You use designs that are in Lamps, neckties, ceramic vases, or even architecture? Where do you think those designs originated that they used?
Many are copied from Renaissance Art to 18th-20th Century art.
So the guy who made the tie, or lamp or architecture, pencil drew the design? Not likely... Most of these designs on objects and buildings you admit using, have come from hundreds of years ago in other designs. Unless you can ask the tie maker where he got the design that you used, this is a mute point. What if another cue maker saw that same tie or vase and made a cue? Then its not an original idea.
TW,You miss my point, Ken. One could argue that ALL ART can be traced back to the first prehistoric human who ever scratched out an image on the wall of a cave. I didn't ever say my designs are NOT derivative - ALL art is derivative. But I can say you would be very hard pressed to find the exact source of inspiration for any specific cue of mine if I didn't point it out to you.
It not "a mute point" in this thread because we CAN connect the cuemaker's design to his source - and it happens to be canned clip-art that another cuemaker (also mentioned in this thread) probably took the whole design element from as well. Which is why I typically use only the most basic overall elements from any given source and then change and/or embellish that to suit my taste. And that pretty much guarantees I'm not going to have someone see one of my latest cues in one of these threads and claim I took it directly form another maker's cue.
Finally, don't think I disapprove of these cuemakers using canned clip-art just as it comes off the disk. I'm glad they do, precisely because I DON'T... and that makes a difference.