When I shared a post last month about having my artwork stolen by South American fashion retailer Luigi Bertolli, I could have never imagined the ripple effect that the post would make, or what the outcome would be from it…
Each one of your words of support and encouragement meant the world to me. It was incredible to no longer feel so isolated with my frustration. Many of you spread the word about my situation on your social media channels and within a few hours Luigi Bertolli began removing the posts that you shared on their Facebook page. But you guys didn’t stop…you kept posting, and by the next day Luigi Bertolli said that they’d be reaching out to me. That seemed unlikely, but after several days I finally did hear from them. They offered up a short excuse that “they took the artwork offline and didn’t have any intention to use it improperly,” and that I’d be hearing from their lawyer. Unfortunately by this point I learned that I was not the only victim of this company. One of my favorite artists, Michelle Morin also had her work stolen by Luigi Bertolli for an unauthorized t-shirt design (she posted about it on Instagram).
After that first email, I didn’t hear from Luigi Bertolli again for quite a while. I was starting to think that they were just jerking me around, when many days later their lawyer emailed me. He sent me a brief statement saying that the designs that had been created with my artwork have been removed from their stores and that a situation like this would never happen again. I have no physical way to prove that their statement is true, so if any of you in Brazil find yourself in a Luigi Bertolli shop in the near future, I’d love for you to keep an eye open to make sure that they have in fact removed the shirts as they say they have.
Even without proof however, I still feel a sense of relief that the outcome that I had been hoping for actually came about. And YOU are the reason why this happened! A resolution such as this would have never occurred without you and this amazing community we are a part of. Your support brings to mind one of my favorite quotes: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead
I am endlessly grateful for each one of you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
And finally this experience inspired me to illustrate a new print: “When Life Hands You Lemons.” I can’t wait to share the whole thing with you, and add it to my shop when it gets back from the printer! The image above is just little corner sneak peek! xo Ez