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WHO: Novawuff

WHERE: http://novawuff.deviantart.com

WHAT: Tracing/paintover/"heavy referencing", photos improperly used/not mentioned or lack of credit given

WHEN: Varies; throughout gallery over the years

EXPLAIN: Firstly, yes this is an alt account, I asked a mod. Secondly, most of the screenshots and overlays were found by others, as well as accounts of what happened in the past, and where able permission was given to be posted here. Thirdly, I'm posting here rather than art_theft because a few images involved were commissions or trades, and there are some prints being sold.

Recently I was browsing Nova's gallery and came across this image, "Stripey Sepia": http://novawuff.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d3cd4sx In the comments there was talk about what the references for the image were, where Nova originally linked to two, then a third one that matched the image exactly was found. At the bottom of the page the original photographer came in and said she was in violation of the image license: http://comments.deviantart.com/1/202166673/1932032583 then (I assume) the description was changed and credit given.

This made me curious, and I picked another image, this chameleon "Gramici": http://novawuff.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=24#/d3565di There is no mention of any photo reference in the description, but not long later I found this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaptainkobold/2737503891/in/photostream/ which is CC licensed, but requires attribution, Share Alike, and Noncommercial use (Nova's is being sold as a print).

I then found another image, so PMed a few of the people who made comments on other submissions. Not all are around anymore but I got in reply a bunch of screenshots, overlays, and so forth that I'll link in the proof section. There were a few notes with some info, like which originally had sources or not, but I'm not reposting since I can't contact the people involved. Some are edited for easier reading.

I would like to point out that this isn't about artists needing to cite every single reference used. The images here are often copies at least, and not sourced from many areas. Some images may be old and 'in the past' but it still seems relevant for people to know.

PROOF: Putting this last because there's a lot of links.

Some deviations now have credit, but are posted for other reasons. Warning, the overlays are gifs, at full size where possible to see detail, so pretty large.

Artwork, "Gramici": http://novawuff.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=24#/d3565di
Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaptainkobold/2737503891/in/photostream/
Overlay: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/48739155/artists_beware/cham.gif

Artwork, "Star Eyes": http://novawuff.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=72#/d2h8i64 (did not originally have credit/link)
Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/abennett96/2791265518/ (license requires to Share Alike)
Overlay 1: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/48739155/artists_beware/lioness_body.gif
Overlay 2: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/48739155/artists_beware/lioness_face.gif

Artwork, "Stripey Sepia": http://novawuff.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d3cd4sx
Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/53936799@N05/5531959391/in/photostream/
Overlay: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/48739155/artists_beware/tiger.gif
Relevant comments about forgetting the reference image, in order: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/440/tigerscreenshot.jpg/ http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/6/stripeysepiabynovawuff1.png/ http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/88/stripeysepiabynovawuff1.png/ http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/285/deviantartcommentonstri.png

Artwork, "Hyacinth Macaws": http://novawuff.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=96#/djpi87
Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/samsayer88/4314745272/in/photostream/ (not original)
A bit hesitant to include this one since there's no original source of the photo, and it could well be a stock, so readers can decide

Artwork, "Wuff Calender Detail": http://novawuff.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=168#/d14q6na
Photo: http://pourleplaisir72.p.o.pic.centerblog.net/33ix9jpq.jpg (not original)

Artwork, "Werewolf Calender 2009": http://novawuff.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=192#/d1nrs2y
Detail shot: http://novawuff.deviantart.com/art/Daddy-s-Girl-Detail-Shot-100597681
WIP: http://novawuff.deviantart.com/art/Werewolf-cal-WIP-the-ARM-95537341
Photo: http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/2558/wolf32big.jpg (Photo belongs to Bryan Sears, I couldn't find it online)
--There was apparently an issue with this one where Bryan Sears had not given permission for his photo to be used as such. There's credit now. Added because the photo itself isn't linked, and because you can overlay pretty much perfectly-there's referencing/grid method, and then there's hairs matching. Decide for yourself?
Overlay: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/48739155/artists_beware/were.gif

Artwork, "Supernova": http://novawuff.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=48#/d2p8eoh
Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sometimesong/4211687172/
--Posting because this is apparently just a reference (not originally cited) yet hairs match up? Screenshots say originally didn't have permission, does now.
Overlay: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/48739155/artists_beware/nova_.gif

Artwork, "Fuzzy Glow": http://novawuff.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=24#/d3akxws
Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fwp/445783953/in/set-72157612243671164 (requires attribution, no derivative works)
Overlay: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/48739155/artists_beware/snow_leopard.gif (I did the overlay for this one, it didn't require resizing. I really don't see how you can claim to have grid referenced this one)

Artwork, "Don't Tell Me 'Truth Hurts' ": http://novawuff.deviantart.com/gallery/?catpath=scraps#/d3lewhi
Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/karen_roe/4915822681/ (requires attribution)
Overlay: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/48739155/artists_beware/owl.gif

Artwork, "Feuer": http://novawuff.deviantart.com/art/Feuer-193934347 (under paintings, not photomanipulations?)
Uncredited dog photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/87776777@N00/2408377825/in/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/87776777@N00/2316947037/in/set-72157601367913520 (both require attribution and to Share Alike)

Misc, may or may not be relevant:

Responding to people finding image sources by calling them "reference Nazis": http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/8929/deviantartcommentonfoot.jpg
As seen here, still available: http://novawuff.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=48#/d2t3kf3
Claiming to always ask permission for photos, which was proven otherwise at the time: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/511/heathermeusernovawufffo.png/
I think this was meant to show permission could not have been originally asked since Nova joined Flickr after images were finished and posted: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/810/flickrnovawuff127938134.jpg/
Screenshot of Nova saying she grid references: http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/9146/sprofile1279537427577gr.jpg

I was also sent two deleted deviations that overlay, some messages from photographers saying permission was not given, and a few large comment strings discussing the issues, but I wasn't sure if it would be appropriate to post them because the deviations are deleted or now things are sorted so left them out.

Edit: Made this public, didn't realise it wasn't. Adding a few more screenshots.

Two (edited) notes claiming to have found other sources (I do not have the sources):
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/42/note1l.jpg/ and http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/2283/note2l.jpg
In the second note, the first link they are looking for was http://novawuff.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=168#/d16gpxt and the lion cub the second refers to is this one: http://novawuff.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=48#/d2s7b4g and the leg is apparently this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tambako/566105541/

A deleted deviation and original photo:
Artwork: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/831/sgallery1279642212950.jpg/
Photo: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/443/jasmineflickrphotosharilp.jpg/

Edit 2: Another contacted photographer: http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/5146/flickrmessage1320807425.jpg
Who was referring to this: http://novawuff.deviantart.com/art/Complimentary-Colors-169807647
Which originally linked to a photo on her site (still in description), but actual photo is here (note licenses): http://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/2151755552/

And a comment thread from when this all started, with a deviation that was deleted (I still have the art/photo). I'm still hesitant here since the commissioner could have been scamming, but they specifically mention she said the photo was CC until proven otherwise. I've cut out non-relevant/repeated things.


Update: Got messaged, the original photographer/owner of the image used for "Stripey Sepia" replied to a message sent in November, and says that permission for said image was never given and his request for removal was ignored.


This goes against what Nova claimed in a comment thread below (That they were okay with it, and didn't ignore him):


And said the same on DA: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/6/stripeysepiabynovawuff1d.png/

Community Tags:

Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 396 comments — Leave a comment )
Page 1 of 5
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Nov. 8th, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
I literally felt my heart sink when I saw all the overlays :<
Nov. 8th, 2011 07:41 pm (UTC)
She was amazingly well detailed in her tracing. Right down to the exact tufts of fur.

Nov. 8th, 2011 07:51 pm (UTC)
These tracing posts are making me sad :(
Nov. 8th, 2011 07:56 pm (UTC)
And to think she got a daily deviation with one of those traces. -_-
Nov. 8th, 2011 07:59 pm (UTC)
Never really knew this artist, or venture on DA anymore, but it appears they have the talent to avoid this w/ the amount of detailing and painting skills. That sucks.
Nov. 8th, 2011 08:00 pm (UTC)
Wow. I am seriously disappointed. -watch :/
Nov. 8th, 2011 08:00 pm (UTC)
Wait, what? I thought it was pretty well known this is what she does. I could have sworn she mentioned once that she does paint overs.

Edit: It baffles me how the wildlife art community seems to encourage this.

Edited at 2011-11-08 08:08 pm (UTC)
Nov. 8th, 2011 08:30 pm (UTC)
Most wildlife artists dislike tracing. I'm not sure where you're getting that idea from. In my experience most are discouraged from tracing.
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Nov. 8th, 2011 08:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - arcticalopex - Nov. 8th, 2011 08:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Nov. 8th, 2011 08:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - arcticalopex - Nov. 8th, 2011 08:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kuwaizair - Nov. 10th, 2011 11:34 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 8th, 2011 08:00 pm (UTC)
I'm so disheartened by how many tracers are coming to light recently. :(
Nov. 8th, 2011 08:07 pm (UTC)
Oh holy hell... Talk about disappointed. :/

So sad.
Nov. 8th, 2011 08:30 pm (UTC)
Someone had mentioned her on an entry regarding cristina penescu's art. Needless to say I am disappointed.
Nov. 8th, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
She has always been one of my most favorite artists... I know some folks will trace until they learn, but with an extent such as this breaks my heart. Having a picture there for reference aye... having the picture AS the picture... Awww nova...
Nov. 9th, 2011 05:05 am (UTC)
I know how you feel.. I was a huge fan of her art.. and this just.. I don't know how I didn't see it. :/

...This explains something too. Many many years ago I asked to do a trade with her thinking she'd say no (I was 14 or 15 or so, oh man so about 10 years ago) her art looked amazing to me and I never thought an artist so good would agree. She did agree, I did my half as best as I could. It wasn't that great but at the time from me it was the best thing I had ever made. She did her half and it looked nothing like her other art, nowhere near as good. I never thought much of it but with the characters I requested I guess since they were so very not "normal" she didn't have something to heavily reference/trace like she does with that art that looks so.. amazing. x.x

I still have it the art somewhere too.. She was really nice to but.. this is just really.. bleh.
(no subject) - birdsput - Nov. 11th, 2011 03:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - synchra - Nov. 11th, 2011 06:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - birdsput - Nov. 11th, 2011 07:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - synchra - Nov. 11th, 2011 10:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - birdsput - Nov. 12th, 2011 01:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - synchra - Nov. 12th, 2011 01:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - birdsput - Nov. 12th, 2011 02:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - synchra - Nov. 12th, 2011 04:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - birdsput - Nov. 14th, 2011 05:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - synchra - Nov. 14th, 2011 10:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - birdsput - Nov. 14th, 2011 11:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - synchra - Nov. 15th, 2011 01:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - birdsput - Nov. 15th, 2011 02:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - synchra - Nov. 15th, 2011 09:42 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 8th, 2011 08:35 pm (UTC)
Wow, I'm really disappointed. It's clear she has talent, but it sucks that she resorts to tracing. :(
Nov. 8th, 2011 08:37 pm (UTC)
I think messages from photographers saying that they didn't give permission would definitely help this, not that I don't believe it already but other people might see it differently, never would have thought novawuff to be a tracer.
Nov. 8th, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC)
One of the original photographers did actually ask her to remove one of the works she traced, according to the OP.

Notice that the photographer asked the image be removed, not credited, so nova pretty much blatantly ignored her request for removal and figured crediting the photographer would be perfectly fine instead.
(no subject) - armaina - Nov. 8th, 2011 09:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - slyminera - Nov. 8th, 2011 10:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - armaina - Nov. 8th, 2011 10:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jono_m - Nov. 9th, 2011 12:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kikai_saigono - Nov. 9th, 2011 01:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - synchra - Nov. 9th, 2011 05:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - birdsput - Nov. 11th, 2011 03:08 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - synchra - Nov. 11th, 2011 05:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - birdsput - Nov. 11th, 2011 07:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - synchra - Nov. 11th, 2011 10:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spiffystuff - Nov. 11th, 2011 12:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - birdsput - Nov. 11th, 2011 07:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spiffystuff - Nov. 12th, 2011 02:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - birdsput - Nov. 12th, 2011 03:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spiffystuff - Nov. 12th, 2011 03:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - birdsput - Nov. 12th, 2011 04:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Nov. 11th, 2011 07:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - birdsput - Nov. 11th, 2011 08:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spiffystuff - Nov. 12th, 2011 02:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - birdsput - Nov. 12th, 2011 03:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shukivengeance - Nov. 12th, 2011 04:04 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - slyminera - Nov. 12th, 2011 04:28 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spiffystuff - Nov. 12th, 2011 04:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - birdsput - Nov. 12th, 2011 04:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - yuiopasd - Nov. 9th, 2011 10:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 8th, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC)
Shame, she has the skill but chooses to do paint-overs?
The heck.
Nov. 8th, 2011 08:59 pm (UTC)
To be fair, people like this who do have a lot of skill but trace tend to do it because they see tiny inaccuracies in their own work - stuff which most of the time would go unnoticed to the majority of viewers - and get hung up and depressed by it.

I'm not defending it per se, but it is a reason.
(no subject) - julian_wilbury - Nov. 8th, 2011 09:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Nov. 8th, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC)
What a waste of talent.
Nov. 9th, 2011 05:32 pm (UTC)

This was my thoughts exactly. How sad.
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( 396 comments — Leave a comment )


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