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Click to view enlarged version. Image by Cinders McLeod and featured with permission

Toronto-based political cartoonist Cinders McLeod found herself in a state of déjà vu when she visited The Art of Banksy exhibit. There, she recognized a handful of artworks that might have been hugely inspired by her creations between the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Four of the elusive street artist’s pieces at the exhibit seemed to bear striking similarities with the cartoons published during McLeod’s time illustrating for The Glasgow Herald newspaper in Glasgow, Scotland.

Perturbed, McLeod decided to conduct some research of her own and discovered that there were not just four, but 16 illustrations of hers that could have served as heavy influences to Banksy’s work, but were not credited.

“I was astonished to find myself looking at four obvious versions of my most inspired work, and another 12 that I found when I began to research. Am I the woman behind Banksy?” pondered McLeod.

She also expressed her concerns about being limited because others might believe she had copied Banksy’s work.

“What I do know is that I’m frustrated that I have lost my ability to sell or display these works in the future because the public will think I copied Banksy, when in reality, he may have copied me.”

The artist has since taken to social media to urge anonymous creatives to practice what they’ve been outwardly standing for, as well as to properly attribute their inspirations.

McLeod pointed out that the issue wasn’t about the money, but of integrity.

“We see Banksy as edgy and aware, a man who spray paints about injustice, but I believe his behavior is creating another injustice.”

“Artists traditionally support each other by crediting their original sources, and I would expect more from a socially concerned artist like him. I’m calling on Banksy to do the right thing.”

McLeod, who moved back to Toronto in 2001 and worked as a political cartoonist and art director at The Globe and Mail newspaper until 2013, concluded, “It’s one thing to borrow ideas from a rich dead white male artist, but another thing altogether to take your ideas from a single mother struggling to make her mark in a man’s world.”

Check out some side-by-side comparisons between Cinders McLeod and Banksy’s creations, and hop over to her website and Twitter to view more of her illustrations. You might also enjoy The Moneybunnies, the cartoonist’s series of children’s books on financial literacy.

Click to view enlarged version

Click to view enlarged version. Image by Cinders McLeod and featured with permission

Click to view enlarged version

Click to view enlarged version. Image by Cinders McLeod and featured with permission

Click to view enlarged version

Click to view enlarged version. Image by Cinders McLeod and featured with permission

Click to view enlarged version

Click to view enlarged version. Image by Cinders McLeod and featured with permission

Click to view enlarged version

Click to view enlarged version. Image by Cinders McLeod and featured with permission

Click to view enlarged version

Click to view enlarged version. Image by Cinders McLeod and featured with permission

[Images by Cinders McLeod and featured with permission] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/401350/Cartoonist-Believes-Banksy-Might-Have-Been-Influenced-By-Several-Of-Her-Artworks/

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