Act so as to encourage the best in others, and by so doing you will develop the best in yourself. - Felix Adler
With that reminder to myself, I still want to know how the creativity of one person, while being similar, can be threatening to another when they themselves feel secure in what they are doing? Creativity is not insular in a highly virtual world, as demonstrated by the necessity of the Creative Commons Copyrights. Someone is bound to do something like mine, sooner or later. To think that that person owes me a debt of deference is absurd, egotistical and unrealistic. Prior knowledge would have to have occurred, and that's just to begin with.
I want to encourage others to express their creativity. If what they do happens to mimic mine because what I do inspires them, fantastic. I would be hurt by being directly referenced without credit, as might happen if someone used my yarn photos to stash a yarn I dyed in Ravelry and called it their own. But if the world can be a better place with my work in it, all the better. There is more than enough room for us all, and to some degree the market will determine whose work continues to grow.
I can be hurt, feel anger and pain as well as any. I am not always the kindest with my words, either (see Sara Mosle post for embarrassing examples). We are all human. And I will continue to do my work the way that suits my sense of personal expression. Along with my mantra of encouragement, I will also do my best not to engage in or create drama. Felix, buddy, help me through this rather frustrating time.