Pakistani ‘crystal artist’ Sara Shakeel, whose glittery rendition of a Billie Eilish photo made it to British Vogue in May, has called out a renowned international brand for stealing two of her art works and selling them online
Shakeel, who spun her magic around a toilet paper roll and shared the digital artwork on October 8 on her Instagram, discovered it being sold as a diamond unframed painting on SHEIN’s official website on Wednesday. A photo of the sea shore, which she had recreated with glitter, was also being sold on the brand’s page as a DIY diamond unframed painting.
Sharing a screenshots of the blatant breach of copyright, Shakeel penned a detailed caption against the brand, alleging it has stolen art works of other artists before as well, without ever apologising or compensating them.
Now, the brand has admitted its ‘mistake’ and apologised with a promise of compensating Shakeel, along with other artists who feel their work has been stolen.
“A ceast and desist letter will be sent to them [SHEIN] shortly but that’s not the main problem,” she stated. “Hundreds of letters are sent to huge unethical companies like these but does that make a difference to them? Of course not!” asserted Shakeel. The artist pointed out how such brands have the means to commission artworks but they resort to stealing voluntarily. So “you know what can really make a difference?” she asked, “to absolutely cancel and boycott any company working unethically so openly,” assured Shakeel.
The London-based Pakistani genius, who uses digital media techniques to spell magic on existing images using sparkling crystals, also contacted the brand directly and urged its managers to remove the art work, as well as compensate all the artists they have stolen from. “They deleted both of my artworks! But is that enough?” she asked. “I don’t want anything from them! But maybe they should be scared of repeating the same mistake again!” reinstated the artist.
She recalled how back when she started out, a famous photographer working for a renowned celebrity and magazine had also stolen her image. They later apologised but she was never compensated. “But you know when you stand for the right things in life, GOD compensates in ways humans can’t even imagine!” continued Shakeel.
Thus, on Thursday, after the brand removed the paintings and responded to her complaint, Shakeel shared screenshots of their manager’s messages in a separate post to celebrate her victory. “What I’m sharing with you today is more than just a win! It’s a proof of how strong the voice of truth is! Pure intentions and plain o’l honesty!” she embraced.
A page manager emailed her saying: “Hi Sara, I work for SHEIN here in LA. I want to apologise on behalf of our team and let you know how sincerely sorry we are. I would love to set up an agreeable date and time with you to discuss how we can fairly compensate you.” In a follow-up email to reply to Shakeel’s request of compensating other artists too, the manager stated, “We appreciate you and the artist community. We take all infringement matters seriously and we encourage any artist who feels their work has been stolen to contact us directly. We will work directly with each individual, please let them know they can contact me.”
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