It's a simple question, really. If you are a fan of any game, and you create fan art of this game,
is it okay for you to copy something that the original creator made
and present it as your own? If, for example, you draw Cloud's Buster Sword
exactly the way it is in the game, without adding anything new or transforming
the content, should you take any credit for it?
There is a fine line between copying someone else's work and making
transformative content and i think it's very important to distinguish the two.
Nowadays there is a huge amount of fan artists who just want to show their
appreciation of a game, anime, show etc. and most of them are doing
an amazing job with transformative content.
For anyone who does not know what transformative content is, it's basically
taking something someone else made, the core idea and adding your own
flair to it, your own style, your own presentation of this exact idea, while still
acknowledging that it's based on the original creator's idea and giving them
their well deserved credit.
The best example i can give is my own Keyblade transformation idea.
I do not take credit for the original Keyblade the new design is based on,
but i still acknowledge that i transformed it enough for it to become my
own idea. Or, in the case of the Final Fantasy weapons, i add my own style
to it, give it a background or enhance it with visual extras. But what if
someone just takes multiple core ideas AND the exact presentation of
those ideas and uses them all together, while proudly exclaiming that it's
their idea, that they worked hard on it and it took them multiple days, weeks
or even months to create that?
Nowadays it happens very often that someone takes an artists art and posts
it on social media without crediting it and, at least most of the times, the
artist whose art was taken, is upset that all the work they done for it to look
so amazing, is not even properly credited. I feel like this is the exact same
thing as copying someone's art, no matter if it's a small creator on deviantart,
or a big company like Atlus, Square Enix, Platinum Games etc. The only
difference being, that the big companies do not really care, because they
are already successful, and everyone knows it's their idea, their design.
No one is going to accuse them of copying other artists or companies ideas.
This in turn encourages people to copy the creators work, to steal from them, just
to boost their own viewcount, their own popularity. It's sickening to watch
I am an artist who gets inspired, motivated even, to create new designs based on
amazing, already present ideas. It's no secret that i love Square Enix, i love their
Final Fantasy series, i absolutely adore their Kingdom Hearts series and the only
reason i use their ideas as a base to create new designs is, that i want to expand
their universe, i want to make it even bigger. New concepts to make it broader,
things which appeal to different people, designs which i know will never make it
into the real games. Sometimes my concept of something that already exists is
different and i want to show my own presentation, my own twist. But i am very
cautious of copying anyone's work. For every design i make, i think carefully
about the concept as to not copy even a single small part of something already
existing. I want MY art to be MY art, i want anyone to recognize that it's made
by me, to distinguish myself from the rest. This is one of the most important
things to me as a creator. But i digress...
My question is simple - if an artist is using already existing ideas from other
creators and presents them in the same way, even if credit is given, should
they themselves get any credit for it? Should they continue to grow their fanbase
and their popularity even if they did not think of the idea themselves?
Should they be proud of themselves even if the art they're making is not
transformative content? My answer to these questions is - absolutely not.
But i am just a small Shadow in the vast ocean of Darkness, so what do you think?