What's your opinions on using references for your drawings? A lot of people say using references isn't being original, and you're ripping off the original artist, or that you don't have enough talent to draw it straight from memory. Sometimes I need to look at pictures to be able to draw something, or I want ideas. I just wanted to know what you guys thought? (Or what you think since only one admin is answering this ^^). Thanks!
I actually have never heard from any credible source that artists should only do things from imagination (although this doesn’t mean you can’t work this way). This is highly impractical and unrealistic. Although it depends on what you mean by “using references,” because there’s a difference between referencing and “copying.”
My opinion is better expressed in this ConceptArt thread. Here’s an excerpt from the original post:
“Is it ok to use other people’s photos as reference?
It depends. Just like you own the copyright to your art, a photographer owns the copyright to his or her photos.
If you copy all or most of someone else’s photo without permission, this could be a copyright violation. There is no rule that says “if you change it X%, then it’s ok.” In U.S. courts, the test is if a reasonable observer could look at the original and the copy side-by-side and tell that it is a copy. It is ok to copy someone else’s photo as much as you want if it is only for your personal study. It is considered a courtesy to acknowledge your source if you then show that work to anyone.
Here are some examples of ways artists can use others’ photos as reference: Using individual, generic parts of a photo. Ex. A tree, hills, clouds. Using individual, specific parts of a photo. Ex. The Empire State Building, a Jeep. For historical research. Ex. Looking at pictures of WWII uniforms to get the design accurate. Gathering multiple photos of a subject without using a specific one. Ex. Looking at many photos of lions to see how they are built and how they move. Using multiple photos for general inspiration. Ex. Gathering photos of different kinds of machinery in order to get inspiration for your own machine design.”
I recommend checking out the link for the whole thing. I hope I answered your question :)
so I found this cool poll thing, and there’s one up on artist-problems right now. It won’t be there forever, and I’ll take it down after a couple of days, but this is just a fun little thing I thought would be cool to add to the blog.
Just to summarize the last two anon asks (I’m going to delete them soon to stop it from clogging the archive and dashboards):
I, Libby (yachumi), am a junior in high school who hasn’t been in an art class since the 7th grade (so that’s almost 5 years ago). I teach myself every time I sculpt my miniatures, and I have no plan to go to college to get a degree in fine arts (because I’m going to college for nursing).
No one should be deemed an artist or not depending on their age, level of education, or level of ability. We are not born with super-art-powers. 5-year-olds can be artists, middle school students can be artists, the elderly, HECK even hobos are artists!
Thank you for the many many many messages I’ve received, and I will get to messaging them asap!
This is the last text post on artist-problems for today. Thank you!
(p.s whoever replied with a Korra screenshot, you, sir, win!)
Alrighty a few assholes appeared on my dash and I’m just angry and bored enough to write this.
0. Artists are people too. They are not drawing machines. They are not here for your personal enjoyment. They are allowed all the same rights you have.
1. Do not give the artist grief for drawing what they want.* People are allowed to draw what they want, when they want. If you don’t like the subject matter, don’t look at it. Ignoring things is not that hard- in fact, most of the artists I’ve talked to will tag things when asked politely. Alternatively, request or commission them to draw what you do want, if the artist is taking them.
*assuming that the subject matter is legal in their jurisdiction etc.
2. Do not give the artist grief for not drawing what you want. People are likewise allowed to not draw what they don’t want. An artist does not have to draw something just because you asked for it. This goes for commission requests as well- until they say they will draw it, they are not obligated to do anything.
3. Know the difference between criticism and insults. Telling an artist what is correct and incorrect about their work, what you do and don’t like, is not the same as belittling it, believe it or not. Additionally, there is a difference between criticizing a work and criticizing the artist.
4. If they tell you to stop, stop. If they don’t want criticisms, don’t send them any. If they don’t want requests of a certain nature, don’t send those.
5. Artists are people too. This one is important enough I have to say it again.
Above all, remember, the majority of people actually would prefer to avoid douchebags.
we are on a mini hiatus (on until after graduation), we will be allowing you guys to submit problems. In the mean time, there will be some new submissions and some older ones, so please bear with us for the time being.