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I've heard the subject line said a thousand times in thousands of ways. As someone who gets style ganked more times than I can count, its high time the effects of this are heard directly from the source.

Fine. Whatever. You want to say "nothing is original anymore"? Great. Cool. But it shows a hefty deal of disrespect. Why won't people gank styles from long dead artists instead? They're dead and don't have to live with this on a daily basis like I have to.

Don't preach to me about patience anymore. I'm done being patient. This happened back when I first started posted art on the internet, and its no recent event. I got burned once by a friend leeching off my style and it happened again. Why did I let it happen? Well, this girl was actually nice in the beginning. In both these cases, the only reason I was so tolerant was the fact that I considered these people to be friends. They seemed to enjoy drawing like me, so I thought alright, thats cool and somewhat flattering to me but there comes a point you know, when they should start doing their own thing. I waited patiently, and too long for that to happen. Because I waited, its hard for me to feel I have any right to complain. However, the recent one is taking commissions. Taking commissions for cheap. This HURTS me not only financially but the trust in a friend has been shattered into oblivion. Because in the beginning, there was not mention that her work was -heavily- based around mine, those unfamiliar to my work and how long I've been doing it, tell ME my own work looks like hers. How do you think that made me feel?

Also, those who -did- find me and didn't see me publically up in arms about it thought I was cool with letting my work be leeched from. Such was never the case. And so, MORE people started doing it. My work was cheapened by a trend and I take the financial sufferings for it. When I started out to make something of my art, I wanted something different, something unique. I feel as though I did just that, ON MY OWN. It -can- be done. Just because there are around ten Arph-style carbon copies out there doesn't mean its impossible to get away from.

My issue ain't about copyrights. My issue is with RESPECT. I feel if someone's work is heavily influenced by my work, it should at least be mentioned somewhere that these people are posting it up. I don't want full claim, I'm not THAT full of myself. But this has gone on long enough and you know what? It HURTS.

I want to strip away the arguments of the law and get to the core. Its disrespectful, hands down. Want to use the excuse of 'fan art'? Well usually most fan art states where it came from. Maybe I finally get everything put together and publish what I intend to publish, I won't care do damn much. But here I am, struggling to make something of my work, share with people that process and I'm getting burned as many times as I get compliments. The scale is tipping and I do not intend to fall as a result.

You hear about artists who get fed up and take everything off the internet. A while back I didn't understand that to such the extent as I do now. Its not just throwing your hands up in the air and walking away from the rippers, its also running away from all the ridicule you get for simply stating, "This hurts me." If you find yourself wanting to tell me where to stick my opinion, don't bother. I've heard it all before, watched it happen to other artists enough to know the effects it would have. I don't particularly enjoy feeling this close to walking away from sharing my work online. I like the feedback. I appreciate knowing that people get something out of my work as it lends me a bit of direction for my art and stories and what I'd really like to do with them. I mean, yes of course I do it for my first, but I DO want to put out something that other people like as well.

I've worked too long and too hard not to put up a few final fights over recognition of how I feel before taking it all down. Those who read my personal journal probably already know my feelings about this and in a way thats more harsh than I'm stating here. Not all of them agree with me either, but its been a long time since I've bitten down on this subject as a whole. I don't expect people to agree with me. All I want is for people to consider what this does to me. Not just as an artist, but as a person. Just to think about it and nothing more.
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( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 7th, 2004 03:18 pm (UTC)
I agree with you, Although it's never happened to me, I've watched this happen to another friend of mine. I don't believe the offender is taking commissions, but still. That's his heart and soul... and to watch some kid come along and dick around with something that's taken you years to develop is heart breaking...
May. 7th, 2004 03:32 pm (UTC)
I understand where you're coming from and respect your stance on the issue. Were I in the same position, I would feel differently; but it is still your descision to make and yours alone, and no one else has a right to bitch you out for it, whether they agree with you or not.

I don't agree with your opinion, but I still respect it and your right to have it, and you as an artist as well. You have a lot of talent, and it's obvious you have worked long and hard for all you have accomplished.

I would hate to see you turn your back on it, but that is my opinion.
May. 7th, 2004 06:02 pm (UTC)
Nah, I wouldn't turn my back on art. I was just really feeling the urge to stop sharing it in public.

And thanks, for just saying your views are different rather than just tearing into me. I was pretty much expecting people to do so. I know I'm not the first artist whose voiced a complaint about this sort of thing. Some of how they've gone about it leaves me cringing even though I do understand the frustration. I don't want to obsess over my frustrations like I've seen others do. I just wish I wasn't such a target some days.
May. 7th, 2004 03:37 pm (UTC)
Honestly, after looking at your art, I can honestly say that not -everything- you might consider 'ripping' might be that. It might just be similar styles. You've got a style that I would best describe as a furry Yoshitaka Amano (the guy who did the illustrations for the first six Final Fantasy games, and worked with Neil Gaiman on that kitsune-related Sandman book whose name I can't remember). This is a compliment, actually: You're comparable to him when it comes to skill as well as style.

And I say this because of your color use, and your stylized, flowing brushstrokes, and your unorthodox poses and motives. The rest of it - stylized, manga-inspired furry art - is something that it's very easy to end up with after a bit of drawing, these days.

Yes, you are a good artist, in fact you're excellent, and yes, your style is your own. No, I don't think you should stop posting your work. However, people who start drawing furry art on a manga basis do have a good chance of ending up with something that resembles your stuff. This goes for a good few styles. Have you seen Trump's artwork, for instance, and the dozens of other Japanese artists resembling it?

Yes, if someone admits to trying to draw just like you, sure, you've got a case, but one that's better fulfilled by mentioning that having one's own style is one of the most important things in art.
May. 7th, 2004 06:14 pm (UTC)
Well, if you're just looking at mine, without seeing the work of those I'm talking about, I can understand what you're saying.

Also, I do totally realize that some people's style just develope in similar places before they know about one another. I've seen those and typically can tell the difference between simple chance similarity and purposeful assimilation. Its the latter that I've got issues with. Even if it seems obvious to me, most of the time I try and give the benefit of the doubt to them anyhow.

Interesting you'd make the connection to manga and my work. I don't see it as much as other people I suppose, but I can see certain aspects that are anime-ish. How people get from anime to drawing almost exactly like I do by mistake even though they travel very close to those I know, is just a little off putting. I try not to be annoyed by this.

Again though, my real beef is with those who do it in full awareness that they're doing it, who don't bother to ask if I minded that sort of thing and go about as if I have no right at all to be upset. It gets irritating when they'll admit as much to me, but go around telling everyone else otherwise.. And expect me to be okay with it.
May. 7th, 2004 03:54 pm (UTC)
I agree..and well said. *has had her style taken too*

Very well said..
May. 7th, 2004 05:39 pm (UTC)
I comepletely understand how you feel :/
where i diverge is.. the other huskygirls on the internet.. i like being friends with them. I like being a 'mentor' or sorts for girls who arent much younger than me but have obviously taken influence from me.
it used to bother me alot when i found out somebody had a new husky character and *GASP* was drawing like me!
but in the end, your skill level is and will more likely than not always be the best. you are the original. in that alone you can not the surmounted even if someone manages to grow as popular if not more popular than you.
*hugs* I hope the bullshit ends soon.
May. 7th, 2004 06:22 pm (UTC)
This touches into a bit on what exactly started this venting to begin with. This girl wanted to learn things from me, not just art but about all sorts of stuff. We became friends. She knew how I felt about the art and about other things. I can let the little things go, like with random other people who do pretty much the same thing to me as what you've spoken of. I enjoy the friendship with them too, but in this case, it went foul on a personal level, in this other than art. Contacts severed, all that was left was the issue about art. With the friendship over, she's got no more reason to think about how I feel about it.. and isn't. So it hurts pretty extensively. I'm left feeling betrayed and feeling as if my nose is being rubbed into it. It, being the fact that I apparently, can trust no one wanting under my wing in any sense anymore.

*sighs* I hope it stops soon too, believe me. Or at least that nothing stupid will happen in the near future in this issue concerning her so I have enough time to heal up from it.
May. 9th, 2004 10:42 am (UTC)
As much as I'd like to respond to what I read there (there was both beneficial and not, that I found) it would take away from the actual point of why I was upset enough to post this in the beginning. Like I said, I'm not interested in sticking the laws on anyone, nor having them stuck on me to make me be quiet about my feelings. My concern is, and always has been, the issue of respect between artists within this genre.
May. 16th, 2004 04:29 pm (UTC)
your totally right, I hate it when people steal from me
Jun. 7th, 2004 08:41 pm (UTC)
You bring up a great point. I have a question: What if someone has naturally developed a style that is very similar to your own, without ever having seen your work? Do you think this is at all possible?
Dec. 22nd, 2004 08:25 am (UTC)
It's been mentioned, but.......
I developed my own personal style 100% free and clear.. I've taken a few influences from other places, but I have yet to see anyone do anything that looks anything intentionally like my work. Not that it's that great; I'm a n00bz, but the point is, I'm unique.

Most other are not. Learning from a book or from the examples of a popular artist are invariably going to lead to SOME uniformity. In other words, yes, you ARE unique, but that doesn't mean you're exclusive. Especially if you've been around a while and have gathered an number of fans. The publicity is nice, but the punishment is you get followers.

Couple things:
#1. If the person who's imitating your style is doing it for personal gain, using YOUR name, then there's a problem. If they're doing it specificly to annoy you, then there's a problem. If they're intentionally causing problems for you or ripping off your work, that's a problem. Then it's time to conftont them and possibly get big brother involved.

#2. But if they LIKE your work enough to WANT to copy the style, just take it as a compliment; they like you enough to hold you up as a shining example in their life. Yay. (Better that fanboys pestering for free art, right?)
...and if you got YOUR style from a book or popular source (i.e. Neopests, Anime, Manga, Cartoon, Comic book) then don't even THINK about complaining... there's them and a million others (pick your obsession) fans just like them.

...and lastly, maybe it just totally coincidence. I have two friends that hate eachother because they blame eachother of ripping off art. They're similar, but not exact and both have the pre-internet work to prove it. Granted, it's rare, but it's still possible.

With six BILLION (That a 6 with NINE zeros after it!) other people on the planet, there are GOING to be similarities. Deal.

Be tolerant, choose you battles wisely, show no mercy to the real offenders.

...my thoughts.
Dec. 22nd, 2004 12:48 pm (UTC)
Re: It's been mentioned, but.......
#2. But if they LIKE your work enough to WANT to copy the style, just take it as a compliment; they like you enough to hold you up as a shining example in their life. Yay. (Better that fanboys pestering for free art, right?)

When they stop mentioning inspiration credits and start taking commissions on from people who specifically say 'I want something done in your style' I find it very hard to not get a little annoyed by it. :/ I'd prefer pestering fanboys to this.

But you do make some valid points here, all of which I've considered or dealt with first hand at some point or another. The point of my post wasn't to rip into every single person who emulates my style, but to express my feelings that respect is very lacking from some of these people who supposedly 'hold me up as a shining example'. Some don't realize the damage they do but others, well, they just don't care when it gets right down to it. Not if they're getting attention off whats being ripped from me. And over and over again, I've been leached from, then am no longer mentioned once they get attention.

As for tolerance, believe me, I bite my tongue 9 out of 10 times. When I wrote this post up (quite a while ago actually) I had gotten to the point of being royally fed up with the lack of thoughtfulness, consideration and respect most people have when it comes to this subject.

And to the whole coincidence thing up. No, I'm not talking about that sort of thing. I'm talking about people who have watched my work for a while, some who even befriended me, a couple of these were close friends who knew my feelings about this yet did it anyway (emulating, getting attention, then suddenly not bothering to care about citing references).

Er, and one more thing before I post this reply. I'm sorry if I am coming off on the defensive, or sounding as though I am. It just sounded to me as if you were speaking to me as if I wasn't really REALLY experienced in this area. But you don't know me, nor I you, and I certainly understand that there ARE many a whining artist out there that do blow these sorts of things out of proportion. (Sometimes I wonder if I'm one of only ones who gets ripped off a lot who probably makes less out of it then I should.)

Anyhow, I do think you've got some good thoughts up here.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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