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rss 260 weeks ago
I started doodling a design based off of a concept that printed at shirt.woot (think Hokusai water nymph) earlier. It got me thinking about recycling concepts and I was wondering what you thought about it.

I've never really heard any compelling argument not to, but I've also never looked very hard into the issue. I know I've heard some dissent, though.

On the surface, it's beneficial to the artist. Some designs are permanently owned by the company that printed them, so revisiting the concept in a new way has a monetary benefit. Artists change over time and approaching the concept in a new way can be a good exercise, and you get to see what you've improved. And who knows, maybe some concepts are inspiring enough to the artist where it can't be contained to one design. I know I like to doodle water 'n chicks. :p

I don't really subscribe to arguments of "originality" for probably 99 percent of the ways it is used, so maybe someone will be bothered by it in ways I won't be.

The first example that pops into my head is always Tom Burn's "Communist Party," because it's the first time I noticed a recycled concept at different sites. For all intents and purposes, it looks like a monetary decision - nothing new was added, the design is done the same way, just in a new arrangement.

What is your perception of artists that recycle concepts? How do you personally feel about it?
18Comments
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    260 weeks ago
    Sure concepts can be similar but the execution better be new and unique and/or the design needs to hold new meaning, without that there isn't much reason to do it.
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    260 weeks ago
    More money for hookers and blow, obviously. ;) Not any artistic reason that I can think of, but definitely monetary.
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    260 weeks ago
    Interesting topic. I've always wondered how different the new design needs to be in order to be considered "different" or "recycled." Would just adding some extra detail and changing the color scheme be considered ok if the original has been bought by a company?
    I've been wanting to revise and improve some of my existing designs that have been bought and perhaps submit to other sites, but I'm worried that the they may be considered too similar or whatnot...
    If anyone has experience in this they'd like to share, I'd greatly appreciate it :)
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    260 weeks ago
    I would personally consider changing the color scheme and adding a bit of detail appropriate for a contest site design (unprinted), but not one that has been bought. For instance:

    Greedy Conquistador
    vs.
    Greedy Pirate

    It's still largely a derivative, using a majority of the original as a base. However, I wouldn't have a problem re-drawing the concept, as it will inevitably turn out differently.

    If you do toe the line, it seems as though it would be a good idea to make sure the new and old company are informed.
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    260 weeks ago
    I think it reflects poorly on the artist, making them look like either
    A: They don't have very much creativity
    B: They're 'circumventing' their contract which gave rights over to the company
    or
    C: They're just in it for the paycheck.

    That said, there is a fine line between a recycled concept and personal style- we all have things we enjoy drawing time and time again; there's a difference between two designs with robots or something on them, and then the two Communist Party shirts like mentioned.

    So yeah, recycling ideas may make you look a bit like a tool, but I wouldn't call it unethical. It's your career so if you wanna shamelessly rehash a design, whose gonna stop you?
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    260 weeks ago
    Here's what I'm wondering. I subbed my original b/w design to Uneetee. I like the original b/w design and it is the version I'd want them to use. I recently colored it, and was thinking that it would work well for a tee site that prints DTG (unlimited colors). Here are the 2 versions side by side. Are they too similar for me to sub the colored version elsewhere?

    3269074612_9dd8d943de.jpghtml>
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    260 weeks ago
    Oops, here's the other one:
    3470491877_cf4c377b85.jpg
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    260 weeks ago
    In that tiger case, I think you'll need to contact uneetee and pull the design just to be in the clear. And I think you should, it's really nice with those colors!
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    260 weeks ago
    That's the exact same thing with color added. Not what I'm talking about here, really. It would be closer if you found another roaring tiger to draw and colored that one.
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    260 weeks ago
    Too close in my opinion Olechka. I tend to agree with Omnitarian.
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    260 weeks ago
    we live in the age of the remix. pop culture eats its self on a daily basis. aint nothing wrong with a variation or a rework. its all about how you present it.
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    260 weeks ago
    Thanks, guys. I like both versions equally, so I think I'll just wait and see if Uneetee decides to print it, since they pay the artist very well :) If they never do, then I'll pull it and sub the colored version somewhere else. I don't want to risk causing drama by subbing 2 similar designs to different contests!!
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    260 weeks ago
    Zenne - sorry I guess I misunderstood the point at first. I think that the artist should be able to use the same/recycled concept to create similar designs, as long as there are obvious differences. I think that a lot of people (myself included) who like a certain design or style, will be more likely to buy something similar. The only issue is, will the place that printed it first have a problem with a similar one subbed somewhere else? You don't really know until you spend the time to make a new design and ask them...
  • image
    260 weeks ago
    Also, I said that thing right above me. I must have gotten timed out or something
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    260 weeks ago
    You have some very good points, Adder. I own the Communist Party hoodie - HAD to get one as I come from an ex-communist country :)
    I just recently saw the re-worked design at another site and was a bit surprised, but then noticed that it's kind of different from the one at anothersite. I will go and find the thread, thank you for the suggestion.
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    260 weeks ago
    I bring the situation up because it's probably one of the biggest cases of similar shirts from the same artist, and it's interesting because even an opinionated twit like me couldn't really take a firm side on it. I mean, I'm currently left with a design that I have the rights to shop around, but was featured briefly elsewhere. Sites like Teefury and inkhound and teextile make this an issue also. As that goes, it's your rights, do what you will, but I'd also say to consider overkill. I think your hummingbird is fine at Uneetee, and I'm glad that some old designs have gotten permanent homes or second chances... but you also want to create some sort of exclusivity, to make people want to buy right away. The uneetee print will only be on sale through uneetee now, so people will buy. I've seen a lot of people post old TF designs to Mysoti, too, which is awesome, too. It makes buying at teefury a vital concern for price and quality, but it also gives people who missed it a chance to grab one for a premium. But if someone's making the rounds, printing anywhere they can with the same piece, it makes me wonder "why do I want to support it now? I can get it at X for cheaper/better printing/will have more money later"
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    260 weeks ago
    Yep yep! And now I feel like TeeFury has gotten popular enough that if something is featured here, other sites like Uneetee probably will not want to print it since hundreds of shirts have already been sold and no one will buy the same thing again, especially for double or triple the price. I think that I got lucky with the Hummingbird design because TeeFury was still very new. Here's my dilemma: I want to submit my BEST works to TeeFury, but that would kill my chances at getting them printed at other sites which pay a lot of $$...
  • image
    260 weeks ago
    You always submit your best work. haha


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