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I was curious about art contests. The most typical one we see is something like, draw my character and they're will be one winner who gets a prize, sometimes there's three winners. Either the prize is art or cash, or even something else. However, I've seen it discussed here that this is more scam like and you shouldn't do contests like these. Since you're pretty much getting tons of free art and only paying for one. I noticed a couple people do contests like these and get yelled at cause of it.

So I ask, what would be a better way to do contests? Some people have suggested that everyone entering should get some sort of prize, but if a lot of people enter, that becomes less possible.

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teahound
Aug. 17th, 2010 12:28 am (UTC)
I'm running a contest right now to try and help me get more commissions. In essence how mine works is that if someone commissions me (it's name-your-price), they get entered. Then at the end of the month, I'll draw a name at random, and that person gets a free full-color piece. That way everyone's guaranteed art, I'm not getting anything out of it but customers, and the contest spirit is still there.

Just an example. =)
ichigoneko33
Aug. 17th, 2010 12:29 am (UTC)
Ohh I actually really like that. It's a great way to do it :3 I think I'd like to do something like that when I have the time. thank you ^^
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leahtaur
Aug. 17th, 2010 12:28 am (UTC)
Well, in my eyes, as long as everyone knows what they're getting into, then it's on them whether they join the contest or not. No one should be yelling at people who hold "draw my character" contests as long as the terms are well laid out before hand and all winners get the prize they're entitled to. If someone doesn't like the idea of not getting a prize, then no one's forcing them to enter.

That having been said, I wouldn't enter a contest like that myself because I've seen an artist with good intentions have to deliver prizes many months later, and I've seen it happen more than once too.
teahound
Aug. 17th, 2010 12:45 am (UTC)
This. If it's for an artist I really like, chances are I'd enjoy drawing for them anyway - and when I'm not drawing for business I am drawing for pleasure, after all. I personally don't mind if I lose, as long as the contest runner at least expresses appreciation.
fatkraken
Aug. 17th, 2010 12:30 am (UTC)
I don't really see any problem with contests, as long as the rules are clear and everyone knows what's what going in. If you want to draw someone's character with a possibility of a prize, then why not? No one is forcing you to enter or lying about how it works, so it's not a scam unless they just fail to provide the prizes.

Though I think the prize has to be something approaching the value of ALL the art that's entered. So for example, Beetlecat did one of these a while ago. She got quite a few entries, but the prize was a custom partial fursuit, something which would have cost well over $1000 to commission (and I think there were good runners up prizes too). Other popular artists offer fully painted complex commisisons, often avoiding large queues. If the prize is shitty then yeah, probably better not to bother.
thornwolf
Aug. 17th, 2010 12:34 am (UTC)
Its up to the artist on whether or not they want to join a contest, so no one should "yell" at people either holding a contest or participating it because its a matter of free will. No one's holding a gun to their head.

I personally don't partake because they're more often than not a waste of my time. Do I want to have a "shot" at winning a fabulous prize worth X amount of dollars or do I want to take a commission worth X amount of dollars and buy it myself so I have it "for sure"? That's basically what it comes down to for me personally.

As for a better way to do it, I think the only way I'd enter a contest is if there was some sort of benefit for everyone who entered, or if it didn't need to be anything huge and elaborate and just a mere entry gave them the opportunity to be drawn out of a hat "raffle" style so the judging isn't so personal. But even that kind of sucks for the folks who contributed a crayon scribble vs. the folks who contributed a fully rendered pic, so, I really don't know.
bladespark
Aug. 17th, 2010 12:35 am (UTC)
I don't enter contests, and I've stopped holding them as well, because I kept getting accused of pulling this "scam" you mention, and yet ironically every time I've held a contest the worth of the prizes I've given out has FAR exceeded the worth of the art I've gotten from all the entrants put together. The grief of getting attacked by rude people became annoying enough to make it not worth bothering with.

In any case, echoing what's been said. So long as everything's made clear up front, then I don't see any problem with them at all.
kayla_la
Aug. 17th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
It's pretty rare that a good artist will enter a contest, simply because the prizes usually aren't going to be worth more than they could have gotten for a commission. Plus they usually don't have the time to do art for a CHANCE to win something.

Which is why you usually see people with lower skill levels entering contests. With exceptions here or there, of course.
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lilenth
Aug. 17th, 2010 12:39 am (UTC)

The problem is that most of these contests are scams, they often have prizes that are truly pathetic. The rest are just spec work dressed up as a contest, see http://www.no-spec.com/ for reasons why this is considered a bad thing.
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ichigoneko33
Aug. 17th, 2010 12:43 am (UTC)
Oh no, it's not my thinking. Someone I watched opened a contest a while ago. I went back and saw some of the comments...let's just say, some people screamed scam at them.

So, I was wondering of other ways to do contests, to avoid such drama, if I ever decide to do one, or if my friends do, i can give them advice.
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shukivengeance
Aug. 17th, 2010 12:41 am (UTC)
I'm holding my second contest currently and nobody's ever yelled at me for them o.O I have seen people who close their contests and disappear for ages without announcing the winners, and other stuff like that which is NOT cool.

I run mine as fairly as possible and the prizes have always been pretty nice imo (the first one was $100, I ended up adding second and third places at the end as well because I loved so many of the entries) and my second one has a $150 top prize with other ones that may be added as well.

It's understandable that some people might get butthurt at not winning and feel that their entry was better than others but that's the risk you take when entering this sort of thing. As long as everyone is aware of the rules and they are clearly laid out I don't see the problem.
spiffystuff
Aug. 17th, 2010 12:45 am (UTC)
I think you misunderstand what people are saying:
The advice is not to do contests because you want the prize, but because you think the contest is fun.
I think the "don't enter contests!" advise is more aimed at postings that say "We'll have a design contest, winner gets a job / to be part of my game / etc". Those are kind of bull and/or an excuse to get lots of artists to do free art.
teahound
Aug. 17th, 2010 12:47 am (UTC)
This. Your comment brings to mind DA contests in particular.
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shadowedyoshii
Aug. 17th, 2010 12:46 am (UTC)
As far as I'm concerned, I don't really think they're "scams". Nobody's losing, no-one's getting tricked out of anything, you know? If it's worth it to an artist to spend their time for the chance, more power to them. I dunno, I guess I just figure it's not like the artist producing the pieces to enter the contest is under any false impression; they know that there's only a chance they'll win. And it's not like the contest-holder is nefariously wringing his hands and scheming. The prizes are usually way more than the value of a single piece (even if the sum is less than the total value of the art received). I see it as harmless fun, if not a bit like gambling, but if people know they're doing that, what's the harm?

Yeah, the whole idea is that you get more art than you pay for, but someone walks away with a hefty sum, and if people have fun taking that chance, I don't think anyone's being fooled. Just because that's how it works doesn't automatically make it scummy. *shrug*

I don't know, I think contests are fun, but I like contests like woah, "winning" is just a neat feeling, and I have fun just entering either way c:

I do think there should be some culpability for contest-holders, you know? There should be some way to enforce that they definitely pay out. Otherwise, it's not like anyone went into the arrangement unaware of what it entailed.

As for alternates, I don't know. A larger number of smaller prizes, perhaps? But again, that kind of defeats the allure. If you do that, presumably the grand prize would be lower. I don't know that I would enter a contest where I knew my prize would be "either like five bucks or maybe a little over the actual value of the piece if you commissioned me".
shadowedyoshii
Aug. 17th, 2010 12:51 am (UTC)
Plus (sorry, can't edit), sometimes the inverse happens where they actually end up getting far less entries, and paying out more than the value of the pieces xD. For example, I entered one once, and first prize was 150$, second was 75$ and third was 50$. He didn't really advertise much though, and so only me and one other person entered! He stuck to his word, though, and awarded her and I the full prizes c:
frazzled_niya
Aug. 17th, 2010 03:40 am (UTC)
^^ that's really top of him. I mean he coulda said "sorry, but there wasn't enough interest; contest off"
dilario
Aug. 17th, 2010 12:56 am (UTC)
adding to everyone who says they are definitely not scams, and I don't really see what the big deal is about holding them, so long as the rules are clear! :)

I did a contest not too long ago where people submitted potential boyfriends for some of my girl characters (so I could design adorable babies, hahah <3), and people could draw new designs if they wanted or submit an old one, either way! I ended up getting a million and a half entries, which was difficult though, hahah.
The other thing I did with that contest was I left the winners to be decided by a public vote, so nobody could say I was picking favorites! That worked well. :)
grygon
Aug. 17th, 2010 01:07 am (UTC)
That is funny cause I polled my deviantart if I should choose or if I should do a poll of who the winner should be and the HUGE majority said I should choose. People are funny, cause I thought for sure everyone would want a poll.
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grygon
Aug. 17th, 2010 01:05 am (UTC)
As long as people know what they're what they're getting into, I don't see the harm. I try and lay out my rules nice and neat but you'll always now and then get a sore loser who's bitching cause of some tiny little thing they think you over looked.
growly
Aug. 17th, 2010 01:53 am (UTC)
I like to do contest for prefab items I already have in hand, like I just finished a contest for a huge box of used art markers. I had some really amazing entries, and there was no stress on me as the contest holder, because all I had to do was mail something.

I've had contests in the past where I had to make something and that didn't end too well. The winner asked for something far more elaborate than my skills could handle at the time and it became a long drawn out thing where I finally ended up giving them something else that was easier for me to make.

I've also been burned by contests... I won a few really amazing contests and never saw the amazing prize. :C And on some, I lost to something that didn't have nearly as much effort or thought put into it and I was a little embittered. But I did win a brand new PS2 in one, so it's a mixed bag I guess!
They can definitely be worth your while if you go into it just looking to have fun and make something cool.
mandyseley
Aug. 17th, 2010 02:12 am (UTC)
A lot of it has to do with the conditions of the contest.

What is the winner looking for? JUST art of their character, with no strings attached, to make them happy and add to their favorites or display in their FA gallery? Then I think it's up to the artist if they want to enter or not and it's probably all in good fun.

I've seen some contests, though, where the person running it tries to say that all entries become their sole property. A lot of commercial contests will do that too, any entry - winner or loser - becomes their property. They get to do whatever they want with it. THOSE seem like the ones to look out for, as potential scams, or just ventures that aren't quite worth the investment...
djdragonboy
Aug. 24th, 2010 09:47 pm (UTC)
This is the same for a lot of music contests too. Read the fine print, and you find all submissions become property of the artist to do with as they please whether you win or lose, and you cannot even publish it yourself before or after.
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