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Submitted on
September 22, 2013


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MOVE on Referencing/Copying and the fans that flame on people: My opinions on referencing/copying and fans...

[My Opinion Versus Everyone's] Please remember these are simply my opinions and are not meant to imply that you should agree or disagree nor should these prove to be offensive in any way; if I do come across displeasingly then you have my apologies beforehand, thank you.
Ah and btw! I'll be double posting these on my Tumblr so if you like this, reblog it here! It would be awesome :D

"Yay! Another MOVE entry that's been long anticipated in the series! :icondummywooplz: I wonder what this one is about!! I should read this whole thing before commenting!! (pretty please XD, I know it's long! Just bear with me :3)"

I often get notes telling me about ____ artist using my work(s) as reference and/or copying my style in drawing ____.
I'm sure there are so many more artists that get notifications just like this! And I always get links to either specific parts of _____'s gallery or images and at times I'll be linked my specific pieces that have elements of them obviously carried on into _____'s work.

I just wanted to give my opinion on this at least once!

I don't think referencing or even copying is wrong at all.

I think not crediting is very wrong though.

Often times I'll come across pieces that are really obviously inspired by other artists or other artwork and there's always a select amount of times where I see fans of the original artist (that this person was inspired by) who end up just cussing the **** out of the person.

A few things.
1. You may not realize how awfully immature you sound when you start going "YOU F****** B**** U TOTALLY STOLE THIS OFF OF LIEK ______'s PIECE RIGHT HERE"
2. You honestly think that's going to help ANYBODY? o_____o

I personally know I get short of temper at times and over the years I've done my best to not lose my mind over trolls or simple art 'copiers' and the like.
Now on the subject of copying..

Good Artists Copy; Great Artists Steal

-Pablo Picasso

I'm positive Picasso would've never guessed there were as many online "artists" actually STEALING art today so please don't misinterpret his quote.
I personally interpret it as the simple truth that we all copy from someone or something.

Take the simple example of drawing a tree. How in the world can you draw a tree, if you've never seen one before? Sure people can tell you "Oh it's usually has green leaves etc etc" and then there's the fact, how can you know what the color green is like if you've never seen it before?

We all "take" from Nature. No point denying it because it's just hard fact :XD:

Is that not copying? Or otherwise 'stealing'? Depends how you interpret the word. We put licenses on species we make and the like and we want credit for them, but you don't think too much about crediting the tree or the world itself back to Nature or God or both or whatever in the world you choose to believe made (or is) this world.

We make our own original species but when you think about it, we all still base it on things we've seen. Even if you were go so far as to make the ultimate never-before-seen species. You can make anything you want, a ball of ectoplasmic goop that has ... oh I don't know... steam coming out of its ... mouth? Or something. I mean pfff, how would you know what 'goop' even looks like if you've never seen it ;p

Haha but anyway back to square one.

I've copied, you've copied. We all copy. We copy from the natural world. And even if we don't mean to, we'll copy from artists we admire, or even artists we just come across. We'll even take ideas from people who don't even have interest in art. It's as simple as designing a character who hates art and loves (random ideas ftw) to fix cars or something. You'll need to have some idea of what people who love cars do and how would you know what they are like? Well of course, you look at people who love cars! :) That's taking 'ideas' from something/someone else, is it not?

But needless to say, although yes, even I would find it absolutely ridiculous to credit every single thing imaginable since my credits list would span a whole book I'd think...

Tree Nature
....*5,000 words later*
Cell Nature
DNA Nature
Colors Nature
Idea for the guy riding the bike All the people who've ever ridden bikes
Idea for the male hairstyle All guys who have hair
Wind Nature
Metal frame on bike Nature & Bike-manufacturing companies and/or people

You see what I mean? e___e
But in reality, that would be the extent of full credits. Because they're not yours. You didn't come up with the idea and even any idea you come up with, isn't really yours :) It's your creation based on your whole life worth of gaining knowledge and inspiration.

But also needless to say, I'm not going to be some freak to go into every philosophical aspect of life and dwell in a permanent state of existential crisis :facepalm:

SO :D The bottom line is...!

1. REFERENCING/COPYING is not necessarily wrong.

(YES, art theives. Who merely take and repost, is very wrong, but why all the flaming? Sure it's fun to just wallow in your self glory after you step on someone for doing something you strongly disagree with "Huh, you can't say anything back huh? Shows how pathetic you are" But you are so ultimately immature it's not even admirable from any standpoint other than people just like you. I used to be like that, but I know my faults so please don't. It's not worth your time and it's not going to make anything better. Seriously. Now you both look pathetic and from any mature point of view, you're showing how much more childish you are.

I heavily disagree with tracing without credit as well of course. Or merely taking ideas from people. You can't just say "oh I was inspired to make a character just like pikachu because he's so cute! So you can't blame me!!" but yes. I and everyone else can blame you and you are at fault.)

When you so much as reference POSES down to the placement of certain limbs and such, well 1. xDDD Lol I'm sorry but, I don't think it's smart to reference the anatomy of ANYBODY's artwork no matter how anatomically correct it may be. Unless you're Da Vinci because he's just badass like that :3 (Lol jk, even so..) Pictures are always always your best friend when it comes to anatomy. Unless you have a real life model. I make tons and TONS of anatomical mistakes even though I try my best to get it right. And I improve of course, but no matter what, I'm not going to get it down spot on. xD And I actually prefer it that way, just personally I focus more on the general expression/emotion value in the overall character than the anatomy ouo But that's just me haha! I find it really amazing when some people can get such lovely and intricate anatomical details down! But that's not my style.

Yes, there was a time I pretty much would reference like any image of disney characters and stuff like that as a young kid because to me it was just like WOAH they look awesome --I wanna draw like that!

But come on, let's face it, we all have to drop such habits at times! There's a reason people make coloring books for 4 year olds lol xD (not saying there aren't child prodigies of course like Kieron Williamson more recently) --but otherwise, we all grew up learning how to draw, for us artists!

So put aside my rambling but.. STOP THINKING YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH REFERENCING OTHER PEOPLE'S WORK xD Because sure maybe most other people won't see the similarities, but it's very obvious to the original artist themselves. I know my style and work like the back of my hand and I will remember all the pieces I've made from so much as a glance at them. (Yes the exceptions are my really disasterous childhood attempts to either drawing realistic things or copy disney/manga characters Lol :3)

I've come to dislike coming to the artist who I can see took inspiration from certain aspects of my work, etc, because there's always the chance-- as I've learned-- that I get a completely DENIAL. And you may still say (oh maybe they were telling the truth), and yet at times it is just happenstance that people will develop similar styles in work and never know until someone accuses one or the other of copying. But when I can regocnize the poses and the mismatched styles, it's really dissapointing when I see people flat out pretending they never noticed. I can publicly humiliate them individually by submitting side-by-side comparisons with full length explanations and descriptions to show you guys what I mean, but I find that also unnecessary when it's as simple as something that can be corrected by just putting (I took inspiration from ____'s work!)

Instead of not saying anything. Even things like (I referenced a bucnh of images from google) --of course making sure they're free of copyrights-- but even that is a good habit to get into. Sometimes we forget, yes, but you seriously can't forget 20 times over when you directly reference.

You'll get more RESPECT when you start admitting simple little things. It's hard, I know, I don't even admire myself when I say I used to copy disney art or artwork from animes. But HEY, no point denying it. It won't make me a better artist either.

I can go on and on about the details, so called 'stealing' designs or saying 'oh your work reminds me of ___' (which can be extremely insulting). Because on a mini-note, when you work for hours and hours on a design/piece that you find original and just something you're so proud of. I'm sure none of us want to be 'simply told' that our work reminded them of someone else's. Because what that's saying, even if you don't mean it of course! Is "I just put hours of work into this and now someone's telling me my work isn't even original" .... :/ think about that for a moment. It's very very offensive to most people.

So all in all! CREDIT. Please xD Don't wait till the artist comes to you and then engage in that awkward conversation of "I know you referenced my work.." "OH um no, I didn't know I did?? I might've not realized??"

Because personally, I find it extremely admirable when people admit their inspirations, and I hold a lot of respect for those that are open and honest about it.

We all make mistakes, just think to yourself, how long are you going to make yours :/

and thenn....


It makes the original artist of the fans look silly (at times), and it's also rather embarassing too more often than not. I don't believe in the ridiculous

hierarchy of fans vs the-fanned-of (?? lol what celine, seriously, the fanned of??? *major fail*), so not only do I find it a little awkward at times, but it's also harder talking to the artist who's referenced off of me or something, when they're already 'in the dumps' and in an awful mood about the whole situation.

To make it simple, imagine YOURSELF just la-dee-daa logging in and BAM 10 comments going "F. U." and just a whole alskdfhlkajshdfkjHDSKJFHSDKLJhf kjadshf of spammage, disregarding any situation that might've taken place in your life. It's never fun to even think about!

EVEN IF YOU ARE AN ART THEIF. So many 'art theives' are merely underaged kids who come online and at times get snobby over their newly copied work they so fabulously copied and made so close to the original!! I've seen it over and over.

There is NOT point trolling on them. Because they're too young to even cope with it maturely most of the time. They end up just throwing all your profane words right back at ya, and getting even MORE defensive.

And not only that, but oh gosh, when you're like 11 or 12, and your first experiences with the online world is a bunch of teens, etc, cussing at you for doing something you weren't really aware was so wrong, then it's just a great way to destroy your world view.
I know it's easy to say "OF COURSE COPYING IS WRONG" and yes when the art theif is like 14, I get second thoughts of course. But oh gosh, if they are so obviously just eager to post their work they're proud of, regardless of the face it's copied, etc, then why.. what posesses you to just cuss these kids out?

It doesn't make them stop.
It's not good for your mental health (idk about physical)
And you're just WASTING YOUR TIME.

These kids don't see you as respectable adults trying to tell them what's right and what's wrong. If their parent or teacher told them it was wrong, I'm sure that..
1. They would realize it sooner than later (unless they are are little obnoxious devils xD)
2. Their parents or teachers , etc, probably don't go "YOU F*** asldkfjhaslkdjhf #$2340ERU$*3759q8734 STOP STEALING WORK YOU USELESS C***"

It takes more willpower to be mature even when you're not wrong and you get cussed at back when you're only trying to be rational and mature. But that's what it takes to be respected and as hard as it may be, you're going nowhere with the other attitude.

And when I see a whole chain of comments to go "HELL YEA, YOU TOLD 'EM!" or "YEA, YOU GO TELL THAT GUY/GIRL/KID!"
It's just so impossibly pathetic, I don't even know what to tell you x____x

When you come up with smart replies back to troll comments, that's another thing. But if it's just the simple cussing out a random person for doing something you find unacceptable, just. Why?

Even I always get comments on these types of journals that make me just slam my face on my desk in a "why, world, WHY" type of way. People trying to be smart at times going "Oh yea, well you know what, what about the fact when they're just trolling you? Surely you can't just be too nice-- people will start steppin' on ya!"

Or comments I simply get to test my opinion. So for one. IT'S MY OPINION. Not the universal life truth! You can agree, or disagree. But you look so awfully lame when you just disagree for the sake of disagreeing. X_______X

Or have you realized that some people just want attention by going all crazy like that? If you cuss them back, you're giving them that satisfaction. Why is this so hard to grasp!
There are times when being angry and using profane words is just "more acceptable" than other times (I guess? x__X) But it's never the right way. Which is why you don't see the president doing it. Of any country. (and don't bother pointing out the exceptions-- OH BUT THIS PRESIDNT OF THIS COUNTRY TOTALLY CUSSED AND LOST IT eUe HMMPH what now, Capu, got nothing to say huh? --because.. I mean. e___e seriously?)

I'm not a completely anti-evrerything that sounds mean- freak. I understand the human needs to express anger and frustration and let loose a few words here and there. But just STOP STOP STOP flaming on people like a complete kid!
Don't get me wrong please X___X I'm not trying to humiliate you, I want to help you. But you have to understand, this never works.

But alright! That's about as much as I have to say that I can think of :3
I might not be able to reply to everything I get, as quickly, but I always try to! Check out my official list of MOVE entries on my page if you wanna read more of my opionions on stuff :D And share your opinions as well so we can all join hands and sing kumbaya *^*

But haha, I'm also well aware I also get hate comments on these no matter what or just flat out disagreements, but don't let things like that bother you. It's natural to be bothered, but seriously, to help yourself. Just don't bother with it xD

Okay! ^-^ That's all I got! :la:

See you later, friends, frenemies, and capukitties!


And for my bynowwellknown edits *facepalm*!

Additions to the previous wall of text :3

-My opinion on character 'stealing'
Well for example my character Winter. Her original design is basically a white wolf with black ears, legs, tail tip, and eye dot things (lol) and then blue eyes to top it off.
You can view her gallery folder here (it's not hard to guess which is her original design)…
She's pretty much my first ever character! Aside from her pink and yellow scarf, her base design is easily and I mean EASILY reproduced by an artist half way around the world who's never seen my work.

WhiteSpiritWolf, for example, has a fursona who more or less is a similar design. IN NO WAY am I saying she copied me or I copier her or everyone who has the same pattern of design copied us but what I am saying is that, this design (although we all had our own takes on it and tweeks too), isn't something that is so out of this world, a few artists can't have the same basic idea to produce the base for this. White with black limbs and features. I am NOT saying it's unoriginal, I'm just saying that it is ridiculous for anyone to even try and accuse someone else for 'stealing' this design.
When you steal specific aspects, like the markings coming off WhiteSpiritWolf's character's eyes, or well... the totality of the scarf and design and I guess spots maybe on mine, then you can safely start to approach the person and ask about it. But in general I've seen dozens of characters with the same general idea for the design and it's O.K.

I accept I'm not the only one who came up with this, but that's because I'm well aware of the ease of creating something very similar!
Needless to say, situation is key. I came from a website mostly inhabited by 10-12 year olds. Sometimes even 7-9 year olds or younger. Disney Create. Lol.
I've mentioned it a few times before in random places, but basically they have no policies regarding art theft really, as long as your work is 'appropriate' for the audience. You cannot report anyone for that fact (which is why I left because...). Due to the fact there were so few artists of actual age when you start to want to develop your own styles and ideas, 75% of the population there is basically "copy and reproduce" type of kids. Which is OK (as I explained above in the entry).. BUT. I simply can't stay there-- not only because the vector base app crashes a lot and has no pen pressure or ANYTHING, but because my retired fursona Winter was copied directly about a few dozen times and it wasn't secret. When no one else had a character with those markings in the time before i submitted my work, it was obvious that they copied on TOP OF the fact they'd directly copy the poses, linework, and coloring as well xD I'd see people take out/add markings or change the scarf color but the fact their art style and just the whole concept of the piece was so obviously not theirs.

For example, this one's more so an example of copying ideas and pictures than design but it's also obvious.
Mine is on the right.
oh no :n: by Artluver25
So needless to say, that type of copying is not tolerated out in the real world. If you want to copy and not get any hate for it, go to a kid's website like Disney Create. Not deviantArt.

Other than that, if you take something that's so obviously original and full of geniune ideas and try to make it your own. You can consider that an epic fail. :/
You can't take the physical body of a Pikachu or a Kirby etc, and not have people regocnizing it. Even take griffsnuff's Snuffen or Helkfrost. You just won't get away with doing that.

You can copy characters like Winter and never have to say you took inspiration at all (if you have no shame), but you seriously have to be really thickheaded to take distinct features off of very unique characters and call it your own without expecting some inquiries.
Yes I'm very VERY well aware of all exceptions when you honestly just come up with the same tail design or certain attributes of teh body, etc. But the TOTALITY is what's key. That chances of picking two numbers that someone else picked in a lottery are high, the more numbers you add, the less the probability is.
The chances of two people picking the same numbers in the same order is almost 1 to infinity but it still happens and that's why there are two winners at times (or more!).

But numbers and art are also two different (very different) things. I don't need to teach anyone about intuition, as we all know when someone is most obviously copying.
To take one certain feature and tell them off is a different story, but when not only the bodily features are similar, but style and sometimes colors as well, then you know you have a theif.

Not only the visual aspect though, but the emotional and personal values. You can't exactly copy someone's biography and claim it as your own. Or pull out the main ideas and just change it to fit your needs. That's also STEALING. Because as a very enthusiastic and passionate character designer myself, I put heck of a lot of time and work into developing personalities, background stories, and just molding the character both physically and mentally to the best of my abilities. To have someone take that or some aspects of it and just claim it as their own is extremely offensive and disrespectful.

But as always, please don't take the profanity way out of this. It doesn't help anyone.

If they're really geniunely just an admiring fan, then there's no reason for them to receive hate if they're not purposely stealing or trying to receive credit for work that's not all theirs.

And that's my opinion haha XD ! :3

And one last last thing!
Guess what?! As I was so deliciously reminded by many comments too and by my own experiences, TAKE ART CLASS and you'll learn that most if not all teachers will tell you to COPY and REFERENCE from some professional artist's work at some point! I know I've had teachers tell me to do the same and LEARN from it!

Don't be childish and use this and say "MY TEACHER SAYS IT'S OKAY TO COPY" because they'll also tell you taking images that are copyrighted is WRONG.
So don't twist people's words!

And then of course.
We all want to inspire people. To know you inspire others, and affect other people in positive ways, is personally, one of the best feelings ever.
But likewise, to know you inspired others who don't even give you the recognition, is heavily insulting because it's basically unappreciating your time and effort that they can claim is theirs. What you spent years developing was just copied by someone who now claims they did it overnight!
That's extremely, extremely disrespectful. Don't do it! Because one day when you have someone who was inspired by your work and didn't bother to credit, you'll be feeling the same way but you'd be awfully hypocritical to criticize them.

But of course one of the most important points of all.... 

If you want to reference a copyrighted work from any artist, make sure you ask them first for permission if they'll allow it. DO NOT just reference/copy without artist permission. It's not their fault if they approach you in a less than good mood since the work might've been a commission with all rights sold to the commissioner or just a really personal piece, etc.
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SparkleStudiosDC Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
So as you know I'm pretty much known as a bitch.
I have pretty much ruined my life with deviant art and disney create.
I impersonated nan and copied her and still nobody is forgiving me. You-know-who-is-her-best-friend told me I should fall in a hole and die. She told me I should burn. When I am in nans join mes nan acts a little bit nice to me but when You-know-who-is-her-best-friend joins, she all of a sudden changes mood. She sort of changes herself. I know I shouldn't be gossiping about this but I was only a young 13 year old. I needed an inspiration. I loved Nan's art style and I COUDNT help it. I wanted to be her because people actually loved her. So, the stupid person that i was, i impersonated her. Now, I am going to kill myself, literally. I want to die. I'm tired of the hate, it's time for me to leave the world.
I know what I did was wrong, but nobody is forgiving me even though I admitted it. They are still not happy. So, I want them to know that I took the things that they said SERIOUSLY. if they ask, I committed suicide.
Capukat Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2014   General Artist
I'm really sorry for the late rely Sparkle! I will note you !
triangIes Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014  Student General Artist

Hey there! I might not be the right person to reply to this, especially since this is Celine's journal, but I am also from Disney! I saw a lot of copying going on at DC, especially of Nan and Capu’s styles. I don't know who you were on Disney, and I really think it is irrelevant, but I'm sure you have gotten a lot of hate. My suggestion would be to go and apologize for your actions. I know it might have been a personal achievement to have your style/art grow by looking at someone else's work and trying to copy and incorporate that into your own work. I understand that. Believe me, i did that, especially with Capu's art. But i never posted it as my original art seen as it was created by Celine and took her many years to create. I never even posted it. It was a personal study. I know you might have felt happy because you finally mastered the style or it was looking good to you, but it was never yours, so just like Capu said, credit, credit, credit! The best thing you can really do is apologize. If you just say I'm sorry I realize that I've made a mistake and can you please forgive me? That will usually make all of the difference. If not, then the artist is usually very upset and not taking it in a rational way, which is common because they can be so hurt by your actions. But I'm a friend of Nans, and she is one of the sweetest persons i have ever met. You should go talk to her. I know that you will want to put in that you wanted to be like her, and so many other personal excuses, but the best way to go about it is to just apologize and ask for forgiveness. No excuses, just an apology. And don’t think about suicide in such a way! This is a very small thing next to murder and killing yourself. Don’t ruin yourself because you have done one bad action. You won’t be able to grow as a person. I know you said that you meant it literally, but you should never do such a thing to yourself. Solve the problem and go on with your life. I’m not saying that what you did was right, and I definitely don’t support your actions, but make sure that you fix them so that you don’t live in regret your whole life. And then you can grow and thrive, trust me.  

SparkleStudiosDC Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks, and my DC was SparkleStudios. And I don't know how to apologize and ask for forgiveness because her and her best friend blocked me. ( '._.)
Rainiila Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
*waves hand in air
I know I've commentened on this before, but I have a question.

I'm still developing my own style, so often I try to draw artwork just slightly in the style of other people. It normally doesn't come out looking too much like any of their art though, just 'cos I'm not as amazing as them, and I'm only basing it lightly on their way of doing things. Plus, most of the time it's sorta self-consciously, so it's only at the end when I realise I'm sorta basing it on someone else's style.
Should I credit them?
As I said, it's really a mixture of my style with a tiny bit of there style, and sometimes it's, like, two styles and my style. Or a style from an artist I can't even remember the name of. But I should I try to credit them? 

Capukat Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2014   General Artist
Well up to you c: No one's forcing you to of course. 

I feel like crediting is a nice way of respecting the artist. Whether you put it on your profile, or maybe a bio, or in your art piece, I don't think you have to repeatedly put it on every art submission but once in a while maybe it's a nice thing to do! like (I was inspired to create my style after seeing how ____ does her eyes!) or something :D
Inku-kei Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
If I were you, I'd credit or at the very least mention if the piece of artwork resembles another person's style close enough to be labeled a "thief" or somesuch by immature yahoos. Some such examples as Crosswalk Cover ((WIP)) by InkDropArtist and Undead Doodle Doggy by InkDropArtist are modeled after lupisvulpes's style in an act of experimentation by me. All in all, I think it's better safe than sorry when it comes to crediting your references. :D 
cddmanful Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi, Celine!  
I know this is a super-late comment, but I wanted to say I agree with what you have to say about the line between referencing and copying~~~ It seems to me that anyone who thinks about it for a bit, can determine the difference between learning from someone and just copying them.  However, as you point out, the age and experience of the person would help the understanding of the distinction....   And as far as what they used to call "flaming" the thief, sometimes ignoring them/not commenting on them does more good than giving them lots of interaction, which the worst of them crave..........
Sleazinator Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013   General Artist
I respect your opinions, but I want to say a couple of things. 1. If you saw you got inspiration from somewhere, you should just say so in the description even if no one reads it. 2. I do see the "Your art looks just like __" as offensive if the artist doesn`t even know the other person`s talking about.
Capukat Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013   General Artist
I agree with both C:

The second I had a problem with, I've had a few people say my fursona Kiaro reminds them of an anime guy named Tsuna who tbh, I still don't even know what the anime is about! x___x
So I definitely could say it's rather offensive, even thought they might not have meant it
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