Artist Calls Out Aaron Carter For Ripping Off His Artwork To Promote Merchandise, And The Singer’s Reply Is Worse Than The Theft Itself

Published 4 years ago

Recently, American singer Aaron Carter launched a promotional campaign for his newly-released merchandise. In it, he used artwork that depicted two lions with their heads against one another titled “Brotherhood.” However, when the real artist behind the artwork saw this, he wasn’t happy his art was used without his consent.

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Aaron Carter – an American singer – recently launched a promotion campaign for his merchandise with an image of two lions

Image credits: Aaron Carter

Image credits: aaroncarter

When the news reached the artist – Jonas Jödicke who’s based in Berlin – he made a public announcement on Twitter. Jonas noted that it wasn’t a commission nor a collaboration. To make matters even worse, the singer did not even bother to credit the artist.  

The artist of the piece – Jonas Jödicke – spoke out saying that the singer used his artwork without permission

Image credits: Jonas Jödicke

Jonas Jödicke spoke to Forbes about the incident and said: “I first learned of Aaron’s use of my artwork from a follower on Twitter. They reached out via direct message telling me about Aaron’s tweet in which he had posted my artwork to promote his new merchandise shop. He did not mention me as the original artist and had not asked for permission beforehand. That’s why I called him out in a tweet, in a polite way, to inform him that I was not alright with him using my art in that way.”

Image credits: JoJoesArt

After people started paying attention to the incident, Aaron Carter posted his response

Image credits: aaroncarter

“His response to my tweet was what got the whole tweetstorm going,” Jonas told the media. “Instead of apologizing or reaching out to me to discuss things, he insulted me and said I should be glad he was using my art to promote his store. He ended with: “Guess I‘ll see you in small claims court …” I was absolutely amazed as to how he could respond in such a way and not expect people to lash out. I shared his response on my Twitter and Instagram and that is when it really blew up. In his YouTube livestream, he joked about my tweet having “17 likes.” We feel obliged to note that as of now, it has more than 140K likes.

The exchange between the two artists continued

Image credits: JoJoesArt

Image credits: aaroncarter

Image credits: aaroncarter

While Jödicke mentioned that he didn’t intend to cause such a storm, at the same time he says he’s glad that artists’ rights are being talked about. “I think celebrities like Aaron Carter have a lot of responsibility. Many people look up to stars as role models, and if they treat artists like he has in his tweet, others might follow. So many people think that when you find an image online, you can just use it for your own purposes, but celebrities should be at the forefront of teaching the masses about lawful and appropriate conduct, especially musicians and other artists who understand how competitive the creative market is and how difficult it can be for artists to make a living off their hard work. They have enough money to pay smaller creators for their services but all too often, they feel like they don’t have to because of their status. And all too often, the ‘small ones’ back down,” he explains.

Eventually, Aaron Carter’s fans also joined in

Image credits: Margolndigo

As it turns out, Jonas Jödicke drew “Brotherhood” a few years ago during a difficult time in which he struggled with personal issues. To this day, this artwork remains to him one of the most important works that he did. “It was actually also the art piece that got my career as a freelance artist going as it went viral on Instagram and all over the internet. But with that came a lot of copyright issues as well though. It became my first artwork that was stolen by a clothing company for profit. Nowadays I receive messages by my followers on a daily basis who have found my art being sold by a random business. I have become so numb to it. Art thieves have literally made millions with my art. It is sold all over the world in markets, shopping malls, and on the internet. Last year, I went to Thailand with my brother and we found a random street shop selling my art on a shirt. Also last year, my art appeared in a Netflix show with no permission given whatsoever. I do officially work with a few companies that sell products with my art rightfully but a lot of sellers, especially from China, are making really high figures off of my work illegally,” the artist says.

But Jödicke did not back down

Image credits: JoJoesArt

Image credits: JoJoesArt

Image credits: JoJoesArt

Jonas Jödicke is the kind of artist who loves connecting with other people through his art. As we all enjoy escaping into parallel worlds of fantasy and dreams to get away from our mundane lives, the artist loves the fact that he’s able to allow that experience to happen.

Here’s what people online had to say on the matter

Image credits: MollyMc96757255

Image credits: USMCLiberal

Image credits: Imotep92

Image credits: BSBDFW

Image credits: Ms_Kappy

Image credits: AlectorFencer

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Aaron Carter, Jonas Jödicke, ripping off artists, stealing art
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