***Updated – January 24, 2017***
Dear Miss Jenna is at it again. It appears that she still hasn’t learned her lesson to not steal from others. Some of the pieces are repeats from before, while others appear to be new items that she has stolen. The new items have been added to the list of images below. I am contacting the artists to inform them of the stolen work. This time, I might go ahead and inform my contacts in the media as well to bring more attention to this. Who knows? She had her chance, and she’s repeated her offense. No more playing nice now.
This may be a bit of a long post, so please bear with me. 😉
Yesterday (October 26th, 2015) I came across an article on Facebook that someone had posted about “If you don’t want your photos stolen, don’t post them online.” (A good read, if you’re concerned about it too.) Being an artist, this is definitely something that I worry about. Not a huge amount that I lose sleep over it, but enough that I check every so often to see if I find my art being used in a manner that I do not like or permit. By that I mean that they are not giving credit for my work, have edited it, or are claiming it as their own. Those are very big ‘no-nos’ in the art community. I don’t mind people sharing my art, by all means, share away. Just be sure to give me credit, do not edit my images in any way, and if possible, provide a link to my website or any of my social media accounts so that if people like my work, they can find me easily. It’s not a difficult concept. We all like to have recognition for our work, especially if it’s something we put a lot of time and effort into creating.
Having said that, yesterday, after reading the article linked above, I decided to do my periodical Google Image search. It’s very easy to do. You just open a new tab/window, go to images.google.com, and then drag any of your images over into their search bar and drop it there. Google has a nifty bit of coding that allows its servers to locate similar images. And when I say similar… I mean, it can find your images anywhere on the internet that they are posted. It’s quite a useful tool, especially for artists and photographers who are policing the usage of their own work. 🙂
Anyhoo, I was surprised when I dragged my portrait of David Bowie from the film Labyrinth over into the image search and a got a few hits that I didn’t recognize as my own, per-say. For starters, the images were black and white, or grey-scale. I have never uploaded that image online in anything but color, so that caught my attention right off the bat. I pulled up the image, which linked to an Etsy shop (that is now shut down) belonging to a “Jenna Lee Artist.” (out of Scotland) At first glance, I could immediately tell that it was my work, and that it had been Photoshopped. Upon further investigation into their shop, and their other social media accounts, the person who owned that shop had been taking/stealing other artist’s work and claiming it as their own going as far back as 2013! And had committed all three of my ‘no-nos’ previously mentioned by editing the original works, Photoshopping out their logos, watermarks, and signatures; only to replace the signatures with their own and claim the works as their own creations. [insert stream of expletives here]
Animated GIF showing my original artwork and the edited version that was stolen. Click to view in separate window.
I wanted to be absolutely positive that it was my work, so I lined the two images up, one over the other to change the opacity of her image over mine; and you can clearly see what and where my original work has been edited.
- The first thing is that obviously the color profile has been changed from color to black and white. (to fit with her description of being a “pencil” drawing. ha!)
- The contrast has also been changed slightly to make the blacks a bit darker and the whites a bit brighter.
- Then there is my logo and signature in the bottom right hand corner that have been removed, and a strange vine/floral Photoshop brush has been put over top of that to hide where her mistakes were in altering my original image.
- Next is the face. You can clearly see in my original image that there is a crease to the left side of the nose going over into the cheek of Bowie’s face. And also there are a few little lines below the eye on the left, and the mouth shape in my image is exactly Bowie’s lip shape, based on the reference photo that was used. In the stolen version, the crease near the nose, the lines under the eye, and the corners of the mouth have all been altered.
- The brick pattern in the background behind Bowie, the grout lines have been removed, and another Photoshop brush has been added to make it appear there are cracks in the image. (Several of the other stolen artworks also have the same Photoshop brushes in them as well, in exactly the same placements)
- There were also two (2) watermarks of my name running through his bangs/fringe of his hair, and near his neck around his Adam’s apple, and into the hair on the right side.
Between my original image and the stolen one, I can clearly see that my watermarks, logo, and signature have been cloned, blurred, and smudged out. These are all tools in Photoshop that are easy to use, but take a while to master. And no, they weren’t ‘masterfully’ done in this stolen piece. I’m not saying this as a jab or snide remark. I’m saying that anyone who works in Photoshop on a regular basis is going to recognize the use of these tools in alterations very easily if they are not done successfully. Even some people who have little to no Photoshop experience will notice these edits as well, if they have a good eye.
My own reference that I created.
Animated GIF Showing Layers being turned on and off in my original Layered PSD File.
And, as a brief side note, the main reason that I knew that this was my work and not someone else’s is because this portrait of Jareth/David Bowie is an amalgam of several images. There is no scene in the film, Labyrinth, that looks like this image. And to prove it, I have the original movie stills and promo images that I spliced together to create that look, which you can see in the thumbnail to the left. I don’t always show all of my ‘behind the scenes’, but in this case, I will do so. And also you’ll see that I still have the original layered PSD (Photoshop Document) file as well. The animated GIF to the right shows me turning the layers on and off. (If you guys ever wondered how I set up my files when painting digitally, I’m sure this GIF is informative, slightly.)
Screencap of my Etsy Message
Anyhow, enough about Jareth, lol. My first action was to contact this person on Etsy and have them remove the artwork that was clearly an altered version of my own. I did send them a message, but did not receive a reply. So then I began going through all of the works they were trying to sell in their Etsy shop, and began Google image searching for their original owners. It was at this point that I decided to make a post on my personal Facebook account, in addition to my Art Page on Facebook to warn others of this person.
Personal Facebook Post.
Facebook Art Page Post.
Friends and fellow artists came to my aide and assisted me in locating some of the original artist’s whose work had been stolen. I then took it upon myself to send out as many messages as possible that evening to those artists that had been found, to notify them of this person’s illegal actions and inform them of what had been done already to stop the person. Many of the artists had no idea, and thanked me for contacting them. A few were already aware, but had been unsuccessful at getting the images removed thus far. And this is where I have to give a HUGE Thank You to those who have stepped up and have been helping us find the remaining artists so that we can attempt to contact them and make them aware as well. And also another BIG Thank You for helping to report this person’s shop on Etsy and having it successfully removed! (Update 1/24/17 – new Etsy shop, but this has mostly photography. Not sure if it’s her or not though, but I’ll be researching to find out.)
Facebook Private Message I Sent
I also tried to contact her on her Google+ account by commenting on the stolen Jareth piece that she had posted, but my comment was deleted, and I was blocked. (As well as several friend’s comments on Google+ and her Facebook Page that had called her out) Good thing I have more than one Google account. 😉 I was able to go back and collect a few more of the images that she has edited and taken full credit for, and continue my image search for the original creators. I did send her one last message on Facebook, to which I know was seen, but never received a reply from her. And then some of those images on Google+ and her Facebook page started to disappear, so I moved on to her Twitter and Pinterest accounts where the images were still posted (but as of writing this now, almost all of them have been removed). I managed to grab a decent portion of the images though and have posted them at the bottom of this page, and they are linked to the originals and their creators.
Essentially, this entire blog post, along with all of the evidence, has been posted to showcase exactly what this Jenna Lee person has done; and to send a very strong message to her and those who may be thinking about doing something like this themselves. You will not get away with it, you will be found out, and you will be stopped. It’s just not cool. And it’s the quickest way to get a very large angry mob of artists after you. Not to mention the people who appreciate the artists and their work. 😉
Oh, and one last thing… If you really want to be an artist, great! Go out there and practice, take a few courses, ask or pay to be tutored by a professional artist, or watch some YouTube video tutorials; whatever it takes to help you improve your skill. Push yourself, try new mediums, paint or draw in different styles that you’re not fully comfortable with until you gain the skills in order to execute what you see in your mind onto paper, canvas, or on the computer. Basically, just get out there and DO THE WORK YOURSELF! Don’t steal from others and try to pass off their years of hard work as your own when you haven’t even hardly tried to better your own talents. This is a skill, a skill that not everyone is bestowed with. It’s something to cherish. And for some, it is their only means of supporting themselves and their families. How dare you try to take that away from someone and steal from them and their families! Shame on you! You owe an apology to everyone that you have stolen from! And yes, you will be monitored from now on. You brought this on yourself.
And for any artist who has been affected by Jenna Lee’s actions, here is her contact info and social media links:
Name: Jenna Burton-Cole Lee
LinkedIn Profile: (inactive) uk.linkedin.com/in/jennaleeartist
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/jennaleeartist
Google+ Page: plus.google.com/+Jenna-leeCoUk/posts
Pinterest Account: huk.pinterest.com/JBColeLee/
Instagram Account: www.instagram.com/jennascreativestudio/
Twitter Account: twitter.com/jenna2980/
She has now removed most of the images from all of her social media accounts; although a few images still remain. The larger images are a ‘gallery’ to view the ones that I could grab before she purged them all, and they show what she did. The smaller thumbnails below that actually link to the real Artist’s work.
Stolen/Edited by Jenna Lee (click images to view larger)
Links to the Originals
And as a special treat… I present to you the “Portraits of Jenna Lee” – I worked really hard on these, you guys! About 2 minutes each… applying Photoshop Filters! 😀
(Seriously, this is not meant to be mean, or offend, but simply to show how simple it is to do something like this and claim that you ‘drew’ it.)
Alright, I’m done with this… for now. 🙂 If anyone has any information to pass along regarding Jenna Lee, or her actions, please feel free to contact me. Thanks for reading, and remember, Sharing is Caring! 😉
Until next time…