Karly Thibault was stunned to see that her artwork was so similar to the Snapchat lense.
Woodbridge High School

Snapchat makes ‘an embarrassing mistake’ in using artwork without permission

Karly Thibault had drawn this piece in November of 2014.
Karly Thibault had drawn this piece in September of 2014.

When Woodbridge High School junior Karly Thibault was browsing through her friends’ Snapchat stories, she did not expect to find her artwork worn on their faces.

“I thought it was crazy cool how I had drawn that and then it was on Snapchat,” Thibault said. “I was like ‘how did these people get this?’ but then I realized it was a filter.”

Thibault had drawn the picture in September of 2014 and created it based off of inspiration from multiple pictures. In addition to her post on Twitter, according to Fusion, rapper HAKIM addressed Snapchat as well, claiming that his cover artist Briana Barnes had created the image in February.

Multiple Twitter users have also made allegations that the artwork was not created by Snapchat, Thibault, or HAKIM but by artist Alexander Khoklov. Publication “Scientific American Mind” featured his work on the cover of their magazine in July of 2014.

Overall, Thibault has said she has felt very shocked by the amount of publicity that both the Snapchat lens, and the artwork has received over the past few days.

“I just posted the tweet for fun,” Thibault said. “I have 100 followers, so I didn’t think it’d go crazy but it did.”

Snapchat has told Buzzfeed that they realized the artwork was very similar to other artists’ work, and they took the lens down.

“We are sorry for this embarrassing mistake and we are taking action to make sure it won’t happen again,” a Snapchat spokesperson said.


1 Comment

  • Reply fofacy May 16, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    What’s more likely? That a photographer found a model who looks exactly like a random high schoolers painting, painted her face to look like that painting and then published it in a reputable magazine? Or that some kid saw the magazine somewhere, thought the image was cool and painted their own version from the photo and tried to pass it off as their own for some attempt at third-rate notoriety among their friends? Except this is the Internet age and you can’t just get away with those kind of shenanigans anymore. Just be yourselves, kids. I used to draw Calvin Klein ads because their models were beautiful. I didn’t go around trying to pass my art off as original. That’s lame.


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