I just read this comment thread, and I thought I would add my two cents.
First concerning whether or not this is on topic. Trying to define art is like jumping on a trampoline and declaring that the atmosphere only extends as high as you are able to jump. Not only is it incorrect, but incredibly shortsighted and self-centered. Art is not only about reinterpreting what other people see, it's also about making them ask "Why did the creator feel this was art?" At our local art museum in Kansas City, there is a piece of art that is nothing more than a multicolored, straight piece of neon lighting. I thought it was part of the security system before I saw the plaque for it. Once I knew it was an exhibit, it was really fun to watch other peoples’ reaction to it and see them ask themselves “Why?” In the case of this shirt, the artist is trying to express things that are normally load, but have been silenced for the night. The loud screech owl with duct tape shutting it up, the boom box that is silenced by the headphones, and the fact that owls can fly pretty quietly anyway, all cast on a dark and still night. While it may not be the way that YOU would have done it, it is no less valid. It is merely making you ask “Why?” and perhaps “How?”
Second on the validity of the artists work. I have to compliment Jewelwing on her composure under peoples’ scrutiny. (you are a she, right?) It is impossible to satisfy everyone in this matter. If she hadn’t used source material, then it most likely would have looked cartoony or wrong somehow, and people would have been mad that she didn’t do it well enough. If she had copied it directly, then the law gets mad and bad things happen. There is a balance, and I think she found it. There is really only one critic that she needs to please, and that is herself. Clearly she has done so, and the rest of us get to enjoy her work with her if we choose to. Complaining about valid techniques is like showing up to a race barefoot and complaining that the other runners have an unfair advantage because they have running shoes. It was your choice to come to the race barefooted. I can see your case if they are using rollerblades, but the methods that she used are common and acceptable to the industry. That is not to say that running barefooted is not a valid technique as well. That’s how the Kenyans do it, and they are some of the best in the world. But to complain because someone does it differently (and it can be inferred, better) than you is simply childish, and when I come to power it will be reason for banishment. As third parties, we are not responsible for these judgment calls. Just by using the site we agreed to be governed by the Rejectionator. So stop your whining, it isn’t doing anything and it is annoying the rest of us.
By the way, great shirt.
sometimes i like to put on the cape and scream like a monkey.