Just a little thing I wanted to discuss, if you don't like rants, then don't read this journal.
Please no harsh comments, I am simply expressing my opinion. |D
So without further adieu
So being on dA, you see a lot of 'art theft' around right? Most of the time you come across things such as stolen designs, traced/ recoloured artwork, copied artwork, etc. Recently however, I've noticed some people going a little over the top with this whole theft thing, so I decided I'd write this to explain what stealing is and what stealing isn't in to me. Now, to put it bluntly,
- You CANNOT copyright a pose
- you CANNOT copyright a style
- Referencing ≠ copying or stealing
- The only thing that can be be stolen or copied is the original piece itself.
If someone draws something in the same pose as something in someone else's picture, it is NOT stealing unless the picture as a whole has been copied. It does matter how much it resembles the pose in your picture, and even if they referenced from your work, if it isn't a direct copy of the original piece it is not stealing. Poses are something people are free to use no matter what, imagine if you could copyright poses, like, what if you came up with the cool idea for a rad pose but someone else had already done it before? Seeing other people draw things in other types of poses helps us improve too! Maybe you have be trying to draw a certain pose for a long time but couldn't get it right, but then bam! You see another artist draw that exact pose and now, from referencing their art, you might be able to do it better. This is not stealing, it is part of the learning and it helps us improve!
Now style, I have a feeling that this one might be the one thing that most people reading won't agree with, but whatever, I'm going to explain my views on this too. First of all, no, I do not believe you can copyright a style, and it is completely okay to have a style similar to someone else, even if you got inspiration from them and 'copied their style'. This follows the same rules as the pose thing, and when you think about it, it fits in the same boat. If you could copyright a style, imagine how limited we'd be. Style is developed from seeing other peoples styles. If you see someone draw fur or lips or anything in a cool way and you want to do it that way yourself? give it a go! You can't own the way someone draws fur or lips or anything like that, I'd be stupid, doing this is a sure fire way to limit your potential as an artist. I can tell you now, I have personally 'taken' things from other styles and incorporated them into my own style, but is my style still unique? Course it is, all styles are. There is nothing truly original either when it comes to style, its basically a mash up of a lot of different styles half the time, don't limit yourself and try to be 'original' by trying to avoid what other people do in their styles, that will limit you a lot, and you might not end up liking how you draw either. Grabbing inspiration from other styles is also a great way of improving and developing your own style!
Now for referencing. Both of the topics just covered are basically referencing, there are many ways to reference but you have to remember with this, reference too hard and it can become copying, referencing is referring to certain parts of a piece, style, or anything really and using them to help aid you in making your own artwork. You can use referencing to learn anatomy, develop style, do poses, a lot of things really, don't feel like referencing is bad! It will help you develop as an artist and is super helpful. It can be really hard to draw something when you don't have other visuals to help you. Maybe someone pained a rock in a certain way and you liked how they did it and you wanted to add that into your picture, maybe you liked how they did the sunset, whatever, it's completely okay to try and draw certain things like someone else if you think it'd look good in your own picture, go for it!
So after going through all of that, you might be thinking, well what is art theft then?
Okay, so the one thing that CAN be copyrighted is an original piece of art (or well anything really). Let's just say I drew a picture, this picture is a picture of a dog running through a field of flowers. Stealing is when someone copies this piece to almost the exact details/ only changes a few minor things. If they just copy the pose, that's okay, if it's the style, that's okay. But if they copy the style, pose, and the exact composition, colours, etc., then yes, that is stealing. Re-posting art and tracing an ENTIRE picture is also stealing.
I hope that clears things up a little, I feel likely to get people who disagree with me but eh, this is my take on things. I find that a lot of people here on dA get harassed for just referencing, and I really feel this is wrong. While there are a lot of art thieves, there are also people who get harassed for doing absolutely nothing wrong.