We’re all fans of art!
I’ve noticed hundreds of artists out there who draw the Harry Potter series, especially on Society6. I can’t help but wonder about copyright. Is there a way around it, or is it that they don’t care? I just want to be careful before I start making my own artwork. Jentry Taylor, via email Beren replies First of all, nice name! And second, this is a great question, whether you’re starting out as an artist or you’re just not sure about copyright. As a rule of thumb, it’s fine to do your own version of another artist/company’s IP (intellectual property – like Harry Potter), as long as you’re not making money from it. If you’re doing it because you’re inspired by said character/world, then all is groovy! But if you’re making a stack of pennies from someone’s hard work, that’s utterly ungroovy. Also illegal. Which is bad.
This kind of bleeds into other areas of artistic honesty. There are infamous cases of people taking artists’ work (whether in part or in whole), copying it and then selling it off as their own. Whether they made money or not, that is, quite frankly, totally jive.
Back to your question: just look at professional artists like Dave Rapoza. He got a lot of attention for his personal (not commissioned) series of the characters from He-Man. They were brilliantly done, and he wasn’t making cash from them. Just loads of cool points from fellow artists. He probably got paid work off the back of it too, because it was a showcase for his talents.
Dave Rapoza’s realistic take on characters from the He-Man cartoons was a personal project that garnered a lot of praise and raised his profile, too.