STOLEN WORKS OF ART. AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT.
Here’s the deal.
When a random brand, company, whatever they are, copies or steals your work, you should know that it’s 100000% not okay and bottom line, illegal. So many companies out there take your images off of the internet and think they have the right to take your images and use them wherever and however they please. Trust me, after speaking to all the fraudulent companies that have stolen Sew Sketchy artwork, they all come back to me saying the same thing: “But I found it on pinterest, or I saw it on another website” Still, if the company finds your images on pinterest, in an article, facebook, or on the god damn floor or in garbage, they are STILL not in the LEGAL right to use your work or reproduce your work with out your consent. So it’s important to know that you are protected because anything you create is your intellectual property and no-one else’s.
To give you peace of mind that if this does happen to you here is what you should do:
- Find a Lawyer. Having a lawyer, or friends who are lawyers, can help you tremendously, because ultimately lawyers instill a HUGE fear in these companies. The brands you see in the images above are all small companies and they obviously don’t want any trouble in dealing with lawyer fees and all that comes with it. (Fun Fact: You are entitled to any profit a company makes based on selling your stolen works of art! Isn’t that neat?)
- If you don’t have the means to have a lawyer, then put these companies on blast on your social channels. Have your community that you’ve built lean in and help you report their fraudulent actions which also instills a huge fear and they end up 99% always taking down your work on their social platforms and website.
- In addition to not having a lawyer here’s another thing you can do: google a “Cease and Desist” template, fill it out yourself with your name, company, etc. Sign it as the CEO or OWNER and send it to them by DM, email, and in any means possible. This will also help your case in that stealing your work is illegal and shows that you will not back down. It’s important to constantly make these efforts to protect yourself.
- IF you do have companies stealing your artwork, it’s important to screen shot every single thing they’ve stollen and keep a saved folder on your phone or wherever you store your important documents. This is key because it’s crucial for you as an artist to check in on these brands and see months later if they’ve used your images, again.
I am honestly, incredibly sick and tired of this pattern. Is it so hard for a brand to reach out to us and collaborate ? Or ask for a licensing agreement? Most companies who steal Sew Sketchy artwork have responded in these 3 ways:
1. They’re either super combative and DM Sew Sketchy with defamatory remarks.
2. They take it down immediately because they are terrified of all the efforts I’ve made to make sure I will proceed with legal action.
3. Ask if they can buy the artwork. But why would I ever sell my artwork to a brand that stole in the first place? It’s important to work with brands who have integrity and a positive brand ethos.
I hope my tips can help you as I see so many artists constantly being ripped off world wide. The fashion illustration community is a small one, but it’s a powerful one. Alert your own fans, supporters, followers to always keep an eye out open for you, since this is the only way I find out when a brand steals my work. It’s vital to stick together and support artists always. I love my community that I’ve built for the past few years and I thank you all for alerting me always when you see Sew Sketchy on products! The second I launch clothing or accessories then you all would be the FIRST to know. Love you all!