Stop Thief!


15 Responses to “Stop Thief!”
  1. Ella says:

    Liz, this is really horrifying. There is nothing available in this world that is only good or only bad, and this ‘illustrates’ just that… The internet, through its mass of wires and wizardry is an amazing tool to communicate and find information with the touch of a keypad, but clearly in the hands of a ‘thief’ wrongful things can occur. But again, it also gave you a forum to warn other artists…

    Hope to see you again soon.

  2. margot says:

    he has a lot of nerve! that is horrible and thank you for your advice because i will keep this in mind when posting work online!!
    i’m sorry this happened to you, but thank you for sharing!!

  3. Elias says:

    Wow, I think Ella hit the nail on the head when she called this horrifying.

    One always hears of this kind of thing happening, but I guess no one really expects it to happen to them. And you, Liz, being a professional illustrator, one might think your work is so recognizable it would be safe from this kind of thing, but I guess it really may just make it worse.

    I’m glad you’ve decided to watermark your work from now on. It is terrible to have to go to such lengths, because your pieces are really great, but it seems that reasons like this are why we can’t have nice things. Bah.

    I understand why you blurred out the name and info, but I can’t say I would have done the same under the circumstances. I know it’s not my call, but personally, I would have tried exposing this little thief every way i could…but I digress.

    Thanks for the warning, and I hope you visit NJCU again soon! In the meantime, keep on sculptin’! :]

  4. Aline says:

    He had a ridiculous attitude..Unfortunately we have to have precautions to avoid this robbery type..

  5. Giovanni says:

    Hey Liz,

    What a piece of work this guy is! Thanks for sharing this story with us, I hope this “Thief” gets what he deserves.

  6. Lorraine says:

    Hey Liz,

    I think that it is so unfortunate that people feel the need to steal from someone else and call it their own, rather than put in the time, talent and effort it takes to actually get there themselves. You know that you are an amazing talent and that LOTS of people have your back, so hopefully this will never happen again. Perhaps when the thief gets a job on the merit of work that is not his own, he will realize that it takes real talent to create work of that calibre.

  7. Bob says:

    Liz I love your work so much , Now just trying to see what I want you to sculpt for me

  8. liz says:

    Thank you all for your comments + support! I posted this in the hopes it will make people take precautions when posting their work online. I do not want to create a world of angry people, just cautious and careful artists.
    Love you all! xo liz

  9. Paula says:

    Please tell us who is the guy that stole the design. Because we had to report this abuses.

  10. Ömer says:

    Who’s the guy?

  11. Luis Ditter says:

    Very good!
    Is a good idea to share the hisory with us…here in Brazil we need be careful with the pictures…wathermarks sometimes aren´t helping…the robbers are cutting the image and doing your name disapear…it’s a shame the case was happened in my wonderful country…but the important is that the guy was discovered and deleted the photos…congratulations Liz!!!

  12. Beata Szpura says:

    Dear Liz,
    Thank you fro sharing the story. It is horrifying. I think the only legal protection we have is to keep registering the copyright in Washington DC. Keep creating and shake the bad memory off. It is all frustrating!

  13. Chris says:

    This frustrates me so much, you really can’t have anything these days, someone always wants to steal it or ruin it! I also don’t see the point- if someone was to commission him what’s he going to do? Wait until you or David create a close enough piece and steal that too. At least you’re well known enough for it to have been recognised as your own work, he could have gone on for years with the work of an unknown artist.
    On a cheerier note I’d never heard of Bob Causey until now, wow!

  14. Joanne Codi says:

    Liz, you ROCK!

    You are so incredibly talented and now I see that you are brave and compassionate, as well. Good for you to stand up to this NO TALENT BUM and go out of your way to alert your fellow artisans.

    You have definitely been a wonderful new addition to my stable of friends.

  15. Aida says:

    actually, I think the concept is adbaorle (conversation heart cookies) and the work is nice, too.Kinda makes me want to make some of my own (with my own messages…like FUZZ BUTT for the dog)I want to hear the back story on that cookie, though(by the way, Jenn, the WV never comes up when I first post…I have to hit submit, then it reloads and THEN I can read the word.)

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Stop Thief!

Posted: October 9, 2009 
Filed under: Info, Other Artists
Tagged: ,

Ahhh… the internet. I usually love it but recently I’ve had a brush with the dark side.

I love that I can connect with people who work in similar ways that I do, I can discover new artists, new clients and be inspired all without leaving my apartment (or getting up from my chair). My work is online so that art directors can view my portfolio and I haven’t had to use a printed portfolio in years. I also had most of my work on Flickr so I could share it with the world.

But then a few weeks ago I got an email from a very kind person in Brazil (let’s call her ‘kind new friend’) who took the time to let me know she had discovered an “artist” (let’s call him ‘Thief’) who had my images in his online portfolio. ‘Kind new friend’ sent me the link so I could see for myself and I was horrified! There were all of my sculpted illustrations and my cake toppers in Thief’s online gallery, under his name. He had even changed the name of the brides and grooms on my cake toppers!

At first I wanted to believe that Thief had my work up there because he liked it. But sadly it became clear that was not the case. His online portfolio is part of an interactive site where people can leave comments on his images and with the help of google translate, I could see that Thief was taking praise for creating my work. Nowhere on his site did he ever credit me for my work. Instead, he took the credit for making my work.

Then to my horror, I saw that he had other artists’ work in his galleries too! There were sculptures by my friend and constant source of inspiration, David O’Keefe. Thief had even taken Dave’s sculptures and used them in his profile/contact information pic, seen below. I have blurred out Thief’s name and contact info to save him the shame. All the sculptures on the left behind the large distorted face are Dave’s. But Dave’s name does not appear anywhere. Just Thief’s name, phone and email… leading anyone with half a brain to assume that Thief is the creator of these works.

thief's contact page

thief's contact page

With the translation help from ‘kind new friend’, I sent Thief a request asking him to please remove my images from his gallery. I told him if he liked them and wanted to show them, all he needed to do was ask me and credit me. But apparently it wasn’t just a case of admiring my work. It was stealing.

I asked that he please remove David O’keefe’s work too, and any other artist’s work from his gallery that wasn’t his… or at least that he wasn’t crediting. Thief wrote back with a very angry message. He said I had an ego problem.

He took down mine and Dave’s work.. but to this day Thief is still taking credit for the work of at least one other artist, the incredible sculptor Bob Causey. I have finally been able to contact him to let him know.

I am sharing this story in the hopes that it will serve as a warning to all you artists, photographers designers etc that share your work on the internet. Please be careful. From now on, all my portfolio images will be watermarked. It may not look as nice, but it’ll certainly be harder for someone else to claim credit when my name is stamped through the middle of an image.

Thank you again to my ‘kind new friend’!



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