A very very inspired artist or a rip-off?

We all know there is a fine line between inspiration and rip-off. A few months ago I stumbled on what I thought were Mike Perry’s illustrations on Society6. Turns out it wasn’t his work but that of Max F.

I really love Mike Perry’s work and find it quite inspiring but I really feel this Max guy’s style is way too close to the original… same patterns, same shapes, same elements (clouds, bricks, diamonds, eyes, stars, tiny house, faces…) What do you think? Am I just too paranoid or is it really too much?

So which is which? These are really just a few examples but if you want to see for yourself:







Urban Outfitters says love/f*ck you

Urban Outfitters has been under some pretty intense heat lamps over the last week. They’re known for poaching some pretty great ideas by independent designers, but on the other hand, they’ve also given other independent designers their shot at making some decent coin. Here’s a great round-up over the latest kerfuffle over on Regretsy. What’s happened now is purely coincidental, I suppose, but it’s happened all the same.

I hit my local UO yesterday in the search for some decent denim. On my way out the door, I caught something and just stood and stared for a second. Here’s what caught my eye:

As seen in Urban Outfitters

Couldn’t really believe it, at first. I was pretty nonchalant about it. I had done something extremely similar to this around two years ago. I remember it being close to Valentine’s day, I was bummed about a situation I was in, and I thought to make either a screen print or t-shirt out of this design. I quickly mocked it up and I had posted it to a blog and it made a solid circulation around the Internet. Here’s the original mock-up:

As created two years ago

And here’s a link to someone who had re-blogged it, showing that it was posted more than two years ago.

So needless to say, I’m a little shocked and unsure where to turn with all of this, but here’s where things get a little sticky on my end and I’m hesitant to get the pitchforks out.

The computer that that file existed on has since died on me, completely kaput. No access to the hard drive. And secondly, I have deleted the blog that the image was originally posted on. Now, I know it’s entirely possible for the powers that be to access some back logs and show that my email address was tied to “theholyghost” at one point, and there were many friends that I had made in the Tumblr community that can vouch for me.

I’m not entirely sure what I’d like to get out of all of this – but one thing is for sure. I just want UO to stop poaching ideas. That’s all there is. Now, is this idea incredibly unique? Maybe. I obviously thought so when I created it. And I’m passionate enough about it now to do something about it.

And e-mail has been sent to UO. Let’s see how this goes.


No word from UO yet. But looks like a clothing designer named David Scalese may be the one behind all of this. On the official UO site, the shirt is listed as “Deter I Just Want To t-shirt”. Deter Clothing is the brand that Scalese works under and it appears as though he freelances for bigger companies, including UO.

I’d like to thank everyone for all the re-blogs and re-tweets and getting the word out. It’s very much appreciated. I’m seeking legal advice as I type and hopefully we can get some clarity on all of this soon.

Realistic Metroid

Here is an illustration I made a while back of my interpretation of a Metroid. The concept was based on the idea of it having a working anatomy, including visible organs that each had a specific function to fill the requirements of a complete physiology.



A lot of effort went into designing the functioning system of its body, followed by many designs for each organ. After that, I spent a full month illustrating it with colored pencils and even wrote an in-depth study of how it functions and survives with help from a biologist friend. So it would make sense that I would recognize these elements anywhere else, right?




This here is Billy Magnuson’s “Metroid concept” which he says is his “own vision of the Metroid” and that he “wanted it to contain organs and stuff to look like it would actuelly function in some way, not bones and stuff but more like a brain with everything attached directly on to it.” Oh, I see. Organs and stuff. He also claims he “simply drew it with paper and a pencil and threw it into ps to give it some color.”


Except he didn’t. Having spent so much time on each element of my own, I recognized every inch of this Photoshop copy/paste mess, as described below.


OBEY clothing Does It Again.

OBEY clothing has a knack for completely and blatantly ripping off artwork from people/cultures around the world. However, this never hit home like it did when I came across this Obey shirt in a Zumiez in NorCal. Blind Lady Ale House, a San Diego based Ale House/Eatery/Gallery space, is something special. I have had several art shows there, and the people couldn’t get any friendlier. The owner is a great designer who actually does all of Jack Johnson’s artwork. So when I saw OBEY clothing COMPLETELY steal his design, I was furious. See more of his image theft at http://www.art-for-a-change.com/Obey/index.htm.


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