Last August, my skateboard company, Roger Skateboards, released a full-length video on Thrasher magazine's website titled Secondhand Stoke. The video featured an illustration of a skull wearing a pair of novelty glasses with a funny nose, eyebrows, and a mustache as the main iconography of the project.
A print ad we ran in Thrasher announcing the video featured the graphic.
We manufactured two separate skateboards featuring the image.
And obviously we used the graphic on the DVD packaging itself.
We had plans to print a Secondhand Stoke tank top, but it never materialized due to us not actually doing it. Nevertheless, the image was predominately distributed throughout the world, and children seemed to enjoy it. We were happy.
I'd like to take a quick moment to mention the fact that before I drew this graphic, I did a fairly elaborate internet search for keywords such as "skull," "funny glasses," "mustache," "eyebrows," and "novelty sunglasses," just to make sure that I wasn't borrowing an existing concept from an illustrator or designer. My searches unearthed no similar imagery, so I assumed I was in the clear.
Fast forward to about two weeks ago, when a buddy of mine sent me the following photo via cell phone technology.
He took this photo at a shop called The Children's Place in a mall.
I immediately jumped on their website to verify that this was indeed a T-shirt they were manufacturing and selling eight months after I had drawn the Secondhand Stoke logo.
Yes, yes they were. Let me place these designs side by side for further clarification:
Pretty crazy, huh?
I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to The Children's Place for designing one of their graphics a few seasons before they released it to the world. I'm really sorry, y'all. If I'd known that you were going to be using the same exact concept I totally would have come up with something original instead of stealing your work and trying to pass it off as my own. That's my bad. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me for trend forecasting so hard on your company's apparel-design team.
In all seriousness, though, I'd like to take a minute and talk from my heart to The Children's Place. If you fire somebody because of this, please let that person know that Shaun White's clothing company might be looking for talented designers with original graphic ideas for children. I'd hate to see all that talent go to waste.
And I'd like to conclude by giving a shout out to Jeremy Scott. The End.
P.S. If somehow The Children's Place really did design this graphic before I came up with it, then I'd like to offer to clean their corporate restrooms for free for two weeks in July 2013. Your move.
UPDATE: It turns out that my design for the Secondhand Stoke logo is not only not an original concept, but it's something that apparently dates back to the 1950s. And it turns out the The Children's Place t-shirt actually might have predated the graphic I created for our skateboard video which means I'm probably going to be scrubbing some toilets this summer. Which actually isn't that big of a deal because I worked as a janitor when I was in my 20s so I'm really good at mopping, scrubbing, and wiping. I'm going to try to draw something original now. Has anybody ever drawn a skull talking on a cell phone? That's a joke, y'all. OK, back to crying.
Previously - My Friend Is a Poet and I Didn't Even Know It