For all those people that constantly ask “is using a reference cheating?”
No, it’s not. THEY’RE THERE, USE THEM. Using a reference is not tracing, it’s cool.
Tumblr needs to stop thinking that getting exact details right makes you “better.” There are times where getting details like anatomy are important. There are times when it’s not. References are useful! But they’re mostly useful when you WANT to get the details right, not when you’re drawing something where realism isn’t the point.
Both of those bicycles are great!
The one on the left has a ton of personality and it looks like it could really fly down the street. It’s fantastic cartooning.
The reffed one on the right is solid and believable. It’s a really strong illustration.
Thing is, you should draw whatever the hell you wanna draw. Reffed, not reffed, somewhere in between… it doesn’t fucking matter.
If you’re making comics, it’s all about how your art becomes a part of your story. Communicating ideas through the way you depict objects and building on that communication panel by panel.
If you’re creating a standalone illustration, it’s all about evoking mood and inspiring imagination. Creating reality with a single image.
Just like those bikes, both styles of art can be fantastic. There’s no wrong or right. Claiming one style is better than the other is simply limiting, and I don’t see how that mindset benefits an artist.