Yeah, if someone is proud they don’t use “reference” to do artwork, they must not have much else to be proud about…
“Yeah, if someone is proud they don’t use “reference” to do artwork, they must not have much else to be proud about…”
This. The greatest artists and illustrators used photo reference. Not a little, but A LOT. Norman Rockwell was notoriously slow because he insisted on shooting photo reference of goddamn everything. Alphonse Mucha, whom everyone idolizes, photo referenced or used a model for damn near all his work. Vermeer used a rudimentary pinhole camera before cameras even printed to film to trace compositions onto canvas. James Gurney works from life, builds models, or uses photos. All those manga artists you love reference, trace, or just plain paste altered photographs into their work (actually they have their uncredited assistants do it).
To boast about not using reference is one of the most amateur things an artist can do and it means precisely squat, particularly if you are working digitally with ctrl+z, colour adjustment, and trick brushes.
So quit it! Just do the work. No one cares about how you got there or cares about reading your clever tutorials that are just a thin excuse for you to shit your shitty opinions or air your balls so everyone can smell how rosy they are. Just do the work D:
The tone with which this is written is angry and offensive! And I totally love it. Until I started working in a “real” art job (like, one that involves me working collaboratively with other Homo sapiens) I never realized that ref is the grease that keeps shit moving. Nobody is expected to reinvent the wheel every time they have to draw something new. If your boss tells you to draw in a retro style, you don’t have to jump in your time machine and live in the 50’s until you get it. You learn to Google and look at screenshots and piggyback off of your betters. Same with learning how to create background art, anatomy, textures, compositions… Most people here have reference books and art-of books and they look at them! What!! (I didn’t go to art school so I don’t know if this is common, but it blew my mind at first). The important part is that you’re still making original things: referenced information is not being simply regurgitated, it is being processed by your brain and synthesized into an original, awesome product.
Just don’t steal things, okay? Reffing properly is learning how to use the entire world as an art tool. Artists that copy paste, like the manga artists that were mentioned, have to do it because they put out like 30 pages a week; I think most of us can afford to have higher standards than that.