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 summer

It's been fun catching a few quick glimpses over the last week as these baby birds grow. At some point that nest is probably going... (more)

Hey there: Nathan Hoffmann, war reenactor

Last weekend 20-year-old Nathan J. Hoffmann was in the middle of an army field hospital with wounded and bleeding soldiers near Rochester. Everyone was healed... (more)

Baconfest at City Beer Hall

Could be tasty: City Beer Hall's Baconfest is back this weekend. The annual celebration of porcine deliciousness starts this Saturday at 3pm. Stations will be... (more)

Where to celebrate National Tequila Day

So it turns out today is National Tequila Day. Yep, that's a thing. And Alisa wrote with a question: National Tequila Day is Thursday July... (more)

Cherry Plain State Park

This summer I'm visiting local state parks and getting the scoop on each one. Today I'm stopping at Cherry Plain State Park. I've also already... (more)

Recent Comments

Although it's outside the Capital Region and so naturally isn't included in the AOA listing, as ever I remind everyone that the Dutchess County Fair is the biggest of all NYS county fairs and worth the trip to Rhinebeck.

Hey there: Nathan Hoffmann, war reenactor

...has 1 comment, most recently from Eric Scheirer Stott

Where to celebrate National Tequila Day

...has 5 comments, most recently from Alisa

Cherry Plain State Park

...has 5 comments, most recently from ethan

Moules Frites at Brewery Ommegang

...has 3 comments, most recently from theshakes

Remembering Friday nights in Troy

...has 8 comments, most recently from BS