🎨 GOOD ARTISTS COPY, GREAT ARTISTS STEAL - quote attributed to Picasso

in #artzone5 years ago (edited)

I had commented on my own previous post Of Copyright Issues, Public Domain, Creative Commons, Cabbages, Kings and Fools ................ but feel now that this warrants a separate post.

quote attributed to Picasso

When I feel passionate about a subject, I engage my research skills to bolster my arguments.
My Alma Mater is the University of Lethbridge - grad 82 - you can check my CV here

So I am now expanding on my comment:

One of the things I used to do when I was young was to go to the Art Academy in Vienna (where Peter Gric later studied in the Master class of Arik Brauer). It has a excellent art museum, and I watched students copy old masters to learn techniques, composition, color etc. This is still practiced today in some places where traditional methods are taught.

A excellent article about this is:

Copying Paintings of the Masters and Other Artists
Example shown in this article:

Blackhead, Monhegan by Edward Hopper - public domain
Image: https://www.wikiart.org/en/edward-hopper/blackhead-monhegan-1919

Quoting excerpts from this article:

One of the tried and true techniques of classical art training is to copy the work of the Old Masters, those who painted before the 18th century. While this isn't as much a part of current art school training in many places it is still a highly valuable undertaking.
For a look at some of today's "Old Masters" and where you can still receive higher education in classical drawing and painting, read Brandon Kralik's article,

Today's New Old Masters Outshine the Avante-Garde (Huffpost 5/24/13)

Contemporary society is much more concerned with originality (and copyright infringement) so this kind of training doesn’t take place as much anymore, but copying the work of a master or, in fact, any other painter whose work you admire is an invaluable and highly instructive practice. Some people, called copyist artists, even make a legitimate income from copying the work of famous artists.

another quote:
Drawing is a way of seeing. There is much to be learned from copying a painting you admire. In fact, The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has started a program, Startdrawing, to get people to start copying paintings by drawing them as they move through the galleries because, as they say on their website, "you see more when you draw" and "you begin to see things you never noticed before."

Quoted from Copying Paintings of the Masters and Other Artists

My comment to this: I have The Rijksmuseum in my favorites and had started collecting some work in my own album on the Rijksmuseum site.

Maybe one of the sad developments in this day and age is that art students are discouraged, and seemingly here on Steemit bullied, for honing their skills by learning from others and from their peers.

I for one have no problem with someone trying to copy my work, my technique - which I have also taught in workshops. I have published many of my artworks on Flickr with a CC tag and certainly would not go after someone to learn by copying my work.

detail from my painting Pablos Last Concert

>Picasso supposedly said: “good artists copy, great artists steal”

but regardless if he said it or not, this is a quote that is well known. A good answer to this is found in Quora: Whether this quote is from Picasso, or merely attributed to him, doesn't make much of a difference. The underlying meaning of the message is the same either way

For those who do not follow links, here is a salient point made - quoting from the Quora answer by Kevin Chung - himself quoting from Austin Kleon (link below and more info):

1. Steal Like an Artist

Being an artist means learning from those who came before you. Very few things in the art world are truly original.

Artists are always pulling inspiration from each other. We may not copy other artists stroke for stroke, but even if we did, that wouldn't make us great artists.

Great artists are able to pull inspiration from multiple sources. They can adapt and evolve their style to fit the project they are working on in the moment. They aren't stubborn and arrogant. They are always willing to learn from others to become better.

Stop believing your work is completely original. It is a detriment to your work and your craft. It stops you in your tracks and it forces you to be narrow minded.

Evolve with your craft and be willing to steal inspiration and ideas from those around you and those who came before you.

these quotes were from the book by Austin Kleon - Steal like an Artist - a New York Times Bestseller!

There is more you should read, more good points being made, because this was just one of it - better yet: buy the book, you can get a signed copy!

book cover Austin Kleon: Steal Like An Artist . see link above

This concludes what some would consider a rant - I hope I have been informative by pulling all these resources together - if you have anything to add, I would welcome your comments.
This issue is much too important to overlook, because as I said in my previous post

Dear Artist Friends: don't be intimidated by bullies and trolls, fight back! Flag what you feel is vindictive and abusive action. Don't give a bully an inch of space, and if we stand together, then hopefully this scourge will be history

Visit my website


at the Ernst Fuchs Museum

About - Introduction on Steemit


This is a great publication @thermoplastic I appreciate this, I love how you handle this subject of plagiarism and the originality of art, at the same time you help us to understand more about this.

And educate those types who accuse and insult others without knowing anything about art 😡😠

everything seemed important to me, but this even more.

Being an artist means learning from those who came before you. Very few things in the art world are truly original.

People create copies of what already existed, if people did "ORIGINAL" things, what world would they come from? it would be something that nobody had seen before anywhere, however insignificant, from a flower to an airplane.
Everything already exists, that an artist does with a different style, different colors and adds other things does not stop being, what already exists!

Great artists are able to pull inspiration from multiple sources. They can adapt and evolve their style to fit the project they are working on in the moment.

All artirtas do that to learn and it is not bad, how will we learn if we do not see others?

Stop believing your work is completely original. It is a detriment to your work and your craft. It stops you in your tracks and it forces you to be narrow minded.

There are some artists in steemit who say that their art is "unique and original" and they believe they have more rights than others because they do not use references.
We return to "everything already exists"

Thank you for your comment dear Carmen @yanes94 and for understanding the issues.

I don't know where and when I posted a comment or line about "originality" - but to paraphrase myself (and add to the original thought) since I can't remember exactly what I said:
"The only art that may claim to be original is that of a abstract artist, tossing paint aimlessly around which, by sheer accident and the force of gravity might find its way onto the canvas - art? original? you tell me! - you could say it is derivative of Jackson Pollock, and by the criteria of @steemcleaners you could flag it for plagiarism. Indeed, applying paint to canvas has been done before, and as my friend @reinhard-schmid jokingly pointed out (about my words):

I have found the same words you are using all over the web and in a vast number of books. Simply putting them in a different order or changing single letters won't help you, filthy words thief!!

Now lets spin this further, regarding references:
Lets say you create a collage with images you clip from magazines, like Jonathan Yeo:
would he have to list all the porno magazines he took clippings from?
A article in Financial Times about his art says, quoting a excerpt:

"It may look like a painting from a distance but will in fact be made of scraps cut from pornographic magazines."
OK, lets think about this for a while!

I dropped this case at Ntopaz today, seem like whatever Mr.Jaguar is trying to do..its killing Ntopaz platform. This seems to destroy the work of the team who has helping Ntopaz so far.

I was absent and did not know the whole story but on of the team member said Mr. Jaguar was banned fro Ntopaz..

It's really hurt my feeling...it tooks me a lot of time to invite the real artist to this platform and now they are running away because this kind of dictator act.

Nobody including a member of the Steemcleanners has the Authority to eliminate real users, let's keep this part only for the real spammers please

That account is delegated by @guiltyparties and the person seems to have a relation to Steemcleanners.

Don't we have real spammers to hunt anymore? Why doing this to the real artists?

Its seem like the line has been crossed...everyone who has the authority should be careful, to have power in your hand does not mean you can use to eliminate everyone. Most of the time, the power comes with the responsibility.

My dear Steem-Artists friends, I am really sorry for you and I wish to be in the position to help you more, @Ntopaz has nothing to do with @jaguar.force and we all concern about this issue.

Thank you my dear @siamcat

I had initially assumed, and so did those affected, that these actions were initiated by nTOPAZ - well, as I have found out, this was wrong.

You had banned this Jaguar from nTOPAZ, and one would have to establish a time frame which could tell if further hounding of nTOPAZ artists and for example posts by @adelepazani that go back half a year or longer, were perhaps a vindictive reaction to such a ban.

When it comes to blatant violations of copyright, I think that the bottom line should be civility, and not hitting some young artists (that do not know any better) with a nine-iron right away. I would say there is a problem if they persist after warnings that they just copied etc without revealing the sources, but there should be a 3 strike rule before taking action, and I know that your moderators on nTOPAZ are handling this with respect for the artists. I am sorry that my initial assumption was that nTOPAZ had done this, when in fact you were victimized by these actions to the point where artists are leaving your platform over this!

Also: if you flag someone for copyright violation, than you have to be an expert on copyright to be sure that a actionable case exists (and even judges and copyright lawyers are not always sure). Fair Use for example is not defined with hard borders - what is fair use to one judge is not to another. Getting your "wisdom" from opinion pages on deviantArt for example does not make you an expert.

CIS Fair Use Legal Experts Answer Fair Use Questions - Stanford Center for Internet and Society

One of the answer by the legal expert on this video about Fair Use is:
"You are always free to be inspired by another work - ideas are never protected" 17:37

Hi Otto, I looked through the correspondence between @adamada and Jaguar that happen today, so far I understand from the explanation if Jaguar he received a request to investigate from I cite "prominent art curator" so it would be interesting to know why that person is behind the scene and not coming up now to calm the waters when the whole conflict is out of control. You may have some contacts between Art curators would you be able to research who the person is !

"said art curator" - there are not that many on nTOPAZ, and @siamcat could probably find out. On the other hand, this could be a blatant lie, considering that Jaguar was banned from nTOPAZ.
I was a art curator there myself, but found it was too much work filling out spreadsheets, and it interfered with my studio time, so I quit. Prominent? - now I am curious!
And why would a curator or moderator ask someone from the outside to do what they can do themselves? If you wanted to, you could join steemcleaners on Discord and file your own reports there. Anybody can do that. You can also file at other channels, like artzone. Who has the most filings on these channels? Just go there and see for yourself.

now I am off to the studio - I have a contract with a gallery that I must work on. So in the meantime, be civil to one another! Should not be too hard to act like a human being and not like a wild animal.

@stef1 - checking OCD Discord abuse reports, I find that Jaguar annoyed a few moderators and curators there as well, and got banned!

I like to add something else that I just thought of - it has to do with "artspeak":

If you really like the style of an artist you admire, and you appropriate that style for yourself, then 2 things can happen when critics look at your work.

  • If a critic hates it (you, the style, the artist you emulate, some or all of this) he would dismissively call it DERIVATIVE and in addition to this find other faults.
  • If a critic likes what you've done, he would call it INSPIRED BY and add other words of praise.

The bottom line is that they are looking at the same work, the same artist. But they are expressing an opinion.

But as the saying goes:
Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one, but they think each others stink. ~ Simone Elkeles

Just found this gem on OCD Discord - if interested, check the latest tread on abuse report- I answered on February 7, 2019 - just scroll up to the previous conversations. Kudos to @anmitsu - on OCD

Hello, ooh!
This is a viral case within steemit.

I was also attacked by (jaguar.force)
I realized that jaguar followed most of the artists that share through ntopaz, this character attacks in an aggressive way, has attacked me many times
First it was for the sources: seeing that he has already corrected them, I look for another way to attack
Then it was for the labels: thousands of people use labels that do not go with their post or language
And now it was because I spam: I share my art in Spanish and English, and this has been another jaguar attack factor
I was a curator within ntopaz, I was excluded by its creator because my art was not suitable (someone made him think that and take action)
Now I am glad that this happened, I thought that being out of ntopaz jaguar would stop bothering me and no, they continued their attacks
As in the blockchain there is nothing hidden, I have noticed that there is an alliance or something, between a main curator of ntopaz and jaguar.force where steem transfers are made
Do they work fair? I do not know
But an investigation should be opened about this curator and his alliance with jaguar.force
Since it is harming several artists within steemit.
The best case of the damage that jaguar.force has done together with her alloy, is reflected in @akarantain who has decided to stop publishing because many reports have been opened accusing her of being a plagiarist. Her spirits are on the ground and she is an excellent artist. I invite you to visit his blog ..

I hope this comes to light once and that it stops hurting the artists we share within steemit ..

Thanks for your comment.
Jaguar is a she - got into arguments with monitors and curators on OCD on Discord and wound up even annoying the whale who runs it. Got banned on there. Hope others will follow suit!

Just to follow up on stuff I post on my websites, I perused this article you might find interesting (if anyone even reads this comment):

Really like your post, I feel myself like sitting at the lecture and listening live. Have you ever been a lecturer? I bet you will bring a lot to your students. Reading your post, I find a lot of similarity in your opinion that I have heard from Russian Artists. I am originally from Kazakhstan, therefore, we have had a big and positive influence from famous Russian Artists such as Ivan Aivazovsky, Ilya Repin, Wassily Kandinsky. Although I am myself only hobby Artists who just restarted a year ago my hobby after more than 20 year of pause. This is something where I find a peace and relaxation and I am glad that I can spent my time creating again. That is why have never been taught an Art but now reading all these information, that opens a lot for me and as I said it is just like been a student again. Thank you for doing such posts :)

yes, I used to lecture - sort of my last year term-appointment at my alma mater while finishing studies in Natural Sciences to complete my degree. Taking only one course in my last year, I had plenty of time to do this part-time job. This was decades ago.

I am going to flag your post for plagiarism!!! 👿👿👿👿

I have found the same words you are using all over the web and in a vast number of books. Simply putting them in a different order or changing single letters won't help you, filthy words thief!!

haha, you slay me @reinhard-schmid - yes, not just the words, but I also used all 26 letters of the alphabet! I just re-arranged them in random order to confuse - that is how devious I am! You find them in every publication everywhere, except maybe cyrillic but if it pleases you, I could sprinkle a few of those in as well (picked up some during my times in Serbia).

The alphabet seems a very good example to illustrate that everything has already been done...just put together in different ways by different personalities...

yes, correct. The Infinite Monkey Theorem - and by the looks of it, Steemit is in danger of turning into a zoo, populated by monkeys and trolls.

Wikimedia - photo 1906 - public domain

@reinhard-schmid these words are familiar to me 😂😆.

same here hehehe , oh and put the source of that stickers Carmen , hmmmmm

I could not agree more dear @thermoplastic and i am really happy that you made this post:)

@georgeboya - It took a little bit of work and additional research to put this together, but I feel passionate enough about art and my fellow artists that I think it is well worth the effort! We have to counter the negative and destructive influences and the ongoing intimidation of artists by those who have no clue about art and issues concerning art, with some positive energy.

You did a very good recearch indeed:) I am pretty sure that this person's intensions are not to show that some artists are plagiarists but to attack and scare people. This is unacceptable and i will keep an eye too. Artists are the most vital part of the @steemit community. The visitors of the platform, and maybe future users, do not care about the steem price or what is Ned doing or who is powering down. They see the art, the articles etc.., if you discourage the artists you kill the community. It is allready bad for new artists, posting without earning even a single dollar, lets not see things getting worse with such situations..

yes, you are right on! Many of us have migrated away from Facebook because of the annoying "nipple-police" and now we encounter a similar kind of anal-retentive activity here on Steemit?

Yes this is quite the same. And the nipple police was a kind of a loop that allowed people with bad intentions to ruin an artists profile. It had nothing to do with nudity, same here has nothing to do with plagiarism.

@georgeboya - I just had a look at a recent nTopaz post about this subject. Jeez, she (Jaguar) doesn't give up, always has to argue. Here is my reply that is hung onto a tread of yours:

Yes i saw many of them, she talks a lot but the constant change of tone and content gives me more the idea that it is a group of person. What they are doing is illegal in so many ways, i still cannot uderstand how sth like this could exist at @steemit community. What they are doing contains blackmail, bulling, power abuse, it is crazy.

Moreover it is a huge violation of trust between the curators and the artists. How can i maintain relationships with them and trust them if i know that they hire this account to bully other artists and without concrete evidence but just a vague theory and just intentions about sth that does not exist.

Plagiarm, copyrights and stuff should be checked if an artist takes someone elses artwork and present it as his own. Just like that! And red also about behaviours? non ethiclal? That a girl presenting a sad story about her dog is manipulation. For fucks sake, i can use my brain for that i dont need jaguar to point me what is ethical and what is not.

Anyway i still believe this whole situation is sick and illegal and i still dont understand why @ntopaz does not doing sth about it...

I saw it... what a shock? Who could have imagined that the plagiarist-hunter is a plagiarist herself:) Thank you for this extensive research @thermoplastic, you are a man of facts, i hope this would not go unnoticed. All i am reading since there was some name dropping came out is some very late responces about people with good intentions. But the means almost never justify the ends! History and contemporary events are full of examples.

It is an excellent post that has made me share in full the idea
"The only art that can pretend to be original is that of an abstract artist.

I have always thought that a chair is a chair that turns it into art is the perception of the artist. At least in my case I did not know the rules as I mentioned repeatedly since all this began for me on January 5, 2019, since I started in steemit to make my post to realize a dream that I always had was to draw by hobbie I was never informed about reference images thing that I had not seen in other artists that I follow in steemit when I write in a comment @veryspider that I should place the reference images I did it seems that they did not care and wanted to get revenge anyway because they joined the @ jaguar.force to damage several artists as you can see in the chat of @ocd report-abuse and in steemd where he makes transfers to the jaguar.

All this has affected me both physically and psychologically, since I am a person who suffers from nerves and since then I went into a deep depression, since they did not have the least respect every time I @jaguar towards that position. I am totally grateful for all those who did not remain silent (@thermoplastic, @reinhard-schmid, @gric, @stef1, @georgeboya, @lamouthe, @yanes94, @adamada, @jordangerder) and have expressed their opinion on this situation where they intend to attack the artist community of steemit.

I believe you're someone that just creates art from reference images and wasn't educated about how behaviors like that can be considered willful plagiarism. To add to the suspicion, you claimed that the ideas were your own when some or all of your works were inspired by someone else works which kind of makes it really look like you intentionally omitted it (not going to jump into an assumption that you did or not but it's free for interpretation).

In some twisted sense, it can even be fan art when someone fancies another artist's work repeatedly creating their own version. Jaguar did mention fan art being a tolerable offense but I don't see that account calling out to fan art posts from artists as labeling them plagiarists. The account knows it operates with no grace and finesse when handling issues like plagiarism or bother to do proper people relations. What matters is it doing it's job to investigates and prove it's effective for perfume and doesn't really bother to report about the accused current status. Like, "currently we find no evidence of plagiarism in this user's recent posts." Just highlights the old forgotten post like there's no salvation to the character in question.

I'm not advocating for you if you're guilty of intentionally misleading people to believe your content was made by you solely and not inspired from other works. I would appreciate it if you mention your actual references as much as possible. But I do think that Jaguar's approach was excessive to the point that I got disillusioned about it's efforts.

By their definitions, even using these references and not crediting the mannequin image is already plagiarism. I supposed I have committed plagiarism several times, the difference is it's all in my sketchbook because I'm still learning. I'm not allowed to use those poses for creating art because the content is essentially the same even if I created my own version with the exact same pose. Shit I'm plagiarizing without knowing it.

@adamada I put this in another comment, but just found this specifically about Fanart - before I even seen your comment:

@akarantain, as i have told you in recent DMs, you should ignore pressure from your attackers and keep on arting. It is the only way to win. Don't lose faith, and I am so sorry you have gotten into depression :(

I made transfers to Jaguar at the time because they are doing art detective work in general, it was not against you. I was following @llfarms' lead. She is someone that I look up to. Try not to take it personally. This was also 30 days ago, I just met Jaguar at the time and I didn't know they would be hostile in their tone.

My approach has always been conversation and forgiveness.

I'm not being duplicitous, you can ask @naideth that I continue to support her even though she's being attacked herself. I can also continue to support you. Trust me, I do not agree with Jaguar's methods of hounding people into a terrible corner.

Excuse me, but asking someone to place sources shows they do care.. they could have just flagged you. Jaguar force turned in many actual plagiarism cases that we had missed and I and others supported his efforts for that. Have there been recent transfers? State the facts and stop trying to pull good curators down. @veryspider has done more for this art community than any other curator I know, you should be thanking her.

You know the “rules” after they have been told to you.. you can’t just keep saying you had no idea after someone took the time it explains things. Btw, as mentioned.. there are no rules on the platform, each curation guild and user just has the choice to curate what they want.

I’m sorry this has affected you, make use of the ignore button and continue on. Trying to drag someone’s name through the mud isn’t going to go over well though.

I know how you feel.
However although you were attacked by someone, next then do you attack someone? Please stop it. We have to cut the negative chain.

Flagged for trolling and spreading negativity.

i wish she didn't follow me there 😂😆

@akarantain please putt the source of this image from steemd.com !!! LOL

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Dear Artzonian, thanks for using the #ArtzOne hashtag. Your work is valuable to the @ArtzOne community. Quote of the week: Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics. -Victor Pinchuk

Here is a delightfully funny/crazy Guardian article that may have made it into my post if I had found it in time:
How easy is it to copy a famous painting?
This would certainly cause those anal-retentive trolls to have convulsions!

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