Parental Advisory: Explicit Illustration

Alone by Switchsky & BaggelBoy

I consider it a compliment that Illustration Friday has grown big enough to inspire alternatives like Illustration Friday Night. Same idea different criteria.

Illustrations above by Switchsky and BaggelBoy respectively on the topic “I think we’re alone now.”

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Posted by rama on 06/03/07 under Blogroll,illustrationfriday
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  • Brianna Privett

    I’ve been a visitor to this blog for awhile – some great work! However, I have to set the record straight on the implication that we censor Illustration Friday entries. Ouch. Granted, as a techno-junkie information pirate, freedom of speech issues are HUGE to me, so I guess the best response would be to post a public policy about how entries are handled – but if you want to post pictures of penises to IF, nobody cares. The community moderates itself well on this issue – I’m the one who deletes spam out of the main database, but everything else is fair game as long as it pertains to the theme. And even then, neither Penny nor I delete entries JUST for not being related to the theme (frequently, new users post entries for a previous topic, and I can’t ever delete somebody’s work just for having dates wrong).

    So, now that I’ve had a minute on my Free Speech and Up With Art soapbox, here’s my favourite entry from their topic “I think we’re alone now”

    Alone At Last

  • Jeannette Langmead

    this entry was removed from IF.

  • penelope

    Hi there,
    I thought I’d just chime in with what Steve (who started IFN) and I initially talked about back in the day when that “Buzz” drawing was deleted.

    Here’s my initial email to him and his response:

    Hi Steve,
    First of all, please let me say that I’m sorry that I’ve had to delete a couple of your images from the Illustration Friday site. I hate to be put in the position of censor… And I hope you understand the reasoning behind it. (The first was overtly pornographic and the second was a photograph). The site is meant to promote creativity in a fun way for lots of different people from different backgrounds to enjoy, and I think it needs to stay away from what “most” would consider offensive… you know what I mean?

    I realize that a lot of the illustrations that are done for Illustration Friday are very innocuous, so in that light, I think your idea of Illustration Friday Night is pretty cool. I like the idea of taking the topics to a dark underside that is sometimes ignored and skirted under the rug… social commentary, politics, sex, money, etc. But I also think there is a way to do that sort of illustration that is not offensive to other people… or in a way that kids could view it and maybe expand their minds. Do you agree? Lots of illustrators out there tackle these issues in a way that is a little less than obvious and I think their images are very powerful because of that…

    Anita Kunz:
    Juliette Borda:
    Sam Weber: 
    Robert Neubecker:

    to name a couple…

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that I appreciate what you’re doing and hope that we can meet in the middle.


    And his response:

    Sure. Of course. I shall try really really really hard not to post anything that ‘most’ would consider offensive on IF. Although, being such a well-visited platform by clearly a great number of Middle Americana, makes it a place I really really really want to do something slightly contentious on. I’m like the little boy at nursery school who just HAS to crap in the sandpit. I don’t do it ONLY for attention or because I inherently dislike the sweet little boys and girls. I just have to crap in the sandpit.
    But thank you for your blessings for IFN. It means a lot to me. Your site is such an inspiration of what a community of like-minded individuals can create together (in the best, and sometimes in the absolutely cheesiest sense) and so IFN is very much a homage to that.


    So, this comment is getting long, but I just wanted to reiterate that I think IFN is really cool and love a lot of the work that is posted there. I don’t want to censor, and I don’t have a problem with those images, but I want to keep it comfortable and friendly to kids and the school assignments that involve Illustration Friday.

    Hope that helps clear things up! :)


  • rama

    i posted about illustration friday night with penelope’s blessing and i have to admit that i was excited by the ideas it sparked about public forums, art, and censorship.

    personally, i think that the host of any public forum is within her rights to edit the content of her site, book, film, etc. to create the kind of interaction that she is hoping for. i censor the content of my own site, not because i object to nudity or sex in art, but because my students visit the site and i want it to be a place where they and their parents feel welcome.

    i think it’s commendable that penelope has done as little editing as she has. only five images in three years, according to our conversation this morning.

    that said, steve was on the losing end of those odds and i have to say that i admire his response. rather than shutting him down, he continues to participate in illustration friday and, even better, created his own equally compelling forum where he can set the tone.

  • switchsky

    I’m confused.
    You can delete or you can’t?
    Or only delete in a pornographic or photographic emergency?

  • rama


  • Jeannette Langmead

    Wait wait boys and girls… Illustration Friday Night was my idea. Let’s get that straight, wink wink ;)

    read the story, you’ll see.

    Im drunk and pornographic, but a egotistical artist nonetheless.

  • rama

    that’s true! jeannette suggested AND named it.

    (i think it’s funny that my portrait party obsession was always in my face but it took tommy kane to see it as a website. i think jeannette did the same thing for steve.)

  • Steve

    Blimey, I hadn’t actually read this side of the debate until now.

    You know what it’s like when you’re the FOUNDER and FIGUREHEAD of an International Conglomeration of Artists (IFN), but even more importantly, running an INCREDIBLY influential blog like Prozacville, visited by…oooh…three or four people (a day, but that’s like DOZENS every week) – just keeping up with the comments is a strain, oh what a strain, a strain indeed.

    All I can say is that I’m relieved that my Penelope-quoted email reads as a fairly honest summation of where I stand/stood on the the brouhaha (emphasis on the haha).

    Rama, you’re absolutely right about the need for a Muse to see what is probably staring you straight in the face and just to say GO FOR IT!

    That’s what makes the IFN team such a good one. You have Grumpy (Jeannette), Even More Grumpy (Me) and Every Reason To Be Grumpy But Actually An Embodiment of Sagacity (Switchsky).

    And not a single fucking Snow White (or smiley) in sight/site!

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