have secrets and there are some things it’s better not to confess.
Today I’ve decided to tell, with a spoiler at the beginning, a rather silly but embarrassing professional anecdote, taking advantage of the fact that these days people are talking about plagiarism, graphic botch-ups and other such things on account of that poster on the beach, which I’ve already given due account of in a rant that I’ve left programmed for holiday pretensions.
Some indeterminate time ago, not to give too many clues, during one of those nights typical of the tormented artist facing the anguish of the blank page, the muse on duty appeared and spat an idea at me.
After the initial euphoria of finishing soon, when I was giving it “another turn” (this is always obligatory, several times), not only did it start to seem to me like a rather poor idea, but it also sounded very familiar. Surely I had seen it before.
Faced with the doubt I set out to do a search and its corresponding re-search because I was convinced that another colleague had already drawn something similar in the past. I couldn’t find it.
As the night was progressing and ideas were scarce in this jar, I tied up my foulard and sketched it in case I didn’t manage to come up with an alternative before the roosters started their basic concert.
Finally I drew it and sent it to its destination. Life went on as usual and that night passed into oblivion.
Many months later I discovered that that cartoon had not been done by another artist. I had done it and that’s why it sounded so familiar. I had plagiarised myself. It turned up looking for something else, which is how almost everything that is lost turns up.
The client never knew, I suppose. Just as I suppose no one found them together or if they did they didn’t give it a thought. The only “luck” is that it was one of those that goes almost unnoticed.
Now there are two (maybe more) almost identical vignettes made about five years apart. I invite you to hunt them down. Sooner or later someone will find them and think: “look at this smart guy reselling a self-plagiarism”
This is not something exceptional, I have seen it in many authors. Among those who have been working for the longest time, with thousands of cartoons behind them, it can be said that almost all of them have “revisited” themselves at some time, voluntarily or involuntarily.
So much for the anecdote that moved no one and that I could have told in less than a paragraph, but that my tendency for churrigueresque writing prevented me from serving it to you in a lighter way.