No Contest

Just a few of the hundreds of shirts I've designed for the greater Eve community

So today, in a classic example of bad timing, CCP announced a shirt design contest.

If one was given to conspiracy minded thinking, one might view this as more than it is. Contests are nothing new, CCP runs them all the time. In fact, I've won many of them over the years for Eve and Valkyrie. My shelves are gladly over-running with contest earnings. Next to my monitor as I write this post is an Eve Valkyrie poster hand-signed by the team from England. These are among my most prized Eve possessions.

I've even skipped contests in the past due to lack of interest at the time, or to give others a chance. I realize that sounds kinda arrogant, but I don't intend it to be. Contests are often fun especially if the subject matter or goal is interesting enough to warrant participation. But I'm not a contest professional, I am actually a creative professional. More often than not that means I do not participate in contests, for Eve or for anything else. I like to get paid for spending hours and hours doing what I get paid for. Its called making a living and I've been doing it for 32 years now.

No I don't believe that anything evil was intended by CCP announcing this contest. I am, after all, but a speck on the windshield of their Titan. An annoying speck. But a speck nonetheless. But I won't just be standing out of this particular contest, instead I am actively boycotting it. And encouraging others to do the same.

I am encouraging ALL creatives in the community to NOT enter this contest.

Here are my reasons:

• The rules are terrible for you. Win or lose, CCP owns your work. This means they can use it anytime they want now or in the future and you have no say about it. Every piece you enter becomes their property for eternity. Think about that for a second. That is borderline criminal when you think about it.

• The prizes are not very good. You don't even get a t-shirt!

It is a bad contest that is set-up to essentially troll the community for free ideas. And for that reason I will not be entering anything and I strongly suggest you do not as well.

For me, I can't enter. If I enter and don't win, CCP can claim my shirt designs suck and yet they can keep my art to do whatever they want with it. If I do manage to win one of the prizes, CCP gets the chance to look great in the eyes of the community and I get nothing. I already pre-ordered the Frigate book and I already have t-shirts with my name on them. A couple that CCP printed themselves.

It is a no-win situation. And given the context of the past few months it is (probably) unintentionally insulting. Big benefit of the doubt here. I'd rather spend my time creating new shirt designs for my own RedBubble store and the long list of commissions that need my attention.

And yes, I suspect they will get a ton of submissions and I wish anyone that does enter the very best of luck. But I really do encourage you to have more self-respect for your time, your creative energy and your work than that.

If you don't respect your work, no one else will.

Keep the courage.


  1. Rixx,

    I've followed your blog for a couple of years and I've enjoyed much of your writing, your creative Eve art and your perspective. I've sympathized with you through your well documented financial and legal struggles. However, I have to disagree with you on this one.

    You voluntarily spent/spend time on your creative interpretation of EvE, it's ships, visuals and community. You have much talent and thank you for sharing it with us, but that does not entitle you to anything from CCP. Yes, you had a brief business partnership but it ended. You volunteered those items. Yes, they used them but you knew that going in. You were aware and they never promised you anything more.

    Yes, it would have been nice if they had contributed to your portfolio or your resume, but that was your hope, it was never their obligation. Now, you're beginning to sound a bit petulant that you aren't getting the attention that you feel you deserve. CCP will have their contest. CCP will solicit artwork from the community. Everyone knows what to expect, just as you did in the past. There are many who will feel privileged that their art is used in an MMO. Let them have their moment just as you had yours. For your own sake, quit whining.

    1. I respect your opinion and appreciate you sharing it. I appreciate the opportunities that I have earned, not just with CCP, but in my entire career. If anyone understands the transient nature of relationships, opportunities, and professional fortitude better than I do - I'd seriously like to meet them. Furthermore, I totally appreciate the chances I've been granted in the past to work with CCP and many of their employees. Not just with the Posters, but with the London office opening and many other projects. Heck, just this past week I designed another Dev Team Logo.

      Having said all of that, I personally stand by my decision to boycott this specific contest. And I recommend others do as well. I'm not actively promoting this boycott, I'm not banging any drums, or posting on forums, or anything else. I just quietly wrote this post and let it lay there. Others are totally free to draw their own conclusions and decide for themselves their own course of action.

      If you choose to see that stance as "whining" then so be it. To me it would seem much easier to just smile, laugh and move on like nothing happened. Standing up for what I believe is right has never been easy. But I make those choices every day for myself and my own family. And I will continue to do so.I've done so my entire life and I'm not going to stop now.

      Another contest rolls around, I may very well participate. And I certainly continue to hope that I can work again with CCP in the future. But neither of those possibilities change anything in this case.


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