I’m a big fan of speed paintings and concept art. Let me rephrase that. I’m a speed painting and concept art leech. I love taking in the glow of a shiny, detailed and finished image, but when I’m hungry for ideas and looking for inspiration, give me broad strokes and rough outlines—stuff my mind can play with, gaps for my imagination to fill in.
It’s not yet a copyright violation to be inspired by something.
(Said the lawyer, “Thus I put to you, your honor, that Mr Tundelkar not only painted this picture of an ogre after being inspired by the delicious flavor of the soft drink of my client, Lola Cola, but he did so with the beautiful view afforded from the balcony of my other client, Flarion Hotels, firmly in his mind. Naturally, he did wrong and my clients are entitled to monies.”)
Concept art is usually created for a purpose, a video game, a movie. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use it for another purpose. Good concept art’s got more juice than the juicer gonna squeeze.