December 17, 2021

Plagiarism or inspiration?


Many people have posted their feelings, thoughts, and advice on the recent Takeshi incident. I'm not looking to rehash all the details or create drama. Many others have shared very thoughtful posts. I can only share from my own experience.

I wouldn't say that I have created any iconic pieces in the hobby, but I did have a piece that I believe was blatantly copied. In my case, an individual reached out to inquire about buying my little Cheveyo resin custom and I declined. He's a personal piece that I adore. I customized him to standing with a braided mane, moved and braided his tail, and painted him bay with no markings. I later saw this same individual listing for sale a bay Cheveyo with the front leg lowered, braided mane, and a braided swishy tail. My best guess is she had a piece commissioned similar to my custom resin when she couldn't purchase mine. I doubt the artist that recreated this piece had any idea that my piece even existed, so I am not trying to place blame on the artist. I was shocked the first time I saw the duplicate. I felt emotions I'm not even sure how to describe. I have a little solace in the fact that I still like mine so much better. Still, it didn't (and still doesn't) feel nice. I feel like my creativity was violated, which is very personal.

Excessively Diverted
(his name is a nod to Jane Austen's writing)
customized Sarah Rose Cheveyo resin

There is also the issue of artists using other art pieces as inspiration, which is the case with Takeshi. More than a decade ago, I recreated several Hamilton paintings and another painting into models. At the time, I thought that the age of the paintings made it reasonable for me to go ahead and recreate a 3-dimensional version of those paintings. I now know better and would only venture to create something based off of another artist's work if it is in the public domain. 

Last year's Breyerfest Diorama Contest used this concept of using public domain art to inspire artists and the results were amazing, as Jennifer Buxton shared on her blog. I took the opportunity to recreate Stubb's Affrighted at a Lion. 

BreyerFest Diorama Entry 2021

There is another element where artistic integrity is in jeopardy, when a piece is altered without the original artist's permission. It is disheartening when I hear others, often but not always non-artists, say that once they have purchased a piece it is theirs to do with as they want. This is not okay. Sarah Minkiewicz did a fabulous episode on the Mares in Black podcast explaining why it is not okay, so I encourage you to go give it a listen

I think education is how we as a hobby move forward. Let's keep the conversation going. We can do better, we need to do better. Because when you know better, you do better. 


  1. I love how well you stated this. We can always do better.

  2. Thank you, Anne. I really appreciated your post as well on this topic!

  3. It's out of topic but one of my dream is to own one of those historic appy you did!