Artists Turn to Drawger (If They’re Invited)

Some illustrators and artists upset with Google’s unwillingness to pay for their work turned to Drawger to display their work online, but only if they were invited.

In an article in The New York Times last week, creative types told their tales of being stunned by Google’s requests to use their work free-of-charge, granting them only exposure. Joe Ciardiello of New Jersey told the newspaper, “You’d think that if anyone can afford to pay artists and designers, it would be a company that is making millions of dollars.”

Google told the Times it was working on a project similar to one it ran last year for personalized home page iGoogle, in which artists contributed work to be used as skins. “While we don’t typically offer monetary compensation for these projects, through the positive feedback that we have heard thus far, we believe these projects provide a unique and exciting opportunity for artists to display their work in front of millions of people,” Google told the Times.

The catch for artists and illustrators: Let’s just say that Drawger isn’t very inviting, although space is available by invitation only.

Drawger’s version of an “About Us” page, titled “what exactly,” expresses the site’s mission in a quite colorful way.

Under a “Drawger is for sale” headline:

Drawger will most likely become profitable in 2063 if our calculations are correct. If you would like to purchase Drawger, the two guys that run it are willing to sell it for one hundred million dollars. We would like to have that as a cashiers check, written out to Bug Logic, which is the extremely small outfit that attempts to run this place.

Under “Want a site here? Forget about it,” which outlines its admission policy:

If you would like to get a blog here at Drawger, you can pretty much give up on that idea right now and go think about something else. Drawger sites are available by invitation only and only the existing members can invite people, which they rarely do. If someone does get invited here, they usually don’t get in because the membership controls the dysfunctional approval process too. How this process actually works is a complete mystery to everyone involved and the result is that no one gets approved, except when they do, which is hardly ever. If you have complaints about how all this works or doesn’t actually work, click here (the link takes you to a drawing of a hand, as in, “Talk to the hand”).

Finally, Drawger’s advertising policy, or lack thereof:

Drawger gets about 10,000 unique visitors a day. Why do they come here? Total mystery. If you would like to purchase an ad here, you can purchase a banner on the home page for $20,000 a day. We would need that as a cashiers check made out to Bug Logic. Be aware that if your ad looks stupid, we will send your money back. Actually, forget about it…we don’t want your money. Drawger has decided not to accept any advertising dollars from anyone because it suddenly just seems like a lousy idea. Things change fast.

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