Art for free? Bianca Umali draws flak for opening contest with no mentioned prize

February 18, 2022 - 12:46 PM
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Bianca Umali
Bianca Umali in this photo from her Instagram on Jan. 13, 2022. (Photo from Instagram/bianxa)

A Kapuso actress drew criticisms after opening an art contest to her fans without specifying what kind of prize will they get for winning.

In a video early this month, Bianca Umali called for submission from those who can create a YouTube channel art for her.

Her channel, which has over 68,000 subscribers, was created in July 2015.

“Have you noticed how I don’t have a YouTube channel art yet? Well, I was wondering if you could make one for me! You! Yes, you,” Bianca exclaimed with a gesture to the camera.

“That’s right. I am personally asking for your artwork to be my YouTube channel art on my YouTube channel,” she added with a smile.

The contest accepted entries from everyone until February 9.

“I have been receiving lots of fan art from all of you, which is why I thought of putting this contest up to show the world how talented my ever so supporting fans are!” the actress said.

Bianca added that she was “excited” to see all of the entries and that she would be choosing her “top ten favorites.” She will be announcing the winner in her next video, which has yet to be uploaded.

“Thank you very much, I’ll see you and enjoy creating!” she concluded.

A Reddit user claimed that Bianca also announced the contest on her Facebook page but as of this writing, the post could no longer be accessed.

“A multimillionaire actress in the Philippines offers exposure as reward for the winner of her contest,” the user claimed, accompanying the post with an alleged screengrab of Bianca’s FB post.

The uploader also shared another screengrab of the actress’ alleged reply to a YouTube user who asked what would be the “reward” of the winner.

“Hello [redacted]! Sorry for the late reply. I’ll be using the channel art of the winning entry on my YouTube channel. Hopefully, this can also help the winner promote his work to others,” Bianca replied.

The original post was crossposted on r/Philippines, a subreddit for Filipinos and all things about the country.

Bianca’s YouTube art contest was not received well by some Filipinos on the discussion website.

“May comment sa original post saying that she even deletes comments asking for cash prize. G*go lang e, talagang gusto libre,” a Redditor wrote.

“Why not compensate and promote the artist at the same time?” another Reddit user said.

“Hope she disclosed it na lang nung una sa post niya what her prize is, kawawa naman ‘yung nag effort ta’s ‘di naman pala alam na shoutout lang bibigay. Also, medyo out of touch siya sa common issues ng mga graphic artist like being underpaid or runaway clients,” commented a different Filipino.

Another Redditor recalled a similar incident involving another actor.

“Same energy nung shout out ni Jameson,” the online user commented.

In 2018, Jameson Blake was called out by Filipinos after he asked graphic designers to make a cover photo for him to be used on a platform.

“Best one gets a shout out from me,” he wrote before. He didn’t mention monetary compensation.

After receiving backlash, Jameson said that he was “basically seeking volunteers” and that “no one had to do it.”

“I wasn’t obligating anyone to make one. It was just a favor. Probably a shout out would have done nothing, but I could have returned the favor by promoting the artwork. Promoting in ways for the artwork to be known and exposed and you ever know, people would actually like it,” he said in a now-deleted Instagram post.

Jameson nevertheless received a banner from the incident.

The incident angered artists who insisted that their work should be valued.

“Although it is true that we get promoted and get networks with different people or potential clients, if we let other people in different industries define our value as working professionals, then whatever we are doing passionately will never be valued,” graphic designer Eunice Enrera was quoted before.

“It is also up to you, the artist, [to determine] how much you value your career, talent, sweat, blood, education, tears and experience. Is it going to be money? Recognition? Fame? Celebrity shout outs? It is up to you to decide,” she added.