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Artists using doll likeness without crediting

Jan 2, 2009

    1. This has been really bugging me, and I would really like to know your opinions on the matter.

      Today, I came across an apparently popular artist. She has exhibitions all over the world, and sells prints of her art. Her drawings were very beautiful but I could see a very apparent likeness of Asian Ball-Jointed Dolls in her work. Now, this didn't bother me at first; I was glad to see someone out of the hobby was interested in it enough to put it in their art. But one piece of her art struck me as being almost identical to an Elfdoll Soah. She didn't even mention that it was a drawing of a BJD, nevermind the sculpt and company who made it. For some reason, that really ruffled my feathers.
      I would prefer not to name names here.

      So what do you think? Should she and other artists doing the same thing admit they're using BJDs as references and the like?

      [Feel free to move or delete as you see fit, Mods ^^]
    2. Artists' human models are often not credited, so why should dolls have to be?

      Crediting the inspiration, models, clothes, etc. in a piece is a courtesy, not an obligation. Original art is still original art, even if it is a likeness of someone else's piece of original art. It's like the Andy Warhol seriagraph prints from the Mona Lisa--Warhol's art is his own art, and Da Vinci's is still Da Vinci's. Of course, a great many more people are going to recognise the Mona Lisa than an Elfdoll Sooah--which was part of the idea behind the piece(s)--but still, it's not a copyright infringement if that's what you're thinking.
    3. So what, she saw a pretty face and was inspired to create a piece of art from it. Should we draw out our pitchforks and chase her into the windmill? The point of these dolls is to inspire creativity in people, whether it be sewing, jewelry making, or painting. Lets not get carried away with this copyright infringement finger pointing. If you were really bothered by this painting maybe you should take a look over here.
    4. "Bad artists copy. Great artists steal."
      -- Pablo Picasso
    5. No.

      As an artist I can tell you that we aren't obligated to give credit for inspiration. Plus all artist steal from one another anyway, well maybe not all. There have been several artist that I'm inspired by and I'll make something in that style.
    6. i can see that there would be a problem if someone pretty much traced over a doll company's stock photograph seeing as they pay photographers to take pretty pictures to promote their products, but using a doll as a reference picture isn't really a big deal. i understand why some people would be annoyed though.
    7. Every artist is a cannibal. You devour your muses and give birth to them as your creations. Artists who are people makers, portraits, dolls etc, will gather faces and people and store them in our visual library for use. That one looks a little like you, this one looks a lot. Some are nice to say this piece was inspired by that, Whiter Shade of Pale- Air on a G String and Sleepers Awake, some can't remember or don't care to share.
    8. that is a really awesome way of describing it, and it is so true.
    9. I have seen bjd used by a known brand name it had an image of volks Tae doll.
      They just think most people don't recognize so the person who makes the image just uses it in their designs. I think it's stupid if you're that creative it shouldn't be a problem creating a whole new character. But it's not only with bjd's fans of certain characters from comics, manga's or anime's do it too. Some are at least decent to say where their inspiration comes from but there are still artists that rather not as they probably feel it makes them more unique to mainstream people.
      I know this as I had to teach people to get better in drawing..and sad for them I know a pretty deal about certain art styles..be it anime, comic, european comics, bjd, art etc.
      So people would show me their artwork and I could immediately see what they used as inspiration(or plain bad rip of). Someone actually dared me and it was just sad...
      People who like to be creative should not be secretive about their inspirations it's just stupid. Everybody in the world has their inspiration from somewhere to create something beautiful. At least credit the muse who helped you along the way I say :)!

      Actually the way you put makes sense XD!!!!!
    10. I agree with most other people here that there was no wrongdoing on the artist's part. It's not necessary to credit every bit of inspiration or every object used as a reference that comes along. It wasn't as if she was recasting a doll or stealing other people's photos as her own. Rather she took the likeness to a particular doll and created something completely different (a drawing in this case).
    11. nope i don't see it as wrong for not crediting, becuase while it may distinctly to you look like a specific scuplt of doll there's no saying that it was modeled after such.

      Recently the video game Last Remnant was released from Square-Enix... To me the main character of the game looks EXACTLY like a migidoll Ryu... but personally I wouldn't think the character designer based the look of the character off of one.
    12. I can see why you're upset, but personally I think it's up to the artist whether or not she wants to say what the piece was based on. It's like using a human model to draw/paint/whatever from, or photography even.
      I use dolls as models myself, but mainly to see how particular clothing might fall on a human figure in different poses, etc... even so, even if I drew the dolls exactly as I saw them and sold or displayed the artwork without mentioning that it was based on a particular doll, I wouldn't feel that I had done anything wrong.
    13. A lot of companies say that they also own the "image" of a doll or character... so I don't know where it falls if it is clearly based on a specific doll. I mean, if you do a drawing of an action figure of Wolverine, you probably still can't sell it because you don't own the character or the image of that character... I don't know how it goes with dolls. I guess it would depend on how recognizable the drawing was.

      The only way I'd really care at all would be if it was drawn obviously drawn directly from a company's official photos. In most cases, though, I have to admit I probably wouldn't even think to connect the drawing with a specific doll. :sweat

      As an artist, I wouldn't base a drawing on a specific doll unless it was supposed to be a drawing of that specific doll. Like if I wanted to draw a picture of my Heath, I'd base it on him but I'd probably say "This is my Heath." For just using them as a general drawing reference, I sort of figure that it's someone else's stylization of a face... and I should probably try to do my own. ;)
    14. well I guess it depends, I don't know who you are talking about so I can't comment on that situation but I know of atleast one popular artist who has art all over the place, even on t-shirts who is strongly suspected to trace on a semi-regular basis without giving credit, if it was something like that then I would find it in bad taste even if it is legal, and I wouldn't support an artist who did that without crediting

      on the other hand if its just a coincidence, or the artist was just inspired and created an image with a passing resemblance then thats different, as others have said, artists get influenced by many things and I don't think its wrong to be inspired by a doll :)
    15. I don't see a problem with her drawing a picture of a BJD. People take photographs of their Elfdolls and other dolls all the time and no one gets upset by that, nor is there a big requirement that you state "this is an Elfdoll Soah BJD" in the credits to the photograph. I don't see how making a drawing of the doll is any different. Even if she borrowed the image of the doll from somewhere else, if she used it in some kind of transformative way (like Andy Warhol did with those photographs of Marilyn and other celebrities, that he obviously didn't photograph himself) then this is just another way of making art.

      There are a lot of artists who re-use elements of other art in making their own statement, and there are always some people who complain about it and see it as unoriginal for whatever reason, and others who don't care and would rather focus on what the artist is saying by reusing that element in a new and different context.
    16. My wild guess would be that you might be talking about Victoria Frances' Art?
      I know she had some work done that showed BJDs and I was just thrilled and happy when I saw how she portrayed them... if I'm honest, I must say I didn't even think about copyright of doll molds for a second...
      It doesn't bother me that much, really, if existing BJD molds are used for inspiration to create wonderful art.. :3
    17. My thoughts exactly :)
    18. While I'm all for using other people's work for inspiration, I can get pretty peeved off by downright copying. Copying other artists is okay for practice, but it's not really something that anyone should be selling or taking all the credit for.

      I've had some things of mine copied, and since I'm a pretty under-the-radar type of person, I don't really toss my creations around a lot. Because of that I don't get a lot of credit, which doesn't bother me that much, since I mostly create things for myself. But it DOES however peeve me off when I have things of mine lifted by some dolts that are more adept at selling the idea as theirs, and then get a thousand thanks and praise, even money for my ideas? I may sound petty, but if people are going to "use" other people's art as inspiration, can't they at least try to stylize it into something that's unique to their creation? They don't have to credit everything they've ever come across, but it may just be my personal oppinion.

      ETA; I also think it's pretty rude not to credit a model, since they're channeling their bodies as an instrument of art. I often credit the types of tools I use to channel my art, like which brand of paints I use and what paper.
    19. There isn't anything wrong with it. I mean, I tried looking at some pictures of the FCS Volks dolls and I think they all look the same!
      If there was a definite doll that was used and she didn't credit it, then it might be a slip, she forgot, she didn't or she just didn't want a bunch of people asking her what doll she's using.
      So I think you're overreacting a weeeee bit. The artist may have her reasons why she didn't credit.
    20. For me, it really comes down to the amount of resemblance.

      I have done both, ie. painted a specific doll, or just used a photo for loose inspiration. Personally, if I am literally painting someones doll I ask for permission and give them credit for the source image. But if I'm roughly drawing a sculpt only for the proportions, or just borrowing a composition or something, then I feel the image is enough my own not to credit. For me it comes down to whether or not you would be able to instantly recognize the source. If you can, then credit, if its more altered and become its own thing entirely, then don't.