Jess Fink has a lot of fans

jess fink tshirt comparison

One of these things is A LOT like the other. The one on the left is the Jess Fink original.

By Jessica Pasko

When Troy artist Jess Fink isn't designing art for video games, creating logos, illustrating children's books, doing caricatures or writing irreverently funny comic strips, she designs really cool t-shirts. She's designed shirts for bands like Fall Out Boy and Less than Jake, and she creates original designs for websites like Threadless.com. She's pretty awesome, and a lot of people like her work. Some like it a little too much.

As it turns out, Jess has gained herself lots of fans. And a few imitators. Unfortunately, in the graphic arts business, imitation isn't always sincere --or flattering. A while back, Jess discovered that clothing retailer Hot Topic was selling a shirt that was a little too similar to a design she did for Threadless. And more recently, she learned that clothing chain Forever 21 was selling a shirt suspiciously similar to another of her Threadless designs.

Hot topic chalks it all up to coincidence. They say their freelance designers look at a lot of clip art for inspiration. And technically, there's not much Jess can do, since Threadless owns the copyright to the designs in question. But, she says, it's more a matter of principle. "It's just really kind of painful. You're not making much money on this stuff....it's just kind of a slap in the face."

Is she still designing for Threadless? Yes. And she's got plenty of other work to keep her busy. These days Jess is focused on her blog and her funny, but a little bit heartbreaking web comic, Finkenstein, where she travels back in time to give advice to her junior high school self. And really, how many of us wish we could do that?

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

The week ahead

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (warm, wet), to Christmas,... (more)

This week was brought to you by

This week was brought to you by gifts, latkes, donuts, candles, sparkly lights and a partridge in a pear tree. It was also brought to... (more)

A quick recap of the week

Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA: + Daniel and the Best Dozen stopped in at Stewart's for donuts. + Christina... (more)

10x10: Casinos, John Oliver, new spots

A while back we did a thing where wrote 10 reviews/comments in no more than 10 words each. People seemed to like it, and it... (more)

Holiday gifts: Deanna Fox

Gifts and giving are on most everyone's mind this month. So we thought we'd ask a few people to share some thoughts on presents, past... (more)

Recent Comments

... I tend to ask questions that make the person think about what they just said. I ask it sweetly and in a tone that notes confusion on my part. I have been called honey in the office and asked the person, " Can I ask what you mean when you call me honey? Because you don't call John honey." It calls out that he's treating you differently for being a woman. If he still doesn't get it, you can be more direct: "I appreciate that you respect my work and treat me equally, but I wouldn't want others to think otherwise based on how you address me."

Capital Region gets $60 million in Regional Economic Development Awards

...has 1 comment, most recently from Peter Lacovara

Good sledding hills?

...has 7 comments, most recently from MikeH

Where to get latkes?

...has 15 comments, most recently from xina

Miss Pearl: Who you calling honey, sugar?

...has 14 comments, most recently from mtnbiker

Local food gifts

...has 10 comments, most recently from Carolyn