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Artists Using Doll Likenesses without Crediting [Mijn Schatje discussion]

May 31, 2009

    1. It is NOT OK. Check out LKJ's journal entry (hope you don't mind, Jamie): http://ciaran-chayne.livejournal.com/84246.html

      She is making a huge profit, and gaining huge recognition, by passing off BJD sculptors' hard work as her own original "porcelain doll" characters (that is really what an online art magazine called them). Yes, she has done something completely different with them, and she is a very good artist with a unique style. But the focal point of her works - which arguably draw so many people to her work because of their childishly-womanlike (quoted from the same online magazine) gazes - is stolen. If she would just admit that she is inspired by them there shouldn't a problem, but she is clearly denying it and trying to pass them off as her own.

      It's so disgusting, I can't even express my anger in words.

      Mod added (for continuity after creating new thread):
      Please also see this link, as much of the thread is based on this information:

      LUTS response in this thread:

      DIM responses in this thread:

      We all ask that you not contact the artists or galleries because the companies and individual victims of image theft are handling the situation themselves Those who have compiled links have done so not so people can bombard or harrass these places, but to increase awareness.

      So far, contacted:

      Doll Companies
      Blue Fairy
      Doll In Mind


      Corey Helford Gallery
      Kochxbos Gallery Amsterdam
      Compound Gallery
      CPop Gallery
      Arts Factory
      Wasteland Gallery (Australia)

      Sony Playstation
      Studio Ghibli
      Lisa Frank Inc

      Scott Thom and Gilbert Williams
      Sue Dawe
      Audrey Kawasaki

      Blogs/Online Publications
      Warmtoast Cafe
      Lost at E Minor
      Cool Hunter (removed)

    2. But this artist's works are traced from stock photos on the original sites of specific BJDs.
      Reference is A-ok. there's nothing wrong with saying 'that's a great pose, I love that!'
      But to trace over someone else's stock photos without credit or even asking? That's stealing.
      Real artists can be inspired by many things, including still life artists. But their work isn't photo-perfect or a cheap trace job. The artists own representation is there. Painting a still life using dolls is fine. They're your dolls to paint, sculptor credit or not. But if someone traced over the painting you did of your dolls and sold it, without giving you any credit? It's stealing, isn't it?
      If this had happened once or twice I could blow it off to coincidence.
      But here's a link to at least 15 dolls and comparisons to 'her' work:

      If she was just using the pose, but not the exact face, not the exact same look; I probably wouldn't have had a problem. This is such an obvious copycat job, though....
      It's almost mocking! It's not even entirely about not crediting the creators though that is a large part. It's that this person stole someone else's work without so much as a 'by your leave,' and is getting rewarded for being a swindler.
    3. Perhaps this is a little... wicked of me... but does anyone think perhaps contacting the gallery where she's having her latest show and informing them her work is ripped off from BJD photography, providing those clear examples, might be a good idea? I'm sure the gallery would be extremely interested to hear that she's an art thief. Or perhaps I'm just a bit too mean? :lol:

    4. I don't think it's mean at all. I think it would be the right thing to do seeing as she's pretty much stealing the images and calling them her own original creations. She's also denying any knowledge of BJD's at all, which if you have a look at the link a few posts up with the comparison's is pretty laughable.

      And its not only company pictures she's ripping off, but owner pictures as well. That makes me mad to think that this lady is making hundreds of dollars on pretty much someone elses photo's that she ganked from the internet. D:

      I hate art theft with a passion :/
    5. Totally agree!

      This tracing thing is totally disgusting. Seriously, she would be banned even from our tiny little amateur anime art contests! And she sells prints for $1000 and has art shows?! The hardest-to-make parts of her works are totally copied.

      I wouldn't mind if someone got inspired by dolls, (hell, I, too draw my dolls though you'd never recognize them) or used dolls as reference. It would be nice if they gave credit, but I can even imagine that an artist saw a doll in passing and doesn't even remember it conscoiusly just paints a picture where others can recognise said doll.

      But a picture where every point matches perfectly with another picture? Noone can tell me that's not traced! And that's stealing, plain and simple. Not giving credit makes it even more outrageous, especially because I'm pretty sure that the reason she avoids giving credit is because the minute someone saw the 'reference' picture they would know that it's just traced.

      I'm thoroughly disgusted.
    6. The way I look at it is I would be pissed off it was my photographs he/she was taking, copying over, calling her own and making a profit. So why the hell should I not be pissed off that she/he are doing it to other people. Its like cheating on a test, you're doing none of the hard work and yet still getting credit for it.
    7. How disgusting!
      She's a talented enough artist without needing to steal from other people...

      Ehryn, I don't think it would be mean to inform galleries about her. More people should know about what she does.
    8. Actually, it's not. It's not at all the same.

      You can not copyright a human face.

      I can walk up to you, take a photo of you and make millions off of it and there's nothing you can do, unless it's something potentially humiliating, like you picking your nose. Then you can claim defamation.

      But these sculpts are copyrighted. It's probably better to say it's exactly the same as going up to any modern statue and doing a protrait of that and selling it as "untitled"
      It's very very blurry when it comes to copyright, and it's high risk.
      Unless it's a study or a still life. But in that case, it HAS to be credited as a study or a still life.

      Unfortunately, you won't be able to pin this girl with anything major. Yes her use of what appears to be tracing is absolutely the armpit of artistic society, but there is a disgusting little loophole in the art copyright law that kills any chance of actually taking realistic action against her.
      If an image is changed by at least 20%, it becomes "Original"
      I've seen more then one really talented original artist bitten in the backside for this, one girl even had one of her works traced and changed ever so slightly and sold on tshirts at a REALLY major brandname store and could do nothing about it, while the company grossed millions from the sale.

      The very fact her images are drawn, and not the photographs is all she needs to get off scott free.

      It's sickening, it's horrible, and it's really tragic that pathetic little slimeballs with no artistic originality make it big off the back of someone elses hard work.
      But that's art. That's business. Nothing is sacred.

      But submit the evidence. If nothing else it might actually tarnish her reputation for originality, and as an original artist who's been slogging it the hard way for nine solid years, I hopes she goes down and goes down hard. *viciously angry*
    9. The thing I hate most is that she's taking all credit for creating those faces herself and is making a killing too. When really, it's the work of the sculptors, photographers and faceup artists, and none of them are getting any recognition at all as the original artists who created them, and they aren't seeing a cent of this money. She might as well have stolen every cent she makes on those pictures, because none of it is because of her 'originality' at all.
    10. since those are only drawings, it can not be considered as an art theft.
      also, there's no need to point out that everything with joints is a BJD.
    11. She even took Blastkmilk's St. Trina :(
      I didn't know people could do this and make a living off taking other people's photograghy, trace over it then sell the prints for $1,000-1,7000. Those stolen pictures are up in art galleries with people praising her and throwing money at her. If this is legal then no artist is safe from being ripped off.
    12. I can walk up to you, take a photo of you and make millions off of it and there's nothing you can do, unless it's something potentially humiliating, like you picking your nose. Then you can claim defamation.

      I don't know about your country, but in my country this isn't legal. If you use a photo of someone in a commercial (advertising) fashion, you have to have permission. My company couldn't find the stock photos they needed to purchase, so they brought in employees in that demographic and took their photos. They couldn't just go do street snaps of random people.

      Tabloids are different. If something is "news worthy" - it falls under different guidelines than commercial use.

      Edit: A big problem with art theft comes from certain countries that do not recognize international copyright law, if someone copies your work and mass produces it in one of those countries, there really isn't much you can do.
    13. I think you are missing the point in regards to what is being discussed specifically about Mijn Schatje. If you look at the link provided in chizzie_shark's post, you can tell that her "paintings" are traced (vectored) over pics that are taken directly from either the company's website or taken directly from bjd owners own pics.

      Using other people's work without permission and claiming it as your own for profit is, frankly, theft. If the pics were taken with permission and the proper people credited then it wouldn't be as much of an issue.
    14. I'm kinda sad people are willing to pay 1,000 dollars for her prints when the actual doll probably costs less than that.. :(
    15. They are priced at that - who knows if they selling? Regardless of the indignation expressed here over her sourcing? The work simply isn't very good or interesting, imho. I think the only way a piece would sell is if it happened to match the couch of someone with far more money than taste.
    16. True, but in the case of Mijn Schatje this doesn't apply, 'cause she's a Dutch (or at least European) living in France and as far as I know both that country and the Netherlands recognize international copyright law.
    17. Recently there was a case of a guy who found a photo of Obama and painted an exact copy of it and sold prints of it. The photographer was livid... and they won the case because the painter did not ask permission to use the image.

      Some of the people with their photos stolen are American. Even if they couldn't make her cease and desist, they could probably still throw legal issues at the art galleries who show the copy of their own work. Current copyright laws are that it's copyrighted to you until 75 years after your death.

      One of the responses to the livejournal was from one of the photographers and she's angry. She would have the right to have the copy of her work removed from the gallery showing it in the USA.
    18. me and my gf did a quick google search on this mijn schatje artist and we came across a body art forum. people are getting her stolen artwork tattooed on their bodies. holy hell :horror:
    19. That's so shocking, I had no idea she was tracing :barf
      I was under the impression she had BJDs or was using her friends BJDs as models.

      That puts quite a different light on it, especially considering the price of her paintings.
      I'm so glad I never had the opportunity to buy any of her work now.
    20. That's a good example of the split hairs you get when copying artworks- if he'd changed it that required 20%, he'd have gotten away with it.

      Kinyono- I was talking about journalism and taking photos for art stock, Sorry I didn't make it clear!:sweat I didn't know about advertising laws- but thanks for clearing it up!

      You're right about loose copyright laws in different countries, I speak only for Australia, Britain and the US when I mention the 20% copyright law. But look at doujinshi in Japan, for example, using someone elses comic- their characters mainly, and selling it. And that's perfectly legal (though I think there's a modercurm of permission needed) as many of the artists see it as advertising.

      The other problem with her art is it's clearly Pop Art, which has a nasty history of copying- the most classic case being Roy Litchenstein who blatently copied comic panels into large artworks and walked away with it, scott free because it was "reinterpretation in the name of art" and his paintings now go for millions while I simply couldn't name any of the comic he stole the panels from.

      MaskTheEnd- I'm not quite sure what point you're trying to make? Could you reiterate?

      prettyhatemachine but if I didn't know it was stolen, I would think she was quite good, though i would have been thrown by how dramatically her style differs on the faces. (everything else is very sharp and clean, but the faces are very soft and organic- it's not the sort of thing that happens naturally on an artist's signature style- though it can be forced) So her fans are most likely completely unaware she's an art theif.