Copying is not flattery

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.. And that it may be, but trying to copy something and pass it off as your own is just stealing!
It was brought to my attention yesterday that 2 people were copying my work and selling it on etsy.  This is even more annoying since I am struggling financially and they are making money off my efforts. After looking around on etsy my Husband found several more people who had just copied the images off the internet and we making things with them to sell or in one case they painted copies and sold them. All of  these images were from a series I did for the 35th birthday celebration for Hello Kitty. I can’t even make things out of these designs because the copyright is held by Hello Kitty’s parent company Sanrio. I would need their permission first. I did 9 paintings for the event and several of them were my interpretation of some old masters paintings. There is a big difference between using another persons art as reference to create your own original piece of art and doing a copy and passing it off as your work.Here is an example of stealing. And the kicker here is this person had the balls to say the image was copyrighted to her!

Here is an example of doing your own version. I wanted it to have the look and feel of the original so you would know which old masters painting I was referencing, it was the point of the painting.
If someone were to do an homage to one of my pieces I would be flattered, especially if the mentioned referencing my work. But if they are copying my art and passing it off as their own, not so much. When I was in art classes we would occasionally copy an old masters piece (you can learn quite a bit from making a copy). But I would never have tried to pass off the piece I was learning from off as my own work.
Some may say “But Misha you have done the Last Supper several times in your work, Isn’t that a copy of the original?” and I would say yes I have Used the Last Supper many times and in each case I have used the well known painting to convey a message. The more some one knows the original the more they get my little jokes in the piece. It is very obvious that I am referencing and not making a copy.
I know that if I put my art out there on the internet it will run the risk of being stolen, it is a risk I have to take to get my work to be known. And in a way the fact some one thought my work was good enough to make them money is a bit of a compliment. But the fact is that if you takes someone elses work and make a profit from it, you are stealing.

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One Response to “Copying is not flattery”

  1. I’m so sorry Misha. This is the worst kind of thievery. I PRAY that these people receive some karmic retribution and swiftly.

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