Thursday, August 13, 2009

it's a SAD DAY

I'm actually quite pissed off to have to taint my blog with something like this,
but I feel like I should make people aware of what's happened.
A friend of mine called me a few days ago to tell me that Valley Girl
had one of my drawings on their tee.
Only problem one actually ASKED me first,
and what's worse is they made it look like crap!
Whoever sold them this design has literally taken my work,
slapped something over the top and tried
to pass it off as their own.

What is most disappointing is that this particular image has
never been published, meaning it has never been available to anyone
in high resolution, so my instincts tell me that someone has actually
bought the print of this piece off me, and then gone on to scan and rip it off.

At any rate, Valley Girl have been made aware of the situation,
and the tee has been pulled from the website and
hopefully soon from the racks of all stores!
My main concern is that those in Australia know NOT
to buy this tee, as I did not sell them the design,
and if I did it would NEVER be sold in the state that its in.
Not to mention that it's a portrait of Sasha Pivovorova
which I would obviously not sell to a clothing company!

What's worse is that designs, such as this, are bought from
'third party manufacturers' (most likely overseas)
so it can be almost impossible to track down the culprit.
It's extremely depressing to know that not alot can
be done about problems such as this.
So I urge all of you who are artists or designers yourself
to keep a careful eye over your work and where you send it.
I also hope it makes you think twice about shopping at cheap chain
stores such as this - you never know where these prints come from!


Daydream Lily said...

So sorry this happened to your work, makes me really mad!!! I'm glad they are removing it from the shelves though, so no one will buy it or think it is your design.

tiltumaria said...

thatäs just pure evil! I hate when things like this happen! (Though it hasen't happened to me luckily) You know the writer of The Twilight Saga, Stephenie Meyer? Well the draft of the 5th book Midnight Sun was illegally published on the internet! So she decided to postpone finishing it indefinately... which really makes me angry since I'd really love to read it!

This kind of stuff upsets me so much! Hope you can get this thing cleared!


tiltumaria said...


Kelly said...

^I know it's just beyond disappointing.
You have to try not to get too upset about it as there's just nothing that you can do to totally protect your work.
Just do as much as you can and hope for the best these days. Which is sad.

Katie Rodgers said...

Wow, this is a wake up call to me. I am also a fashion illustrator- and I think this is just awful. I mean, we all know it happens- but when it happens to you (even worse when it happens in a crappy application like this) it just sucks. i'm glad you discovered this and let the store know. Anyway, your work is amazing :) and I am an avid reader of your blog.


Nicole Tattersall said...

I wish you all the best with it and it sounds like VG have been fairly honest which is a nice change to what I've heard other artist go through.

We are lucky and not so lucky at the same time that the internet allows people to be able to pick up on when artworks have been ripped but on the other hand it also makes it easier for them to rip off artists too.

Kelly said...

^ Exactly. The internet is amazing in so many ways, but terrible in so many others.

And Katie - Thanks for the kind words.
And I agree - I had heard about this happening to people so often - and had even been talking to another artist friend of mine about it only a week ago. It's definitely a wake up call. I only very recently put copyright tags over all of my work (which broke my heart to be honest) but in hindsight i'm glad that I did!
Unfortunately you can't do so on prints or published work so you just have to cross your fingers and hope for the best!

Antonio Barros said...

Don't be sad! This happens all the time with me!
I have one story that would shock you!!!
If you put it online, there is always a chance that someone will use it...

Jordan Clarke said...

Holy crap - that's awful. This has been happening a bit recently. I'm totally turned off buying from cheap stores - I've been thinking that a lot recently. I'd much rather spend money on pieces by up and coming designers, or save for really nice designer pieces.

It's scary what people can do these days. What's worse is that someone actually bought your work and abused it - which is so much more disheartening than someone pinching it off the internet.

Stompface said...

Man, this makes me so so angry. So I imagine you must be very angry! They slapped it on such an ugly looking tee shirt as well.
I can't ever understand having the nerve to completely rip someone off like that!

But on a happier note I purchased one of the Mambo Goddess tees with your illustration! and it is filled with beauty, and that was all legit so that is good!


Angie said...

Oh no! At least it's been 'caught' and remedied. I'm sure there's people out there doing this all the time and thinking it's 'okay' - or worse: not caring.

Let's hope that the greater of the people have a better mind to be respectful.

LoveMore said...

you know my thoughts on this...i feel so SO ANGRY! you do NOT deserve's just horrible. it should never have been done regardless and it's just that much sad'er cos the T looks like SHIIIIIT. fuckers.

xxxx bel

miky said...

fuck them!!!!!!!!! ohhh i hate when people use other people talent for there money!!!! sorry dear!!! im realy sorry!

harlequins party said...

That's heartbreaking darl. Some evil people out to just blatantly rip your work . They did a terribly shit job on that shirt too. Least you discovered fairly quickly?>

Montreal Fashion Minds said...

What a shame! Sorry to hear about this. Stealing is not cool!

~Montreal Fashion Minds is BACK!!~

Lily Mae Martin said...

Wow, they really did ruin it.

On the positive side, at least they have pulled it and taking back the stock. I'm sure it's happened to people before and nothing has been done about it. So, good on you. Don't be heart broken about protecting your work, people should be respecting it.

Lily Mae

art4friends said...

this is so so so disappointing, but if anything I hope it makes people realise that VG, DIVA, and all those other "too good to be true because it is so cheap" stores are RUBBISH and should be avoided at ALL COSTS!

ALl the best my dear. At least we have some movement on it. xxxx

Sara said...

OH MY GODDD. that sucks!!! i'm so mad for you. arghhhh!!!
glad that its hopefully all going to get taken down, thats pretty much all you can do.

Fast fashion chain stores have no soul.

Kelly said...

^ Thank you for ALL of your comments guys.

I do think the moral of the story is to support local talent design and labels wise! People that are actually working hard to bring you something UNIQUE and original. Stores like this piss me off no end.
To be honest it's not the first design i've spotted that's a rip off of another. But it's the first time that it's been my own!

Lily - thanks for making me feel better about my tags!

Stompface - EXACTLY! Go buy a Mambo tee! :)


Katie Rodgers said...

I agree Kelly! Honestly, I just started this whole sharing of my artwork online in March- and I see that you and many others put copyrights over your work.. So I caught on and did it too.

Don't be upset about doing it, because it doesn't take away from your gorgeous work. It points out that you are a respectable artist that knows what you are doing.

caitlin shearer said...

thats such a horrendous thing to have happened. my worst nightmare!
its good of them to get back to you and actually do something about it though.


Leeloo said...

I hope this is all resolved appropriately for you Kelly - what a nightmare for you.

I didn't need any more reasons to not shop at chain stores, but thanks for alerting us to this one as well.

Good luck! xo

JessicaVanDen said...

This is awful! It makes you wonder how many others this has happened to, doesn't it? Especially given the whole Diva malarkey that's been going on...

Celeste * Ramos said...

how terrible! but good on you for making them aware that it's not acceptable. I'm a fashion illustrator myself and if an illustration does not come from a royalty-free resource then it cannot be used. All industry professions should know that for sure. Sometimes they use vendor's/factories (eg China, India) to create graphics for their range and this is where rules are vague. But Australian (and many other countries) copyright laws will stand by the original artist.
Good luck Kelly, it's a good think they are doing what they can to take the goods off, it would have done them damage they will learn from (or should). Definitely keep pushing that this is not acceptable.

Kelly said...

^Exactly right. It seems as though they have sourced the print from another supplier. Which I assume isn't based in Australia.

I'm sure alot of you have probably come across an item of clothing with an 'in house' label sewn in...and then seen that exact same item in another store with THEIR 'in house' label sewn in. This happens alot with the cheaper chain stores who source designs from a third party.
It's all about high turnover and profit.
So in that wouldn't surprise me if my work has been sold to other companies other than VG.

It's just a shame that buyers for stores like this have no way of knowing if the designs are original or not before putting them on the product. I guess all prints are bought on good faith.
There's risk with anything I suppose.

Allison said...

Wow ... this is awful. I'm feeling this kind of thing is happening too often. I saw this case last week -
and a couple of others. The internet is such a wonderful tool for designers/ Illustrators to show case their work but unfortunately makes it sooo easy for people to rip it off. I'm not sure what the answer is. A copyright tag over images only covers a small part. If these people really wanted to steal work they could erase this in photoshop. I wish someone would invent some kind of digital signature that you can somehow lock to your file, though I guess this doesn't stop people scanning in art themselves. I hope you find the culprit.

Kelly said...

^ It's extremely disheartening to know that there is literally NOTHING you can do about it.

I think raising awareness about the regularity in which this sort of thing happens is the most important thing.
There will always be dishonest and disrespectful people in the world who are out to make a quick buck.

But hopefully the more people who realise how often this happens - and in our own backyard no less - the more it will help them to make a more informed decision as to where they choose to shop from now on.

Celeste * Ramos said...

don't get too disheartened Kelly, your style is beautiful and you have a strong 'handwriting' that says it's yours. It happens to the best of artists - unfortunately. will keep a look out for you over here in Canada, and I'm sure the rest of your fans in other countries. your work and talent is well appreciated and you'll only get bigger and more successful. <3

Kelly said...

^ Thanks Celeste.
Haha I love the idea of all of us looking out for each other like spies.

Karla said...

yes, got to be careful.
Cheap labels love profiting off someone elses ideas. Unfortunatly, such is life.

jessie said...

that is horrible! but at least like everyone has said, they have removed it form the stores which doesn't excuse it in the first place but at least is some action. it is sad that there isn't much that can be done too, but i guess this is what happens. i had someone else selling cards with my prints on them which was a bit embarassing when i said something to the lass at the stall and she didn't really have an explaination.

marelle said...

that's fucked! ...lucky you found out though.

i wonder how much these 'rip-off artists' are actually getting away with???

JoolzGirl said...

This is what is both great and terrible about the internet: you have access to a much wider audience, and can be scammed from anywhere in the world. I'm just glad that people are reporting this - I think as people become more aware that this is going on, it makes them more vigilant. Sorry it happened to you - and its a great result that they had to pull the tshirts as surely it will make them more careful about where these things come from in future!

Alex. said...


I'm on holiday in Melb right now and saw this top in the ValleyGirl at Melbourne Central today! I wandered right in and took a photo of it on my phone, and I've borrowed my friend's computer, all armed and ready to send the evidence to you!

SO glad you already know about this and are getting it sorted. Considering how they've butchered the image I was pretty sure you hadn't authorised the use of it. Oooooh, I did my best not to stomp on in and demand they take it off the racks, but I guess the girls behind the counter don't have anything to do with the designs they use, so I restrained myself ;)

I hope they can track down the culprit (though I know the chances are slim), but hooray for worldwide art spies!!

Kelly said...

^ Haha I totally understand. It was actually two of my friends who spotted it and called me. I'm surprised they didn't go in and start abusing the staff. But obviously they have absolutely NOTHING to do with it.

It's definitely a good result to see them pulled from stores. Whether or not it actually happens is another story but so far that's what i've been told is going to happen.

But thank you for getting onto your gadgets ready for some evidence! ;) xx

Lilly said...

Wow, how frustrating :/

Everyone who reads this would be 100% behind you of course. I hope Valleygirl were profusely apologetic about this..

(keep up the beautiful work)

tobaccoandleather said...

that is so sad, im very sorry to see this, and especially to such a beautfil drawing.

i really need to start putting a copyright thing on mine, it's a shame we have too do that.

but good luck getting it sorted, i hope you find the little f*cker.

anyone who has seen your work before, will know you did not let this happen!


maie maie said...

holy crap!! omg this is my fave illustration of yours1 i can't believe they ripped it off! i sued to work in Valleygirl, an di used to think H.O were so dodgy! i'm going to ask my friend who still works there if the top is still in stock!

// E R I N said...


how low.

everyone knows your work is more amazing than that lame reproduction.


Kelly said...

^Thanks Erin! x

And Maie - I don't know how long it will take for a memo to go out. I was only told a few days ago that they intended to pull it from stores.
I never take anyones word for gospel - especially that of someones who's done wrong in the first place. So we'll see! Hopefully it does come out asap!

Noemi Sunshine Ferst said...

Oh my god hon!
This is an outrage!
I am completely amazed at how calmy you're handeling this!
I can't even imagine what I would do if this happened to me!
Probably hunt down the culprit, sequestrate and torture him and leave him to die a slow and painful death...
My poor sweet Kelly, this is truly a travesty and tradgedy!
Your beautiful work portrayed on a lower than low support!
You really don't deserve this abomination!
It just makes me so furious and so sad!
Meet you in NY for some Sleeping Beauty cheering up?!

Kelly said...

^ OH cookie you're so sweet x
I think I used up all my anger in the first 10 mins when I found out. My hands were literally shaking I was mad like 'Oh my fucking God what do I do?'
But then I just got in contact with someone and it seems to have sorted itself out!
The whole ripping thing in general infuriates me! But I LOVE how everyone just bands together in these situations. Maybe that attributes to my calmness???

carly said...

THAT is ridic.
sorry girl.
that is really sad.
there is no raw crativity in the world anymore.
you did the right thing.

Jess said...

That's crazy, I can't believe someone can get away with that. I do often wonder where they get the prints from but you always presume they've gone through the right channels. It must have been such a shock, well I hope you get compensation for them destroying your work like this.

jenavie said...

That's just lame lame lame. Why do people do that. Glad to know you caught them & i hope you find the culprit and sue their bums.

Elissa said...


KAELA said...

Shiiiit. I feel for you - how horrible it all must feel.
The creative world is scary like that... thank you for sharing this with us! It's important everyone know these sorts of things happen.

All the best x


rejenerate said...

That is UNBELIEVABLE! I guess you just have to focus on the positives and take it as a compliment...??

Anyway, one more reason not to shop at Valley Girl etc

Jay Dee said...

Hi. I don't know if I should be bringing this up again or if you alraedy know - but they're selling a baby T with the same picture on it here in Malaysia. It's a store called Salad and apparently everything from Salad is imported from Hong Kong. JFYI. o_O

Kelly said...

^ No I didn't - but thanks for letting me know!
I assumed that whoever sold the tee to VG had most likely sold it to other places.
Such bullshit. Makes me angry that I can't control it - I just hope that Valley Girl take it up with the company they bought it from!

Kelly said...

Rejenerate: I guess you're right.
Although it's a bit hard to feel flattered when you're so angry! :)
But it's out of my hands so all I can do is get over it.
It makes me wild - but as long as I'm making people aware that it happens that's the main thing.

handmade romance said...

sheez this is bulls*. and happening so much more these days which is hugely disappointing for everyone creating with integrity and originality like yourself. so sorry to see and here about this, unfriggin believable!! x


im so sorry this happened top you kelly,
your work is far too good to be ripped of by such an insult as vally girl.
i wish they could witch hunt all the cheating copycats out there..


Lolita said...

Wow, that's a wake up call, isn't it? I'm really sorry it has happened to you. For a while now I've been avoiding these cheap chain stores because so many of their clothes are tacky etc. It's rare that I find things I like, but I'm too poor to spend up unfortunately :) I've taken a liking to making my own clothes, gives a bit more individuality.

Anyway, I hope this doesn't happen to you again, and thanks for the warning that this is happening. I'm glad VG are discontinuing it at least.


Lillian said...

I can't believe how badly they butchered your work. I am extremely angry and frustrated for you!

le pearl said...

Argh how pathetic! If I ran things at Valleygirl I would totally track down the culprit in their design team >:{

Luxi said...

that sux! I never say that, but realli that does. that t-shirt doesn't do your drawin any justice. How could someone do that? horrible. You are destined for greatness so don't worry


Louise - PaperandPen said...

That´s horrible! I really hope everything works out for you. Keep on doing your thing because your art is amazing!

// Louise -

Louise - PaperandPen said...

That´s horrible! I really hope everything works out for you. Keep on doing your thing because your art is amazing!

// Louise -

Moorea Seal said...

OH MY GOSH! that is so horrible! I am so sorry that happened girl! I just don't understand all the mean and sneaky people in the world sometimes.

Coco said...

Hey Kelly, I just did a post on this to spread the word :)