On a lazy Friday afternoon, at our art groups' open studio day, the question of when your work is considered "derivative work" came up. The short answer is that all artwork is "derived" from some source, at some level. All art "derives" from something else, and has evolved from a source or inspiration.
Did the "Impressionist" artist movement not derive from one another? As the group evolved, did they not learn from each other and, at some level, "copy" each others' style of painting? Of course they did. How could they not? Artists viewing and emulating their peers' work is bound to influence their own work.
When we take a class to learn a new technique, are we not deriving from the teacher a new way to make art? Of course we are. That is most likely the reason why we were seated in the class in the first place.
When we are inspired by a wonderful painting, drawing or craft, can we not derive inspiration to try that technique or create something new from that subject matter? Of course we can...and we do.
All works of art start somewhere...and they usually stem from some form of inspiration.
So, even though the answer to each of the above scenarios is yes...the art produced will, inevitably, end up being original to the particular artist creating the work.
For me, personally, creating art is a lot like writing your signature. We all learn the same alphabet, yet our signatures, like our art, will always be unique to us.
What is your take on this subject? I would love to hear your thoughts.
This drawing above of Arya was inspired "derived" from another artist that used a similar technique on the background.