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Art that is a little less than... artistic...

Discussion in 'Fantasy Art' started by A. E. Lowan, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

    I have a tendency to not so much illustrate my characters (though I did when I used to), but to collect pictures prom ads and the internet to populate my character sheets. Is this kosher? For example, this is our FMC, Winter Mulcahy... I don't think the image is copywrited and I have no intention of publishing it, of course. except maybe on the web site under character profiles. What so you guys think?

    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  2. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    I think visually so I usually come up with what the character looks like very early and I often use somebody I know as a visual template to begin the process.
    So I see nothing much wrong with starting with a solid image of your characters and working from there.
    But it's a personal and [for me] ethical point that I won't publish these images.
    Someone may not be happy that you've their / their child's images as your hero / villain.
    If you were to [on-line, paper, electronic, etc.] publish any image I would suggest that you get their permission first.
    I don't know about copyright or creative commons...
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  3. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

    Gah! My other character did ;d come thought. Lette try agaian.
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    Publishing on the web as a character profile is still copyright infringement. Best to find images that are free to use or else seek permission.
  5. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Auror

    To what degree is this actually enforced? I could dig up a few relatively high-profile story sites in my genre that blatantly and repeatedly violate this. (One's based in Russia, but I think some of the others are American.)

    (BTW, if the answer is "They just haven't been noticed yet," you may have made some foes of those sites very, very happy.) :D
  6. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    It depends. If you start making money (say the book becomes a best-seller) the odds of being noticed and getting a letter from the copyright holder go up quite a bit.

    Interestingly, though, I've had clients get cease and desist letters or letters demanding license fees when they're using low-profile non-commercial sites. Some copyright holders will use search engines (you can search for images) to find infringement and send out letters.

    On the whole, odds of catching the attention of the copyright owner for something like this are pretty slim.
  7. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    So what happens then? Can they prove damages at all or just order that the images be taken down?
  8. Ghost

    Ghost Inkling

    This is my thinking as well. I see no harm in finding an image that matches your character or even basing a character on a particular image. Once you copy the image and post it to your own accounts online it gets weird for me. Not to mention it's against the terms of a website like Photobucket. People still post images that aren't their own, but I wouldn't call it kosher. I also wouldn't call it art.

    There could be other problems as well. The photo in the OP appears to come from Playboy. If you were to post it and say that's what you're character looks like and readers see where it's from...well, it might get awkward.

    If I had a particular visual inspiration, I'd say "She looks like a blonde Marla Sokoloff" instead of uploading someone else's images. Less trouble, and authors do it often.
  9. Truepinkas

    Truepinkas Dreamer

    As an illustrator I can tell you I have sent C&D letters, DMCA takedown notices, and on rare ocasion sent the lawyer in to either secure liscencing fees or initiate a suit. If you do these sheets for personal use, fine, but don't post them or make them public.

    It would be analagous to me reading your book, and illustrating a character I liked and not only putting my illustration online, but your entire book as well (which I likey didn't even attribute to you).

    Would you be in favor of that? Probably not... Using them for inspiration is fine generally, but I wouldn't go any further.

    (Sorry for typos, typed on my cell.)
    Weaver likes this.
  10. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

    We are artists, we should be concerned about other artists.
    Would we be upset if someone used any of our stuff? Then it stands to reason others would object to their work being used.

    I have used pics for inspiration, if the work becomes famous I might turn the art over to the publisher to find the original artist to be included in a making of, or a history of the work book. Their artwork gets the recongnition it deserves. I would not put anything on a website that is viewed by the public, because technically, that is "published".

    My deviantart site has many prose written with inspiration from pics on the same site, I only sought to link the pic and my words on two occasions, one agreed, the other refused*. The rest I link to the inspirational pic, and give the artist credit. If comments are allowed I will post a comment telling of my work and their link back. Which tells the artist and anyone viewing it that there is a prose based on it. If comments aren't allowed, I msg the artist. I have never had anyone request I not link to their work. But I would honor it if they did.

    I also did a few simple photo manipulations, and obtained permission to post them. If they refused I removed them and found someone that didn't mind or used stock photos.

    *I don't know what the agreement does for the original works. Do we both hold only our original works or do we share the combination?

    Ie private use, go for it. But no public use at all.

    Something else to think about, if they have a plan(or a contract to use in someone elses work) to link a pic to something and you link it to something else, then it could be ruined by your posting it. Low budget publishers don't want to chance a creative licence infringement, big budgets don't want it, but they might be able to afford a fight.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  11. Jabrosky

    Jabrosky Banned

    Maybe the OP could find an actual artist and have them sketch the characters using the photos as reference for the facial features?

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