illos,  Shop Talk

Stop Thief!

It’s going to be hard for me to write this post so please bear with me. I’m full of emotion and not really in the right frame of mind to be putting sentences together.

stop thief 1

You may have heard that one of my illustrations got stolen and has been used as the masthead for a website that gathers news and helpful hints for mothers. It’s bad enough that they are using my illustration as their main logo and top graphic but they’ve also plastered that same image on every single cafépress item available. My illo that I created from my heart is plastered like baby throw up all over teddy bears and mugs and t-shirts. I am ill. I would never do this. I would never let anyone do this. It is sickening.

stop thief 2

About a year ago I sold this image to a company (who is NOT momsbuzz) who holds all rights to it. I am under contract to this company. This company and only this company can use this graphic. So what does this mean? It means that I have all the legal rights in the world to bust the mom site who is using my image. But it also means that I’ve been naive and an idiot to think I could share my work with the world wide internet and not have it get stolen. I have to take everything down and protect it.

I’m going back to ground zero. I’ve taken all my galleries down and protected all of my illustrations that were up on flickr. I’m starting over. I haven’t made up my mind what I’m going to do. I want to have a body of work up on the internet for people to see but I have to do it in such a way that it can’t get ripped off so easily.

I’m not a web designer and I don’t know flash so this is going to be something that takes a long time. It makes me sad but at the same time, starting fresh is always a good thing. I needed a redesign anyway.

MomsBuzz has until midnight tonight to take the image down. After that it’s war. I’ve asked nicely. I could sue for all the profits they’ve made off my image but I don’t want that. I just want my illustration back. I loved that little illo.

Update: A public apology has been made. It’s getting better.


  • Amanda

    I’m so sorry you had to go through this. It’s too bad really, that people can be so lame. Hopefully you will at least get an apology and maybe they’ll learn something from this situation (like for instance how stupid it is do take advantage of people and steal thier work and how they could have been up to their ears in trouble). Assholes.

  • aunt kathy

    I’m so glad you got things straightened out. I hope it wasn’t messy. I checked that blog yesterday and today and am glad to see that what was up yesterday is now down today. (Your designs/pics are soooo much better!) Take care.

  • PennyMichelle

    Kick some butt!! I’m sorry you’re having to go through all of this…it makes me nervous to have all of my photography out there as well…i’m thinking i need to take everything down and watermark it. what a severe bummer. dang. i hope to hear good news about the results soon!



  • Saple


    I, in no way, run a widely read website or anything like that but I do have to say that I routinely “borrow” images from the WWW for internal documents at work and such….

    I never claim them as my own or try and plaster them onto cafepress items..

  • Miss Vicky

    So weird. This afternoon I checked and the image seemed to have been removed (although still showed up as an icon on firefox). I just visited again and it seems to be back on their masthead?!?! What the heck?!

  • Sleepynita

    I am so sad that you feel like you need to remove your artwork. I love your art. :( I am pleased that they took it down though!

    WHat a week, everyone is getting stolen from.

  • Sleepynita

    I even emailed them after the fact telling them what I thought of their theft.

    Thanks for removing Br**** P*****’s illustrations from your site. I find it sickening that you would steal artwork from a site (which was commissioned by a different company) and have the nerve to create Cafe Press items with it. I hope that you will be reimbursing B***** appropriately for the amount of time you used her art and for the money you generated selling items with her image on them.

    As well I would like to thank you for making an artist and blogger so scared of future thefts that she is pulling all of her illustrations from her blog.

    Your ethics make me sick.

  • jonb

    I’m a graphic/web designer and a non-professional photographer. I use flickr because it’s a great easy way to upload and organzie lots of photos at once. There is a setting under “your account” that prevents people from dowloading the images; that’s what I do. I also don’t allow people to view high-res images.

    I’m just finishing a website for a photographer. I convinced her that she needed a flash for this very reason. It’s not fool-proof, but does prevent people from dragging and dropping images.

    good luck with everything.

  • krystyn

    It’s a sad, thieving world out there. As a web designer I’ve had my own work stolen countless times — from CSS to full site templates. I’ve even seen contracted work I’ve done for Squarespace on WordPress sites. It’s lame.