To me, an artist is someone who imbues life with beauty and harmony, not only through their own works but through their life-style as well. They tend to set a good example and inspire people to embrace a better life. They usually try to elevate people's spirits and emotions. They are brave; they are special people.
I am sure you have recently heard about this story as it has been largely shared via social media. I am publishing it here to help spread the word and to record it as part of my Art Licensing Legal Series for all newbies. This is a perfect example of what can happen when one's art gets used without permission and the consequences of that happening, as well as all the other emotional, financial, and psychic aspects of such a situation. Stealing art from an independent artist isn't inspiring and it isn't a good example to follow. Only cowards do it.
The blog article that illustrates the tale is titled: My Art Was Stolen for Profit (and How You Can Help); it's written by Artist Lisa Congdon and it's self-explanatory. Please read it if you haven't and help share the story ~ it does help to support one's community and fellow artists. As the West Elm Blog states, we love authenticity. Help keep it so!
A quick update: this new article was just published and it casts a different light over the whole story. It's highly educational to all newbies and artists, so I am including it here as well. You draw your own conclusions, but the quote below is even more appropriate now... http://faso.com/theartedge/66723/lisa-congdon-vs-cody-foster-what-about-the-photographers
"Truth is a point of view, but authenticity can't be faked."
~ Peter Guber
~ Peter Guber