The Guardian responds to artist pressure over its illustration contest

Good news as The Guardian makes changes to its controversial Glasto illustration competition.

UK media titan The Guardian has made changes to its recent illustration prize contest as response to last week's reaction from both this website and the wider illustration community.

The prize, which called for submissions to go on branded tote bags accompanying Guardian copies sold at Glastonbury 2020, originally followed the unfortunate trend of asking creators to work for free on the off-chance they either win a cash prize or be featured on the Guardian site as runner-up.

The response ranged from our own reaction to the news as widely-shared on social media, along with big names such as Rod Hunt weighing in on the issue with thoughts and tweets like the sort below. The pressure obviously worked, with a Guardian News Media spokesman telling us on Friday evening "The Guardian always strives to commission new artists and emerging talent and to pay fairly for work. This prize is an additional way to find the best new talent in illustration, with the winner securing a £8,000 commission.

"Following feedback, we have updated the application process to request that only shortlisted entrants will be asked to produce bespoke work and will be paid appropriately. For our updated terms and conditions please see here

Good news then as the contest now asks illustrators to send portfolios instead of free spec work, which is a great result. There is still some consternation from the art community on the competition's copyright terms vis-à-vis one off licensing versus perpetual licensing, but that's something which itself needs discussion between clients and creators.

Watch out for such conversations on our site; Digital Arts - going Deeper into Art since 1997. 

Read next: Why you should stop entering design competitions

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