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.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Yep, this summer was unusually hot

Summer ends this weekend.* And it's been hot -- unusually so, by a few measures. One of those is 90+ degree days. The Albany area... (more)

Newburgh, Catskill, Troy

Those three cities get the "Next Hudson, but maybe different?" treatment from New York Magazine. Earlier: A check list for Upstate Place/Rust Belt City is... (more)

Stuff to do this weekend

Welcome to the first weekend of fall -- otherwise known as festival season in the Capital Region. This weekend's festivals include music, hot air balloons,... (more)

The old riverfront and the old bridge

Random historical photo we stumbled across while looking for something else: This aerial photo of the Albany riverfront is from 1969 and shows the... (more)

Hudson Valley Gamer Con

Video games are now being treated like sports. Colleges are fielding teams. And some of those teams will be at the Albany Capital Center March... (more)

Recent Comments

La Mexicana is a treasure. We always buy a few packages of the Chorizo and freeze them (after stopping in for tacos) -Great market and really cool restaurant.

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 1 comment, most recently from Nancy

A look around the Maiden House residential + retail conversion in downtown Albany

...has 9 comments, most recently from Jeff D

Silver Fox Salvage is closing

...has 1 comment, most recently from Daleyplanit

Where to buy Mexican-style chorizo?

...has 9 comments, most recently from WCF

Friend connections across space and time

...has 1 comment, most recently from h