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

Today's moment of window shopping

The Great Finds thrift store on Washington Ave by Townsend Park in Albany always has a beautiful window displays. It was especially true on a... (more)

EMPAC spring 2018 season

The schedule for the spring 2018 season at EMPAC is out. And, as with each season there, it's full of all sorts of new, unusual,... (more)

Holiday gifts: Anasha Cummings

Gifts and giving are on most everyone's mind this month. So we're again asking people to share some thoughts on presents, past and present, charities... (more)

Stuff to do this weekend

These are the days that can sometimes be too busy to fully enjoy. So between the shopping and wrapping and baking and crossing off holiday... (more)

Morning Blend

Mero double murder trial The jury is now deliberating in the trial of Edward Mero for the deaths of Megan Cunningham and Shelby Countermine. During... (more)

Recent Comments

It's a definitely a start. Liking the thinking. The innovative redevelopment of unused/underused spaces only stands to benefit a city and its region, serving as an inspiration to others around the world. Mix that in with the addition of more parks, greenery and public spaces and you've got a higher quality of life across the board. ...

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 2 comments, most recently from Some one

Surveying the hot food at Stewart's

...has 21 comments, most recently from Eric Scheirer Stott

There's still time to get a flu shot

...has 5 comments, most recently from jsc

Where to get a custom pint glass?

...has 5 comments, most recently from jsc

What's up with the Albany Skyway, and a few bits about plans to makeover a key piece of downtown

...has 8 comments, most recently from jimmy