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Am I still an artist if I copy? I'm pretty good at drawing fairly accurately off of references, but can't come up with my own original work...I feel like a cheater this way and feel guilty when people compliment my drawings, but I'm not sure what else to do. To all the real artists here, can I still call myself an artist and be proud of my work? To what extent is is ok to copy?
 

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I personally don't think "copying" is cheating per say. I using references definitely makes a piece look better, memory isn't accurate. I think its the concept behind the piece that makes stuff great so as long as your not directly copying someone elses work its ok.

using references for styles, elements, or subjects is just a way to develop your skills

for instance the art below is an awesome concept I found but the elements that make it up(color, line art, typography) are just apart of the style and can contribute to how to setup your art properly. I wouldn't copy the concept but the style is up for grabs.
 

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No, i think it can be acceptable for copying to gain some ideas in producing new ideas.. All the best virginia!
 

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Am I still an artist if I copy? I'm pretty good at drawing fairly accurately off of references, but can't come up with my own original work...I feel like a cheater this way and feel guilty when people compliment my drawings, but I'm not sure what else to do. To all the real artists here, can I still call myself an artist and be proud of my work? To what extent is is ok to copy?
hmm for me u cannot copy 100% of other's people artwork but maybe u can make him as the inspiration of your artwork. like this one artist named vince low he inspired me so much with his simply scribble artwork https://vincelow.com.my/
 

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I found a list called SEVEN STEPS TO BECOMING AN EFFECTIVE ARTIST a few years ago:

  1. Do it daily
  2. Volume, not perfection
  3. Copy others' work
  4. Learn consciously
  5. Rest
  6. Get feedback
  7. Create what you love

I trace, copy, use a camera lucid on my tablet, etc. I do it, though, to achieve #4. I don't think it's cheating at all - it's learning.

However, it is cheating if the artist tries to pass off a copy as their original work.
 

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Am I still an artist if I copy? I'm pretty good at drawing fairly accurately off of references, but can't come up with my own original work...I feel like a cheater this way and feel guilty when people compliment my drawings, but I'm not sure what else to do. To all the real artists here, can I still call myself an artist and be proud of my work? To what extent is is ok to copy?

I think its fine if you by copying you are just doing responses to other people's work, because doing artistic responses is a great way to learn from and understand other people's style. However I would not say that it is acceptable to pass copies of other people's work off as your own (this is a big no-no).
 
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