Good artists copy, great artists steal, designers reference.
Recently I had to create a single image that represented myself. I searched through all my old works but nothing I had, I felt, actually represented myself in my current creative state. I left that job for another day and went about my daily business of design. Fast forward a few days and I’m doing research on designers/groups that influence me. One of those groups is RINZEN who are an amazing design group based out of Australia. Their work is phenomenal and strikes a chord with my own work. Whilst researching them I came across a cover for XLR8R magazine with an amazing cover on it.
As you can see it’s a pretty amazing cover and felt this would be an excellent choice for my image to represent me. I was going to use the original image for several days when I thought, what if I actually do an interpretation of it myself. After all, my style is not too different and I really wanted to add a personal touch. So I did my own version of it, using my face as a the base.
At the time I was happy with the piece, but now after the presentation and a week later I’m not so keen on it. Did I copy? Did I steal? All I know is that I did reference, but does that make it OK? I’m honestly not sure. I think I’m just going to throw this into the experience file and not bring it back out.
I suppose the biggest question I have is, how can anyone be happy with their work if the steal or copy? I know I’m not happy with this piece and I don’t consider it copied or stolen, it merely references. Heavily.