All cute pictures and funny talk aside, I find this problematic.
I am not an artist myself, but have been part of artist communities before. I remember a case where someone made a gif of a jumping frog by tracing copyrighted pictures and got absolute hell for it despite the result (drawn animation vs. several photos) being something rather different than the source.
There is a difference between using a reference and tracing an image. If I wanna draw a rabbit, I can take several pictures as references to see how the anatomy is from different angles, how bunnies generally sit, how their fur is colored and grows… and I think that’s normal. If you wanna draw something, looking at that something - be it a photo, a drawing, a movie-character - is something you need to do. Using references is normal.
But tracing the outlines of an image is not. That’s not using a reference, that’s downright copying an image. Not only is it unprofessional (because you’re either lazy or just not able to draw anatomy correctly by yourself, which is okay and not a crime, but then you shouldn’t be a professional artist working for money), but it is copying and here, in this case, there’s even a copyright on the actual image, so no one can claim they just took it themselves or whatever.
As for “the image is different”: Actual example of real life stuff. There was a costume contest in a German city a few years ago. The guy who originally won was afterwards accused of cheating because someone had found the same costume online on ebay, sold by a company in china mass-producing them. The winner protested, urging the judges to check his costume. Turns out he had changed the hem of the sleeves, adding a few bits and seams of his own, but the rest of the costume was 98% the original. He lost his title and got banned from all further competitions because using an existing product and changing just a tiny little thing to make it “his own creation” isn’t really an own creation. It’s using other people’s work and just basically writing your signature under it.
And that’s what I see here as well. Unprofessional behavior through and through and that this is supported and approved by the devs - no matter if it is actually a copyright-infringement or not - is something I just cannot support. If someone would steal my novels and just change all the names and looks of the characters, but keep the exact plot, I would be so, so, so furious. So yeah, this here is really, really ticking me off, tbh.
Just wanted to get this out of my system, rant over.