Google’s calling for free art

Posted by Yelena Shabrova

In an interesting move, Google now asks notable artists to provide them with free art for its new browser, Chrome.

The best part is that Google solicits this type of work from notable artists like Joe Ciardiello and Melinda Beck. If it was general crowdsourcing, I could understand it somewhat – emerging illustrators or hobbyists don’t mind to work for exposure only, just go look at those contest places all over the web. It’s still means using and abusing people to me, but since those people don’t seem to mind I don’t particularly care either. But to approach someone who worked for the likes of ESPN and Rolling Stone and ask for a freebie is an insult. Those artists had plenty of exposure already and were paid for their work too. It’s not as if Google could not do the same.

So maybe crowdsourcing does have a nasty effect on the rest of creative community: if so many artists have no problem with working for free, the rest are expected to cave in and do the same, accepting it as a new norm.

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