Last Friday, artist Ophelia Chong had the kind of day most artist’s dread. On that fateful day she was told by one of her students that Starbucks was using graphics that looked a great deal like hers that … well, judge for yourself [above].
I asked Chong what it felt like when she saw the evidence for herself. This is what she responded with via email:
Scene: 30 seconds of staring at my cellphone with the image sent by my student.
Ophelia: WTF.WTF. OH MY GOD.
They are diluting my work, my brand.
Chong isn’t going to take this lying down and she’s retained a lawyer.
An accomplished designer, writers and illustrator, not to mention a professor and an artist who has six gallery shows in the last year alone, Chong has been active online for years. I asked her if this copyright infringement has dampened her enthusiasm to post her images online.
“No, it hasn’t changed my mind. All my work has been published through Flickr. I’ve had a website since 2000 and publishing on Flickr since 2006. I’ve had half a million views of my images since I started on Flickr,” she says proudly.
She knows that posting online has also exposed her work to more people and lead to book projects that she believes she would not have had otherwise. “I will not stop doing that. Posting online has gotten me a lot of work and a even a representative in New York. It’s a great tool. Whatever you do, just posting any image on the web, it can be taken. But if you don’t then how are people going to find you?” she says.
The artist says her book, containing her images and style, have been show to all the ad agencies by her reps, so she doesn’t understand why they simply didn’t hire her rather than rip her off. “It looks exactly like what I create,” she says. And she’s right. From the shape, to the style and the colors, there is an uncanny resemblance to her work.
“Starbucks has a motto on their Company page ‘Being a Responsible Company.’ It goes only as far as their doorstep when it comes to being responsible to the rights of artists,” she said on her personal blog.
Now it’s up to the courts to decide.
Once denounced as “women’s work” with no artistic merit, embroidery is experiencing a revival, with a feminist punch.
Inspired by the journey made by the epic hero Homer’s Odyssey, a show at Villa Carmignac combines myth with contemporary issues.
This new kunsthaus in Potsdam shows modern and contemporary works of art from East Germany in what was once a terrace restaurant.
Courtney Stephens’s documentary on women’s travels from the 1920s to ’50s presents not just personal glimpses into daily life a century ago but also documents of colonialism.
Laura Larson’s City of Incurable Women draws from archival materials to speculate on the lives of women who were famously hospitalized for hysteria throughout history.
The Philadelphia organization offers artists on-site access to recovered materials, studio space, construction equipment, a $1,000 stipend, and more.
The company is asking users to verify their bank details via Plaid, a fintech company that recently settled a privacy class action lawsuit.
Each artist will receive $190,000 in cash and benefits from the Tulsa Artist Fellowship over a three-year period.
Drawn to Life at the Ackland in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, showcases 17th-century Dutch drawings of landscapes, portraits, preparatory studies, and biblical and historical scenes.
The 1,000-year-old Cañada de la Virgen ceremonial site will be protected from encroaching development.
A total of 24 board members stepped down from their posts after the art center’s parent company allegedly attempted to terminate 12 of their colleagues.
A group of artists and writers denounced the center for hosting Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of the country’s former dictator.