My first piece of art created on the GF


I must say that your post did not sit well with me. In my interpretation of your post, you seem to be implying that I simply copied his work.

I was thinking about it last night as I was falling asleep. I kept thinking “Was James McNabb more than just an inspiration”, and the conclusion I came up with is still the same. He remains an “inspiration” or perhaps the better word is an “influence”.

The idea of the circular city is one that has been with me for a long time. I remember sketches that I made in high-school that explore that idea. I probably still have some if I dig in old boxes enough. It is not my idea to begin with, I’m sure. I’ve seen it many times in different places. Just google something like “circular city”, and I’m sure you’ll see examples.

I’ve also always been obsessed with skyscrapers and buildings. I spent way too much time on, and I have a huge pinterest board of just building pictures.

The idea of combining laser-cutting and buildings came from this image:


I’d love to know who the original artist is. I found it on pinterest without a working link.

That one launched me into making laser-cut art. I eventually progressed to having buildings in my designs (like my turtle city, and came back to the idea of the circular city. I was designing mine when I saw James McNabb’s image (the one from my previous post). I remember looking at it for about 1/2 hour. I loved how he had different size buildings, and I definitely took that idea for my city.

I also remember being impressed that his buildings were all made with traditional woodworking techniques, and thinking that mine is being designed and cut with a laser-cutter. I would be able to make much more intricate shapes. I believe that was the extent of his influence on me. I admired his work for about 1/2 hour at the time that I was designing mine.

I agree that I ended up with a piece that looks very similar to what James McNabb created at first glance. They are both circular cities with many buildings made out of wood. But the similarities end there. They are very different once you look closely.

Perhaps I should have given a nod to James McNabb in the original post, but I would also have to give a nod to many other artists that have influenced me (including all the architects that I’ve admired over the years). His was a small piece in the whole picture.

I don’t know why your post did not agree with me, or why I feel like I need to explain the background of my work to you. But now you know a little more. I think in the future when one sees two artists that have similar styles, one should not just assume that one copied off the other. They perhaps have similar influences in their lives.

I’m not saying that’s the assumption you made about me, since I can’t read your mind. It’s simply how your post came off to me.


Walter Pichler maybe?

Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture -Low Relief Section Model possibly?


Their is also a “little planet” or “small world” technique, mostly based in digital photography that is somewhat similar to this technique/method of thinking/method of creating art. Their is another thread residing somewhere on this forum about art, influences, original ideas, how other ideas can build on those original ideas, and some links to reading material. It’s a decent little read.

I hope you don’t dwell on how that other post sits with you. You created something great here and you should be proud.


If he didn’t mean it that way it was his poor framing as I read it the same way and kinda perturbed me but it wasn’t directed at me.
Remember this, there will always be one. Deep breath and back to creating wonderful things.


Sorry if my post didn’t sit well with you. As I said in my first post, your artwork is amazing and really shows the time and effort you put into this piece. The design of each individual building is quite beautiful and detailed (I really like the one with cogs inside), plus looking at your other work of the city on the back of a turtle shows your own style present in this piece as well.
My intention of my first post was not to say that you just copied anothers artwork, only that you should be giving credit where credit is due. You can’t deny that if you put your piece side by side of James McNabb’s that they’re eerily similar. Obviously everyone is influenced by others, but I just know that if I were James McNabb and stumbled across this, I probably appreciate some acknowledgment of the influence my pieces had on your own without someone else pointing it out.

Anyway, please don’t lose sleep over this. Keep doing what you’re doing 'cause it’s beautiful artwork that should be shared. Being able to defend ones artwork from a critique shows a passionate artist and you are definitely that.


Thank you for your kind words, and your thoughtful response. I now understand where you were coming from. Because of the fact that I said he inspired me, it is totally understandable that you believed he had a large influence on me.

I also believe that artist should give credit where credit is due. I think that’s why your original post gave me pause to think so much.

I was not going to bring it up, but I’m glad I did. I have a much better understanding of your intentions, and I’m not losing any more sleep :slight_smile:


Thank you both @cjthompson403 and @polarbrainfreeze for your honest and thoughtful conversation about inspiration and giving credit. These can be murky and uncomfortable waters, but you’ve both offered excellent examples of how to navigate these issues with sincerity and class.

Even when the subject got a bit terse, you both remained honest and respectful. In doing so, you may be offering others some important clues about how to consider and discuss these topics in a productive way.


Well expressed Drea.
I think a very thoughtful, and appropriate comment.


Personally I feel the colors add a unique dimension. :sunglasses:


I also like the small house and trees, I think that is a true reflection of urban evolution. It introduces a contrast of time and values that we see in any city a hundred years old.

I know you have had that idea banging around in your head for two years. Interesting how inspiration won’t turn loose of those who are inflicted with it.


Wow, I love Turtle City!


This! :+1:


Oooh, that’s a cool concept. A progression of time… could be illustrated by building styles. Or, cities that have expanded and you have a progression of buildings to houses and more buildings and houses as the city expands outwards and ages in different styles.


Absolutely stunning. How much would you sell that for? If you made a smaller size I would definitely be interested.


Great piece of Art. Thanks for sharing this awesome Art piece.


I have a friend who is interested in your art piece and wants to know how much you would like for it?


This is INSANE and so freaking awesome!


I can’t even imagine. Absolutely gorgeous.


mind blown that is beautifully intricate, I love it!!!


I’m amazed at the incredible patience… As an architect involved with city planning, this image came to mind. It’s in essence the way a town should evolve, and the way of “new” zoning.