Do You Create From Reference Materials? Beware!

by Joseph McKindle

Many of us artists have voiced “I wish I’d have thought of that!” at some time or another when looking at a wonderful piece of original art.

This thought can turn your appreciation into plagiarism or outright copying which can get you into trouble.

Many artists love putting their stories through narrative paintings with most unusual effects. Objects lost and found, old photos, all the rubbish in your back garden and anything you might find unusual. These can ignite more ideas that you can never run out of.

What you can do is to create unusual characters who have weird idiosyncrasies where you can wrap a story around i.e. think of “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” where you can have two or more characters who are quite opposite in nature—and oppose each other, to make up a good story-painting or drawing.

Ideas can come from the gray matter in your head? Perhaps you have lucid dreams?

So when you go on the hunt for reference materials, this can be risky with so many vague definitions on what constitutes plagiarism and “similarity” or “Nearly like” or even if you change the original color to black and white is risky. So do not chance it.

Joseph McKindle
Contributing Editor

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