Anonymous asked: Hi, I'm just curious.. What if you found a picture or an art work online, you liked it, and decided to copy it by drawing it by yourself (for personal works only), not literally copy&paste it exactly on your work. Is that considered stealing? Also, is combining pictures found from the internet and draw it as a whole, stealing too? For example, you found a model pose that you like, you draw it, then you like a certain designer clothes, you draw it on the model and so on..Hope u can help me tnx :)
I think it would have to be judged on a case-to-case basis. :)
However, I can tell you that if it’s for personal work only (you’re not selling it or otherwise making money off of it), it’s probably okay.
Lots of artists (myself included) use reference pictures for drawing stuff. We try to modify the drawing so as not to look exactly like the reference picture. We use it as just a reference— a guide to make sure the drawing looks proportional and acceptably realistic. The drawing shouldn’t look like an exact copy of the reference picture. And we really try to make it our own, by drawing in a way that shows our unique style.
Sorry if I’m not very good at explaining that. I think this article is better— How To use Photo References Without Violating Copyright— it’s a very detailed and practical guide. :)
It sounds to me like you’re also just using reference pictures as guides. I’m glad you’re concerned about this topic and you care enough to ask. I think a good rule of thumb is this: let’s say the original artists/photographers/etc. saw the artwork you created based on their reference pictures. If you’d feel embarrassed about that, then try harder to “use them as reference” instead of “copying them”. If you want to be really strict and safe about it, you may opt to only use reference pictures from public domain or Creative Commons sources. Or take your own photographs. Or you could just ask for permission! :)
Check out this article about the book “Steal Like An Artist”. There’s a handy chart that summarizes the difference between “good theft” and “bad theft” when it comes to art:
P.S. I’m not a lawyer so please don’t take this as legal advice! :)