The Fairly OddParents creator and animator Butch Hartman has received criticism on Twitter for allegedly tracing artwork commissioned by fans. Is Butch Hartman guilty of tracing? What’s the story?

Hartman is open to fan commissions

Renowned animation artist Butch Hartman (full name: Elmer Earl Hartman IV) invites commissions via a form on his website.

The short form invites customers to describe their commission – who they want Hartman to draw, in what style, etc. – and select the number of characters. 

butch hartman tracing / butch hartman commission
Butch Hartman during The Fourth Annual First Star Celebration for Children’s Rights – Inside at Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California, United States. (Photo by Chris Weeks/WireImage)

On submission, customers/clients can expect to be contacted with details of pricing and a specific quote for the request.

Hartman posts the results of some of these submissions on his Twitter feed for fans to enjoy. He sometimes includes a short video of part of the illustration process – as seen in the video below.

Butch Hartman tracing row explained

Despite his undoubted credentials, some Twitter users are accusing Butch Hartman of tracing the work of other artists to fulfil commissions.

Some Twitter users have posted side-by-side images of a Hartman commission and what they allege is “original” artwork.

Other accusers have used the platform to redirect credit to those they allege are the original artists.

Meanwhile, others have joined in simply for the ritual of Twitter “dunking”.

Online stamping of feet

This story is quickly picking up traction on Twitter but this isn’t the first time Hartman’s commissions have come under fire. 


Seven months ago, in the subreddit r/delusionartists, a post making accusations of the practice garnered 70 comments and more than 500 upvotes.

Despite the online stamping of feet, there is no proof Hartman has ever traced anyone else’s artwork.

When controversy surrounding a particular Hartman commission was stirred up, another graphic artist weighed in with a constructive contribution.

Emdy, who also accepts commissions (although not currently), drew a piece in Hartman-esque OddParents style.

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