This week goes with my series of strong women, and continues the third week of Firefly. If you don’t know Vera then you need to watch “Our Mrs. Reynolds.” Go ahead and check it out on Netflix or Hulu or whatever because if you haven’t watched Firefly then you should.
I tried to do all of this week’s post from Illustrator, but ended up back in Photoshop for finishing things up. I’m including my reference photo for Vera and the lace and asking you all a question, “Where is the boundary of Plagiarism?” I struggled with whether to use Illustrator’s live trace or to go over the photo by hand. Ultimately I felt that I was adding enough to the design to make it my own, but I still give credit to the folks who took the pic of the prop and scanned the lace (I tried to scan some myself and it just came out blurry).
You can find the painstaking creation of “Alice” at this site http://www.urbanchant.com/alice_/
I have a designer friend that says it’s not plagiarism if you change the source material at least 75% . I’ve heard from other sources that it’s not plagiarism if you change it the original artist wouldn’t be able to tell that you used her material.
So where do I fit this week? Is my Vera an homage, a theft or an original design that used reference?
Here’s another version that I did after my first time posting. I took a look at the design and tried to find more ways to make the gun mine. So I took off any extra dimensions and simplified the colors more. Then I shifted Vera to the gun to make the touch a little more subtle. How’s this one plagiarism wise?
And because I had insomnia tonight and couldn’t leave well enough alone. I went in to Google Translate and took some English translated into Traditional Chinese to add some flavor. I hope the translations are really what they said they were and that I don’t offend any of my Chinese readers.
A comic book artist (I think it was Jack Kirby or Wally Wood) once said:
“Never draw what you can copy. Never copy what you can trace. Never trace what you can just slap up there.”
Not sure if that helps, but I always think of that when the subject of “borrowing” from other artists comes up.
Here’s another one:
I assume you’ve heard of the term “swipe”? It’s when a comic book artist uses another artist’s drawing as a reference for their own. I think it was Alex Raymond who was showing someone how he would swipe from another artist to save time and it was pointed out to him that the image he was swiping from had been previously swiped from Raymond’s own work!
“Swipe” is a new term for me. Thanks for the quote, it reminded me of Picasso’s (paraphrased) All artists borrow, great artists steal.