Lately, I've discovered there appears to be an issue with artist that tend to gain popularity very quickly. Often times, they have a rather young / naive audience / watcher count. However, there are a few things that need to be talked about.
1. Tracing is wrong.
When you trace something and pass it off as your own, it is wrong. No ifs, ands, or buts.
- "But what's the difference between tracing and referencing?"
There is a very big difference between tracing and referencing.
Tracing is Not Referencing (Tracing FAQ)I feel like this needs to be explained, since with the recent string of tracing drama around some particular people I've notice a lot of confusion going on. So I'll try to explain for people who may be confused on the subject. If anyone has a topic that they think I should add or discuss, just let me know. If you want to share this journal, then go ahead. No need to ask!
Referencing and Tracing
Tracing and referencing are NOT the same thing.
Here's the distinction most experienced artists would make on the two subjects.Referencing = Having some pictures nearby to show you how things are done. They're not under your drawing, they're all around so you can see and remind yourself of the proper way to draw something. You're using them as tools to draw your own thing. References are there to keep you on track, but you're doing your own work.Tracing = You've taken a picture (or more. You can trace from several pictures on one piece) and put it underneath your o
Lady-suchiko explains it more in depth than I most likely will but tl;dr: Tracing is when you place it under a piece of paper and draw over it while referencing is like having a picture nearby to observe.
- "But I / you / he / she/ whatever traced when they were younger!"
When you are young, you often don't know the consequences of tracing. You probably don't even know you are stealing. It is something most people go through when they are young. However, as you get older, you realize that stealing-- even by accident-- is wrong.
- "Oh! But the proofs are fake! You manipulated them."
Have you ever thought to consider that the artist who traced rotated the image and distorted it slightly so it would be harder to tell that they stole it from someone else? That's basically what they do and why the overlays can end up being a bit rotated as well. Granted, when you distort an image you run the risk of ruining the anatomy, however, a simple rotation will make it harder to be caught tracing. Whether or not is is rotated or not, refer back to point one. Tracing is wrong.
- "You're just jealous!"
Someone that is jealous, won't go through the trouble of overlaying, providing proof, etc. that someone was tracing. Often times, when someone is making accusations out of jealousy, it is very easy to see through. First off, they wouldn't bother providing proof. Second, their accusations would probably be out of the window. Third, the artist accused of tracing can very easily put an end to the accusations by providing proof that they don't trace, especially if they don't have a history of scamming / tracing artwork. Not everything stems from jealousy / hate, and it is a bit... stupid to assume so.
- "But how is the artist supposed to provide proof that they don't trace!?"
Providing proof that you don't trace is hard to do, yes, however, something that isn't impossible. Posting actual sketches, /live/ streams (Such as join.me, livestream, etc. Not a speedpaint
) can all be used as proof that they don't trace. Heck, the artist accused of tracing can even do their own overlays and show them. Only extreme amounts of distortion can cause images to line up, and even then, it'll look extremely odd and clearly distorted. Note, a simply rotation does not count as extreme distortion.
2. Defending artist that trace is wrong.
Why? Because it promotes a mindset that as long as you are popular, you can get away with tracing. It is something that shouldn't be promoted, or encouraged. Especially if they begin to sell it. Why? Because they are basically selling something they didn't create. If you wouldn't get away with copying a paper almost word for word, you won't get away with it in artwork either.
- "But the original artist doesn't care / hasn't done anything!"
First, just because they haven't done anything doesn't mean that they don't care. It simply means they haven't had time to get around to attending to the issue. If the artist doesn't care, they will make a statement saying that they don't care how it is used as long as it is used according to their terms (whether it be personal use only, don't upload on dA, provide credit, etc.) / it will be placed inside of an FAQ. Many artists do not want their works traced, especially if it is for a commission / gift.
If the original artist doesn't care and the artist tracing knows that, then why hide the fact that they are tracing it from the original artist? Clearly, if they try to hide something like this then it is a red flag that something shady is going on
- "But the artist tracing is being bullied / harassed!"
People that call artist out on tracing very rarely actually want them to get harassed / bullied. It is just an unfortunate byproduct. People that make journals about an artist tracing (with proofs provided) don't go in with a mindset up "MUAHAHA I CAN FINALLY RUN THIS ARTIST OFF OF DEVIANTART!!" or thinking something villainous. But rather, "Hey, I think everyone should be made aware of what this person is doing." While tracing is bad, the artist tracing doesn't deserve to die over it or anything.
- "But they didn't trace all of it!"
Traced is traced. Refer to point one.
- "But they apologized!"
Then great! If they apologize and admit to their wrongdoings then great. However, apologies will mean absolutely nothing if they don't change or just run away to continue to do the same thing on another account. Don't blindly accept apologies and suddenly expect a change. If they apologize and change, then great! They're on the path of slowly walking away from their past. However, if they apologize and go right back to tracing, then the apology was ultimately worthless.
- "But they traced so they could get better!"
Tracing to better yourself at drawing is a slippery slope. Ultimately, if you trace for the purpose of learning how a skeleton is constructed, guideline practice, etc. then you have no problem recognizing that the artwork / traced pieces are not truly yours right?