(The mock-up posters in the post are also fanart btw.)
In a post shared on the band’s social media yesterday, fans are encouraged to enter a poster design contest to promote the upcoming tour. Florence herself will pick the winners, who will be “commissioned” and receive two concert tickets as well as a small number of their posters in print, signed by Florence. What kind of financial the “commission” entails is not detailed.
Since then, many fans have voiced their outrage.
- What...? The poster artist should be fairly compensated. Surely designing the poster for a major tour - which will make tons of money and needs this poster as a vehicle for that - is worth a lot more than 2 tickets and a signed poster. Not a good deal
- Hard pass. Pay an artist fairly and they could easily afford their own tickets. https://www.nospec.com/articles/just-say-no/
- It's nice that you are opening this up to a public pool of artists. But paying one or even several young artist for their hard work and genius in concert tickets is kind of demeaning. I'm sure you are going to get a million entries and an artist can't eat off of concert tickets. This is in bad taste.
This particular example is far from the first contest of its kind, fanart contests are a popular way to save money on properly commissioning art from working artists. Even if the chosen artists receive money, there will be countless fan artists putting in hours to create work designed explicitly for the commercial purpose of promoting the band in an official capacity. This is free spec work and a big issue in why artists’ work is so undervalued and underpaid. Many articles and thinkpieces have been written on why these kind of contests are hurting artists.
It is particularly disappointing given that Florence recently received an honorary degree from London’s University of the Arts, where she was on her way to an illustration degree but dropped out once the music thing took off. In a touching and emotional speech, she talks about the importance of the arts to society and how important artists are. Now imagine if her business showed good ethics towards the work of artists too! Maybe those graduates would have an easier time in their field.[Florence's speech at the ceremony.]
OP note: I am obviously a massive fan, therefore I am really hurt to see this. I always admired her as someone of great integrity, and I’m hoping that the backlash will be enough to change this marketing strategy. As a suggestion, why not commission the recent graduates of Florence’s illustration degree programme for posters for the different tour stops? Or let fans send in small samplers of previous work, then pick artists to commission based on those?