After a windy cycle to the studio yesterday, I decided to go to Primark for some snazzy cycling shorts to pop on under my dress and prevent any further pant flashing. I was saddened to see a trace of one of my older illustrations on an awful orange jumper. Walking towards it thought 'oh god hasn't that shitty Paris graphic thing ended'*, not realising that I was part of it! RUBBISH.
Part of me thinks 'aah no big deal' and then the other gets overwhelmed that something I just did for myself, is going to be on thousands of garments all over Europe. Someone got paid for that, while I sit here like a lemon desperate to find illustration work, pay my rent and keep my integrity. It makes me so so sad.
I've had this happen twice in the last few months. A little while back a t shirt supplier/designer used by Urban Outfitters had a t shirt that was a copy of my 'make do and mend' image. A couple of things had been tweaked so the designer clearly knew what they were doing. Upon contact the company were useless, but they did pull the design and let me donate all of the shirts to Cats Protection charity shops. So if you're in the London area, you may find one! Buy it (so CP get some pennies) - then burn it. I couldn't really blog about it before, as I had just sold the rights to UO's U.S homeware department (only for one particular item, mind) and was still waiting on the check. To be fair UO were very professional about the manner, but some gift vouchers would have softened the frustration.
Since graduating I've worked in two design studios, and can see how this happens. A teeny tiny part of me even has sympathy for the designers. They have to work towards tight deadlines and bash as much marketable stuff as poss, so they look to blogs to see what's popular. I think they forget how small the internet makes the world.
Anyway, rant over. I wish there was something that could be done about this kind of thing. An apology e-mail doesn't really seem to be enough.
*I realise I do a lot of Paris/French stuff, but hopefully mine isn't as faddy.