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The Hostful Art Project

Hey, you artists out there! We have a little project for you. A challenge, if you will. We know there’s a lot of talent in our audience — a LOT — and we’d like to give you a chance to show it off.

Okay, you know about the Hostful episodes of the Nerdist Podcast, right? And you know how all of our podcasts get artwork attached to them when they pop up on this here website, correct? Well, we’d like you to try your hand at creating art to feature with the Hostful podcasts.

Here’s the deal: This is not for profit, it’s just a fun thing we want to do, and the art will not be used by us other than to illustrate the podcast here at Nerdist.com.  If you’re interested, here are the things you need to know:

1. The art needs to be done in three sizes, 615 px width x 250 px height (for the podcast post itself), 625×200 (for when it’s featured on the front page), and 300×200 (for the grid on the front page).

2. The art has to be Nerdist-themed. We’ll leave the specifics to you, but it should be somehow related to the Hostfuls or Nerdist or Chris, Jonah, and Matt, or any combination thereof.

3. We’ll be happy to give you credit and a link to your other work, too. You should include that information with your submission.

4. This is ongoing. No deadline. Keep ‘em coming.

To submit, send the artwork (all three sizes) in an email with your name and contact information/link the way you’d like to be credited, and send it all to stuff@nerdist.com, with — this is important — the subject line “Art!”

We’re looking forward to seeing what you come up with. And, in advance, thank you!

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37 comments

  • Oh, man. I’m sorry I hasn’t seen this when I posted the My Little Pony themed Nerdist Podcast tityle card. And yet they used it ANYWAY! Well now I’m even MORE honored! I will be sure to follow the guidelines next time.

  • I’m so excited about having a joint entry with Diane for this project. I’m so glad she agreed to add graphics to pictures of my Matt, Chris and Jonah cookies. I am hopeful that our artwork will be chosen, but even if it isn’t, I love the idea of sharing and giving back for the many hours of free entertainment provided to us via The Nerdist Podcast. Good luck to everyone!

  • If anyone’s interested I’m documenting my progress on the hostful art project thingy on my website. I have a couple of drafts up so far. Just click on my name to see it. I’m having a great time and I’m not telling my clients why I might be a little later than usual with delivery of their own projects. Have to keep your priorities straight.

  • @Chris,

    I’m a *huge* fan of all the Nerdist stuff (and if things work out well, I may get to see you live in Atlanta in March!) and I totally understand how much fans do for the things we love. I know you aren’t looking to exploit your fans. There’s a big difference between suggesting that people channel their energy into something that may get used for Hostful shows and the usual “logo design contest” tactic of asking people to create new assets in exchange for the possibility of “exposure.”

    I just wanted to add those links because I see so many things that *do* seek to take advantage of artists and other creative types. I think that your well-considered response makes it clear (as you usually do) that you think way more of your fans and supporters than that.

    Hope to see you in Atlanta,
    Matthew

  • Thank you Sharon for the vector graphics!

    In defense of this project: I am thrilled that I have something to do with my photos. I was also happy to make hostful image files out of pictures of Patti’s cookies.

    I will be over the moon if any of them actually get used. I think I’ll spend about a day pointing people to it and say “Look at what I did!! I did that….I took the picture…I put them in a graphics editor and look at that. Them there ART. my ART!”

  • Nerdist is benefiting from the visuals they aren’t profiting from them. We, as artists, are providing them with our work but they are providing us with podcasts in return. I like the way Chris put it when he spoke of it as a trade. I personally have been listening to these podcasts for a long time without paying one cent, I’ve received hours of enjoyment from them, and I like the idea of giving something back.

  • Have to say this puts me on the defensive, too. While it’s amazing and wonderful that you have such passionate fans, artists are constantly taken advantage of and your site is profiting by having unique and creative visuals for every post. It’s pretty awesome that people are so generous with their talents, but as soon as I started reading this post I was pretty skeezed out.

  • Matthew, you make a good point. There ARE ridiculous ‘contests’ (and websites) out there that wish to pay an artist a dismal amount of “prize moo-lah” for hours of work on a logo that will be used as the image of their company for years to come.

    HOWEVER I’d have to agree with Chris – that’s not what is going on here. This artwork is not being used for any type of profit; just for fun and a cool way to include fans (even further) in the Nerdist podcast. Pretty fantastic!

  • I’m trying to make a proper vector of the Nerdist logo (like something you would find at brandsoftheworld.com). Unfortunately, my reference image isn’t very big and has a low resolution. Something with 300dpi (instead of 72) and at least 500 pixels in height and/or width would work much better. At the moment, when using the pen tool in Photoshop, the end result isn’t as smooth and clean as I’d like, and is a bit jagged in some spots. I’ll keep at it.

  • I am a professional artist. I definitely get paid for what I do and I understand where Matthew’s coming from. It’s hard to not get defensive about things like this because frankly artists (of all kinds) have often been taken advantage of. I think the difference here though is that nerdist is not profiting from this. They aren’t asking people to design them a logo or something they are going to sell.

  • I would have to agree with chris on this one. When I created the last two nerdist animations, my motivation wasn’t to get any monetary gain out of chris or use it to get publicity. I don’t really even I am really a “professional artist”(well at least not yet) but rather someone who draws/animates for just the fun of it. I created them to help show appreciation for the free content they were providing me(now about 3 times the amount a week). I work a job that goes from about 4:00 AM – 5:00 PM everyday plus I am taking classes for my master’s. It’s one of the very few podcasts that provide some stress relief and has actually helped shaped the person who I want to be. I’m not going to say that it’s completely changed my life and now my life is solely focused around the nerdist podcast, but it did put some important questions inside of my head about myself such as hiding/being ashamed of my “innernerd”, diet/health decisions, and artistic pursuits. These help start in the right direction for the process of change I am currently trying to do for myself through research, talking for advice, not being ashamed of my weird/nerd/quirky side, and realizing who my true friends were.
    And Chris generally seems like a really nice guy and appreciative for his fans. A couple weeks ago I was having one of the worst days that I had in the past 5-6 years so I decided to go to a free comedy show chris was doing at Meltdown comics. Even at the last free comedy show after performing for 1-2 hours straight, he made sure to stay for all of his fans that wanted autographs, meet/greets, and pictures. He even remembered who I was and was still very nice to me no matter how awkward/nervous I may have been even though he was gaining nothing for talking me. But that just my perspective which may be right or wrong.

    -Jacky Dan

  • No way, Chris, we’re glad to do this stuff, so definitely no need to take down the page. You hit the nail on the head with this one; we LOVE feeling like we’re in some way returning the favor for the hours of entertainment! I could never repay you guys for keeping me lighthearted while sitting in Atlanta rush hour traffic, but I’m going to try to by making you awesome crafty presents for the March 24th show!

  • To Chris’ point. I work a factory job. I need to be creative after work, but don’t have an outlet. A project like this benifits me by giving me something specific to aim at. Even if my art isn’t selected, I get to be creative.

  • @Matthew Glover:

    Matthew, I appreciate your point. I really do! It’s clear you’re a fan of the show and trying to help us out, so thank you! And I agree. It is absolutely important for people to get paid for their work. However, I think you’re missing what’s really going on here: people send us tons of art for free anyway. We don’t need to call out for more, we just did it for fun. We don’t profit from this art in any way.

    Some fun background!–> When we do live shows, people bring us tons of awesome crafty stuff they’ve made. So much so that I always have to have it all shipped back separately, and it gets displayed at NerdMelt and our Nerdist offices. It’s one of the benefits of having an amazing community of artists/creative-y types as fans. Numerous times I have asked people why they would devote so much time to these projects and the answer is ALWAYS the same–they do it because it allows them to feel like they’re giving something back to us for the 300 hours of free podcasts we’ve given them. We’re not an evil corporation charging people for content and then demanding that they design our logo for free. This is just an expression of fandom, which only exists on this site for the hostsful podcast posts. For example, I’m a HUGE MST3k fan. If I had made something for them and they displayed it and referenced me, I’d have shit myself a lot with excitement.

    The other thing you need to understand is that many of these folks are not professional artists. That’s not to say the work isn’t great, but rather they don’t pursue art as a career. It’s just a fun thing they do to pass the time at school or work or whatever. Also, we intend to source and link to whatever these folks might want to promote so they absolutely get something additional out of it, i.e., more attention to their work. This is more a fun community engagement look-how-talented-our-listeners-are kind of thing than some nefarious plan to take advantage of people’s time and skill. And pardon me for saying this, but you fail to give these intelligent adult humans credit for doing with their time what they wish. If making a graphic in exchange for free content makes them happy, who are you to deny them that? From what I’ve gotten from the people who do it, it makes them feel good. I’ve turned down numerous offers to take donations and money for the show from fans because I always want it to be free. For some, this is their way of paying us back for that, and we happily accept it. It certainly isn’t required but we appreciate it. So please don’t try to rob these folks the opportunity to do something fun with their time for a thing they enjoy. If they feel like we’re taking advantage of people they simply don’t have to participate. Easy peasy! And there aren’t intellectual property concerns because we’re literally doing nothing else with it other than attaching it to the posts on this site for the hostful episodes. This stuff isn’t going to end up on tshirts or anything. This transaction is merely an art trade: free art for free entertainment. I appreciate your thoughtfulness, concern and passion on the subject but I’m afraid in this case, it just doesn’t fall in the basket you’re trying to put it in.

    All of that having been said, if the community feels this is a breach of trust in any way, I’ll pull the submission page down immediately. It’s supposed to be fun so if it at all drifts away from that, then I’ll respect that and humbly apologize!!!

    Take care and keep on fighting the good fight!
    ch

    And thanks everyone else!

    UPDATE: just to illustrate the amazing stuff people do for us without being asked, this gentleman named @AlexLemoine made a Jonah Ray Sound Board.

  • As much as I love Nerdist and pretty much everything you guys do, designers should be paid for their work, especially when they’re doing work for a for-profit company. Companies should protect themselves by paying for design work, both for quality assurance and for intellectual property concerns.

    http://www.nikibrown.com/designoblog/2009/04/16/spec-you-why-designers-should-never-work-for-free/

    http://www.businessofdesignonline.com/dont-work-for-free/

    http://www.poynter.org/how-tos/newsgathering-storytelling/visual-voice/142886/why-writers-sometimes-work-for-free-and-designers-dont-as-huffington-post-contest-reminds-journalists/

    http://vimeo.com/22053820

  • I’m not artist but if i were going to do this I would draw a simple round table with microphones and the guys sitting around it. A Tennant Dr. Who themed Chris Hardwick, a Zombified Jonah Ray, and an Apple loving or AotS theme Matt Mira.

  • OMG…Jon Gnagy FTW. Bob Ross may be the king of happy trees, but Jon Gnagy was The Man back in the day. I think my “Learn to Draw” book is still in my parents’ basement. :)