Well, there’s been some interesting hubbub lately and since this blog seems to get referenced quite a bit, I thought I needed to dust it off and weigh in.
Above, you’ll see sei has finally acknowledged tracing but with nary a sign of remorse or apology (this is not new) and claims she has moved on from it. I clipped it down from a series of posts to save on scrolling.
I have addressed her bullying tendencies several times before on this blog (or other people have addressed it by their own accounts), but the point of this blog was always about a lack of integrity as an artist, so without further ado:
To her credit, sei has posted a set of livestreams (heads up, she says she has technical issues) which has been broken down and critiqued rather thoroughly here. Kindly view both halves. You’ll see in dapperpants’ post references to partially traced poses where the untraced parts are incredibly awkward looking. To which, I would like to direct you to this:
(source for original here) where girlJude was drawn 9 months after girlHayden. You will also notice yes, this is the exact same pose she used in her livestream. In fact, for someone who is known for inconsistency (as per dapperpants’ explanation above and also this old post), it is interesting she can do this without a lightbox (or a low opacity sketch hidden by low resolution and chopped up streams).
Also surfaced recently just by way of social circle:
(from august, edit: source redacted at request of OP, sei’s illustration from last week. Original artist was also a former friend and tells me she has hits on her blog from where sei lives)
Since the tumblr art community has enormously diverse definitions of tracing vs referencing, I don’t really want to open that huge debate up again on this blog. Instead, I trust everyone will do their due diligence and put on their critical thinking caps and come to their own conclusions.
So I am basically treadmilling with my asks and can’t seem to clear them…! It seems to have reached saturation and I am getting a lot of duplicate questions so instead of trying to reply to them all privately and/or individually, I am going to try and address some common things in this post:
1) In the end, she never apologized publically and the only person I know of who she has discussed (directly or otherwise) the issue with was a former friend. Nor has she refunded the individuals whose commission sources have been found and shows no signs of planning to do so. I also can’t say at this point whether or not it is “over” because that depends on whether or not she decides to make amends and start anew or simply make a new account and keep doing as she is doing.
1b) Corollary to point 1, I don’t have any plans of where I want to take this blog now that her galleries are down and she seems bent on not apologizing. I am likely going to turn off asks and simply leave this blog up for posterity since real-life is also busy.
2) It is really hard to say which elements in her gallery are her own work. The best reflection is her traditional work but there’s nothing more recent than late 2011 so I don’t have a fair example to put forward. That being said, she does have an excellent grasp on textiles and drapery as far as I can tell.
3) Yes, I saw the A-C post. It can be submitted by any number of people and the chances of it being Sei aren’t particularly high considering it is a place as high traffic as A-C.
4) Discussions about whether or not she received death threats or made them up are dicey. After being a bit too quick on the draw when this blog started (which I apologize for again), I am hesitant to take a stance on it. Interesting screencaps were collected if you are interested in drawing your own conclusions. To clarify a point of confusion on that blog, Sei removed the link to her askbox from her art tumblr some time ago when the artist-confessions post against her was made but didn’t turn off asks until it was announced. (I am also told anonymous has been turned off even before that but that is unconfirmed)
A similar question was already answered here, and I will admit again that I was much too quick to jump the gun with those posts. But like I said in my last response on the matter, I have kept the post up for my own accountability.
Hello! Once again, I’d like to reiterate that I am incredibly disappointed by the fact that anyone thought to send Sei death threats, and that I am very saddened by the fact that this all had to end up this way. I had even asserted before that I did not want anyone to go harassing Sei, and to approach this ordeal as civilly as possible.
However, this is also a good opportunity to also clarify why this blog even exists in the first place. While you make a point in stating that personally contacting her would have been the best way to approach her about these sort of things, judging by numerous past* instances of people trying to do so Sei has no intention of owning up to what she’s done, nonetheless even acknowledging it. In fact, there are still messages from a few users in my inbox stating that they have not received word from her even after contact. She has also repeatedly ridiculed people (as seen in above examples), harassed them into deleting their own posts about her, and was otherwise constantly trying to sweep things under the rug in order to maintain a clean reputation. There are numerous reasons as to why contacting her privately has not worked, and believe me when I (alongside many others) say that I have made my fair share of attempts to do so.
(*note: In regards to this overlay.)
Furthermore, she has had her healingwind account blacklisted on artist-confessions, which in itself can ring numerous alarms. The single confession that did make it through only did so because it was listed under her primary account, not healingwind, and even then it was quickly taken down (post can be viewed here). As long as Sei kept control of publicly viewable content (such as policing through private messages or by hiding comments on her deviantArt wall), no one will have ever known what she has done because she would not have allowed them to know.
There is a reason why this blog has its title. Calling her out through proxy is nigh impossible (as she has taken the extra measures to make sure that no word of her ever gets out) and contacting her personally only ever ended up on deaf ears. Please understand that what she has done has and will continue to hurt many people, and that what I am only trying to do is spread awareness of the fact that this was even happening.
I have about 16 questions in my inbox right now and will get to them as soon as possible! I am not ignoring them at all, although they might take some time to work through because some are very involved questions.
Thank you for your patience and, even though I don’t have as much time right now to dedicate to this blog as I did at first, your input is always welcome!
Finally, overlays are put on the backburner for a bit because they are actually really time consuming to find without help. Also I think the point has been made and, with the exception of commissioned (and similar) works since I would like to see those resolved, it is unnecessary to keep pushing the issue as aggressively.
Well said, anonymous.
For the sake of this blog not turning into a long discussion on the proper use of stock photos since it is even more finely nuanced than the proper use of tracing:
I think that, in a commissioned work, such heavy reliance on a commercial stock photo is not appropriate. It is, for one, against the useage permissions of Think Stock (“…may not, without obtaining the prior written consent of Thinkstock and the payment of additional Licence Fees: (i) use the Licensed Material in any posters (printed on paper, canvas or any other media) or other items for resale, licence or other distribution for profit” ).
Oh no, of course! Tracing from stock photos is a legitimate form of practice, and is perfectly fine to implement, so long as you do not disregard/discredit the fact that you did use a reference!
However, in this specific case, it was indeed a commission, and according to the commissioner Sei had made no mention of using stock reference at all. Furthermore, this is supposed to be a picture of Neku (from TWEWY) and Lenalee (from D. Gray-Man), but since Sei relied so heavily on capturing the technical details from the stock, she lost the essence of the characters.
One of Sei’s first commissions, dated back to Dec 24, 2010.
This gives us a timeline wherein she started tracing for commissions as early as 2 years ago and up until one of her last commissions in November 2012. By no means am I saying that each and every one in that period was traced but I think it gives us an idea of the scope of her dishonesty.
The second post was uploaded by myself, and I will admit that I was rather hesitant to do so; the similarities (as the first anon mentioned) are very sparse, and like ~allusi noted there will always come a time where designs from different artists will end up very similar. I understand that it was a bit of a stretch to post that without any firm evidence proving it as design theft instead of merely taking inspiration, but please also understand that Sei had cited Patty as one of her favorite artists numerous times in the past. She would very often draw fanart of Patty’s Luxray gijinkas, which could have been found in her dA before it was put into storage. However, I realize that calling it ‘theft’ may have been a bit too heavy-handed, as it could have been a mere case of taking heavy inspiration. I apologize for even making such an accusation, but I will keep the post just in case any proof does come up, as well as for my own accountability.
However, the first post was submitted by the original artist, Astroliner. As noted in a previous post, I had approached Astroliner after they had made numerous posts on the matter. They had mentioned that they were fairly certain that Sei was still frequenting their blog through Google analytics data, despite showing no intention of following them; apparently Sei had spent a good amount of time on their blog during the corresponding week after they had initially posted. Astroliner had also stated that they used to be close friends, and was often a first hand account to the numerous ways Sei had approached drawing and designing (more can be read about that here).
However, Astroliner also personally requested that we did not submit their conjecture with the pictures, but instead to note the close amount of time one was posted after another. There is possibly much more to this specific situation that I am not aware of, but I am afraid that that is all the information I have on the matter.
It is hard to say. It isn’t out of the question, but I don’t want to commit to an answer either way without solid proof. There is some discussion of taking heavy influence from existing designs. But if anyone has any solid proof any theft happening, that would be welcome. In the meantime, I can leave you this Niso face which I posted a variation of earlier: