Hi all - so I feel I must address the ridiculous Papelitos nonsense and just explain it all here. It started when a girl named Cris Valenzuela joined a DT I was on this past Summer. She was from Spain and she seemed to be a nice girl! She soon started talking about opening her own digi store on Etsy, and asked a few of our fellow DT members to join her on her own challenge blog as DT members or guest designers. It was called Papelitos, and her personal blog was called Rutscht. We became friendly, and she entered several of my ATC challenges at Wicked Wednesday using this blog. In the meantime, she was providing her DT and guest designers with images that she claimed were HER OWN. I have several e-mails between myself and her with her referring to "my Etsy shop" and "my stamps".
One of my fellow DT members got suspicious when she joined the Papelitos DT and almost immediately realized some of the "new images" were comic book art from an artist she knew of, Enrique Vegas. She confronted Cris, who claimed that Enrique was a friend of hers, and that some of her stamps were drawn by her friends, and that she had permission to sell them. My friend then contacted Enrique, who denied knowing Cris or anything about Papelitos Stamps and said that NO ONE had the right to be selling his comic book art as digi stamps.
Cris was removed from the team that she was on with me - all of her DT members quit and she removed the stolen art from her Etsy store. When I contacted her asking her to please remove my name and blog link from the Papelitos blog, her reply was "Hi Jenn! this is not my problem. I have nothing to do with this blog or its stamps.." LOL After all the correspondence between herself and me about it all, after her SENDING me the damn stamps from HER e-mail address... the same e-mail address that she used to enter my challenges with her OTHER blog... I knew then that she really must have some serious problems, mental health issues of some sort, but I had no idea the extent of it.
Anyway, I won't bore you with all the details, but I started to use Google Reverse Image search, and my friend was doing the same thing, and every time Papelitos has had new images released in the past month, we've found the true artists who did NOT give permission to Papelitos to use them. One of them is a popular artist in Spain (I think - her blog is in Spanish), her name is Sarah con Hache and when I contacted her via Facebook, she was just astounded that anyone would do this. Here are links to a few of the images that were lifted and sold by Papelitos - some of them are free coloring pages, so I hope you didn't waste your money:
I am on several design teams, so as I was leaving comments on entries over the past few weeks, I would also leave a comment warning them about Papelitos if they happened to enter her challenge as well. One of those folks contacted me, and here is her story in her words on her own blog. She had asked me if I could help her discover the true artist of the images she had received as prize winnings from Papelitos, and I felt like a detective when I was successful! LOL They were from artist Roberto Barrios Angelelli - click here to read more.
So - that said - I must address the latest little blurb that is on the Papelitos latest challenge post here. It says this, "Just a note: I'm tired of the constant attack, and comes from the same people who sold us stolen images. The person who sold stolen pictures from us is the same as wasting time accusing everywhere about this. We sold stolen images, because we did not know about it. We feel this, because these people are denounced: J.B. and G. S. Paula Vazquez, owner."
Well, since I am JB, and since "Paula Vazquez" (Cristina Valenzuela's alter ego, perhaps???) has disabled anyone from being able to comment and defend themselves or warn others, I figured I'd write my own damn blog post. This is the story, and I have noticed that the only images still in the Papelitos shop are the very few that we have not been able to identify the true artist of. They had all previously (as of last week) been credited to a "Jordi Muntaner" (who I do not believe exists), but now they do not have any credits listed. Regardless, I don't sell digi stamps. If I did, I don't think I would then go tell the artists on myself... LOL The whole thing is ridiculous and I will continue to report them to the REAL artists every single time I can find them.
Please feel free to share this blog post with as many of your artist friends as possible, in the hopes that eventually Papelitos will just STOP STEALING the artwork of others and re-selling it. Thank you.
**UPDATE 11/1/12 - "Paula Vazquez" had a photo of herself and her family up on the Papelitos blog, which GS was able to reverse image search and found a Facebook profile for. She sent the real Paula Vazquez an e-mail asking if she was the owner of Papelitos. She never got a reply, but the next day the Papelitos challenge blog was down. It's since been put back up, WITHOUT the picture. Strange. She is now linking up people's cards/blogs into her challenge without their permission. There were 3 such entries yesterday, but they were all removed after they had been notified. Again, beware of this person/company and keep your eyes open.
Update 11/2/12 - Digi Galore Facebook group has discussions going about this and several members are discovering links to their works posted on the Papelitos blog without their knowledge or permission.