Illustration by Gary Taxali — A response to Google’s request for free work.
I despise “contests” put on by companies looking for free work. I also hate when said contests are voted on by the general public i.e. the very same people who submitted to the contest. It’s basically spec work under the pretense of opportunity — and there are few things worse than spec work.
Free work with the promise of “exposure”, however, is even more loathsome than spec work. Granted, exposure is always good but when a company has a set business model and your work, though not entirely tied to the business model, may in some way benefit that company’s bottom line, it is only fair that they offer more than “exposure” for something they obviously see as valuable.
A round of applause to the NY Times for publishing this article about illustrators who declined Google’s request to feature their work on its new web browser without any compensation. Like the article says, when you’re a company as large and profitable as Google, there’s no reason to invite artists without offering to pay them. It’s not as if they’re a floundering non-profit, with limited resources, and a philanthropic agenda. Cheers to Melinda Beck and Gary Taxali for speaking out against it on record.
There will always be takers, Google. Some of us are not in a position to decline the exposure. Still, that doesn’t make it okay. For a company as “progressive” as Google, you’d expect a little more r-e-s-p-e-c-t for the artist.
also, here’s a link to Drawn’s repost of Gary Taxali’s Drawger post referenced in the article
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