Do I need concept artist's approval to use their concept in non-commercial work?

Hi. Let’s imaging I want to create a work based on someone’s concept art and use this work solely for portfolio (not for sale). What do you think should I ask an author of concept art for approval?

Hi, ideally if you use other artist work as inspiration you will credit that artist.
Like this guy did:

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Think about it:
If you have done some fantastic artwork and someone else is redoing
and publishing it online without mentioning your concept or inspiration…

What would you call it?


Thats exactly what i said you will credit that artist for his or her work.

Sorry :pray:, i changed my very very long post before sending and i deleted:

As @digitvisions already mentioned: always credit and as a good sign of manner would be to ask.

I thought that the manner part would be a bit harsh and i didn’t want to insult you be just repeating you.

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That’s ok, no harm done.

That’s not really what the OP asked though.

Asking permission to use something and crediting somebody for something you have used are two different things.

It’s quite possible to do the latter without doing the former.


Yes, obviously. And he is asking in the Title: Do i need…
and in the Post: What do you think should i ask…

And i wasn’t exactly answering any of his questions, instead made him think about it.
Even @digitvisions did’t said anything about approval.

(to @digitvisions: see ? I learned :wink: )

And you also didn’t answer any question the OP asked.

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The unswear is legally as far as i know no if only used it as inspiration, not sold it and credited the artist.
But i want to know why would you want to use in your own portfolio someone else work?

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I guess it depends what your portfolio is trying to show off. If your skill is modelling existing designs in 3d, then it may be relevant - say something like this:


As far as I can tell, neither artist has credited the original designer, the question is - should they?

Ask first. It’s the nice thing to do and you have nothing to lose.

The rest is about being honest with yourself. “Based on” can be interpreted many ways and every art is inevitably inspired by other arts. Are you ripping off someone elses work because yours is not good enough yet, or are you using it as an inspiration while adding enough of your own work to call it yours? Nobody knows but you.

Most of us model stuff based on reference photos, yet we do not credit the photographer, do we…


It’s always best to ask. If the tables were turned, you’d want them to ask you, right?


Hi there, saw you linking my last post.
I always try to credit people i get my stuff from. Especially if it’s available for FREE! For me question is always if i bought it or not. F.e. i used a lamp form “it’s about romi” from Netherlands. To be sure i wrote them an E-mail to ask them. Answer was: “they were glad, that i used their stuff in an interior scene of mine”, but i should credit them and link them on instagram.
Regarding the Porsche i used, i credited Porsche for their deisgn already in the title and i don’t know if i have to credit the autor, when i already paid him for his work?! :face_with_monocle: :thinking:
Would be interesting how that works for comercial and non-commercial work as well.

And clearly you have to be careful for the licence. F.E. i asked the creator of Transportation addon on blendermarket. You can use the models without problems, but not on videogames.

Just to be clear - it wasn’t a criticism, I have created works numerous times based on or inspired by pre-existing designs or myself. Your work just happened to be near the top of the “finished projects” thread :wink:

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Yep. It’s a very good idea. I do it all the time.

I get their approval and keep them expecting too. After every piece I show them first before even posting, just to know what they think.

It’s fun. You could even make some connections that way

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Don’t get me wrong, didn’t understand it as criticism… :smiley: :slight_smile: I only joined the conversation, 'cause it’s an interesting topic, and wanted to share my little experience :smiley:

Other posters here have already made some good points on this issue.

My two centicreds? YES! You should ask their permission. After all, you don’t want to run the risk of being known for stealing ideas. Independent artists and designers often don’t really like having somenone take one of their ideas and create derivative works. If you are going to do work inspired by or based on someone else’s concept art and you have asked permission, then definitely credit them, and provide a link to their work. It’s really the only courteous thing to do.

Also, pay attention for any copyright statements. Sometimes artists ( or the studio they are working for) prohibit derivative works. If in doubt, ask! Concept art is often part of a development process for something which is later going to be commercialised.

That said, I really don’t think it’s a good idea to put work based on someone else’s concept art in your own portfolio. Your portfolio should be showcasing your work.

So, I’ve found a concept that I want to use to create a model for non-commercial work. I’ve messaged the person on Artstation but they have not responded. Their profile also seems to be inactive. It has been 2 years since their last new image and they haven’t liked any images posted within the last 2/3 years.

I plan on using it and obviously credit will be given to the original artist for their design.

But I wanted to get other people opinion. do you think it is acceptable to use the concept art in the case where the person seems to be inactive?

Also realistically, would a person actually reject the idea of someone using their concept art for non-commercial purposes?

I think it’s fine :slight_smile: You don’t technically need permission to use concept art in a non-commercial setting; it’s a courtesy to ask, but you’re not legally required to do so. Since you asked, and didn’t get a response, I would go ahead


If a person uses its concept art commercially is not really dependent on if this person uses their Artstation account. So I dont think you should make a decision based on that.

I would generally recommend to get the permission before usage. Its not just the nicer way, there may be particular cases and circumstances you dont see or you dont classify correct legally.