I was pretty on the ball with my CC piece last week and had it doodled up early in the week, so later in the week when I saw someone share some similar doodles of a cat in a pumpkin suit I felt a little nervous about later sharing my own pug in a pumpkin suit. The idea initially sprung from a Christmas Pugging I shared last year as part of the #illo_advent challenge of a pug in a christmas pudding costume, so while I knew that this person's doodles hadn't inspired my own, I couldn't help but feel that that was how others would interpret it.
I've seen a lot of examples online of artists/illustrators going mad over someone 'copying' or being 'too closely inspired' by one of their own pieces, and without sounding like I'm not on the side of creatives, I can't help but think that making such bold claims is a tad ridiculous. In such a saturated market I think things like this are always going to happen, and sometimes the accused copycat may have absolutely no idea that someone has produced the same (or a similar) image before them, so to then be accused must suck. I think if someone has blatantly copied your image in terms of both style and idea perhaps there's then grounds for a plagiarism complaint, but when someone interprets an existing idea in their own style and brings it to life in a new way, I think it can be lovely. I'd LOVE to see some fab illustrators interpret a pugkin, and I'm sure a quick google search would throw some up for me (ok, not quite haha!)
I guess the bottom line for me is that I don't think reproducing existing ideas is such a big deal as long as you're offering it a new lease of life, as you would as an individual artist/illustrator with your own visual style. Well, you know, as long as you're not claiming the idea as your own and then trying to exploit it and make money from it, but as I said, I think there's murky water surrounding the topic. If you have any thoughts on the topic I'd LOVE to know them – it'd be great to hear another viewpoint and see how that then affects my own!