Stephanie Hodges / BluePotionCo
Twitter Suspended / Back-up Twitter Deactivated / Instagram Deactivated / Website / Website 2.0
Stephanie Hodges aka BluePotionCo, is a shameless fraud from Manchester UK who is known for tracing/ripping off art and selling it on her website as enamel pins, prints, and apparel as her own creations. She got her start in 2013 as an artist who made their own fanart, but decided it would be easier to trace art and sell it online. She has been called out numerous times for tracing from video games and smaller online artists, but blocks everybody who mentions it. She has been banned from sites like Etsy many times, but keeps remaking her account and selling the exact same products each time under fake names. She has tried and failed to erase evidence of her shady behavior and past online presence, and has a massive attitude problem. She has 27k followers on Twitter and 11k followers on Instagram, but 2% engagement on both platforms indicating she bought followers to replace the ones she blocked.
History and Tracing
Steph made a name for herself by selling enamel pins and accessories that appealed to the geek culture niche with products like Zelda themed mugs and The Walking Dead in the UK convention scene starting in 2013. She had a decent following, she regularly created fanart with a likeness to the Adventure Time style, and for a short time went viral for her Pokemon and Studio Ghibli illustrations on tumblr, amassing between 32k to 110k notes on her posts. She was also a cosplayer who created her own cosplays, but some time in the future sold her old costumes on her etsy. She created anime and video game themed products for customers, but seemingly out of nowhere snapped and decided to begin tracing, mixing the traced images with her own art to disguise the fact that she had traced over things such as Howl's Moving Castle, Totoro and Spirited Away. Or in rarer cases, directly copying and pasting game sprites onto her merch. For some unknown reason, after she rebranded from Steph Hodges Designs to BluePotion in 2015, all of her past accounts on tumblr, etsy, society6 and others that were under her real name disappeared.
Her past portfolio
However, in 2019 it was discovered that she was directly tracing over in-game models and fanart from other artists. Her inconsistent art style was a dead giveaway that she was taking images and tracing over them to pass off as her own creations. She often frankenstein's pictures together then traced them, or very subtly adds her own elements to hide her lack of talent. One such element is her changing the expressions to the ':3' mouth or adding a simple smile, or if the image was cut off she'd poorly draw in limbs. Her art style (or what's closest to it) is actually more amateur and disjointed.
(warning: image heavy)
Plagiarism and Admitting to Art Theft
She attempted to start a Kickstarter for her Ocean Friends enamel pin series, but was called out for tracing referencing other artist's renditions of sea creatures. She then canceled the Kickstarter and later issued an "apology" stating that she knew she was stealing from Afternoonfika but claimed that the designs were her own because "they were in her sketchbook." She then admitted to tracing her Cuphead patterns from the game for a friend and later decided to add it to her store, and then admitted to tracing her Animal Crossing pins because she was told by others that there weren't any existing AC pins and she traced them so that there would be ones for people to buy, thinking it was a good thing because she had all villagers available as pins. She calls her traces "obvious" and says she knew people would look and realize they were traced.
She later recanted it and deleted it from her Twitter after her social media break in the summer because she was mad at the art community giving her shit for still selling plagiarized work in her shop. She promised to remove the traced items from her store, but they're still there and she still promotes them.
She then made an enamel pin of the Switch console with objects from the various video game series popping out of it, but was called out for copying Meyoco's Switch prints. Yes, we know Meyoco doesn't own art styles and she's not the sole creator of objects coming out of consoles, but both have grass on the bottom, are at the same angle, the joycon buttons are traced, and Steph managed to get the color of the Switch wrong by making it white instead of black and not including the ac plug in order to subtly differentiate her patch from Meyoco's. She also traced the handheld consoles she sold alongside the rest of her pins.
Strangely, all articles that had featured Stef were mysteriously deleted from the internet along with her portfolio, but cached images from them have remained where she is credited as a self-made internet entrepreneur and graphic designer. She attempted to skinwalk as Belle Delphine after the Gamer Girl Bath Water scandal, posted her selfies to her business accounts and then promptly deleted them.
Steph frequently blocks people who either make callout posts about her on Twitter or interact with the thread in some way shape or form. She also has a habit of posting and quickly removing them from her social media accounts, and snapping at other people before deleting the tweet. After so much drama had happened in the summer of 2019, she disabled comments on her Instagram posts and unfollowed all people she had followed before on her Twitter, then temporarily closed her shop only to reopen it later after taking a "social media break from being bullied." Her accounts have 0% interaction between herself and her followers, it is believed that for each follower she blocks she buys more to make up the difference and her instagram follower's list is full of bot accounts. It's become a meme now to be blocked by Steph despite never interacting with her. She blames the art community for bullying her into hiding, when she bullies others and harasses them.
One of her biggest offenses is trying to silence others who have come forward with evidence of her shady actions. Steph is known to start witch-hunts towards people who do call her out using the few loyal fans she has left and brigading them with insults and death threats, reporting them to local conventions and having them blacklisted from ever selling there, creating a public blacklist if they are artists, and even mass-reporting accounts. She is also keen on abusing Youtube's copyright system to get videos that expose her taken down.
Known domains: Elenawing.co.uk, Ohayouclothing.com, Ohayouclothing.co.uk (and Ohayou's real name [which will not be mentioned] as a domain), Animalcrossingpins.co.uk, Syrencove.com
Going to these addresses will lead you to a page listing the domain prices, but Syrencove.com leads to BPCo's site.
Most recently, she decided to buy the domain names of rival artists and those who have called her out to redirect traffic to her website. She has taken both their screen names, real names, and additional names such as Syren Cove, created websites that all redirected to bluepotion.co.uk. She later shut them down after being caught red handed, and is currently holding them hostage for thousands of dollars while the urls themselves cost 1-5$ to host in an attempt to get the original artists to give her money. And judging by a screenshot provided by twitter users, Steph has possibly dozens more of fraud domains to link to her web store.
Stephanie created a kickstarter for her Games Come to Life Enamel Pins on February 9th 2019. Within a month, the kickstarter project reached 100% of its goal and continued to get backers until the project ended on March 9th with a total of £7,029. Stephanie promised her backers pins, stickers, lanyards and patches to her backers and that the rewards would be shipped between the months of April and June worldwide. After the project had ended, Stephanie began to get the pins manufactured and shipped in May, though she claimed that shipping was slow due to her pins being physically stolen out of her car. Then it slowed even more when international backers never received their orders, to which Steph blamed her post office for being understaffed and overworked. Her last update came in October where she said that she was still shipping out orders to backers who didn't get theirs and promised to stay in touch, but her backers were suspicious of her. Even though Steph had remained in touch with them, international backers never received their rewards and Steph ceased contact with them.
Sockpuppet Shops / Catfishing
Steph has been banned from Etsy, redbubble, society6 and other selling websites multiple times, but she keeps coming back under different names (Steph Nygard, Katya Kawaii, MajoMomo, AzuremystArt etc). She uses the domains she's squatting to pretend to be someone else, but her MO is always the same. She sells the same products with different backgrounds and lighting, and uses the domains she's squatting on to hide her tracks. Her past shops were some altered version of BluePotionCo (BlueHerbCo, BluePotionUk, etc.)but she is always trying to pretend to be someone else so she can continue to make money off of people who don't know any better. To add insult to injury, the prices on her sockpuppet accounts are listed higher than the normal prices on her main. One of her stores, KatyaKawaii on Etsy, she attempted to pretend to be someone else but was accidentally exposed by someone who bought a pin from her. The photo provided in the review is a pin with BluePotionCo's backing, yet the shop was under the name KatyaKawaii. Steph caught this and immediately changed it.
Stephanie is a shady hack who had the hardest artistic fall from grace, so she resorts to stealing from others and silencing them when they call her out. She is a very petty person who has a lot of money to burn after scamming her fans and making sock puppet shops to make money from since she can buy out numerous domains from rivals and continue to buy followers after she blocked all 27,000 of them. Her shops keep getting taken down, but she remakes them under false names and sells the same merch like nobody is going to notice. She lies about tracing art and feigning innocence, but her true colors show with her sending her fans to bully and threaten people who speak out about her. She has no remorse or regret for tracing art from companies such as Nintendo and Square Enix, and small artists who can't fight back as evidenced by her removing her apologies and keeping all of her traced merch up online. She's basically a criminal at this point for domain squatting (which is illegal), filing false copyright claims, and tracing/selling copyrighted merch.