Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

:iconninjakato: More from NinjaKato

Featured in Collections

Journals by Jenny2-point-0

Journals by Resennar

Journals by Tiffanois

More from DeviantArt


Submitted on
July 17


9,656 (3 today)
1,066 (who?)

"Why do you artists always get so pissed off when someone uses your artwork? You should take it as a compliment!"


"You should take it as a Compliment --"
2579886-5567648625-incon by NinjaKato

A compliment would be admiring an artist's work where they post it, and if you really want to use it that badly, complimenting them would be you having enough respect for them to ask first. 
Most of us don't get mad because you use it, it's because you use it without asking or pretend you didn't know who/where it came from when there's a link to where you can find the original artist on the image. 
Taking someone's car to crash it in a derby isn't a compliment to them any more than taking someone's art to wreck it or claim it is a compliment. More so without asking. 

"What about realism artists?! They copy from photographs all the time, no originality there but you don't yell at them for copying photos! What makes some one copying/tracing another artist's work so different?"

Thinking-cap1 by NinjaKato

Firstly -- When someone is referencing a photograph they are essentially looking at pure material. When you do this you are usually looking to draw something realistically and precisely enough to where it's recognizable and anatomically correct. 
Referencing is not the same as tracing. Copying? Yes, to a degree but there's a hook -- Copying a stock photo to ensure decent anatomy is different than taking another artist's work and copying/tracing it for anatomy practice. If their sense of anatomy is wrong you aren't learning anything at all. 
Photos can technically be someone's property but if they put it as stock or reference material they offer it for free license and use by others. They took the image with their camera but they forgo complete ownership in a way. 

Secondly -- Copying a photograph for anatomically correct proportions hardly renders an image 'not creative/original'. Creativity doesn't come from the references used, it comes from the artist's ability to use them in a creative and innovative fashion. Copying or closely referencing a photograph merely dictates whether or not the final outcome is either believable or properly proportioned. 

"If you didn't want it stolen, don't post it online."

Kevin-Hart-Really-GIF by NinjaKato

If I got money for every time I've heard this, I'd have a Ferrari by now... 
Look, just because it's there doesn't mean it's free to take. More so if it's got someone's name on it. My car being parked on the street doesn't mean someone can just hop in and take it for a spin -- "It was just sitting there, your name isn't on it!" 
"Online ≠ Mine" 
A store putting a plate of cookies out on the counter doesn't make them free unless they say 'free cookies!' and even then, you're better off asking in case it's not THOSE cookies that are free. Artists shouldn't have to be worried about their stuff getting ganked because people can't keep their hands to themselves online. It's called common sense. Use it. If you didn't make it or ask for it and get the 'okay', it's not yours. 

"I'm just using your character's likeness -- it's not like I'm claiming I drew it or created it!"

tumblr m4usxzWq5j1qezk6n by NinjaKato

And you can't create your own characters? I mean, you can write out everything about them so why not write out a description as well? 
I can't entirely speak for other artists on this one but creating a character is hard work enough let alone drawing it out to the specs you want. Many of us spend hours or even days-weeks-months trying to come up with decent characters and we put a lot of heart and soul into them. To you they may just be cool drawings but to us they're our creations; part of us. 
I think a lot of people are well aware that if you see someone with 20 different art styles in their list of characters chances are they didn't draw them. So it's not that people are claiming they drew them (not all the time anyway) -- it's again, using our IP for your RP without asking or respecting our rights and terms as the original creator.
You can't copyright ideas or even colours, markings, poses, and personality traits. However, images are something an artist CAN copyright. If you want to have a blue and orange wolf character that acts like Optimus Prime, fine. You can do that, but you can't take someone's wolf version of Optimus Prime and use it as a bio pic for your character without asking. Catch my drift?  
Write out a bio to describe your character, it works just as well if you're a good writer -- And if you're that hard up for a visual, ask or pay an artist to draw it for your personally. Then your character will be made up to specs you want instead of having to steal to get something close.

So you see, it's not that we're selfish whiny pissbabies... It's more because we love our work and we'd love you to enjoy our work as well. On OUR terms. If you respect an artist, respect their rights and terms. 
End of story.

Add a Comment:
Weidenhof Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
MMDFantage Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
So true.
So very, very, true.
OneEyedCanine Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2014   Traditional Artist
Oh, I also wanted to comment, I was once on a new online art community called "MangaPug". I've long since abandoned it for this reason.
The creator, let me repeat that, CREATOR of the site, and added "purchase this art" as a feature on all artist submissions. 
There was no feature to toggle this, so I brought the issue up with him. 
He actually stated this. 

"Yeah, all of the funds go back directly to MangaPug. We don't even make that much off of it! And I mean, if you're going to put something online you're kind of forfeiting all ownership anyways by putting it out there for anyone to use." 

This was the creator of the site, needless to say, he had no business running it. 
OneEyedCanine Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2014   Traditional Artist
I love the points you made in this journal, there are so many people that do not understand the thought and time that go into making original characters. 
Another thing I would like to point out that's kind of related (seeing that both of these would directly relate to undermining artists) is how artists get requested to do free work ALL THE TIME.
I am constantly having friends, family members, or people I don't even no asking me "hey, um, so I want you to do this super huge illustration, for free so I can make money off of it in this new *insert whatever here* I'm making! Oh, yeah, you can put it in your portfolio and get recognition!".
Every time I hear that, I always think "Wow! Yeah! Let me do 24 hours plus work for you FOR free, use up tons of my materials, all so I can put it in my portfolio which is a right I had anyways! I mean, who needs rent and groceries right?" 
It's so undermining! Same thing with ripping off other peoples work. I always wonder when I see those pictures on facebook that someone plastered stupid quotes all over, and think "so who's the artist that did this picture?" 
KalineReine Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Exactly! :clap: This is so true. Everything you said... I agree 100% :nod: And it's a shame that some people can't understand this. 
Mike-Dragon Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have only one thing to say about all this:


As one who had his works stolen once, I relate extremely to all what is said in this journal. If I had to add anything to it, I'd just add that besides being part of us, the characters we create sometimes feel like our children. At least that is how I feel about my favorite character, my dragon character. He's almost like a son, to me. I'm pretty sure other artists besides me might feel this way about some of their characters, as well. They're so special to us at times that they are just like sons and daughters. Blood from our blood.
Stettafire Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
people used to copy my work offline and it used to bug the hell out of me. Then people would say, you should be flattered that they want to steal your work. I was mortified. They couldn't throw a bigger insult in my direction. They even had the guts to sometimes accuse me of stealing their work, when they stole mine! The nerve
NatsumeWolf Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2014
People used to say to me all the time that I should feel honored someone used my image
to reference off of… But the thing is that when they do that without credit and then bitch me
out when I ask for credit is highly disrespectful. How can I take that as a complement when
I view it as disrespect. 

People also tell me all the time " Oh I didn't know you drew it…"
When I have my god damn name and DA name on EVERY picture… 

Very well written and I am agreed. 
CieloNord Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Student Digital Artist
:O Nice call Ninja :D And btw, i've been completely dumbfounded by your art lately like :faint: it's really going amazing :D
DobbysCookieSock Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
After reading a comment that basically said "Be glad I drew your character without asking, Im awesome. So I allow you to kiss my feet now."
I want to give you a medal for this journal even more xD
Add a Comment: