A very ugly secret…

Dec 20, 2010

This industry that so many of us love and work very hard to make money at with our ideas and classes has a very ugly secret. This industry has some in it that will make deals and not follow through. This industry has people in it who send nasty emails to artists accusing them of untruths.

Why do we as artists allow such treatment? Is it fear of ruffling feathers among the followers of these people? From now on I will not allow this… if my truths ruffle feathers well I am sorry, sometimes it is hard to accept people for whom and what they are. Their followers need to realize and accept it as well and be thankful that they have been saved from such treatment from these people as eventually it will happen to them too. People who do not stick to their word and end up making money off of other artists should really look within and they too need to accept the person they are… unethical thieves. Those who do not stick to their word or follow through on promises are not worthy of being in this industry. This industry is filled with wonderful artists that want to share their craft with others but the ugliness that comes from some makes it hard for some to want to continue in this industry.

When will we as artist’s band together and stop allowing each other to be treated so badly? We need to band together now and stop this treatment. We can hold those accountable without fear of repercussion especially if we band together. We can help others from going through what we have been dealt by those that are unethical in this industry.

I have personally been sent email from a person who tried to bully me. Then come to find out this very same person did the same thing to several other artist friends. This person seems to be very into sending the so called nasty grams. I never replied and took this person for what she was… intimidated. Let me just say I will never let that happen again. If this person is big enough to send a nasty gram I hope she is big enough to deal with being revealed as I will reveal her. I still have the email she sent me on January 1, 2009. I will not take this treatment ever again and I hope other artists will take this stand with me today, right now and forever.

I recently discovered this same person who sent me a nasty gram is not going to pay artists in full for work performed that she profited from. Thankfully, all the companies I have worked for have been professional and have always paid me in full for my services. If I were part of this talented group of artists, I would do my best to get all those involved to band together, request payment in full and accept no excuses on why payment cannot be given. You talented group of artists did your part. You kept your end of the deal and now you should be compensated as agreed upon. If payment is not given, you as a group need to out this person and spare others who will be dealt the same fate in the future.

This person is the first one to jump in and accuse people of copying her. Well let me just say I have discovered items that she has “designed” that I know were copied first hand by creating her pattern using two images I saw in Anthropologie not that long ago. As soon as I saw these two images I knew instantly she was heavily inspired by the designs I saw in Anthropologie. There is no doubt she copied these two designs it is that obvious. Did she give credit for her inspiration, of course not? Oh you copy cat you. You should be so ashamed of yourself. But you should be even more ashamed of yourself for not paying these artists for all the hard work they did so you would be successful. So you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done… so you can bask in all the glory. Shame on YOU!

And to think you consider yourself a Christian woman. Being a Christian is something you practice year round not just on Easter and Christmas. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas, I really do and while you sit in Mass on Christmas Eve, I hope you reflect on those people you cheated out of $1,000’s of dollars. These people, who most likely could use and were counting on that money this holiday season, while you and your family open up all your wonderful gifts I hope you reflect on those you did not pay and wonder just how they paid for their Christmas gifts. Shame on YOU!

I say to you artists never stop trying to get your money. You earned it. You did your part and now YOU SHOULD BE PAID in FULL!
Good luck to you all. Band together, stand strong and make this person do what is right!

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  • Lisa…I am so sorry to read that you have experienced something so hurtful at the hand of a fellow scrapbooker. Kudos to you for sharing your feelings & talking about this..from experience, talking brings healing.
    I hope your courage will inspire others who have suffered at ‘her’ hand to do the same.

    I hope the truth will shake loose what is owed to you.
    Strength to you.

    • Thanks, Kim. I do hope I have given those who have been treated poorly the strength to stand up for themselves.

  • Wow~ Lisa this sounds just terrible, please do let me know who to watch out for. I have had things of mine copied in the past and the gal then summited the “creation” to one of Somerset publications. I did confront her and she just lashed back at me and I did not get any support from others no one wanted to get involved. It’s happened more then once and it’s just shameful. I own your book and I love your work. I sure hope this group of artist do band together and let it be known who this person is so no one else gets burned. ~ Diane

    • I’m sorry to read you have had issues to Diane. So sad. I’m so glad you like my book.

  • Hi Lisa,
    I am so very sorry you have been so mistreated. I too, had an experience that I have forgiven, but will never forget. I pray that you find peace and am very proud that you are standing up for yourself.
    It deeply saddens me knowing that in this industry we all love so dearly, this kind of thing goes on ALL TOO OFTEN!
    much love and prayer,

    • Thanks Erin. I’m so sorry you too have been mistreated. It is all so sad.

  • I don’t really know what to say. I am so sorry this happened to you and others weren’t paid for their work. :(

  • I am so sorry Lisa…This is terrible! I have had ideas stolen from a well known person who I’m sure has made ….alot of money! I know the hurt and the anger it has caused. No acknowlegment, no nothing…but it is what it is and I have leaned from it. There was no momey involved as they just took off on my idea but it still hurts.

    So, that being said I hope these artists DO band together to stop this person from being so hurtful and mean…there is no room in this industry for someone like that.

    • I’m so sorry Char. I really do feel if we all band together we can make a difference. Hugs

  • oh no- I’m so sorry to hear this- I hope this person will pay and stop doing the stuff she does. I have had terrible experiences in this industry with payments too and it such a bad and sad exerience – because in my cases it were those that acted up the most friendly and trustworthy bussiness partners that later on didn’t hold their word.
    I wish you a wonderful Christmas!!!

    • Sadly Nathalie I have found myself staying clear of those that act all too friendly and overly trustworthy. Usually in the end you are the one who gets burned in the end. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas too.

  • Jen

    Dear Lisa:

    I am a very big believer in standing by those who seek to do right. I’m not an artist but am poring over websites and making many purchases to experiment with art journaling and mixed media. I would be very interested in learning who to avoid (and, certainly who to support) while proceeding in art with integrity. It hasn’t gone unnoticed that you’ve been kind enough not to use the artist’s name. The power of art and the importance of honesty and integrity are so rarely given their due and I would like to only stand behind practitioners of both. Merry Christmas!

    • Thanks for the kind words Jen. If you ever have any questions with techniques please feel free to email me and I will do my best to help you out. Art is wonderful. Merry Christmas!

  • Jennifer Boehme

    Good for you Lisa!

  • LindaSonia

    Yikes! Sometimes ugly secrets need to be brought out into the light – perhaps this person NEEDS to be exposed. So sorry, but not entirely surprised, that these unethical practices are occurring that cause hurt to others. I am not an artist, but have read blog posts from artists speaking to this very thing. It’s truly unfortunate.

    • You are right, it is truly unfortunate. But hopefully 2011 the guilty ones will begin to realize unethical practices will not be tolerated.

  • Although I am not in this industry I have met many people in it over the past year and unfortunately know exactly what you are talking about. I’ve seen a couple friends come up with original ideas only to have someone else (two big names in particular) take the ideas as their own and profit from it. I think you are right – these people need to be exposed.
    I’m a strong believer in karma and these people will get theirs – believe me.
    Please don’t let this put a dark cloud on your holiday. You are so incredibly talented!

    • Lisa I too am a strong believer in Karma and hope to see the guilty ones get theirs. Thank you for your kind words.

  • BrendaE

    Wow! this is the second type posting I have read recently regarding stealing of another’s work. I didn’t realize there were so many problems in the world of art. It makes you almost not even want to post anything you do for fear of being accused of stealing. Yikes – I hope everything works out for you Lisa as I do love your art and I have purchased your book which I just adore. Regardless of whatever it is I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and just want you to know how much I appreciate you sharing your art with the world.

    • Yes Brenda it does make you not want to post anything online but artists love to share their work with others as well as help encourage those to find their artistic passion. I feel everyone has it and seeing people blossom in art is so rewarding. I am so glad you like my book. Happy creating and Merry Christmas to you too.

  • Tina Collins

    Kuddos to you for speaking out!! You are extremely talented. What goes around comes around!

    • Thanks Tina. I do believe in Karma and it is going to hit some in a not so nice way.

  • I had a similar experience several years ago. A shop owner in fact, that is STILL open. I performed work, created projects for her, sent them to her. She used the ideas for classes that she taught around the country and then had the gall to tell me……when called on the carpet about non payment, that she considered what I had done for her inferior work and didn’t feel it necessary to pay me. I eventually got the majority of payment. Some of my project were even returned to me….they had been destroyed. Some of my projects I never saw again, but heard through others they were still on display in her store, at scrapping events and were still being used as the basis for classes from which she profited nicely.
    So good for you for standing your ground. May you have a Blessed holiday season.

    • So sorry to read this. I have heard of this happening all too many a time. Good for you for getting the majority of what was due to you. Wishing you all the best this holiday season.

  • patti

    Just wanted to say good for you and remember karma is a bitch and she will get you when you least expect it.

    Love and miss you, have a wonderful holiday season.


    • Hi Patti, I hope to see or hear she got a good case of Karma that has been due her for quite some time. Miss and love you too. Merry Christmas

  • “Ditto” everyone else’s comments here. I, too, have heard similar words from a couple of other artists. Between karma & the cliche of “what goes around comes around”, we can hope the person you’re speaking of gets hers, soon. And, like others here, I too wish I knew your “who” so as to avoid them, but understand that you must protect yourself, too.
    Sad, truly sad… The energy used to do wrong by anyone, could do so much good if used in better ways.

    • Nancy, I will never understand why some decide to use their energy to do wrong by others when they could do so much good instead. This has always puzzled me. It is so much easier to be nice.

  • I know how you feel, its awful. Soldier on. Tomorrow will reap many more rewards for you.

  • oh and thank you for teaching me how to tie a gift bow!

    • LOL… you are so welcome. They are so easy once you know the trick!

  • Despicable. I’ll never understand the nastiness and the evil that is in this industry.

    • Me either, Dina. It is amazing. But I am determined to make it better.

  • The more I see of the industry, the less I like it. People want to be treated fairly, but don’t seem to realize it when they’ve done something hurtful to someone else. Say they’ll do something and then totally blow it off. Like Patti said “Karma is a Bitch!” I love it.
    I’ve had experiences several times, and it’s amazing how “they” have the gaul to think they are the ones who’ve been wronged.

    Hang in there, and stick to your guns. Seems to be a lot of this going around lately in the blogs. There are still some great people out there to work with. I’m lucky to have found them.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and know you’re not alone in this!


    • Thanks, Linda. Sadly I know I am not alone on this one. Wishing you a Merry Christmas.

  • Cathy

    I am sorry that this or these dis-honest people have hurt you….. Blow it off Lisa, they’re not worth the stress. I do think that some people copy for their own profit. Sometimes maybe two people can have the same idea? One just beat it to the punch? I don’t know?
    Go on Creating Lisa, I too own your book and have taken a few of your classes. I love your work. Your inspiration is a great joy to me and my scrappin girl friends. Thank you for sharing.
    Merry Christmas….I think you should reveal this person and put them in their place. They know who they are……. Karma will get you!

    • Thanks, Cathy. I’m so glad you enjoy my work, book and workshops. I love sharing that is for sure. Wishing you a Merry Christmas.

  • Lisa….I just wanted to give you some hugs and support. You are the better person for this and “she” will get hers!

    Have a very Merry Christmas!

  • Susan

    It is sad, but true, that there are unethical people in the world. For those artists, like yourself, I’m sorry that these type of people cross your path. I appreciate you sharing your art and creative spirit. It is so inspirational to people, like myself. I do hope that those artists are compensated for their work because it’s the right thing to do. However, if they don’t receive compensation, just remember….what goes around comes around and I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of “karma” for the person who has acted in such an unethical manner.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you!!! :)

    • I hope so too Susan. They all worked so hard and deserve every single penny they earned. I love to share my art and will always do so. I know Karma will get those that acted in an unethical manner. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you too.

  • Donna C

    This is horrible! I trust people until they give me a reason not too and it sounds like she’s given you and other thousands of them! I am disappointed however that you have not shared who this is. I hate to un knowingly suppOrr dishonest people. Please let those of us who need to know privately.
    I have always admired your generous giving spirit and it’s disgusting to hear you have been treated like this. Hugs and Merry Christmas to you and the family.

    • Yes Donna she has given many people reason not to trust her. Hugs and Merry Christmas to you and your family too.

  • Claudia

    The only way these people or even any dishonest person gets away with these things is because their name is not put out there. I betcha if his/her name were out there… they wouldnt be doing it anymore and there would be a lot of loss in sales and respect for that person!
    I am all about standing up for the right thing. As long as you know you are 250% correct in all your statements, and know there are no direct repurcussions for you then out with the name, business, etc…
    I agree, karma is a bitch and Ive seen it unfold in the ugliest of ways, but outing a person for dishonesty especially in the artistic world where it is hard to copyright anything is better than sweet karma!

    • Oh I’m sure if her name was out there she would not be doing pulling such stunts. She is all about image, at least I think so. Eventually her name will come out people are not going to continue to put up with this kind of treatment. That will be sweet Karma for sure.

  • I know all too well the type of thing you are talking about.
    I will never understand why some people have to create ugliness in something that should just be about joy.
    {hugs} I hope you know I think the world of you!

    • It is sad isn’t it Tammy. I think the world of you too.

  • SuZeQ

    I am so sorry to read your words. You’re right – it’s an ugly secret. I kind of wish you would have revealed her name right here and now. Not that I am curious, but only so that her name would be out there. She deserves it. Unfortunately your words will probably go right over her head and she’ll think it’s somebody else that wronged you – certainly NOT HER.

    January 1, 2009 … what a great way she started off her year by sending you a nasty gram. A New Year’s Resolution?

    I just don’t understand people like her. Ugly. Conniving. Deceitful. Mean.

    I had a woman pull out her cell phone and take pictures of an album I created – every single page. She did this when I was away from the table (at a scrapbook store) – when I returned, she only had a few pages left and just continued on. It took me a few seconds to realize what she was doing – I was so flabberghasted, I never said a word – too stunned to speak! The worst part? She taught classes at the store we were in. I waited and waited to see if she would ever teach my album but it never has happened – yet! The store went out of business but LSS open up all the time in Dallas and I’m just waiting. So, on your last note of advice, I will band together, stand strong and make this person do what is right should it ever happen to me again.

    Thank you for writing about this – I’m just sorry you are still feeling pain. My hope is that she read your words and realizes it’s her you’re talking about. Now go have a cup of egg nog and celebrate the season!

    • WOW… people certainly can flabbergast you for sure. People are amazing I tell ya. Happy Holidays… I love egg nog.

  • Shelley Haganman

    Lisa I am so very sorry to hear this! How awful! I too believe that people like this will get what they deserve! Hang in there and keep creating because YOU inspire us and your goodness inspires us too! Lots of hugs!

    • Thanks Shelley… YOU inspire me! I love your work.

  • Lisa,

    I hope you are able to rest well tonight because you have done the right thing today. People should not be permitted to steal and get away with it. Shame on this person. Not only has she hurt an honest and forthright person (you), but is cheating other people too. So sad.

    She probably doesn’t even realize that the person she has cheated most is herself. Perhaps she is creative and could come up with new ideas – but it is easier to steal. So maybe she will not even be able to reach where she could have reached had she been honest. Talk about karma!

    Sleep well and try to put this out of your mind for now. You are such a wonderful person and you do not deserve this. I wish you and your family a safe and happy holliday together.

  • A. Sanborn

    Sounds -ALL- to familiar… from non-payment of services to the CHRISTIAN values polluted with JUSTIFICATION for their choices in being dishonest! This gives my GOD a blackeye!

    Prepare yourself… some of those so called “artist” friends who so admire and loved you prior to your stand for TRUTH will abandon you, distance themselves as their need for climbing the ladder of success in this business means more -UNTIL- it happens to them! I’m still treated as a pariah amongst some of the whos who in the rubber stamp industry! Unfortunately I decided to abandon blogging and the thing that gave me such joy with my bitterness! KARMA is a bitch as this company WENT UNDER! Their so CHRISTIAN they used CHRISTmas to send a HAPPY HOLIDAYS letter in the attempt to sell the remains of their defunct company! YES, they send even the ones they’ve burned a letter… remember the word JUSTIFICATION!

    Stay strong, DO NOT let this DAMAGE you! I can understand your DESIRE to strip them for all to see, but what will this do to YOU and your VALUES if you do? {{{{ HUGS }}}} You will rise from the ashes!

    Merry Christmas & ALL things wonderful in the New Year,

    • Thanks and I am sorry you have had to deal with unethical people too. So sad. I will certainly stand strong do not worry. Merry Christmas

  • charity hassel

    iceburg, meet tip- While there are many wonderful people and companies in the industry… Lisa, there are countless manufacturers as well as individuals who are more than willing to use designer’s time, talent, ideas, work and name to promote themselves only to not pay what was outlined in a contract when it comes time to pay up. It’s a sad, inexcusable way to run a business and to behave as an individual. One such company finally paid what was owed to me, but I know they owe many other people. It’s frustrating because if you say something publically you like like a crazy person, it’s often not enough money to file a small claim suit or breach of contract. Also, I found the head people of these companies very difficult to reach. I actually had to look up the home phone numbers of one manufacturer and called every month for at least 6 months before I was finally paid! It was embarrasing, a waste of my time and frustrating. I’m sorry this happened to you and to be bullied in an email after all your hard work must be infuriating.

  • I agree 100% with you Lisa!

    I had something similar with another tag maker. For some odd reason she thinks she owns certain designs. SUCH as, scalloped circles. Lovebirds and hearts. lol

    She got nasty, I got nasty back.

    She is suppose to be a Christian. She has a slew of followers and I’m pretty sure if they saw her GREED, they would stop following.

    It’s GREED. Greed for fame. Greed for money. Greed!
    It’s sad…so sad.
    I can understand, when a person is unsatisfied with their life, they find joy in knocking others down. Trying so desperately to hold on to the power of something.
    DON’T allow that person to have that!


  • I had to reread this several times, sorry to hear what happened. I am not an artist but I teach scrapbooking/stamping classes in my home town & I have an ex-crafting friend who has sent me hateful emails and accused me of not being a good friend because of the opportunities I was receiving, (jealous-girl) She made up stuff to try to hurt me and I see her all over the blogs, fake as can be. A friend of hers is an artist and copies other artists work all the time.. yet she is the first one to accuse others of copying her.. someday it’ll catch up to her, I do try to avoid the 2 of them on blogs which is sad, but I am happier to not have either of them in my life. It’s sad that all of us honest crafters just want to support each other & we want to share this wonderful craft with each other but then there are the few other women who want to go through life hurting others, stealing ideas, and being hateful instead of being supportive and happy.

  • It just disgusts me what this industry can turn out such ugly people. It can get so bad that there are times i’ve thought of just giving it up and “retiring”. But then I just shelter myself in my own little spot in the world and do what I love. Create. Whether I share it with others or whether it’s just for me, I will just keep creating and doing my own thing. There are several different manufacturer’s and several different “celebs/leaders” in this industry that I will not at alll associate with. It’s good to keep your eyes and ears open. (btw, I’ve found such comfort in the quilting world!) :) Have a merry Christmas!