Post Mon May 13, 2013 11:10 am

Copyright and Originality Question

Drawing has always been a hobby for me. Lately I've been thinking about entering shows, contests or exhibitions. I'm not interested in selling or getting commissions, just curious about I would fair. Plus I would like to find local art groups. Because I'm a hobbiest and draw from photographs, I usually draw a photo that I find interesting. Usually they're ads or celebrities or photographer's work.
For example, I'm currently drawing a Robb Kendrick photograph. I know I couldn't sell the drawing of his photo, even if I wanted to. But could I use it in a contest? Is it considered bad form to enter a drawing like that? I know it's not my original work, and I'm not trying to pass it off as such, but I like the way it's turning out.
Would the same thing apply to drawings of celebs or ad models? I did a drawing of my son a few years ago, his expression was wonderful, but it was drawn from a school picture. My feeling is that it boils down to the source photo. My uncertainty comes from a strong desire to not "steal" someone else's work. I've always thought of what I do as a technical exercise, a human Xerox machine. To me the difference between an Artisan and an Artist is originality and creativity.