Years ago when I first joined DA, I had a lot of friends in the extended equine community. Even though I didn't draw many horses, I was still very interested in them. Many of these people I still watch today and admire for their skill and artwork.
I'm not going to name any names in this journal.
Lately there has been a huge kerfuffle about a friend of mine coming out and admitting that she has been tracing over parts of photos for her artwork for some time. She was terrified (bless her) that she would lose her friends and popularity over this.
The reason she was so worried was because this same situation happened before, a few years back. A popular girl in the equine community was hounded off DA. She was forever one to go on about art theives and on every one of her pictures she theatened against people stealing her artwork.
It eventually came out that a substantial portion of her gallery was traced from stock photos on devinatart. People were outraged at this.
To my knowledge she deactivated her account after all the hateful messages and I'm not sure if she ever came back. If she did, she started a new account and cut many ties. It was a huge shame. Deviantart was a big part of her life. I talked to her a back and fourth in the past, I haven't seen her since
Basically, tracing: We all have done it in the past. Get over it.
There is a good way and a bad way to do it.
When and if I ever use it, I use it in the good way (or at least the way I feel its acceptable for me), basic shape or skeleton tracing.
BAD tracing (in my humble opinion) is when you blantently steal other people's work by copying their every pencil stroke and not giving credit and claim their art is entirely original.
Tracing is a valid artistic technique.
AND Sometimes I 'trace' images!!11!1!!!
I personally do it because it saves time. Some days I still want to produce art, but don't have TIME to sit and work for hours getting the pose exact. I lead a busy life. I COULD sit all day and copy a reference exactly by hand, but it would take an hour or two longer than it would otherwise. If I take enough time over it, eventually the drawing would take on a photographic look.
My point is, I do trace on occasion, but I don't rely on it. But neither am I hating on people who DO rely on it! They still produce beautiful artwork and I'm not going to stop watching them or call them out because of that! Why bother? They are still learning too. We all are.
The process of skeleton tracing (for me) is drawing out the basic circles and forms of what I'm drawing, from a photograph, to get a pose right.
More often than not, I take body parts from other photos and combine them and draw over them together to make an entirely new pose when I can't find the right reference on the internet. I sometimes trace in this way from my own bank of stock photography that I have taken over the years.
Nearly EVERY artist does this. And if they haven't admitted it yet, then most likely they are lying or use other methods such as checking their drawing against a grid put over their reference picture. Artists have been using tracing ever since photography was invented and before that. Every young artist has traced in the past to learn! Isn't that what DA is about? Learning?
People seem to think that all that matters is the LINE of the artwork in question.
Not true. The colour, the textures, the lighting, the composition are all equally if not more important than the line itself. The basic traced part of the line is the LEAST of the artwork! Its just the beginning.
If you have the artistic know how, to create an entirely new image from a photo reference, then all the more kudos to you! You had the talent and imagination to colour it, set it against a background and make an original image that has never existed before.
Tracing does NOT make you an 'evil' artist.
That notion is rediculous. Some people have been calling people who use this COMPLETELY VALID technique, 'scum' and 'vile'. Reading journals such as these over the last few weeks has really shocked me. All this hostility isn't needed in our community. People have been calling out for the 'good old days' of when deviantart was a 'real' community. If thats the case, I'd rather not take a backwards step to all the name calling and insults that caused some poor people to leave deviantart in tears. I thought we had matured beyond that.
When we were young and had just started out on this site, we didn't use a lot of the techniques we do nowadays to create the artwork we do. People uploaded things in predominantly pencil and traditional media. Then digital art became popular. Tracing became easier.
I'll use an anology here.
You need to write a letter. You have a choice of method in which you write this letter. You can either use an old fashioned typewriter to type, or you can use wordprocessing software on a computer. If you feel that having the ability to delete and edit on wordprocessing software as cheating, then by all means! Use your old fashioned type writer.
But I doubt many are really going to care in the end. Because on the whole, all they will be looking at is the end result- the letter itself. If you get your satisfaction from the process and pride of not making a single mistake in typing up the letter the old fashioned way, then go for it. Whatever makes you happy, makes ME happy.
But the people who used microsoft word still have the ability to type something out on a typewriter just like you. They may even chose to use it from time to time. But on the whole, their process of writing the letter took far less time, and ultimately, they learned more because they had more time to spare on the writing.
Some people have claimed they think people trace because they think DA is a popularity game.
Well, frankly, its a game we all play. You produce art, you upload it to websites, put it in exhibitions and galleries.
You hopefully gather fans/watchers/friends. You get commissions. If you're good enough, you gain fan clubs, you set up youtube pages showing your art process. You set up fan pages on facebook/twitter. You update your work in a blog. In the end, hopefully you can earn a living doing what you love! Isn't that the dream of all people on this site? Why is popularity made out to be this bad thing? If popularity is the key to getting you to where you want to be in life, then embrace it!
I am on deviantart to gain to show others my artwork, to watch other people's art and to become a better artist.
I have an online presence to (hopefully) gain fans to my style/ illustrations and work in general. When I leave university, part of my future will be in illustrating children's books. Hopefully, when I eventually achieve this goal of producing more books, some people on this website who watch me will like the art enough to hopefully buy a copy from me. Or at least talk about me to their friends who may link me to their facebooks and spread the word about me etc etc etc.
I'm not really so much a part of deviantart through the community side of things anymore. I spend most of my online time talking to my real life friends on facebook and working through that means.
Does this make me any worse of a deviantart user? I hope not. I always talk to someone if they take the time to talk to me. If I have the time, I'll thank people for their
s. Even though I don't keep in as regular contact as I should, I'd still like to think I have friends here.
Can't we all just get along and just produce art?