So, it seems that IU just can’t catch many breaks these days in regards to her great Chat-Shire album. Not only was IU stupidly accused of sexualizing kids with some lyrics on one track (and then forced to apologize for it after) but the bonus track on the Chat-Shire album entitled “Twenty-Three” also came under fire due to its production’s similarities to a Britney Spears song.
Now, it’s Chat-Shire‘s album art that is receiving some pretty heavy (although valid) flack. In a recent post on Medium, artist Jessica H. Lee wrote that she couldn’t help but notice the striking similarities between the artistic design of the artwork on Chat-Shire‘s album and her illustrations. While the direct comparisons that Lee found between Chat-Shire and her work are moderately strong, the overall aesthetic similarities between Lee’s art and Chat-Shire is pretty unmistakable.
To make matters even more damning, after doing some digging of her own, Lee found that the person who drew IU’s album cover had actually contacted her a few years ago about a different project and that the individual was very familiar with her work.
After posting the article, Lee did receive an apology from the people behind Chat-Shire‘s look which sounds like an admission that the album art went beyond simply looking to Lee’s work for inspiration.
Since I posted this article, the designer who art directed the album cover got in touch with me and sent me an email where he apologized. If there are any updates, I will make sure to post them here.
Moral of the story: LOEN needs to get its shit together so that stuff like this doesn’t overshadow their star’s own work. For what it’s worth, IU hasn’t been connected to the album art (which probably won’t stop netizens from trying to make that link) but having another story that needlessly connects “IU” and “plagiarism” is a pretty stupid and avoidable disaster. For her part, Lee bares no ill-will towards the K-Pop star:
I respect IU’s work and talent, and I am hoping that she did not know this happened. It was important for me to address this issue because an entire year of work went into creating these pieces for my Graduate Thesis. As a fellow artist, I’m sure IU respects the authenticity and integrity of one’s creation, and I hope to keep the originality of my artwork.
You can read the rest of Lee’s piece and see the other comparisons that she makes between her art and Chat-Shire HERE.
UPDATE (12/15): Lee has removed her previous update that she had received an apology from the designer who directed the album’s cover art. Not sure what that means, but take that for what it’s worth.