They have no original talent, and they are thieves who risk copyright infringement. Yet, they make money selling your imagery on their canvases.
It happens to visual artists who put their work out on the internet. You can watermark or protect your images in a number of technical ways, none of which will deter them. Fakes, copies, knockoffs-- a huge problem for this country and others when copyrights and trademarks aren't respected. Consumers foot the bill for it because there is no free ride. If you're any good at your art or craft, you will be copied.
I recently got a little suspicious of some of the hits on my works that didn't quite fit the profile of my market--multiple hits from same source addresses was curious, too. Without searching for "similar" imagery, I decided to take a look at another less professional site many professional artists join that is heavily populated with a great variety of talents, skills and techniques.
Bingo! Look at all that copying going on over there! No respect for others, and ignorance of trademark laws, too. Do they not know that if you paint a portrait of an angry bird, you'd better have a license. Guess not. Do they not know they cannot lift my image from my website, change a little color in a little line and call it their art? Guess not. Here's a link about copyright Art Legalities. Professional artists copyright their art and give notice of that fact. We don't contact thieves, our legal teams do.
Funny thing happened on my way to that other site, so funny that I laughed all afternoon over it. I posted recently about a fellow on a paid website who had 12,000 images Keyword Worth a Thousand Pictures and I have to admit, I find it hard to believe but it's true, the works are all his original works. His style is totally unique and reflects his training. Evidently, he has been copied by the untalented thief who also copied my images.
But wait, there's more! The untalented thief who copied me and the other fellow was copied by another very successful untalented thief on that same website. Both untalented thieves "toot their own horn" quite loudly about their talents in their profiles. Amazing.
A few years ago I was in an interior design store when their "Art" vendor arrived. He pulled his truck to the back of the store and unloaded dozens of paintings in the parking lot for the design team to see. Being an observant and curious painter, I followed along and got into a discussion with the vendor about the art and the pricing. Of course I didn't tell him I'm a painter.
This load of paintings was sourced offshore for pennies on the dollar and sold to designers for "wholesale" as original art. These paintings were blatant copies of European masters. Though both the quality of the painting and framing were ghastly, they were "original art" and would be sold for top dollar. This link is an example of higher quality "original art" from one of many offshore sources michael-wolfs-copy-artists. (My old favorite, Vincent, is in this batch.)
You, too, can have your works produced offshore. Sadly, though, you probably won't be aware that a thief has taken your work. Should you discover you've been ripped-off, domestically or offshore, you can do as I did and have a good laugh about it, or you can get tough with the thieves right away. I prefer to wait patiently until they've built a very strong case of infringement. I haven't traced down the offshore multiple hits I'm getting. Yet.
Please don't hesitate to share how you've dealt with this unpleasant business on your sites, or link your blogs.
Update on my domain GailKentStudio.com :
Year-end; Holidays, Not-Quite-There-Yet Skillset, Perfect Florida Weather, - I'm working on it!
Plan is to list large traditional paintings done from the small field works, such as Harbor Sunset, that I've posted this Summer. I have 3 beautiful landscapes almost completed with more to come, painting daily -
All the best,
Gail Kent Studios
Find me or my work at the following addresses:
Twitter - Twitter.com/@Gail_Kent, and Facebook - www.facebook.com/GailKentStudio