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People Sadly Relate To This Woman Who Had Her Online Drawings Stolen

"I don't know why, but some people think that art is generated by the internet itself or even 'magically appears in the air' and it is ridiculous."

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Back in 2015, Mestnikova drew a piece of art and shared it to her VK and Tumblr pages.

"I did not have so many followers back then and I never realized that this art would be so viral, so I didn't make any watermark," Mestnikova told BuzzFeed News.

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It's been used in tweets.

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On Sunday, after years of seeing her art travel uncredited across the internet, Mestnikova tweeted about it.

Please, I beg you TO CREDIT ARTISTS or they will end up like me. I'm feeling like I'm drawing into void, while othe… https://t.co/ENMX3J1u71

The tweet went viral, being retweeted over 40,000 times. Some people used the tweet as an opportunity to apologize to Mestnikova for using her art without credit.

@ceruleanwax I’m using your art as my header I had no idea I’m so sorry!!! Should I credit you in the picture itsel… https://t.co/9moy7ZXCfJ

@ceruleanwax Hello! We received word that one of the artists on our label "Noryokun" had released an album named… https://t.co/d0cp3vBB3A

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Others shared their stories of art or work being stolen online.

I'm still mad about people that were selling t-shirts of a design I did. They had 15,000 shares on Facebook. I have… https://t.co/LdQFrOhXjC

Yeah, this is relatable in the worst way. There’s a piece of mine that has hundreds of thousands of reblogs without… https://t.co/kzMjGP04Sb

Mestnikova said that most people have credited her after they were made aware of her art, but she's had more issues with places that profit off the print, "I think they won't even consider this as a problem," she said.

This is so disrespectful https://t.co/Qy9b41W9em

However, the response to her tweet has made Mestnikova feel like her art "finally matters."

@ceruleanwax Omg I am so sorry this has happened to you... It feels awfully discouraging but please don't give in.… https://t.co/QSsgHEorNW

"Before, I thought maybe I was too protective about it, but all of this showed me that events like that with my art are not normal at all," she said. "And no artist should be treated like this."

She hopes her experience can serve as a warning to other artists to always watermark their work.

"I don't know why, but some people think that art is generated by the internet itself or even 'magically appears in the air' and it is ridiculous," she said. "I just hope this chain of events that happened to me will help people to understand that artists should be credited, because they've invested effort, time, and even a piece of their soul in the things they create."

Rachael Krishna is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Rachael Krishna at rachael.krishna@buzzfeed.com.

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