Friday, November 8, 2013


My design for the 2014 Tea Towel contest organised by Spoonflower was placed 68th with 128 votes out of 195 entries. Not bad considering it is quite a while since I took part in one of their contests and it would be true to say that 'I am a bit rusty'. Pleased with the result I will make an effort to contribute to their contests more often and get back in the swing of things.

However the BIG NEWS FROM SPOONFLOWER is quite something else. Whilst voting in the 2014 Tea Towel contest I noticed a design which was strikingly like my entry in the same contest from last year. Well, strikingly is really a bit of an understatement, it was almost identical and looked like it had been just 'traced' over. The lady had'nt even bothered to change the colour palette but had lovingly added a few different birds (instead of my owls) which were also copied from Charley Harper's designs! (no less)

I immediately contacted Spoonflower and pointed out the dirty deed, however this morning I got another shock to find out that the copied design had been placed 11th in the final voting. So here my philosophical laughing now turned to rage. I contacted Spoonflower again and also left a very sarcastic comment for the lady who was already celebrating her success! Above you can see the two designs and decide for yourself. I asked some of my Surface Pattern friends what they thought and not one disagreed with my opinion that 'YES' my design had been copied. There can be a fine line between inspiration and plagiarism and I think this lady definitly exaggerated and just plain copied. The stupid thing is to put the design back up on Spoonflower in a contest where it is quite easy to be found out!
Spoonflower have not replied to me yet and I find this a bit disconcerting, but the lady's design has mysteriously disappeared from the Spoonflower site this afternoon and I believe her account too! I hope this will be the final outcome as it is what I requested Spoonflower to do in the first place. This will not stop the lady copying someone else but at least it may make her think twice next time.
I take it as a compliment that someone should like my design so much to copy it so blatantly and it has certainly made for an 'interesting day'! 


  1. This is so shocking! And is one thing I've been hearing about more and more as of recently. It's such a shame for artists to be ripped of like this and really puts you off putting any artwork out there. I hope you get this properly sorted out and hear back from them!

    1. Thank you Lauren for taking time to comment. Yes, it is very annoying when you find someone has deliberately copied a design but it is a risk we all take when showing our work on the www. The lady in question will be receiving a letter from me soon and I hope it will be enough to warn her off from even thinking of doing anything like this again!