huskyjackal (sabarika) wrote in artists_beware,

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Citing References - a commissioner's opinion?

Not sure if this has been asked here and I am posting because this seems an appropriate place to do so, especially because of circumstances where artists have drawn commissions and referenced or copied photos and the commissioner became angry thinking they were receiving "original" art and it was actually copied.

Commissioners - if you commission someone and they [legally] reference a photo, pose, or other art do you feel ripped off?  Say you commission someone for your character in a laying down pose - the artist uploads it/emails it and you find out they referenced/copied a pose from a stock photo - do you feel like the art is worth less/you didn't get your money's worth because it wasn't 100% from their head?  Say they TOLD you they referenced--"oh, I used this pic I took of my S.O. because I couldn't get the angle right" or "i used a stock photo for the pose of your wolf"--do you care?  I'm doing a commission right now where I am using a photo I took of a friend with her permission to help me nail my anatomy and perspective - I intend on citing this when uploading the work and showing the commissioner.  I worry that the commissioner might feel disappointed because I couldn't draw this "by myself" and if "i wanted a copy of a photo I'd print it myself and draw my char's head on it".

Do you as a commissioner care if the artist is referencing from life/photos to do your work?  Especially if the artist does not normally do this or has not before cited references?  Would you feel disappointed or would you be glad that they are making the effort to find a resource to ensure the drawing is "better"?  Does how much they copied make a difference - if they took an entire photo, copied it exact but made changes to colors/markings would that be worse than using it as a starting point and altering it significantly to make it up to your wants? And finally, does the difference lie in how much like the reference it looks like?  Due to stye, ability, and all sorts of factors some people can reference a photo line for line while others you may not tell due to their style that they even saw a photo. And of course, what it is they're drawing. Hard to copy line for line a photo of a real life gryphon or anthro, eh?

Sorry this was long but I'd love to hear from commissioners as well as any artists who may have faced an issue with having referenced/copied* a photo and had a commissioner complain.

*when I say copy I mean legally, from a stock site or citing their references, their own photos, etc.  Not just the first pic that turns up on Google without permission.  Obviously it can be a whole different matter if a commissioner discovers their commission was a traceover of a Google photo.

Tags: advice for artists, advice for commissioners, discussion
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