at one time I thought that I might have gotten involved in the various "stamp"  programs, loosely modeled after the federal duck stamp program,  including waterfowl and fish , primarily.   As time goes by the rules of involvement
seem  to have become a exploitation of the artists on many levels,  and the attractiveness of "winning" these things has lost its lure for me.  More and more the seemed to have become carefully orchestrated to take advantage of the artist who is left with
whatever renown might be gained from the venture.

At this point it is probably doubtful that I will ever enter one again.


At 09:18 PM 6/9/2015, you wrote:
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: http://www.iccb-eccb2015.org/content/t-shirt-design-contest. 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 artists.

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]

Twitter: @EmilyDamstra


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