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  1.  (10984.1)

    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2013 edited
    A) As an illustrator I get really sick of people saying I'm not an artist, just a money grubbing whore, because I've done art to sell products. It's still art.

    B) My favourite thing in life is to get a company to shell out tons of money towards me so I can do the project that I wanted to do anyways, they just get the privilege of sticking their name on it.

    I've got no qualms with Gaiman's project.*

    *edit to add: aside from my usual musings on the idea of crowdsourcing 'inspiration' and the bit where they say about people illustrating it as well, and wondering about the ethical compensations of that. But I'm not bothering to go down that rabbit hole.
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2013 edited
    Sorry, is there seriously anger about this? A company giving Gaiman money to do a project?

    Yeesh. Really?

    I don't get the implied view that it's not art if it's backed by a company. Why? How?
  2.  (10984.4)
    If it isn't done purely for love and given away for free, it's obviously not art.

    I swear I've seen people claim to believe this in real life.
    • CommentAuthorKradlum
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2013
    I'd line up for 3 hours to have Neil Gaiman pull my liver out through my nose, so I'm probably in no position to comment.
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2013
    I have... issues with that second video. I have issues with anything that takes an "us vs them" mentality. That's not ok.

    As far as the Gaiman/Blackberry thing goes, I think this says more about Blackberry's current dire straights than about Neil's integrity. I am fairly certain that he wouldn't sign off on this if it wasn't kosher. He's not exactly strapped for cash, and could easily have gone elsewhere if something was amiss. Of course, that's exactly why Blackberry wants him to do something with their logo on it. This is either one of the last gasps of a company on its way out, or the beginning of a company-wide shift. Either way, Blackberry is the player of interest in this equation.
  3.  (10984.7)
    He's not short of a bob or two, so I don't think this is about money. More likely it's about someone coming along with a good idea that enables him to try something he might not have been able to organise himself in such an effective way. Also I think there is a difference between letting your image be used to sell something, and using the funds of a large company to make art. It's a subtle difference, but it is there. Does this mean that all those writers who have taken Costa Short Story Awards, or Orange Fiction Awards are whores to the corporate dollar too? They allow their image to be used for marketing as well.
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2013 edited
    No one's thrown up Neil's blog yet where he kind of spelled everything out: here

    Nothing new there but worth a link I feel.

    I started writing a big thing about this and cynical youth and punk rock but I just started to feel condescending because we all know this.

    The idea of artists having patrons is nothing new.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2013 edited

    'inspired and illustrated by you', huh? So, what's the ownership and comeback from this to the muses and illustrators going to be like then?

    Because, you know; fuck you, pay me.
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2013 edited
    As for the inspiration - ideas by themselves are not a creative expression in fixed form so Gaiman alone is doing the work of writing - and is in fact prompting the ideas that people generate, but even if he wasn't it's still professionally kosher.

    With the illustration - well - we don't know how much money Gaiman is making from the sponsorship : maybe all he's getting is the use of a digital infrastructure - BUT we do know :

    In the end, we're hoping for a paper Calendar that will benefit charity, and an amazing app (or possibly a website) with all the stories, and all the art of various kinds up for everyone.

    I do get a tounge in cheek vibe from how you're bringing up the AFP thing but this isn't that.

    But it does seem that this is inspired by Neil seeing her relationship with her audience and he's looking for a way of doing the same - and loving it.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2013
    I'm not really there with Bill Hicks about creative people being overly compromised by sponsorship, but it is a bit off to ask others to do creative work for free, which will then be used as part of an ad campaign. Which, charity support or not, this blatantly is.
  4.  (10984.12)
    My thoughts are pretty much in line with Morac's on this. RIM/Blackberry have been in a downward spiral for a while now and this feels like a desperate attempt on their part to try to regain some relevancy and build up some cultural cachet with the young folks.
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2013
    I don't know how they'll do the illustrations, but I have no qualms about responding to Neil Gaiman on twitter to say who I want to see in December or what I want to burn in November or whatever so he can write a story from there. I think other people's tweets are probably fair game for an inspirational starting point anyway. And having people responding to it knowing what it will be used for, being contacted to agree officially if their tweet is chosen, to me leaves no room for moral confusion. He's really doing almost all of the work there. Really, if we had to contact every individual who inspired a story or character or whatever to get them to sign off on it, or if it was unacceptable to use someone you know or something that was said that struck you without paying that person money, what sort of shape would creative people be in?

    He treated to writing prompt interaction very well. I don't know how they're going to go about the illustration, but if it's anywhere near as tactful, respectful of creative ideas and the people who make them, and solidly legal as the writing interactivity was, it'll be better than most everything else artists are asked to do on a daily basis.
  5.  (10984.14)
    I believe:

    1. Blackberry is giving Neil Gaiman a bunch of money to watch him sleep try something clever.
    2. The material compensation for the presumably forthcoming art, which we believe reasonably will be used in an ad campaign, isn't determined yet.
    3. Bill Hicks is one of the most sanctimonious assholes ever, who while wrong about Art, is also pretty funny.

    Most of the details about the art, I suspect, we won't know until those artists see a contract that allow their work to be used. I don't see a thing like that on Mr. Gaiman's page or Blackberry's, so reserving judgment until more information comes in.
  6.  (10984.15)
    "3. Bill Hicks is one of the most sanctimonious assholes ever, who while wrong about Art, is also pretty funny."

    Was. Not is. :(
  7.  (10984.16)
    In the brave new world everyone will be an illustrator.
    I think we have to differentiate a couple of things, firstly who this is aimed at and secondly what it actually is.
    I don't see this as asking professional illustrators to spend time working on something for free, rather a chance for fans to contribute to a project. Lets face it the prompts took seconds. Certainly on the two I contributed it took me seconds. I assume, and it is an assumption, that the illustrations will take the form of a photograph or a quick sketch.
    This is not a design project, but a competition for the kudos, and when you have a huge fan base there is kudos.

    Do you think this is exploitative in the same way


    Or even

    All of these are crowd sourced projects, not asking professional illustrators for time, but engaging fans.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2013
    "Do you think this is exploitative in the same way"

    Interesting question.

    My answer's no, because the art and music is the main point there. For this, it's selling phones.
    • CommentAuthorSteve Toase
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2013 edited
    But surely the point of a video is to sell music, and making a film is bringing in money for someone? So it's the product that's the issue, not the process of sourcing material from people for free?

    Blackberry might be using this to sell phones. I do genuinely believe that Gaiman is using Blackberry to work on a project it would be hard for him to justify himself. I see no problem with exploiting a corporation to achieve your own artistic aims. It's no different to an artist having a patron in the 19th century. Then the value to the patron was social standing and bragging rights. Now it's to increase product visibility and having a 'cool' brand.

    If we start removing all commercial investors does that mean artists should not accept prizes sponsored by Costa, Orange or even the Nobel Foundation?
    I agree there is an issue with corporations getting involved in creative industries, and also an issue with sourcing material from non professionals, but both are very nuanced.
  8.  (10984.19)
    "My favourite thing in life is to get a company to shell out tons of money towards me so I can do the project that I wanted to do anyways, they just get the privilege of sticking their name on it."

    Corporate sponsorship is necessary for artists to stay afloat, and it's historically footed the bill for some of the greatest artistic achievements to date, yes, and sometimes not even the worthwhile projects themselves are what is sponsored. Gary Oldman did Lost In Space to fund Nil By Mouth. Crispin Glover did the Charlie's Angels movies to fund his private projects. I get that. But to take it when you don't have to? That seems a bit different.

    To play devil's advocate, Gaiman's project is using hashtags on twitter to collate information, and he is someone who could afford to back his own projects one hundred fold. I do not know the details, but this does not appear as a needed corporate sponsorship for a creative endeavor that would otherwise die a paupers death; it's a company getting someone creative to slap a logo on to their creative work. There is a difference there.

    Does this mean there is no creative content and the end product is devoid of legitimate artistic expression? No.

    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2013
    So what's the issue here? Yeah, he probably could fund the project himself, but that doesn't mean he has to. And the use of a corporate sponsor for the project also opens up areas of distribution that Gaiman probably can't do himself for reasons of either skillset, cash or a feeling that his focus should be put forth on creating.

    it's a company getting someone creative to slap a logo on to their creative work.

    Yep. And considering it's with the creative person's consent I don't see the issue with this.