Message from Drawponies

3 min read

Deviation Actions

artwork-tee's avatar

Hello everyone, Neil Wacaster here, which some of you know as Drawponies.  You may have heard the reports that I have traced screenshots from the show in my art and that I have been selling traced artwork at conventions.  

While I have done hundreds of original art pieces, it is true that some of my art has been traced from the show - particularly for things that we wanted to get out quickly for viewers, such as comic strips. I have focused on selling original artwork at conventions, but there have been cases where artwork was traced. I sincerely apologize for doing this, and for hurting those who have watched me. I also wish to apologize to those who feel they have been cheated by me. I should have taken the time to create art completely from scratch, instead of taking an easy way out to fill a quota or get something done quickly. From now on, I will be doing original artwork no matter how long it takes.

Let me address the other points that people are making:

  • Deleting negative comments and banning people for criticism - My volunteer moderator team and I did not delete negative comments made in the last few days. Claims that we did are false.

  • Adapting to Night as traced work - Adapting to Night is an example of work that is created completely from scratch.  Many of the characters, objects, and backgrounds used in the series are referenced from the show, but not traced or copied.  As with all of the art on the page, when we use fandom created assets, it is clearly credited in the description.

Despite all this, I will still be going forward, and continue to create artwork for the fandom.  None of the artwork that I will have at conventions will have show assets, and any work with traced assets will be discontinued entirely.

I know that many of my followers are angry.  It was a foolish mistake, and I should never have traced pictures for my work.  All I ask is for your forgiveness; if you do not wish to give any, I understand.

If you have any concerns about this issue, you are welcome to leave your opinions.  Your frustration and opinions are heard and read, even if I don’t reply.  Please direct your messages at me, rather than my friends, as I’m the one who did it.

I love drawing fanart for the brony community, and that isn’t going to change.  I am truly sorry that I let you down, and I hope that you can forgive me.

© 2015 - 2021 artwork-tee
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I don't see what the big deal is. 

8bit Theater, BobandGeorge, early El Goonish Shive. All amazing works that used, reused, and at times recolored assets. 

Yes in the case of EGS, the artist eventually went on to stop reusing assets in a page. But as a whole? If the stories are good, and it's a fun read who cares? 

Sure, I get the gruff for selling original art that's traced. But the comics? It's an art style, heck I'm sure there are more good examples of traced / reusable assets (look at any of your favorite Sprite Comics) used in webcomics. 
spongefox's avatar
I can't say that I'm happy about this. In fact, I'm severely disappointed. I liked it better when you were doing actual art by hand. With pencil, paper, inking pens and inking your own stuff. Looks like you're going to have to do more than just apologize. But, I'll still watch you for your own art works. I'll admit, I've traced stuff a long time ago myself, but I don't sell it, and would much rather draw out the objects, characters my own way.
BloodinMyenam's avatar
Just to clarify, no, I do NOT think it's right to sell traced work. However, I feel as though the fandom's response to it shifts my attitude towards him more more towards pity than anger.
NLRFTW's avatar
Let's face it. If he wasn't caught he would still be doing it. Fuck, he's probably gonna keep doing it. You sold traced art. There is no redemptions. You pull this PR apology on us and expect it to go back to normal. GG. You have failed as an artist
Sneshneeorfa's avatar
I'm with you on this.
I make comics, not as popular as drawponies's (obviously) but I can honestly say that I'm happy to be guilt-free of tracing.
CrucifyTheWolf's avatar
Good thing you've moved on.

Everyone else... *coughLaserpon3* needs to grow the fuck up.
Jeez this is a mixed reaction from fans but it seems most havent accepted accepted the apology, i have simply gotten over it
120percentcool's avatar
There's a pretty clean line between tracing to speed up art production and selling stolen art. I bet you've never released something for free to have someone else recolor and sell it, it's a pretty shitty thing to do.

Quit being a shill.
BloodinMyenam's avatar
I like how he's being so humble... this is a perfect example of how immature this fandom acts sometimes. If you enjoy his art, it doesn't matter how it was made.

Neil, you didn't need to apologize in the first place. The people making drama like they did don't deserve your apology, and certainly don't need to hear your self-loathing.
ImInLoveWithMaryJ's avatar
It isn't his art. It's other people's art he stole and is presenting as his own. Fucking idiot. 
dlazerous's avatar
Wow, so much drama.  I kind of figured the comics were a trace or at least vector manipulation.  I still love your work and hope you keep it up.

To all the butt hurt individuals out there, What Drawponies did was not illegal so stop harping on it.  He did take the work of another but he used it in a completely original fashion such as making an picture or comic out of it.  This is covered by derivative use laws.  Had he copied an entire screen shot, verbatim,  and posted it as his original work, that would be plagiarism. 

For those of you who do not understand what derivative use is, let me explain.
A derivative work is a new, original product that includes aspects of a preexisting, already copyrighted work. Derivative works can include musical arrangements, motion pictures, art reproductions, sound recordings or translations. They can also include dramatizations and fictionalizations, such as a movie based on a play.

Under this definition, Drawponies "copied/traced" art is an example of a Derivative art piece.
AnimeEmm's avatar
This is honestly the first time I ever heard of you and what you do. Honestly I can see how many people are angry at you and that I can really really understand. some have forgiven you or little, but im sure their trust is still having some time to adapt.

I do appreciate you apologizing and admitting you traced and sell your artwork at the conventions. Tracing artwork and selling them is against all convention rules and you can get banned for it let alone its illegal to trace. 

I think the only way you can get most of everyones trust back is doing original artwork from now on. Sure Art takes time but it shows your putting time and effort into making it. 

I will also admit I have traced in the past when I joined Deviantart, but I stopped in around 2009-2010. Never sold my trace art knowing I can get into deep trouble. 

Draw your own artwork from now on and maybe the people who you angered and got frustrated, etc, will slowly gain their trust to you back but it will take time for them to trust you again and im sure you do understand that
floraaritcwolf's avatar
i've traced too but i never sold them
and i've used bases erasing the name off of it
but i never sold/uploaded it
ImInLoveWithMaryJ's avatar
You should be ashamed, mate. Very ashamed. There are many artists out there, some a lot better than you and never traced a single piece. The tracing itself isn't even that big a deal. It's the fact that you are claiming they're original and *profiting* from them monetarily. Other artists with original content can't sell a thing with you around yet all you're doing is screenshotting scenes from the show and editing.

I hope Hasbro doesn't take any legal actions against you as it wouldn't be pretty in the least. They've cracked down on more popular artists for a loooot less, I'll have you know.
FlockOfMoosen's avatar
As a business practice it's incredibly unfair seeing as how much of an advantage you have (at conventions and such) due to your popularity. I can understand taking short cuts to meet deadlines, it's a very tempting thing to do. But you gotta use some common sense and plan better. Try not to overload your schedule and you won't be as tempted. This whole situation could have easily been avoided, but you probably already know that. I'm glad you came clean about it, Neil. I forgive you, but it's going to take some time to earn back the trust of many of your fans, including this one. I can only hope for your sake this doesn't bring any legal troubles. Hasbro has cracked down on fan projects and works for far less.
The007core's avatar
I forgive you. I was only a little upset is all. You changing to all non-traced is a weight off of my mind.
ZetaRESP's avatar
Well, feel lucky: I'm not even able to trace a perfect circle :( (Sad) 
rocketman732's avatar
I'm guilty of tracing
FlockOfMoosen's avatar
Tracing is useful as a tool for practice. It's when you sell those traced works that's where you cross the line.
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