Black indie artist sees artwork, a Nipsey Hussle portrait, sold by Walmart — without permission, she says
Artist Jeresneyka Rose (left) says she was stunned to find out her portrait of Nipsey Hussle (right) was sold by Walmart without her permission. (Photo: @ArtByRizzo)
When artist Jeresneyka Rose signed up on her Instagram one morning in early February, she received the shock of her life: News from people struck that her design - a digital portrait of the late rapper Nipsey Hussle - had been sold by Walmart. The catch? She had never given the retailer permission.
"People tagged me on social media to congratulate me on a collaboration I had no idea about," Colorado-based Rose told Yahoo Life. "I would never have known it without social media."
Since Rose's first tweet on February 4th about the whole ordeal, her post has garnered 263 retweets and has received tons of support, although not everyone responds with compassion.
Rose tells Yahoo Life that some have tried to blame her for stealing her own work, and says she should have done more to prevent it from happening in the first place. "I'll do myself anyway, and I think everyone should have the courage to do the same," she says.
Rose continues: "It takes courage to be an artist. Erykah Badu said it best, 'I am an artist and I am sensitive to my ish." Why should I minimize myself, dim [or] my lights because a company might try to take advantage of me? I'm already stepping on a limb and just following my dreams. "
The 29-year-old artist runs Art By Rizzo - the watermark on the artwork sold by Walmart. She says she started taking her talent for painting seriously about two years ago after getting tired of adjusting to society's idea of adulthood. "I've always loved art, but I've never really gotten into it. I've worked in corporate jobs, done 'normal' adult things, and tried to find myself. I went to college a bit," she says.
"[Art] was just very relaxing, therapeutic, especially [because] I am a person who struggles with fear and is learning to love who I am in a society that thinks we are not good enough," explains Rose that your passion for art initially took a back seat to social pressures.
"[Making art] filled my cup and I realized that it is more important to be happy or to do things that meet my passions, goals and objectives than monetary value. Yes, we have to work to live, but it was worth it for sacrificing my sanity? It wasn't, "says Rose.
Now Rose is using this unfortunate incident to raise awareness of a more widespread problem. "It's not just that it's a company - it happens every day to black artists and people of color and skin and women and impoverished people who don't have the resources and means to fight for themselves. We have. We have." no chance. It's bigger than me. "
Walmart did not respond to Yahoo Life's request for comment. However, it's not the first time the retailer has faced such an accusation from an artist: in 2017, graphic designer Deva Pardue called on the big brand to steal its nonprofit Frauenmarsch logo. The retailer pulled Perdue's designs off the shelves after receiving several cease and desist letters from her lawyer.
Other retailers, including Target, Winners, Rainbow, Fashion Nova, and Zara, have also been accused of ripping off designs by independent artists in order to sell them for a profit.
Confirming that she is seeking legal counsel, Rose notes, "I'm not savvy when it comes to things like this, but there are so many other artists out there that this happens and they never find out - they never get it . " Due diligence, so I just want to see what the process looks like. I just know that right is right and wrong is wrong - and that's wrong. "
She goes on to say, "I know morality, business and capitalism don't go together, but they should. We live in a world where the richest people can easily end world hunger and homelessness, and they choose not to, so they don't for something." that people can perceive so small, in the right hands it could really change the status quo of [protecting] intellectual property. "
She adds, "I don't think it's bad not to watermark your work, even though I did. I watermarked [my work] because the intuition is real. Something told me "I'm supposed to watermark them, and I don't usually do that." But I also don't think things like that should stop people from being themselves, posting online, and sharing their work. I think the burden should be on the companies - we should hold people accountable for stealing people's things [and] they are using it without their permission. "
Especially with the pandemic we're in right now, Rose emphasizes, "It's really difficult to come out and show your work in places and meet people in person. [Social media] is a great opportunity and resource for artists who I don't think we should stop using - not even me. "
Read more from Yahoo Life:
The viral TikTok video shows how social media trends have "colonized and whitewashed" black culture
From the Gorilla Glue mishap to 'The Bachelor', why is it so hard to give grace to black women?
"Shameful": Walmart stole the logo of the charitable women's march, claims the artist
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Pandemic increases costs for Costco
Sales increased, but so did Costco's costs. The warehouse club operator's quarterly profit missed Wall Street's targets as the retailer spent more on benefits for employees who went through the pandemic and cleaned up their businesses. The profit margins of American retailers continued to be depressed by the effects of the pandemic. They had already invested heavily in reducing delivery times as there was so much online demand from people ordering from home. Costco was handing out bonuses to workers at the start of the pandemic outbreak and raising the minimum wage to $ 16 from March, one dollar more than Amazon and Target. However, Costco did well in the top line. Sales rose to significantly beat estimates as online sales increased nearly 76% year over year. Costco stock fell early on the day of trading, deepening its 15% loss for the year.
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