Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Crowdsourcing Trend Unfortunately Has Hit The New York Times

Ran across this blog entry today: 

From Tom Richmond's blog:

"Their proposal was to solicit submissions of completely finished cartoons with a weekly deadline of Fridays at 11 a.m.. The submissions would be reviewed by the editors, one chosen, and then that cartoon would run in the Sunday Review. The cartoonist who’s work was chosen would sign an agreement granting rights to the Times (not to be reprinted anywhere) and would be compensated $250. The ones not chosen would get nothing."

Thoughts? In addition to outright disgust? This is an ugly, ugly trend...


  1. What a rip off. No way I would enter.

  2. Thanks for posting this. It's shameful and deserves to be aired.
    I've seen quite a few stories like this in the blogosphere and I think the backlash is a good thing.

    I think we discussed this one previously;

    I don't know if this one was discussed, but it started a fantastic (and mostly civil) discourse on fees and how much self-flagellation an artist should endure to break into the business.

    Sorry for not providing hotlinks. Blogger doesn't make it easy.

  3. That discussion on Drawger is really good. I need to go to that site more often. I have to say I mostly agree with Gary Taxeli's comments. A lot of comments said: "I took the job because it looked fun." That may be great if you want to knit sweaters and go to crafting fairs, but this is a business where professionals are attempting to make a living. A lot of illustration is like brick laying. It is a job and we should let people know that. It really is work: not always fun and not always easy.

  4. It was painful for Bill Mayer to keep that thread going.
    He's to be commended for keeping his post up amid all the criticism.
    4 years of college courses couldn't teach these lessons better.

  5. I agree. I wish I had a doctor that would say: "I love doing surgery, I will do yours just because it is such a cool project..." Maybe I will tell the carpenter coming to build bookcases in our library: "This will be great exposure. I will pay you $300 and you can use it for your portfolio..."

  6. I can't tell you how many times people have tried to get me to do a project by telling me it will build my portfolio. I try to keep from making a snarky comment back because most people have good intentions, but it makes my blood boil.

    I was just invited to participate in a very similar group for graphic design work. You submit work, they choose the best and then submit to the client. If you get chosen by the client then you get the commission minus 30-40% that they take. The allure is that they have several big clients. I think it could work for some people to get their name out there, but at what cost?

    Like the doctor analogy.

  7. I agree! I actually recently found out about a group that works by undercutting all other artists and then taking a cut for themselves and passing the severe underpayment to the artists... Shameful... They actually brag about it on their website!

  8. This is just sickening. It reminds me of a cartoon by John Deering titled, 'If other professions were treated like artists' . It is a person talking to a plumber with his back to us. The person says, "I need you to fix my toilet. I can't pay you , but you'll get really good exposure.