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Hey Mr. Stones,

I just started building my portfolio site but there is one thing that bothered me for years and I need an advise from a real master/veteran. You are looking for a non-traditional design but most portfolios are full of Fanart. If I would come up with something unique (character or style) should I show it? Do I have to worry about someone stealing it because at this point I am still a "nobody"? Please let me know.

Well, and thank you for giving us DW

First off, if you never show your work to someone you will never sell it. Usually I hear this worry expressed by writers I've never heard anyone worry about someone ripping off their style.

If you truly have a unique style, it comes from you. It's not a single drawing, it's the way you draw. And I have a hard time believing that you, or anyone, could draw a few characters that are so incredible, so magical that the style alone makes them a huge hit. Think of the most successful animated characters: Mickey Mouse, SpongeBob, Bugs Bunny, Homer Simpson and think of they way they were first drawn. The style did not make them successful, it was the combination of animation, personality, writing, the time in which they were created, etc.

The portfolios I'm looking at most seriously don't have fan art. They may have model sheets of existing characters that the artist created when he worked on those shows. Look at the links I've posted in the past. I've never posted fan art except for the post about fan fiction.

And finally, you can't copyright your style. Any popular artist has followers who are inspired by their work and try to match it. Eventually, they develop their own style.

Don't hide your light under a bushel.

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