Hi everyone,
Today, a well-meaning person on Twitter kindly alerted me to this t-shirt
design contest, suggesting that I might like to submit an entry: There are
several guidelines and the organization holding the contest reserves the
right to alter the winning design. The person who takes the trouble to
follow all of these rules and submits the winning entry is compensated
with.....(drum roll).... a free t-shirt. Of course, all the other people
who put in the time and effort to submit an entry get nothing.

This type of contest, I believe, exploits and devalues artists. I don't
mean to single it out; there are NUMEROUS similar exploitative contests out
there, large and small, and for quite some time now I've been meaning to
post a message to this Listserv about the issue. For the most part, I don't
think the organizers of the contests realize that they aren't being fair to

First, I'm wondering if anyone knows of an artist/illustrator/designer
organization that has taken the trouble to come up with a list of
guidelines for organizations who want to solicit illustrations/designs
without exploiting creators. I keep wishing I knew of a authoritative site
to which I could direct contest organizers when I come across contests like
the one I mentioned above.

Second, especially if no such site already exists, I'm wondering if it
would be appropriate for the GNSI to come up with a list of guidelines and
suggestions for organizations to follow if they would like to treat
creators fairly. These guidelines could be posted at the website so we
could all direct people's attention to them when the need arises. I'd be
happy to contribute my thoughts, and I'm sure many of you have ideas on
this subject. I have no idea how difficult this might be!

To be clear, I'm not criticizing artists who enter these types of contests;
we all do what we need to do. But I'll bet everyone who has put in the time
to submit a contest entry and lost or won little more than "exposure"
wishes that things might've been done differently.

Your thoughts?
*Emily S. Damstra*
natural science illustration
Guelph, Ontario
(519) 616-3654
*[log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>*
Twitter: @EmilyDamstra

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