Proper credit to Pablo Luna + How I Got ‘Jumped In’ today

My heart is still racing, I still feel like throwing up, and man, I feel like crap. This too shall pass. I’m sharing this story because I can either hold it inside and let it keep me up tonight, or release the energy here, and hopefully offer some takeaways?

One of my biggest rules is to always give credit for idea inspiration. Look through my posts and you’ll see I often link to the source idea and then give my own twist. If I don’t link, it’s because I’ve researched to see no one else has posted the idea.

 

Demi Lovato Popcorn GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Go get your popcorn because there is drama ahead.

This is what happened today

So today I’m multitasking on different projects, like any 12-hour Monday. Painting orders, packing boxes, writing a contract, a photo reshoot of rhinestone candleholders, editing pictures, social shares for another client, taking a business call, etc. I only allow myself 15 minutes on Facebook during the workday to answer messages, reply to comments and such.

I pop over to my desktop and the first thing I notice is that one of my all-time favorite local artists tagged me in a comment (not a status update, a comment)! My first thought? Elation! He is a famous painter is taking the time to type my name, I might be cool by association!

Then I click through to read what he posted and ehhhh, it’s not good.

It’s bad.

He posted a status update that put me on blast to all of his devoted followers, accusing me of stealing an idea from his best friend and passing it off as my own and selling it. Okay, I think that’s what it said, I only read it once because the rest was a blur..in slow motion. I look down to see a HUGE thread of commenters all bashing me.

These are not my usual glue guns and glitter commenters. Aw, hell naw. They did not throw shade with their words, they threw bricks, fireballs, spiked tennis balls, chairs, caca, wet noodles, anything else they could find directly at my face. Or so it felt.

I’m like:

Is this really happening? It was about my El Pato can bracelet post!

El Pato Sauce Can Bracelets by Crafty Chica.

Here is my intro paragraph to the post, which it seemed no one took the time to read.

“Have you ever thought about making an El Pato can bracelet? I’ve always wanted to because at one point here in Phoenix I bought a cute skinny wristlet from a local artist… and then I lost it. I’ve never been able to find another so I decided to make my own version! The bracelet I had before had the edges hammered and smoothed to perfection and I knew I couldn’t pull that off, plus I didn’t want to copy another artist’s work.”

The “local artist” – I learned from Facebook today – is a well-respected painter and muralist, Pablo Luna. I’ve known him since the mid-90s. He’s always been very cool, I’m a huge fan of his work and talent! But I haven’t seen him in years, out of sight, out of mind which is probably why I spaced out that he made the original bracelet I bought, loved, and lost. I’ve always associated him with paintings. Actually, I didn’t buy the bracelet directly from him, I purchased it at a shop that sold local artists work (which has since closed), so honestly, I don’t know if I ever knew that he made it. Or if my memory is fading from all the high gloss varnish I’ve used over the years.

MY BAD. Yes, I feel awful! Even though I had no idea.

Here is Pablo’s Instagram that I found today and if you scroll through, sure enough, there is his El Pato bracelet!

View this post on Instagram

#elpato #elpatobracelet #chicanoart

A post shared by Pablo Luna (@atodamuerte) on

Mural by Pablo Luna, photo from http://dtphx.org/2010/08/27/calaveras/

OMG, right? Back to the story – I bought my bracelet more than 20 years ago (in the late 90s) at a local shop, it looked different than the one pictured above, mine was very skinny. I Googled to see if I could find out who made it. I knew it was a local artist, but couldn’t remember who. I figured my hopes of scoring another bracelet was long gone. So I shared the most I could from my memory and made sure to make three different versions that were far (so I thought) from the one I bought.

I did not share his method of how he made it, only mine. And I didn’t sell them nor did I have any plans to sell them.

Looking back, I should have:

  1. Asked on Facebook in my local community if anyone knew who used to make those bracelets.
  2. Asked people in my post to share the name if they knew.

But alas, I didn’t do either. I don’t want to make excuses. I should have researched deeper. I’m not perfect. I messed up. I take full responsibility and I fixed the problem ASAP. But there was major fallout.

Fire and brimstone fallout. People came at me hard. People I’ve known for a long time, people I thought knew me. Knew that I wasn’t the kind of person to blatantly rip off someone’s idea or be deceitful. Dang, I mean, I’ve been on the other end of having my own work stolen so many times, why would I do that to someone else?

I immediately updated my post!

UPDATE: In my original post I mentioned how I used to have an El Pato bracelet that I bought in 1997 or so and lost it over the years. I’ve never been able to find another, hence I made a new one of a different design. I share everything I make here with all of you! I realize now I should have taken the time to research where I bought it way back when. Now the post is out, people have told me it was Phoenix artist Pablo Luna who made my original bracelet. He’s a super cool guy and wonderful artist! I mean no disrespect to him, and apologize for not taking the time to ask around about where my first bracelet came from, I didn’t even have a picture! I am so sorry to Pablo and anyone else whom I may have offended. But here is Pablo’s Facebook page, please follow him and if you want to buy a bracelet from him, this is the guy to get it from! 

It didn’t help. I don’t know if you have even been the object of online bashing, but it really sucks. Especially when it is from people you’ve admired and promoted and cheered on for years. Scrolling through and seeing the names today and having flashbacks of hanging out with them, I realized how little they really think of me, to set me on fire so fast. Maybe it was a sign from the universe to wake up, I don’t know. I’m still processing it all.

Finally, one person spoke up in my defense, and then another, and someone else. That helped A LOT. Finally, the guy who originally posted the status update took it down and replaced it with another one saying how I gave proper credit and all was good now.

Which I totally appreciate because I know in some cases, people are not so nice to follow up like that!

There were some folks who were very polite about the situation, I appreciated that too! The guy who posted was really just watching out for Pablo. And rightfully so! Even though all this could have easily been solved with a direct message, especially since we are local acquaintances.

 

Pablo, wherever you are in this world, know that people got your back!

But you know what? I had my ugly cry and am waking up with a fresh attitude tomorrow. There are much bigger issues in the world than crafts!

 

Things happen. All we can do is fix our mistakes the best we can, and move forward.

I want to say be aware what you post online and the desired outcome you want. We are all adults, we know better! Whether if is taking time to research the source to a project or photo, or leaving a comment on a post. Do your homework and gather all the facts! This is one of my lessons learned today.

Have you ever had something like this happen to you? How did you handle it? Thank you for reading this, it was therapeutic to unload all this.

AND – If you want to purchase one of Pablo’s bracelets, hit him up on his Instagram! I’ve since updated all my posts to include him! Even though I made mine different from his, he is still the originator of the idea!

 

Love & light,


29 Responses

  1. I actually saw the whole thing unfold. Honestly I feel what he did posting that was uncalled for. The Latino arts community in Arizona should be supportive. What he did was toxic. It’s great that you were humble enough to admit your mistake, but don’t feel the same way for the guy who started the drama. He is one of my favorite artist in Phoenix and it just disappointed me to see what he posted about you. He could of been respectful about it and message you directly instead of causing drama and stirring up negativity in the scene. I’m so proud of how well you handle the situation.

    1. Thank you so much! I almost wasn’t going to post anything here, but I really wanted to tell my side of the story and give Pablo proper credit. I hope I did right by him. It was a weird, sad, surreal experience, that’s for sure. But tomorrow is a new day. If I could only fall asleep tonight!

    2. That’s an amazing and spot on comment! You’re right on. We need to support each other no matter where we are…in Los Angeles or Connecticut like me lol! Especially in our current climate with a president that is pitting us all against each other no matter the race… we should do as you say.. love it

  2. First, long time reader here … not always a commentator….second… you handled this like a professional, the professional… that you are. Like a champ I’ll say. I don’t know if I could have the audulting (yes, ADULTing lol) skills to have read thru all that negatively and come out the other side in the same light as you. Kudos…this was a bonafide PR nightmare with backlashes up and down your body!

    Ughhh…. you really took it up the river huh? I’m so sorry…I’ve been an avid reader of your blog for a few years now and I’m very sorry that the one and the same tool you use daily, the World Wide Web, has reached out and bit you in the booty! Eeekkkks! Zoot alors!!!!!
    As I live and breathe I had to get off Facebook because of drama. While my drama wasn’t about your kind of drama, it still called into question my integrity.
    Now go ask any Hispanic person to call out another’s integrity? No no no, it’s just not done… it’s not talked about because WE don’t do it.. we are a people that usually take people as we find them and we’re not usually attacking ones character flaws nor calling into question ones INTEGRITY. I dunno why but that’s how we roll. I think it’s because we are so family oriented and perhaps we’re all family so therefore it’s not done as we’d be badmouthing relatives?? lol I’m not sure hehe. But I digress….
    My drama dealt with my own personal fight with good old fashioned Chronic illnesses. We’re these Friends? Hmmm… huh….ughhh…family? Aye, aye, aye….not really sure anymore and nothing surprises me any longer but I guess it’s a moot point because I stopped posting about my personal journey with Lupus, Fibromyalgia and Sjögren’s syndrome. I’m not going into specifics but I had people call into question if I really was sick.. these comments, no matter how benign they seemed on the surface, stung me to
    My core..I felt like I was being beat up on verbally AKA social media bullying and overall asinine comments from people who had no idea wtf my daily life is like…it made me rethink everything about sharing my personal story. I would get the standard..
    you don’t look sick… a lot of “I know someone who has this and they’re ok, just take pills” or do this or do that… eat all vegan… take vitamins… do you walk? Eat red meat, don’t eat red meat… blah blah blah blah blah…
    but the coup de gras my dear? Well that came when I’d comment back about something… then caca got real… when I’d holler back answers to their idiotic comments ( see I thought I was educating them on my illnesses) turns out they already had made their assumptions of me. I wasn’t sick.. I wasn’t bad… no way someone can have arthritis at 35! What? Who? Lupus? My mom says Fibromyalgia is all in your head… have you seen a psychiatrist? You’re just depressed… ok ok ok.. enough… I couldn’t take it.. I was devastated that I learned that Facebook was only for posting happy pictures of animals and flowers… no real talk… they weren’t interested in my real life. I’d post that I was having a bad pain day and get one comment of I’m sorry.. that was nice but then I’d post a pic of a dog in a funny costume and whoaaaaa nelly!!! 23 likes? What was wrong here? Ughh.. so discouraging and I felt so disconnected from the very people I needed support from. Lesson learned… the day is done and now I know better. Facebook is only for sharing good times and dumb pictures lol!! So yeah… in my own way, I too along with many others I’m sure you’ll see commenting soon.. will tell you the same thing… we’ve all been there or dealt with something of the likes that you have. You handled your business, went back and corrected your comments and added links to show your remorse… I’ve learned sometimes people just need something to bitachhh about… and guess what? You were it this time. Congratulations on making it this far before it happened! But now you’re “jumped in” our gang… and you’re welcomed with open arms into our club luv….much love and light as always… this too shall pass my luv.

    1. Hi Jessica! Thank you! It makes us stronger right? Really sorry you had to go through all that. Sending you a big hug to heal up, feel better, and attract cool people to surround and support you!

  3. Kathy,

    I read your site (e mail) and love your ideas, mostly love your wonderful enthusiasm for
    life. I am so grateful you shared how you got through (are getting through) this. I am not
    one to comment on the subject matter, not being a crafter except book marks from time
    to time BUT facing adversity and getting though to the other side takes spunk, courage
    and humility. You are blessed with all three. You set an example of FACING life rather
    than just reacting to it.

    God bless you, Craft Chica.

    Julie Johnson

    1. Thank you, Julie! Making bookmarks totally counts as crafting! And making bookmarks means you read books which is great! Today was an awesome day, back up and running! God bless you too!

  4. Oh hunny how that artist handled the situation was shady. He could have messaged you, and all would have been well. Instead he chose to drag you over a little thing that he himself hadn’t really researched…you weren’t selling bracelets, but wrote a tutorial. That’s such an awful experience. I’m glad he removed the post and you updated your content. However it’s not without damaging the relationships you have with the negative commenters. This too will pass, and you’ll go forth stronger knowing who really appreciates your wonderful self. <3 <3 <3

    1. Hi Abby! Good to hear from you! Yah, I’m glad it seems to have passed. It helped to write all out. I was still getting nasty, even a vulgar message as late as last night from people I didn’t know who now think I’m shit because of that guy’s post. That’s what really prompted me to share my side of the story here. It what it is, can’t change it, live and learn. My husband (whom I practically had to restrain yesterday) said even if I did mention Pablo in my original post, people still would assume the worst, seeing no one read it to begin with, they just saw the picture and attacked!

  5. Dear one, You have passed the test.. with flying colors. I have followed you quietly for quite a while. You always have had the most amazing integrity. You handled this sad situation very well. Probably as well as could be done.
    The fellow who started this is sad. It’s nice he followed up , but he must have had a nasty attack.. I feel the example you set, by the way you handled this far outshines the way it was started.
    You have been a wonderful example of a girl who has taken and developed the savy to succeed in her chosen field. And with all the color ,gloss and sparkle of a glitter queen..
    So keep it up….. Hold your head high..
    you did good ….
    And thanks for being you & sharing…
    Today will be better….
    Get the paint & glitter out.. it’s time to shine ,!!!

  6. I follow you and love your work… and honesty. It feels like a sucker-punch when you see people that you thought were supportive jump into the fray…. You handled it with grace + humor. Pues, chica, stay true to yourself and carry on with dignidad. Paz y amor.

  7. Life happens…you made it right once you realized your error….that’s all you can do. Move on, you are awesome…Let those who have never made a mistake stand up! There will be none! xoxo Vicki

  8. As Micheal Obama said: “When they go low, you go high.” Kathy you went mega high. Your community loves everything about you. You keep on truckin girl. Walk high girl….

  9. Kathy, God bless you! I love your work, and isn’t the “greatest form of flattery…” and all that? Mistakes are made and before anyone criticizes you, they need to make sure they have no faults. Count me as one of your supporters, forever!!
    Pam

  10. Sending you hugs, along with lots of love and light. I’ve seen your struggles with having your work copied and how hard you try to inform your audience on how to buy authentic items in support of the artists. I also know you try to go out of your way to give others credit for their fabulous creations. I’m so sorry this happened to you, but I know you’ll find a way to brush it off and move forward. Glitter on beauty.

  11. I agree with Joe. I think he should have handled this issue one on one…artist to artist…in a respectful manner. I have been following you a long time honey, and I know you would never do anything like this intentionally. Everything happens for a reason…I know that is cliche, but it’s true. This was painful for you I know, and even more painful to find out who some people really are. But now you know. You have learned many lessons from this. Today is another day. Continue to keep bringing us all that light and love we know you have inside of you. <3

  12. Kathy. You have class. You have manners. You do the right thing. And the next right thing. That’s actually my motto after being through some ugliness. Do the next right thing. The people you can’t please cannot be pleased, and that is their problem!
    Keep on Crafting and Carry On!
    Proud to know You!
    Kathy Collins

  13. i saw it all happen. dick move on lalos part. your design and pablos idea you guys should go into business with el pato bracelets. cool web sight.

  14. You are too kind! Glad you posted this on your blog as I felt Your broken heart through your post on your personal page. ???? from the short time I’ve known you, I can attest to your integrity and Humanity – and that’s as a blogger looking in. I would of expected better from those in your arts community that burned you at the stake.
    *Some* “People want you to succeed, just NOT MORE than them.” Take note of the “Some” and hold close those that stabs WITH you through the uglies not only the triumphs.
    First and foremost: The person that wrote that post SHOULD HAVE contacted you directly.

    What happened to you is what I identify as cyber bullying. Its unecessary pain inflicting that hurts EVERYONE.
    I experienced a wolf pack attack by those I held a high regard in my Plus Size community (bloggers and community leaders). I had discoverd they had a “secret” Facebook group that took our clothing group post pics and made evil memes.
    Screen shots were sent to me to help stop them. These “girls” whom asked me to support their own work and blogs had various posts with myself being their target. They hate my “lisp”, the posts I shared about my love for my children, believe that my work helping those in need was a haux… They themselves wrote “I don’t know why I hate her and her kids but I just want to “punch them in the throat.”
    Their hatred was intense enough that once I addressed them directly there were threats to my children and my own well being.
    I was devastated! One thing is to have a public member that can never relate to me, and a more personal attack by the members of “my” community. The knife cuts deeper somehow.
    There were MONTHS of cyber attacks, my accounts and pictures being reported and communities closing their doors to me. As one main community leader told me ” They are a pack of wolves and I don’t want to be the next victim.”
    So there I was… I communicated directly to those that attacked me. Asked them if they felt What they were doing was correct? If so how exactly?
    I filed a police report with my city as well as their pertaining cities. I contacted organizations to address this on my behalf as well as well known community friends.
    The bullies that weren’t contacted by the police I asked they cease or I would print our their screen shots and send them to their religious organizations. They can then explain how WRONG their actions are.
    As you can tell I’m not a “turn the other cheek” belief. Consequences need to be faced Why? In this situation, there were other women in their memes that I personally have been helping in their depression. If they saw these memes or read the hatred directed towards them they would be beyond broken and making the final action to leave this world.
    Thankfully my taking actions to close down their group and the many others they opened, has kept these memes from being distributed.
    Can I tell you I can pin point the EXACT moment this “hate” was born in their soul? It was when I was being featured in well known sites that they hadn’t been. I wasn’t Blogging seriously at the time and decided to use the fuel of this fire to finally blog seriously.
    Success and happiness hurts these people more than any negative words. Share the experience and pain along with the healing, so that others forced to walk on this painful path can find strength and understanding.
    ‘Member! Have your cyber posse with you to help direct the churning waters.
    Tight hugs!

    1. Liz, that is awful! That sucks you went through all of that. Those are crazy people, I love all your pics and articles! You know what I kept thinking last night, that made me so sad, was what teens these days must have to endure with stuff like this. I mean if we experience it with mature, grown adults, I can only imagine how kids treat each other, that’s what makes my heart hurt. Sending you lots of love! Hope to see you this year sometime!

  15. Erm, is he sure he made the one you’re talking about? Because the picture you’re showing is from 2015 and it’s a wide bracelet. These people should know better than to just jump off the handle and make all kind of assumptions and put people on blast. It’s super lame. I wouldn’t even give credit at this point because again you don’t even know if he actually made it. That’s not a hundred percent original idea I mean tons of people make stuff out of cans all the time and that El Pato can is definitely a popular one. I don’t want to support any of these artists because they all sound super lame.

  16. I’m sorry this happened. honestly when I read your post before, I remember you mentioning about the bracelet you lost years ago, and how that piece inspire this new bracelet. I checked his instagram and I see a post in 2014 but like Jennifer said, who knows if he really made the one you lost many, many years ago, it was probably done by another local artist. I have seen so many ideas done by so many people, that it’s hard to see who was the first person to do what. any how, I’m sory for what happened and how it made you feel. don’t let this get you down. He should have reached out to you directly, social media can be good, but also terrible and some people are ready to attack without thinking twice. XOXO

  17. Kathy so sorry this happened to you. You are one of the most caring and respectful people I know. You did everything right, you corrected the mistake, you give proper credit. I do think this artist should have contacted you in private before bashing you. Hugs to you!

  18. Girl! I wish I could give you a hug right​ now! Anyone who knows you knows you are an artist of integrity. Don’t let this dull your sparkle even a little bit!

  19. Keep shining. Anyone who knows you knows that you are on Team Glitter. I’ve been attacked multiple times. It’s never fun, but if we can maintain our dignity and heart, we learn and grow stronger – and inspire others. Love you.

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Kathy Cano-Murillo

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Hi, I’m Kathy, The Crafty Chica! My specialty is creative motivation. I’m an artist, author, and speaker and this is where I share my craft tutorials, artwork, articles, books, product lines, and workshops!

Let’s work together! Check out my services page HERE.

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