Musk's defense proved moot quite quickly, considering he had tweeted an image of Edwards' mug last February, writing: "Rainbows, unicorns and electric cars." A month later in March, he again shared the unicorn image, along with a drawing of the Mona Lisa, to coincide with the release of the Tesla software update, writing: "Made on a Tesla sketchpad" in another deleted tweet.
Edwards, for his part, says he was flattered that the unicorn managed to be a part of a massive company's branding, but that he didn't find out about it until a Tesla-owning friend showed him a Tesla holiday ad featuring the unicorn. For his services, Edwards has seen mug sales increase by 100 units, he says.
“It’s part of their branding now,” Edwards told The Guardian. “I love the fact that it’s in the cars, but I just want them to do the right thing and pay me adequately for it. Elon Musk can be a hero for standing up for artists’ rights.”
When asked whether Edwards would receive compensation for his artwork, a Tesla spokesperson declined to comment.
Musk has taken umbrage with almost every word printed about the brouhaha, saying that he's offered money to Edwards for his art. Prank again denied this: