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Stealing Styles

So lately I've been seeing a lot of similar styles on the submissions, I think it's cool when someone is inspired by something or someone and you take some tricks and inspiration from someones style, but sometimes seeing something and thinking is someone else because their work looks exactly like someone else's just feels ackward.


I've seen a lot of pseudo ilovedoodles, sonmis, spilihp, etc etc and get a lot of support from the community.


What do you guys think of that?


I feel like I used to see tons of distinct styles with artist, like I would know right away who made what, etc but I can't say that too much anymore, am I just thinking too much into this?

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fightstacy
fightstacy profile pic Alumni

I think it's important to have a signature feel to your work, ..there is a lot of what seems like "I'll do this style because it's popular on threadless and I want that money" going on, ..but I don't encourage it

Another scenario, I've recently found myself in, is drawing something and THEN finding out I've subconsciously channeled something from something someone else has done, ..not directly, ..in a coolness embedded way.. But I find it's more a deep influence than a conscious decision.

fightstacy
fightstacy profile pic Alumni

I don't like encouraging the emulation of style, ..my biggest cringes have been at people trying to pull off a 'DRO'

lxromero
lxromero profile pic Staff

Shit... It sounds like Alex is on to me.

louisroskosch
louisroskosch profile pic Alumni

short term gains i guess.

YaaH
YaaH profile pic Alumni

Maybe they need years to make similar before to find their own way. I just want to say the postitive side. For the negative side we all think it the same.

agrimony
agrimony profile pic Alumni
2 designs submitted - Score now!

i think its inevitable when the top tip given to noobs is:

check out what has been printed

The Paper Crane
The Paper Crane profile pic Alumni
1 design submitted -

I think some people are born with a style to work from and others need to find and mature theirs.

melmike
melmike profile pic Alumni

I really have no idea on this one, I'd have to look at each case individually to know how I feel about it. One thing I do know though is I'd hate to make something that was constantly being confused for another's signature style. Or maybe it's okay to look at things like shading techniques, but if you're straight ripping someone's entire look you've taken it too far.

mike bautista
mike bautista profile pic Alumni

what's DRO? is it something cool? if it is, I know what it means, I just forgot. help me remember this cool thing I know.

if how you're drawing looks indistinguishable from what you take inspiration from, then it's only taking your art as far as those artists have taken it. that just seems like a waste of time. you're not pushing yourself. I guess if you're young then it's excusable since it could all just be figuring out what works for you. I do it all the time, I just try not to be direct and hope I don't end up looking like a rip-off. but trying to go verbatim just makes you 2nd rate. but people wanna make money and wanna make what they know works so whatever I guess. sometimes people don't care about art. art's weird. these are just shirts.

I've seen your style get copied some! and I remember when watercolor and silhouettes were suddenly a thing. I have looked at your stuff early on though for how to make the most out of a limited palette. it helped discipline myself with my color choices when I started.

The Paper Crane
The Paper Crane profile pic Alumni
1 design submitted -

On the subject of plagiarism I am struggling a bit with how I feel about taking an existing idea of someone else's and putting your own spin on it. Take the 10k for example and then this 8 bit design I just saw here.

I just feel that people should come up with their own ideas. Ok everything creative has its inspiration from somewhere, albeit consciously or subconsciously. Personally though I would not feel comfortable taking another artists idea. I guess it's not so black and white and hard to define the line between taking something and making it better or adding humor to some iconic popular culture image verses just riding of the back of someone else's great idea.

I guess the line is somewhere between art and commercialism.

The Paper Crane
The Paper Crane profile pic Alumni
1 design submitted -

...and yes what is DRO and agree with Mike's point about youth, when considering the average age of thread folks

taz-pie
mike bautista said:

what's DRO? is it something cool? if it is, I know what it means, I just forgot. help me remember this cool thing I know.

if how you're drawing looks indistinguishable from what you take inspiration from, then it's only taking your art as far as those artists have taken it. that just seems like a waste of time. you're not pushing yourself. I guess if you're young then it's excusable since it could all just be figuring out what works for you. I do it all the time, I just try not to be direct and hope I don't end up looking like a rip-off. but trying to go verbatim just makes you 2nd rate. but people wanna make money and wanna make what they know works so whatever I guess. sometimes people don't care about art. art's weird. these are just shirts.

I've seen your style get copied some! and I remember when watercolor and silhouettes were suddenly a thing. I have looked at your stuff early on though for how to make the most out of a limited palette. it helped discipline myself with my color choices when I started.

i just try copy mike u_u

Morkki
Morkki profile pic Alumni
2 designs submitted - Score now!

I'm just waiting for the "but you can't copyright style wah wah" brigade to show up. I'll need popcorn.

Anyway, I agree with Mike. Getting stuck in imitating won't make you a better artist. Of course the similarity isn't always intentional, sometimes people end up doing similar stuff, maybe because they were inspired by the same things. I pick up inspiration from lots of artists and sources and try out different styles but always try to do things my way.

PeculiarTiffany
PeculiarTiffany profile pic Alumni

DRO72, the dude behind the animals saying truthful/rude things. :-) I've seen lots of DRO'd designs lately.

I think it's important to push yourself beyond your inspirations, which is something I'm still working on myself.

JaymeArt
1 design submitted -

well, you cant copyright a 'style'. :P but when its obviously a complete rip off, that sucks. (and is illegal)

Sadly, in art, and other stuff...Some people make, and some (who have no imagination or originality) ....copy.

gebe
gebe profile pic Alumni

If you don't work your way, then you work in the way of someone else who works in his own way.

speakerine
speakerine profile pic Alumni
6 designs submitted - Score now!

you're right.. and I agree with Paper Crane

Morkki
Morkki profile pic Alumni
2 designs submitted - Score now!

well, you cant copyright a 'style'

I know. But you can't actually copyright an idea or a concept either, yet designers are very protective of them too.

Unless you actually try to file a patent for a design concept.

vanillablue
vanillablue profile pic Staff
mechanicalrobotpower said:

I don't like encouraging the emulation of style, ..my biggest cringes have been at people trying to pull off a 'DRO'

Yeah, this has been bugging me. It's not even influenced by his style, it's a straight up copy.

[+duracell-]

There is no law that says one must develop their own unique style. Some people may enjoy variety and thus not have a 'style.' Furthermore, anyone else's personal style, which they think they somehow have exclusive rights to, is fair game.

The Paper Crane
The Paper Crane profile pic Alumni
1 design submitted -

It may be that your style happens to be similar to someone else's, that's no problem and very possible (considering there are over 6 billion people in the world) but to look at someone's ideas/style and just copy them seems lazy to me, law or no law.

Is there not an unspoken law, which I guess people follow depending on their conscience?

P0ckets
P0ckets profile pic Alumni
1 design submitted -

I struggle with this a bit. Having spent some time being impressed and inspired by some of the great designs here and elsewhere, I'll sometimes find myself either wanting to use elements or styles that others have used and have worked well.

I don't necessarily want to find 'one style' for me, as I'd like to be adaptable to fit a given concept. Generally if I can't think of an original way of presenting something and want to borrow too heavily, I would get in touch with the person I'm referencing to ask if they are happy, or want to collab - which was what happened with my 'Collectives' print.

JaymeArt
1 design submitted -
Morkki said:

well, you cant copyright a 'style'

I know. But you can't actually copyright an idea or a concept either, yet designers are very protective of them too.

Unless you actually try to file a patent for a design concept.

Everyone with eyes has been influenced by someone or something.... but there are laws to protect original content makers from actual theft.

imo, using a certain 'style' reminiscent of another, is less offensive than taking someones actual design/idea. Of course it depends on how recognizable the style is, or what percentage of copying there is. --ie. Using a style of eyes only is not a big deal to me.

I am confused about this subject [as interpreted here], though... is it like this?

  • you can not (its frowned upon) copy a style (IF that person is popular here)

  • you can not (its illegal) post another artists work as your own.

  • you can copy another artists exact idea if redraw it yourself.
vectored_life
mechanicalrobotpower said:

I don't like encouraging the emulation of style, ..my biggest cringes have been at people trying to pull off a 'DRO'

I threw mine away then I had a sad :(

But I had to. I can't look in the mirror if something I do looks like someone else's stuff.

gebe
gebe profile pic Alumni
Jayme Art said:
  • you can not (its frowned upon) copy a style (IF that person is popular here)

  • You could not! If I exactly copy the style of someone in here just to paint a design on the wall of my room, this wouldn't matter to anyone! The problem occurs when I try to make money copying someone else's style. As usual, it's only a matter of fame and money.

    Ryder
    Ryder profile pic Alumni
    1 design submitted -

    I have no idea what you guys are even talking about...

    also can you go score my new design?

    Ryder
    Ryder profile pic Alumni
    1 design submitted -

    On a separate note, i totally know what alex is talking about and it has left me feeling disconnected from Threadless a little

    lifeform987
    lifeform987 profile pic Alumni

    so does it mean that if your into abstract art you're not entitled to create cute stuff? /sad

    Ryder
    Ryder profile pic Alumni
    1 design submitted -

    it pretty much means you can't create something that looks like Picasso and then try to sell it because it looks like picasso

    EZFL
    EZFL profile pic Alumni
    3 designs submitted - Score now!

    My next submission and its numerous re-subs will look like they were done by Ryder.

    merkinspurlock
    merkinspurlock profile pic Alumni

    I'm also torn on the matter only because I think it's great for people to expand their horizons and try new things, regardless of whether or not they eventually find their niche. I just think it's important that people are making things, and that they enjoy the process.
    The other side of the coin, of course, is that it's just kind of lame to say "hey look at this thing I made!" when, in a sense, you didn't do too much "making", you just produced it. It's the difference between taking and making a photograph. One you just snapped, and the other one you put at least a little bit of thought or care into.
    I suppose in the end I don't really care because there are just some things you can't control, but it is worth considering when you're making stuff. Can you say with 100% certainty that you own this design, or should you really be tipping your hat to someone who pointed you in that direction.

    Morkki
    Morkki profile pic Alumni
    2 designs submitted - Score now!

    I am confused about this subject [as interpreted here], though... is it like this?

    you can not (its frowned upon) copy a style (IF that person is popular here) you can not (its illegal) post another artists work as your own. you can copy another artists exact idea if redraw it yourself.

    In my opinion repeating an idea isn't as bad as copying a style. I'm not advocating copying ideas, I just mean that in my opinion an idea is a less personal thing than a style and people come up with the same ideas all the time. I don't know where you got that popularity part.

    My point is that this issue isn't simply about copyright laws. Just because something is legal doesn't make it okay. People get burned within the art community for taking ideas and styles but legally there might not be much to do.

    vanillablue
    vanillablue profile pic Staff

    Obviously there will be similarities in style and designs when you have a large community of artists producing so much work. But I think there is a correlation between an increase in a specific style of sub/artist and the frequency in which that artist/style gets printed. Like when a lot of pandas get printed, people jump on the panda sub train.

    As a consumer as well as a community member, I am most excited about the unique art that gets subbed and not a rehashing of an idea that has been printed a ton.

    /two cents

    Morkki
    Morkki profile pic Alumni
    2 designs submitted - Score now!
    Ryder Revolution said:

    it pretty much means you can't create something that looks like Picasso and then try to sell it because it looks like picasso

    Well, you can but only if you're okay with being called a ripoff

    littlem

    I hear what you're saying. I feel similarly.

    Also, I like cheese.

    Morkki
    Morkki profile pic Alumni
    2 designs submitted - Score now!

    Who cut the cheese?

    littlem

    It's not my fault this time.

    JaymeArt
    1 design submitted -

    --purposely lifting others published work is theft. being influenced by a style and using it in your own design --is not.

    that's just the legality of it.

    Is it artistically moral to copy a well identifiable character style?

    I think not. Some may resort to being copy cats because they have no imagination, or they want to emulate whats popular, or they naturally draw that way, or they're just lazy? :p

    Alternately, on the other end of the spectrum --some think they own drawing a squiggly line, lol. :D

    I wonder, how original is anything, ...reeeeally? Go look at 'styles' of art during different periods of time and see the thread of commonality throughout. Artists are often consciously and unconsciously influenced by each other and whats popular/trendy at the time.

    ...and look at the topics. How many of you would draw something with a cat, or octopus, or penguin, or ect...even if you didnt like them --just because they were popular?

    Idk, I draw how, and what I like, if it happens to be popular --bonus :]
    I doubt it ever will, but if it looks too much like someone elses style, --in my case anyway, its not on purpose.

    Jordan_Bender
    Jordan_Bender profile pic Alumni

    I think it's sort of bad form. You can tell when someone is inspired by someone else, but it's even more obvious when they are blatantly trying to USE someone else's style.

    I'm still trying to find my own style. My designs are all over the place.

    JaymeArt
    1 design submitted -

    Morrki says: 'In my opinion repeating an idea isn't as bad as copying a style. I'm not advocating copying ideas, I just mean that in my opinion an idea is a less personal thing than a style and people come up with the same ideas all the time. I don't know where you got that popularity part.'

    I think copying an idea is bad as well. Perhaps worse....mostly if its an original idea, not just an interpretation of a pun...

    About the popularity part, I just think if someone has not been printed, and is a relative unknown here, ...who would care if someone else copied their style? Not any, or hardly as many as if it was a 'popular' (well known) person here.

    merkinspurlock
    merkinspurlock profile pic Alumni

    Jayme Art said: About the popularity part, I just think if someone has not been printed, and is a relative unknown here, ...who would care if someone else copied their style? Not any, or hardly as many as if it was a 'popular' (well known) person here.

    I think it's less about "caring" about less popular design styles and more about being able to recognize when the style is being copied. More popular designs/styles are obviously easier to recognize than ones that haven't yet been printed. It's also WHY they're being copied.

    mike bautista
    mike bautista profile pic Alumni

    idk about legal stuff or whatever and morals differ from who you ask but I think direct copies are at the least lazy and boring.

    I think it all depends on who you ask. I remember when Weston was under fire for shadowing a little close to [I forgot who]. But we all know Weston not to be a dick and he made his case. sometimes people just wanna try things out. sometimes it's an accident. I think threadless is a convenient platform to experiment since feedback is expected and you can find to some degree "what works."

    [+duracell-]
    The Paper Crane said:

    It may be that your style happens to be similar to someone else's, that's no problem and very possible (considering there are over 6 billion people in the world) but to look at someone's ideas/style and just copy them seems lazy to me, law or no law.

    Is there not an unspoken law, which I guess people follow depending on their conscience?

    I could see how some might see it as lazy. I tend to look at it as the difference between working smart and working hard. Example - I have a box of parts and I want to build something. I can spend long hours fiddling with it hoping it all comes together, or I can follow the instructions, or use Google for help and/or get ideas. That's working smart. Take DRO.. his style is pretty simplistic. Yet he gets paid the same as someone who has their highly detailed and elaborate design printed. Again, money may not be his primary goal, but he is working smart.

    Morkki
    Morkki profile pic Alumni
    2 designs submitted - Score now!
    [+duracell-] said:
    The Paper Crane said:

    It may be that your style happens to be similar to someone else's, that's no problem and very possible (considering there are over 6 billion people in the world) but to look at someone's ideas/style and just copy them seems lazy to me, law or no law.

    Is there not an unspoken law, which I guess people follow depending on their conscience?

    I could see how some might see it as lazy. I tend to look at it as the difference between working smart and working hard. Example - I have a box of parts and I want to build something. I can spend long hours fiddling with it hoping it all comes together, or I can follow the instructions, or use Google for help and/or get ideas. That's working smart. Take DRO.. his style is pretty simplistic. Yet he gets paid the same as someone who has their highly detailed and elaborate design printed. Again, money may not be his primary goal, but he is working smart.

    So how would the guy copying DRO's style be working smart? Because there's no way he'd get a print here for it.

    The Paper Crane
    The Paper Crane profile pic Alumni
    1 design submitted -

    My next design is going to be Doctor Who standing on top of the tardis surrounded by infinite Daleks fading out into the distance.

    merkinspurlock
    merkinspurlock profile pic Alumni
    [+duracell-] said:
    The Paper Crane said:

    It may be that your style happens to be similar to someone else's, that's no problem and very possible (considering there are over 6 billion people in the world) but to look at someone's ideas/style and just copy them seems lazy to me, law or no law.

    Is there not an unspoken law, which I guess people follow depending on their conscience?

    I could see how some might see it as lazy. I tend to look at it as the difference between working smart and working hard. Example - I have a box of parts and I want to build something. I can spend long hours fiddling with it hoping it all comes together, or I can follow the instructions, or use Google for help and/or get ideas. That's working smart. Take DRO.. his style is pretty simplistic. Yet he gets paid the same as someone who has their highly detailed and elaborate design printed. Again, money may not be his primary goal, but he is working smart.

    Aaaand this sort of boils down to how you look at "art". What you just described sounds more like engineering to me.

    Morkki
    Morkki profile pic Alumni
    2 designs submitted - Score now!
    The Paper Crane said:

    My next design is going to be Doctor Who standing on top of the tardis surrounded by infinite Daleks fading out into the distance.

    Not very smart saying that out loud. Now someone will run off with that idea and get the $$$!

    The Paper Crane
    The Paper Crane profile pic Alumni
    1 design submitted -

    I have already patented the idea so good luck! $$$

    The Paper Crane
    The Paper Crane profile pic Alumni
    1 design submitted -

    Unless Aled wants to have a go, then I am happy to just go 50/50 when it gets printed.

    Ryder
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    1 design submitted -
    xiv said:

    My next submission and its numerous re-subs will look like they were done by Ryder.

    haha, they'll probably get printed like that friggin' Protractor Gap print

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