There’s a long story to this one. I usually draw these from life – but in this case it’s from a photo. I did it as a thanks to a web-friend I only know as Osiris11. I don’t know Osiris IRL, but I he helped me out last year, so I said I’d do him a sketch as thanks. He sent a shot of his friend Amy, I lost that email for about a year. We eventually got back in touch and here’s the drawing.
So what happened is; one day Osiris mails me: ‘Hey’ – ‘I bought a print from a guy online, and the style seemed really familiar. Is this a copy of one of your drawings?’ Of course, it’s not just a copy, it actually *is* one of mine. And worse yet, Osiris sends me a link to an online store full of drawings, all stolen off my flickr site.
So we go into action, find the person who registered the site (a freelance designer), call up a café and a regional art fair where the culprit is having ‘solo shows’. In short order we get this all shut down.
The designer is freaked to be dragged into it, the gallery owners are glad not to get involved. I never do hear from the bad guy himself, but I do end up finding out where he works. He had a few other online ID’s as well. Without being too specific, let’s say he was claiming to be a pro in an unlikely range of things.
Now here’s the good part. I already know this guy!
Well I know the name, and recognize his face from profile pics. About a year before the Osiris thing, I was contacted by model who says, ‘I’m looking at this painting signed ‘Taro’, and I think this is one of yours.’ Yup, it’s mine, it’s an oil painting I did for Art Undressed SF 2009.
She tells me she just walked away from the modeling gig because she had a bad feeling about the ‘artist’. The guy showed her a bunch of my stuff, trying to convinced her be tied up and made into erotic art.
Fortunately, said he’d done this oil painting ‘last night’ to show her what he could do, and she was savvy enough to think that sounded odd. And there was the part where he apparently signed it ‘Taro’. And I’m imagining he gave off a few other creep signals as well.
Whatever this guy’s deal is, he really really likes my art. And he really really wants to see the ladies tied up. And occasionally he tries to sell some of my stuff under various false names. It’s possible he might try again, who knows? Seems like he’s on a two year cycle.
But what’s cool is that he can’t seem to get away with it. It really does seem like the best defense against infringement, is having a lot of fans. Thousands of eyeballs, out there watching.
So thanks Osiris11, and long lost model with good instincts! Keep up the great work!