I noticed that the topic of art theft has been pretty heated on DA in recent times, involving high numbers of traced art pieces being claimed as original, very vague DA policies on dealing with art thieves, and (in some cases) even finding people's artwork stolen for use on free use gallery pages and for sale on printed t-shirts! o__O;; It must be awful to have your stuff stolen (even though my flash animation was recently stolen, and it is the only one I know about, at least nobody has yet claimed to have made it). A lot of aggressive stamps and statements have appeared concerning it, and while it does make me angry, I decided to make a gentler stamp. I'm hoping that it encourages people not to steal, rather than bashing them for doing so.
Stealing isn't right, on any grounds, but a lot of art stealing and tracing on sites like DeviantArt is done by less experienced artists aiming to improve their skills. I'd say that very few artists the world over have never referenced another's work for improvement (notice the word referenced, not traced or stolen), but if I was using a direct reference for self-improvement, I'd keep my art piece off the internet.
Improvement based on others' work belongs in your sketchbook, as you prepare for a big original piece to show to the World Wide Web! Unless, of course, you contact an artist personally and get their permission to reference their art. ^^A side-note here, for anyone who doesn't know me. I've been drawing and writing since I was tiny, I have had two published novels and am re-printing both, I am nearing the end of my fourth book, and I illustrate all of my own writing. I have been in newspapers and the premier UK writing magazine (for proof see the articles on my home page).
Yet I'm going through a period of reference myself right now - I'm hoping to work on perfecting some aspects of birds, from my wildlife encyclopedia, so that I can touch up on my griffin designs. All artists work from reference, such as photos or landscapes, still life or observing humans or animals. It's nothing to be ashamed of, and it isn't tracing or art theft. So try some! ^___^
Artists, especially less experienced or young artists, can feel the need to steal/trace artwork to be "good enough", to avoid nasty criticism from people who would flame them for a piece of less-than-perfect artwork. I know, because I have that same fear myself, and people who are nasty about me or my hard work very easily destroy my self esteem. It's only natural - so this stamp is for those aspiring artists, who would trace out of worry or inexperience. A piece of genuine artwork, created from your own ideas and formed by your own hands (this also applies to writing!), is going to benefit you much, much more than a piece of traced or copied work from another person who worked hard to make what you stole.
And for people who criticise artists/writers who are just starting out - advising them on how to improve is fine if that's what they want, but don't be mean. ^^ We all started out somewhere, even those of us with talents out of this world! And better an amateur-style, genuine piece of work produced from a person's heart, than a piece of perfect art or writing stolen from another person - right? ^__^
This stamp encourages inexperienced artists and writers. It doesn't apply to the people who just nick stuff and stick it somewhere else, or take credit for it, or all-out steal and exploit another's hard work. You people do not deserve such a pretty stamp. You must all receive a boot to the head. No need to comment or if you want to use - just have fun! ^_~