One of the nice things about being an artist in the digital age is that people from other countries have my paintings on their walls and my shirts on their backs. They find my stuff on the internet and contact me through my web page.
One of the bad things about the Internet is that people can find art online, copy it, and then sell it themselves. Recently someone contacted me to say they liked my Animal Eye Chart best out of all the designs they found. I often check on Google for my own name, and the name of my tees; don’t tell me you’ve never Googled yourself. This time I found two new Animal Eye Chart shirts on the WWW. When I last checked there were none.
Here are the two I found
I made this shirt in 2005, so I’ve had it around for quite some time. It’s one of my best sellers; continuing to sell it helps me to afford experimenting with new designs. Did they copy my design? In my heart I think they did. I doubt it’s because I don’t, in general, trust people (I’ve been known to leave my car door open but that’s another story). The reason is because anyone into tees spends a lot of time looking right where aim my shirts on the web: Etsy and Google. Yet who knows, they might have come up with the design on their own.
So I’m left wondering whether I should ignore the similar designs, or shoot these people/business an email. After a little more searching, number one on the list seems to be a large chain, yikes.