Blog and Artwork updates of Singapore caricaturist, portrait artist and illustrator - Jit

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Copying openly?!

Went to Hougang Mall for brunch and saw some art activities at Hougang Central Hub.
My gut feel told me that there must be some artists doing caricatures and portraits here.
Guest what I saw?
I saw one of the caricatures done by me (my wife can't tell it was my drawing, but Ivan can tell) on this artist's table.
I don't think this was drawn by him, as this was one of the 100+ pieces of pencil caricatures I did for Sony's event as doorgifts, years ago when I was still drawing in Clarke Quay. I can recognise my own pencil strokes and style.
The chances of her getting him to draw a caricature was very slim. Then I saw my signature and website url on it. Next to the caricature, was his sketch of this caricature. Hmmmm..... copying openly?!
Told my wife. She said, " Wow, you are the idol of many people. They all copy your art!"
Is it?
Should I be happy?

Anyway, this was the caricature ripped from my website.

Didn't went up to ask him why he used my caricature.
At least, he didn't use my caricature as display and get business for himself like that Eugene and 朱学伟. The latter was a student from China. He met me in Clarke Quay about 13 years ago, saw my portraits displayed there. He befriended with me, and subsequently asked me to lend him some of my portraits to photocopy, so that he can copy and learn some skill for me and draw for his colleagues. Seeing that he was quite a poor student, I allowed him to do so.
Few month later, I went to Kuantan for holiday. When I came back, I saw him sitting at my place, setting up a stall, displaying my portrait drawings, to get business for himself. Damn! I asked him why did he do so? He couldn't give me an answer.
Though I don't like people to copy what I draw, (as what some local professional artists are doing currently) which I can't help, I really despise people who displayed my works as their works. These people are the worst type! Even if they can get the business, but cannot deliver the similar quality or standard. How would they answer to their clients? It is like I am cheating their clients indirectly!

What a small world! This Singapore Arts Street 2008 @ North East is held from 21-29 June 2008. It is the second day, and this is the second time I come to Hougang Mall, and I saw my drawing here. Think he didn't expect to see me here. Anyway, I don't think he can recognise me, even when I stood in front of his table and snapped these photos.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jit,
I am the artist which you have captured at Hougang Mall.
You have rightly said that I am inspired by your caricature style and techniques.
I alway believe that to draw and paint like an artist one has to draw reference to their works, just like you have acknowledged in your website that you draw cross reference to other caricature artist to hone your skills.

Just like an aspiring artist wants to paint like Van Gogh, one has to draw reference to works or brush strokes. It is not healthy for Vincent Van Gogh to tell that artist not to copy that style. Knowledge and Talent need to be shared as long as the original artworks are used as one's own to sell or for display.

I am inspired by your style just I do cross reference with other artists globally.

Support fellow artist and not discourage and despise them and post their photos

Statiscally, it is proven that nearly, more than 90% of all artist draw references to other artists.

Encourage local art scene and not merely sell the sanctity of art and artworks for ones own profiteering.

jit said...

Thank you for being inspired by my art, Mr Artist (don't know what's your name - not left in the comment.)

Do you felt being despised, when I snapped the photo in the public? I don't think so. Since you can copy in the open, and there should be people taking photos, and I saw you in CHannel U news. Would you say they are despising you? I took photo as a proof of what I saw, not despising you. If I really mind, I would confront it with you on the spot.

Who is profiteering here? From what I see, you are the one who is selling caricature there. I don't pocketing your profit!

Anonymous said...

I am Jessie Rundell, from New Jersey but currently doing visual art degree in Paris. At leisure, I do freelance caricature. I frequently browse through many art websites. Today, I happen to look through this website and find these comments quite of a concern.

When I read the comments, a few things cropped up in my mind:
1. I agree with Jit's wife who remarked that Jit is an idol for many artists. But I wonder if Jit is genuinely happy about it since he claims "Should I be happy?" in his earlier post. I strongly believe an artist should feel happy from the bottom of his heart if his artworks really inspire many artists.

2. If Jit wants to know whether the artist at the Hougang Mall would be selling his works, he should have approached him personally and clarified his doubts. I am sure that artist could have re-assured him of his doubts. Then there would be no need for Jit to go the extra mile of taking his photos and posting a comment on that which depicts a mere assumption rather than a fact in this globally-viewed website. Well, nothing is greater or luckier than introducing the real oneself to the inspiring artists when the opportunity strikes. For instance, if Leonardo da Vinci were alive, I am sure every artist would wish to meet him and be inspired by him and his works.

3. Back at home in US or in Paris now, artists whom I came across really inspire and motivate one another. There is no room for competition, selfishness or plain jealously. We give constructive criticisms solely based on artists' works, not the artists. We should never undermine any artists. I don't think the artist whom Jit mentioned would feel comfortable if he is being compared with another student artist Euguene. I have doubts why Jit did not post a similar photo as in the case for Eugene.

In a nutshell, this talent of art is sacredly given by God and one should not undermine one's talent for fame. Jit, be proud that people use and will continue to use your art for inspiration as mentioned by the artist at Hougang Mall and not to sell them under your name.

A true artist would know that it is the most undesirable and indespicable thing to sell one's original or copyright artwork. Sadly to say, most Asian artists view fellow artists differently from the Western ones.

My advice is :
1. Clarify personally if one has the chance to clarify. (In this case, Jit had the opportunity, but he chose not to grab it!).

2. Never mar the image of another inspiring person who has so much to offer to the real world. If possible, inspire and not hurt the other person in any way.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jit

Your comments really carry a lot of bitterness. eg.don't like people to copy what I draw, (as what some local professional artists are doing currently) which I can't help…..if they can get the business, but cannot deliver the similar quality or standard. How would they answer to their clients? It is like I am cheating their clients indirectly!

Channel U News don't carry such comments with photos obviously

Get it.

jit said...

Hi Jessie,

Eugene did it online on eBay.
I did a screen capture, but don't know why teh image disappeared when I check it again just now.

Anyway, the fact is that I saw him copying, and I didn't despise him. At least he didn't display the artwork to get business. That's all I want to say. I didn't clarify with him, as I think it is not a very big issue to me, but just post it up on my blog as a record of what I saw, and I would like to mention about.

Eugene and 朱学伟 is different case which I really despise of. I did mention that he's not as bad as these 2 guys, as least he's making an effort to do it himself.

jit said...


You could be the person who left a message in my cbox, though I am quite suspicious of whether Simon is your real name.

Of course Channel U News wouldn't make subjective comments. This is my own blog. I post up what I see and feel. I am stating the fact too. Does that really disturb you? If yes, I suggest you better stay out of my blog. Don't see what I post. That should make you happier.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jit,
Well, I believe you acted on impulse and I do not agree with you.

I was there at Hougang Mall last Sunday on 22 June with my friend at around 3.15pm. I remember seeing this artist you mentioned. Truthfully, I have to say that....he is amazing!!! There is so much talent in him. He actually took part in the Art Competition organised by the authority of the Arts Street@Hougang Mall that day. For 45 minutes, I watch him and the rest draw and colour using acrylic paint. You will be surprised to know that this artist you mentioned actually got the FIRST prize for his art-piece among all other artists. Thereafter, many viewers/shoppers approach him to buy his works. From here, you would have known how much talent he had in him. From the artist's comments, I believe that he used your work as part of inspiration only for caricature and not to make extra cash out of sales. Now, after reading your post, I realize, he is actually a real great artist who could draw something beyond than mere caricature. His talent is worth much more. I wish him all the best!!!


jit said...

Don't know why this topics have so many comments in 1 afternoon. This is very rare.

Anyway, I am just posting what I saw. The photos are the proof. Perhaps, if I put it as 'I am very happy to see him inspired by my caricature...." it wouldn't create so much problems to me answering those comments, which I would better spend my time on my other jobs on hand.

I rest my case. No point dwelling into it anymore. If you want to tell me what I have snapped is not what I see, I have nothing to say anymore.

Continue to support him. I am not against him or anything. I wish he could move further, and become a great artist in Singapore and beyond.

Anonymous said...

It is really simple. An artist should display his own artwork and not art of another artist.
YOU'RE the artist, so show YOUR OWN STUFF!
Why are people here making it seems like Jit is the one who made a mistake?! The copy cat artist PLAGIARIZED Jit's art!
The comment that the copy cat artist made here makes absolutely no sense. Getting inspiration from other artist is one thing. I do it all the time. But selling someone else's art as you onw?! That is wrong. I have a question for you copy cat artist- Why don't you display your own work? Afterall, You're the one who set up this booth!
The artist is posting someone else's work and make it seems like it is his own work. This is 100% wrong. The most disgusting thing is the artist actually thinks plagiarizing is a right thing to do. Argh.

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