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Beware: Sugarpoultry/Jennette Brown


WHO: Sugarpoultry aka Jennette Brown

WHERE: http://sugarpoultry.deviantart.com/ http://www.jennettebrown.com/index.php

WHAT: Reusing lineart for custom commissions/tracing

WHEN: I commissioned her in February because she had made a journal about bills being rough and I wanted to help out a little more than a recolor badge (if only I knew...). Journal is here: http://sugarpoultry.deviantart.com/journal/Re-fill-Badges-Now-Open-with-commissions-283061336 I was initially going to get a recolor with additional detail because I wanted to help with a little more than $2, but she wanted more for the extra detail than I was comfortable with (from $2 to $30 is a big jump) so I opted for an ID instead.

Notes detailing this transaction (read from bottom up): http://img837.imageshack.us/img837/248/deviantartnotes003830.png

While taking a peek at something else in her gallery today, I noticed a thumbnail that looked eerily like my commission, and after some help getting overlays and some advice from other digital artists (because I'm painfully ignorant about digital art and programs) I don't think it's just a case of 'there's only so many ways you can draw a wolf howling'.

PROOF: My commission: http://sugarpoultry.deviantart.com/gallery/701295#/d4pia0x
the icon in question: http://sugarpoultry.deviantart.com/art/Kno-Icon-210028164?
Another piece: http://sugarpoultry.deviantart.com/gallery/701295?offset=72#/d1wvpx2
Overlays: http://img594.imageshack.us/img594/8697/overlayw.jpg http://img834.imageshack.us/img834/4176/overlay2.jpg
http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/9665/78488986.png
A photo googled up (fifth image under 'howling wolf' on my search) seems to be a match as well.
http://wallpaper-s.org/15_~_Morning_Howl%2C_Howling_Wolf.htm
Overlay with icon in question: http://img853.imageshack.us/img853/878/fdasssssssssss.png


There are a few tweaks to the nose, lower jaw, and muzzle stop, but the ears and the general line of the neck on both sides line up pretty damningly, and the eyes are in virtually the exact same place, and they all have that odd tooth in the upper muzzle (the one Goldenwolf remarked on in the comments of my commission.)

And, after a little digging, it seems I'm not the only one. If mine may be slightly vague, these (especially the first two) are not.

http://sugarpoultry.deviantart.com/art/Blue-Cosmos-199266150?q=sort%3Atime%20gallery%3Asugarpoultry&qo=206
http://sugarpoultry.deviantart.com/art/Jakk-Wolf-Icon-199531667?q=sort%3Atime%20gallery%3Asugarpoultry&qo=202
http://sugarpoultry.deviantart.com/art/Fire-Wolf-193976907?q=sort%3Atime%20gallery%3Asugarpoultry&qo=225
http://sugarpoultry.deviantart.com/art/Forest-Protector-211666306?q=boost%3Apopular%20%28%28wolf%29%20AND%20%28by%3Asugarpoultry%29%29&qo=16
http://sugarpoultry.deviantart.com/art/Holy-Tuxedo-Wolf-191942098?q=boost%3Apopular%20%28%28wolf%29%20AND%20%28by%3Asugarpoultry%29%29&qo=57

Comparisons/overlays: http://img600.imageshack.us/img600/3527/77308406.png

These are COMMISSIONS, not personal art, and in no way does it say in her TOS that she may reuse lines/sketches from previous commissions. http://www.jennettebrown.com/cominfo.php

EXPLAIN: I think these images speak for themselves. Honestly, it wasn't a high-dollar commission, but it's the principle of the matter. I paid for original artwork, not a recolor. It just hurts to feel slighted by one of my favorite artists, and to see such a history of such actions :/

Edit 1:12pm 4/6/12 I have received a full refund, but I'm not sure this should be marked as resolved because it's not just about my individual transaction, it's more about the business practices.
http://img854.imageshack.us/img854/613/vegotmoneyjennettebrown.png
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.
https://artistsbeware.info/

Comments

( 264 comments — Leave a comment )
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ellonwye
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:21 pm (UTC)
I've always, always gotten the impression from her that she doesn't actually understand any anatomy or how to draw these things but cribs it all together from references and Goldenwolf pieces. Which is fine I suppose, but she references so heavily it's always been iffy to me. Reusing the same drawing repeatedly for commissions is really damn skeevy.

Edited at 2012-04-06 04:21 pm (UTC)
sugarpoultry
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:28 pm (UTC)
I don't use the same. When someone commissions me for a smiling wolf facing forward, you can only do so many things to the face to make it look different, right? I have lots of wolf pictures I use to reference, and that is okay. Every wolf/werewolf artist uses references.
(no subject) - thaily - Apr. 7th, 2012 07:42 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kriscynical - Apr. 7th, 2012 01:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
sugarpoultry
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:26 pm (UTC)
Are you kidding me, Fen? Is this a late April fools joke or something? A wolf howling only has so many features to work with, barley moveable. You could Google 'wolf howling' and all the pictures will be EXACTLY the same, in pose, mouth position, ears, etc...

You can also easily go through any wolf artists' gallery and find similar faces and poses over and over. Heck, go right now to Goldenwolf's profile and see that all her faces and expressions are exactly the same too. It's call STYLE. We all have it. Don't expect a wolf howling or smiling to be completely different and unique every single time.

I've drawn wolves howling, growling, smiling, etc. for so long, I know proportions, and yes, I use pictures to reference the shape just in case, so it doesn't end up looking so disproportionate, but referencing is OKAY. I don't copy my commissions over and over, I might use the same references over and over, and referencing is OOOOKAAAAY... You're complaining over something so ridiculous.
peludrax
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:44 pm (UTC)
As a person not familiar with your art until this post, it is a bit suspicious looking. I understand there's only so many poses you can get when you're trying to be as photo realistic as possible, but, animals also vary ( Different snout shapes, ear sizes/shapes, fur pattern, the list goes on). I would not be happy commissioning somebody and then seeing five icons that are almost identical popping out of the same artist.

And while referencing is okay, it should be noted that referencing should be used to just sort of double check to ensure proportions/pose are correct, not just re-draw the source material and call it your own. And if you are using photos like that you should always link to the source material, for your own safety as much as anything. Also to note, the "Everybody else does it/it looks like that" isn't much of a proper excuse.

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sharpecostumes
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:30 pm (UTC)
I've seen much of her art,traditional or otherwise while she did it and every piece I saw was original. Her referencing is very mastered as she's been drawing wolves for many years. Just like fursuit makers, it's our job to be able to replicate what we see and Sugar is incredible at it. To be honest, what I'm seeing is practice for many years of similar subjects. To me, in my opinion, I'm seeing enough flaws that say to me that it isn't exactly a reuse of a lineart so much as that's a pose/expression she's familiar with and can replicate.
leahtaur
Apr. 6th, 2012 07:24 pm (UTC)
If that is the case, it would be wise for her to practice some new poses and angles. There are so many more "looks" to a wolf than the few she chooses to use over and over, without it having to look incorrect either. To be honest, it seems that she has reached a level that she is happy with and isn't interested in continuing her growth as an artist by having to struggle with unfamiliar territory, even if that just means a slightly different angle to a wolf's head.
(no subject) - kaelstra - Apr. 10th, 2012 08:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
breakspire
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:38 pm (UTC)
http://sugarpoultry.deviantart.com/gallery/24057951?offset=24#/d2hxsf6

well, she seems to have no issues re-casting taxidermy parts for her commissions. I recently saw a head of hers in person at FWA that had a taxidermy jawset re-cast in it.
sugarpoultry
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:41 pm (UTC)
I'll have you know I stopped doing that, and actually bought the jawsets instead for each commission. AND I actually called and asked a taxidermy company that I bought wolf noses from, if they considered it illegal to cast it in a mask over and over and they found no problem with it. :P

And I don't even do masks anymore, so your argument doesn't help Fen at all. ;)
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(Deleted comment)
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sigilgoat
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:45 pm (UTC)
This looks like someone who is very good at drawing from a photo, which is still an artistic crutch.

Unfortunate, because her coloring and other rendering techniques are very nice.
sugarpoultry
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:48 pm (UTC)
When did referencing become evil all of a sudden?
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starcharmer
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:48 pm (UTC)
You're right, the overlays speak for themselves. There may be only so many ways to draw the same expression for the same animal, but there's no reason to draw the same expression from the same angle facing the same way with the same ear position and the same eye placement.

I draw lots of cats, but I guarantee none of them would match up if I did an overlay. :)

Her reply here is very unprofessional, too. Beware very well warranted.
sugarpoultry
Apr. 6th, 2012 04:50 pm (UTC)
How is it unprofessional? Her complaint is silly. If I had blatantly copied someone else's art, it'd be a totally different issue, but I use references (some I've gained permission to do from flickr pics, etc.). I have a right to use them. And I DO NOT TRACE, I reference, to make sure proportions are correct.
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hikitsune
Apr. 6th, 2012 05:06 pm (UTC)
Yikes! well-deserved beware!
sugarpoultry
Apr. 6th, 2012 05:08 pm (UTC)
Fen, honestly, if you didn't like the piece and saw a problem with it right away, why didn't you just come to me, complain privately, and I would have fixed it for you... or at least explained the issues you had with my art. I don't know why you waited a month or so to bring this up, and complain publicly. :(
starcharmer
Apr. 6th, 2012 05:09 pm (UTC)
While taking a peek at something else in her gallery today, I noticed a thumbnail that looked eerily like my commission...

From the post.
film2edit
Apr. 6th, 2012 05:14 pm (UTC)
Some insight regarding the highlighted post.
I'm going to be honest. Do not become defensive in a reply here. I will delete it if you act as such. I did not see it noted if you were approached prior to the reply. I can understand being upset if that is the case. I also noticed you are replying to practicely every message here.

To continue, only going by the compared images and not based off photos, anatomy, and what not, the image looks recolored and not unique. That is what the post is in response to.

The images themselves are nicely done, but for future projects I recommend making them individually unique past coloring alone.

In a prior reply you had mention that if you draw a pose from the front, howling, side, ect, it will look the same. This is not true. Watch any animated film, and the pose will need to be altered and still convey a similar visual. If you are stuck drawing "howling" the same way repeatedly, you will not develop past your current skills. Part of being an artist is to continue to grow own's talents.
sigilgoat
Apr. 6th, 2012 05:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Some insight regarding the highlighted post.
Just a reminder, deleting comments is against the rules of the community, since you mentioned the possibility of it in your post.
tcd
Apr. 6th, 2012 05:19 pm (UTC)
Wow. If the artwork didn't chase me off, the attitude certainly did. Kind of a pity, I generally like realism.

shiftergoddess
Apr. 6th, 2012 05:26 pm (UTC)
This.
(no subject) - kaelstra - Apr. 10th, 2012 08:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
tieran
Apr. 6th, 2012 05:21 pm (UTC)
for the "there's only so many ways to draw a wolf howling"

There's... technically at the very least 360 ways of drawing a wolf howling (degrees of angles) and that's just on two dimensions. That's not including going 360 across the top and bottom of the wolf, and not including the xxxxxxx amount in between 360 horizontal and 360 vertical.

And that's not including individual animal physiques and fur lengths, etc.

At the very least, go look at one of those figurines of a holwing wolf, take pictures from every angle imaginable, and reference THAT for more inspiration.

I'm sure you'll find way more interesting poses that way.
fatkraken
Apr. 6th, 2012 05:32 pm (UTC)
to be fair, many of those angles would look stupid
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sugarpoultry
Apr. 6th, 2012 05:36 pm (UTC)
I will have you all know that I refunded Fen her full price for the badge...
zareonianwolf
Apr. 6th, 2012 05:48 pm (UTC)
That's excellent!

Still, I hope you understand that many of the commenters here were not attempting to be mean to you or anything of the sort. They, and I, would just like you to understand that relying so heavily on photographic reference - particularly the same image or an identical pose as a previous one - is a crutch that will hinder your artistic growth. I think most here would agree that it'd be lovely to see you expand your horizons and branch out without relying on photos. Just be loose for a while, stretch out your artistic muscles in a sense. c:
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otherscape
Apr. 6th, 2012 05:47 pm (UTC)
Eh, I don't see any tracing/reusing here. Just someone who copies/heavily references from the same photos and possibly from her own artwork.

But seriously, calm down Sugar. You freaking out is scaring more people away than the actual issue.

growly
Apr. 6th, 2012 06:17 pm (UTC)
I agree with both parts of your comment!
Most of the instances of "tracing" are just trying way too hard, to me. If you draw something so many times, you become trained to be able to reproduce it, be it consciously or subsconciously. I know that when I'm idly doodling, I find I recreate a lot of the same shapes and designs that I've done before.

Really, I think the issue is that Sugar isn't using enough varied references nor is she backing up her skills with enough life drawing, so she's very possibly in an artist "rut" and accidentally drawing the same faces. But definitely not tracing.

If you want something super original and dynamic, that's different every time, um... maybe wildlife art style isn't what you're looking for, OP.
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wolf_goat
Apr. 6th, 2012 09:12 pm (UTC)
I find this really skeevy. I don't buy the "there's only so many ways to draw a howling wolf!" excuse at all. Google howling wolf and you get a ton of angles right off the bat. There's NO excuse to keep reusing the same photo ref over and over and over - it's absolutely utterly lazy, and shows blatant disrespect for your customers. "Oh I have this one mastered I can just churn them on out lols".

There are tons of great realism artists out there - including those who use photo refs - and they don't create stuff like this.
otherscape
Apr. 6th, 2012 10:38 pm (UTC)
Nice work with the attitude there on the Paypal transaction, Sugar. The beware should remain based on your attitude and reaction alone. If you want to be taken more seriously as a professional, adopt a professional attitude, even if you have to pretend.
starcharmer
Apr. 6th, 2012 10:55 pm (UTC)
I agree completely. She made it so much worse by being rude. Her utter refusal to understand or even try to see from anyone else's point of view, claiming we're labeling her as "evil" is just appalling in and of itself.

Talk about digging your own grave.
(no subject) - ikirouta_fox - Apr. 7th, 2012 10:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shiftergoddess - Apr. 6th, 2012 11:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - otherscape - Apr. 6th, 2012 11:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shiftergoddess - Apr. 6th, 2012 11:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fenrirs_child - Apr. 6th, 2012 11:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sigilgoat - Apr. 6th, 2012 11:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - otherscape - Apr. 6th, 2012 11:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sigilgoat - Apr. 7th, 2012 01:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fenrirs_child - Apr. 6th, 2012 11:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
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