Deviant Login Shop  Join deviantART for FREE Take the Tour

More from deviantART


Submitted on
August 29, 2012


4 (who?)

Art thieves/Jewelry resellers >( + musings

Journal Entry: Wed Aug 29, 2012, 6:12 AM
Add a Comment:
moonfrogflying Sep 1, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
I have always thought that I would like to try making jewelry, but I have trouble trying to put a premade jumpring onto something without half destroying it, so....I think I will just save up my money and purchase it from talented designers such as yourself. It saddens me to know there are people out there that think nothing of dishonestly profitting off of someone elses work, I'm sorry this has happened to you and hope that it all gets straightened out soon and does not happen again. Your creations are beautiful.
Thank you for that! :) Well, there are areas of my life besides jewelry that I approach with the competence of a complete caveman.. (Like walking. The number of times I have tripped over thin air or fallen down stairs is embarrassing.) :P Anyhow, thank you, and if you are determined to practice jewelry, chainmail should provide enough experience for you to master the art of jumprings :D (My friend :iconarmoredkoi: is an example :love:)
Jadziana Oct 9, 2012  Student Writer
Iīm really fed up with art thieves right now. It seems to me that DA is nothing more than a place some people use to get art ( in whatever form ) they can steal and make money with other peopleīs talents. Itīs anoying. I think you should post the guyīs name and his shop here, on etsy and everywhere else so that people get to know what he does. And to take his customers away and make them buy from you instead. If he gets harrassed or something, well thatīs pretty much his own fault. And he deserves it anyway.
wr4ith0 Aug 31, 2012  Student General Artist
Just some thoughts on the post. Feel more than free to ignore; I've been reading up a lot on similar issue recently as I look at starting to sell my own stuff (i'm a bit of an obsessive reader)...

Hmm... Assuming anger stems from a couple fronts here. The fact your pieces were apparently resold off as his own using both your descriptions and pictography (heinous in it's own regard, even more indefensible if it turns out he found a way to make copycat pieces and not even buying from you). Considering the price difference, it would seem that part of the offense is that you are aware that you could probably be pricing your art higher, but would rather see your particular brand of awesome spread further and make more people's day than earn higher profit off of it (also you likely intend move more pieces than he does, his limited supply would drive up price [again assuming a lack of outright copy]). Now, copyright (in the U.S., and Singapore, and most if not all of the WTO, as I do not know this other artist's country of origin) should protect your right to the design. Any original piece is yours alone to remake until such a time as you decide to sell the right to remake it (or seventy years after your death ;P) unless he is operating outside the reach of those countries (unlikely). Even if the copyright is unregistered, any reproduction of your work is liable to you up to the amount of profit made off of it. If registered, the amount is revenue plus damages (I believe, I do admit a lack of more thorough research into Singapore's legal system as I do hail from the U.S.), effectively unbounded. Also to prevent resale, a statement to this intention can be made, say on your etsy page detailing a sort of terms and conditions of use (not valid everywhere, but it should carry some weight), basically saying that these pieces are not for commercial resale or reproduction. However as there is apparently enough force in the market to drive the prices up already, there will likely always be some resale of your pieces unless you raise the price to the point where you are meeting demand. If you do want to make as many people happy with your art as possible, it may end up being in your interest to deal directly with wholesalers/resellers, either selling off a couple designs for more mass production or specifically selling a couple pieces here and there in a more mercenary manner, taking a larger cut so that it doesn't sting as much when somebody takes an unwarranted profit off of your art. While your current approach is certainly noble, even if you do intend to do the world a favor, there is nothing wrong with making a little more profit off of some of your art. Selling at different price points to different markets (would it help if you thought of the more expensive resellers as a sort of gallery? If they were working with your permission and you received a larger cut, that would be essentially what it was) should actually increase your exposure and people you touch, even if it might slightly reduce the percentage of those you get to come in contact with personally(those that can only shell out for the mass produced, those that get a bargain and strike up a personal relationship with the artist through you, and those willing to pay more for a piece from a virtual or physical shop that houses a catalog of fine art for them to peruse). In addition the added income, even if not enough to make up for the partial loss of the initial selflessness is entirely deserved. This is not flattery; you are an excellent artist (don't let it go to your head tho' :P) and if you are having problems because your work is worth more than you are currently willing to sell it for, you do deserve the extra money that the work could be bringing in. The demand driving the price up is directly a result of your hard work and talent, (I would guess that your converted hourly wage on these things is abysmal... these are way too delicate and ornate to be anything but severely undervalued, time spent finding pieces, thinking about your work, doing the work, materials both directly and indirectly spent and say ten dollars an hour [somewhere about where you would begin at in my part of the world at least] would likely drive your prices into the stratosphere). That being said you don't have to, and there are ways to diffuse the current copying/reselling that is bothering you so much, though perhaps not without making more money. If it's the additional money bothering you, say, most of the current price goes towards the parts for new ones with a little spending money left over, then don't touch it. Put more towards tools and equipment, expanded tool sets lead to better work and more value for any other customers, put it towards additional schooling, rent, even a rainy day fund, or straight up investment. Anything that leaves you under a little less stress, with more time to do the things you love. Again, your stuff is awesome, but there shouldn't be any reason you can't have your cake and eat it too here.
Ah, that was a really long post, sorry if I missed out any points in my reply - I wasn't ignoring you, I've only just got back to DA, don't really have time more often than once a week or so.

It's not really so much about the legal ramifications of what he did, I don't actually particularly care about plagiarism/copyright/business laws. (In any case, here things like that are a non-issue in most realms besides education, or with large rich corporations.) I'm not so much into the business/profit side of things, I make things because I like to and it is the happiest of coincidences that people are willing to pay for them. My prices are not borderline by any means, because my profits pay for my school fees, and I definitely don't want to be working at less than minimum wage. At the same time the demand is also not overwhelming (probably because of the high prices and niche market), so it's enough for me to get by without overworking myself.

So it's not really about feeling like I'm undercharging (I'm really not, and in fact when I've been contacted previously about reselling, I sell to retailers at a lower price that allows them to resell at a price consistent with my Etsy.) Online at least, there shouldn't be any outrageous overheads that a physical store would require. Right now I sell through Etsy exclusively though (if only he would take down the site!!), and for me that's good enough as I think that gallery shows require a sort of standard and quality that I cannot with good conscience say my work reflects right now. Been working on that though, like you said, investing in courses and new equipment and branching out into new forms of jewelry that I think allow for much greater development of quality.

That's why although this upsets me, it's not as bad as it could be because my focus has in a large part shifted away from (what I personally feel) are petty matters that aren't worth my time and money to hunt to extinction. I don't need a court case or anything, really, to soothe my ruffled feathers - as far as I'm concerned, as long as I don't sell anything to him, he can't profit off my items, and that's that. Whether or not he takes down the site is out of my control, and exasperating, yes, but again - not worth the fight.

Thank you for the long comment, it has helped me a lot to talk this out with someone who can parse out the nuances of me being inarticulately upset, as I tend to be ;P (both on this journal and on my blog) Sorry again for the late reply, and best of luck to you too in selling your work! If you need help with Etsy (though I assume you're not selling jewelry), I might still be able to help a little if you're got questions on selling online in general :hug:
wr4ith0 Sep 4, 2012  Student General Artist
cool. I was personally looking at watercolors, once I get a decent stock set up. Yeah, I know exactly what you mean about the lawsuit... those are really weapons of the last resort, just wanted to mention it so you knew (or felt the need to inform him about where he stood anyways... still any sort of aggression promptly closes off the far more mutually beneficial avenues of cooperation...)

btw... I kinda like articulating things myself ;p... it leads to fairly lengthy posts, however I never really worry about the reply (as long as I don't offend through nosing in where I don't belong). I more than understand lapsing the nature of this sort of messaging, and combined with my near total lack of long term time sense and adhd tend to forget about things once I've sent them into the void until they are brought once again to my attention. That being said I might just take you up on that offer when I get wings out and ready to fly. The shipping (especially international) seemed to be the biggest hassle, and I probably want that figured out before I start offering things for sale...

Also I'm looking at what sort of packaging I'd be using. It'd be really really cool to send the watercolors out encased in two clear sheets held together by screws at the corner. I'm considering acid etching my logo (a stylized version of my deviantart user emblem actually)on to the back along with something along the lines of "wr4ith0 studios" and it'd be really sweet to have a shipping method that could double as a display. However I'm really worried plexiglass is too fragile and would crack fairly often in transit, and I'm not really sure what I'd wrap it in (maybe some sort of thick perhaps waxed shipping paper?). I'd really like to find out if there is some sort of plastic that could be counted on to make the trip hale, and still be clear enough to use as a frame on arrival. (details-> edges electrical taped to be fairly-waterproof in transit). If you know anybody with similar experience, or who could perhaps recommend a gauge of plexiglass or something that would be really cool. Frankly tho' I'm still kicking around ideas, and I just switched schools and majors, so I'm a fair bit from actually launching. (I'd tell you the name, but I haven't actually grabbed it yet, can't have poaching [link])
Ahh, when I first shipped my jewelry out I had NO IDEA at all - and the first few pieces were pretty much destroyed in the mail. :D Thank goodness for understanding customers! What I do now is put my things in a box with crushed paper, then pop that in a padded envelope. Shipping costs aren't actually that hard to calculate - I charge flat rate shipping worldwide for $6, it shouldn't be much more than that for your paintings if you can fit them in an A4 envelope. And the shipping cost doesn't include tracking and insurance for me, because my country's mail system is pretty good and I've never lost anything so far- though I do give customers the option to pay extra if they want me to arrange tracking, insurance, or express mail. I know in the US (unlike here) you can actually print your own stamps and tracking labels so you don't have to go down to the post office every single time! :) (If I'm not mistaken is one of the sites you can do that at.)

I don't know anyone who ships stuff like that personally, but once I bought I couple of prints, and she shipped it sandwiched between two pieces of regular cardboard in a glassine bag, held together with fancy ribbon/paper. It looked pretty good. :)

I think plexiglass is really too fragile, you'd end up having to ship in a box of bubble wrap. How about acrylic? (Or it might be called perspex where you are, not really sure.) It's a really durable plastic that comes in sheets of different colours, thickness and sizes, and it's definitely lighter than plexiglass. And it's strong, so you can probably just get the 2mm thick ones and put your painting in between. I think it can be etched too, like glass - what I've actually seen my friend do is print a template on a sticker, put it on the acrylic and sand the exposed parts so they become matte. (similar to glass etching) It's available at craft stores here so it shouldn't be that hard to find where you live..or you could always go on Amazon :D

Aughh yes, school is such a drag - (I major in literature and have 25 books this semester, gosh.) I have midterms in a week so it might be quite some time before my next reply! ^^; If you don't mind me asking, what are you studying?
wr4ith0 Sep 11, 2012  Student General Artist
...dang, it's strange to think I'm talking to somebody on the other side of the world. Sadly, given the state of american geography education I actually had to wikipedia it to figure out quite where Singapore was located. That in mind, I'd probably guess that English might not be your only language, but you write like you've been speaking it from birth(better than most really, but without the noticeable stiffness that usually gives people away). Makes it doubly strange to think I'm talking to somebody who's more than a road trip away. :) Well anyways...

Acrylic's an awesome idea... looking at options and tutorials now. I hadn't really gotten to the point of researching the practicality of my shipping ideas (tho' the printed labels are boss; can't think of how many times I've had to return something under warranty and the company just emailed me the shipping bar code). Does your friend use a palm or hand sander? I'm interested that the stickers don't fall off (unless of course he has a sand blaster... not sure how I'd get access to one of those myself. I've been putting off the watercolors a bit as school just started, but if I wait too long I'm gonna have to be dealing with the winter. It gets cold here in Wisconsin and my workshop is a "playhouse" that my dad and I built one summer so it's not heated. Hard to do watercolor if your pigment's frozen. Somehow I doubt you really need to contend with that yourself ;P.

I'm an English (Creative Writing Emphasis) major with art and computer science minors (although there is a small chance that I might double major instead in one of those). Actually, I just switched from a C.S. major (to it being a minor instead) and I am loving the fact my homework now consists almost solely of essays and reading instead of math. :P I only have thirteen textbooks this semester myself. Outside of class I love to read about the art of making video games, stories, and other media (and consume the works myself). I've taken a smattering of art and English classes over the years, but until I transferred and changed majors this year I was mostly autodidactic in the pursuit of the stuff I'm really interested in (I love technology, it doesn't necessarily love me). I read obsessively and love to play video and tabletop games with people (and some sports, just not really the traditional ones). I decided I was probably going to end up a writer back in eighth grade (do you have the same primary school divisions? I find it unlikely...), and have been working on an actual book in my free time for the last six years or so, the change in majors is really a refocusing from an uneasy compromise between job security and interests, to full boar chasing the dream (well mostly anyways).

Good luck with your midterms, and don't let me be your excuse to procrastinate too much (;p cause that's totally what I do from time to time)
Spot on with every point. Especially the bits on building on the works of others past. I believe it was Sir Issac Newton who said," If I have seen further than others it is only because I have stood on the shoulders of giants". That applies to most all advances in everything be it art, music, writing or science.

One point though about resellers - IF they approach you to resell and a deal is worked out including original credit, well that's just the biz. You make a profit and they do too (off the folks who don't know about the source). Reselling others works and claiming it as their own - hang 'em! If someone want to resell items, I'm baffled why they would not just work out a deal with the original artist and keep everything legal.
Yes, yes, I've seen that quote and it is brilliant :D

And spot on, with your second point - my sentiments exactly :) It's not much trouble to work out a deal with artists in any case, so it's inexcusable laziness and greed when you can't even be bothered to ask for permission.
Add a Comment: