Below is another e mail message from Jeff. If you are a practicing artist or illustrator or student I suggest you read Jeff's message carefully. He's the real deal.
Here is the balance of my response to your first message.
Whether your client accepted and used your work is not the issue here. Whether you traced, free handed, or mind melded my work has no bearing or
relevance. You most certainly copied it. I did not publish that work under a CC license. Rather, the poster, the photograph, the website and all other
reproductions are marked to ensure that anyone viewing the image understands that permission should be sought and obtained before using an image. Even if unmarked, images should not be copied.
You suggest that I should treat my work like flotsam, delivering it to a client and walking away and never looking back. You are entitled to treat your work as garbage, but not to expect that I do the same.
I create work, and then generate licensing revenue from that work, over time, throughout the life of the copyright. At that point my work will be owned by the public, for use in any manner, without my permission. In the interim, I support myself and my family by licensing my work. There is no other feasible business model -- other than creating concepts, creating photographs based on those concepts, and then licensing the photographs
repeatedly, first in order to recoup the significant cost involved in generating photographic images, and then to generate income.
The ONLY point made in my message was to suggest that you treat fellow artists with respect when copying their work -- that you should ask
permission (always), and provide attribution (if requested by the artist). Many artists will share their work, when asked, depending on the circumstances.
Some artists are under the mistaken impression that they can steal work, as long as they credit the author, or that by altering a work x%, it is somehow
acceptable. There is an ethical issue at play, and that is - if you are going to use someone else's work
Ultimately, there is a 0% chance that you would have created that Miles illustration without my image at hand, and without all of the work that I invested in making that image. I only suggested that you should have contacted me before copying it. —Jeff
Jeff and I had a conversation over the phone, here, briefly. Always better to talk it out on the phone rather than shoot off e mails. Here's the last e mail from Mr Sedlik:
Thanks for taking my call.
Apologies for the tone at the end of my last message.
I am not after money
I am not after credit or links or any sort of public recognition.
I am not after anything, other than to inspire you to, in the future, think about your process and to carefully consider what it is that you are building upon, especially when the end result leans heavily on your visual reference.
I know that I do.
What you decide is of course, up to you.
Felix, I wish you the best. —Jeff
Whenever I think to reference a photo I think about Jeff (and his family who depends on him to create these images). I wonder if Shep Fairey thinks about all the photographers whose works he plundered in order to send his messages. To be certain, I like Shep's work, some of it. Some of it is heavy handed and naive. I'm not out to pile on Shep or the Times in my last post.
Anyhoo I hope this posting resonates with you and maybe changes your philosophy on referencing and crediting your fellow artists. I'd also like to thank Jeff for passing on some wisdom (unknowingly, here) as well as creating some of the best Jazz art out there.