I’ve just been hit by the worst case of art theft in my life. My fan illustration, The Great Wave off Kanto, is being sold on phone cases through some of the shadiest websites I’ve ever seen, and there’s nothing I can do to contact them.
Most of these sites have contact pages, but their emails bounce, their phone numbers are fake, and the American addresses they list show empty farms and fields on google maps. The location listed on the contact page for shadeyou.com says their store address is on the corner of a California farm. Another one, lovedrstyle.com seems to be run out of an abandoned warehouse in Illinois. These sellers are likely somewhere in Asia and are trying to cover their tracks.
I’m not the only small artist these anonymous websites are stealing from either.
I feel powerless. This post is an attempt to warn people away from these sites and demonstrate what some of the knockoffs look like. These kind of anonymous sellers can’t be stopped, so it’s up to us to know what to look for when buying a product from a small artist. I know most people buying this particular design won’t realize that it comes from a small artist, but it doesn’t seem like there is much else I can do.
- If the phone case has a black, white, or colored edge/border, it is a knockoff. I only offer phone cases through Redubble and Society6, and both sites print all-over cases. It may only be a matter of time before all-over case knockoffs start showing up, (there are currently two fakes ebay).
- If the phone case has a signature in the top right corner underneath the kanji, it is a knockoff. I put my signature in that corner for Teefury prints only. These people likely purchased and scanned a print from Teefury while it was being sold there for a limited time.
- If the image looks squished or pinched in any way, it is a knockoff.
Here are all the websites to avoid purchasing my art from, as of this post:
- anything linked from wanelo.com
So far I’ve had success in removing the cases from several sites, (amazon, ioffer, a few knockoff pillow cases from aliexpress) but most of the others have ignored my emails and calls or made it impossible to get in touch, so I cannot send them a cease and desist.
Please keep in mind, if a product by a small artist isn’t coming from their personal store, (Storenvy, Etsy) or service that prints art on products while crediting the artist, (Redbubble, Society6) then you’re running the risk of purchasing a knockoff, and the artist who made it sees no support. If you see someplace selling The Great Wave off Kanto and it’s NOT from my Redubble, Storenvy, Society6, or INPRNT – it’s not me!!
All my sales go directly towards paying for rent and groceries every month, and it’s the same for many other artists. Please be careful where you buy art from!