Can't find:\\creimg01\Images\1-9999\8274-2xs.jpg Christmas Photoshop Design Contest: Winners & Top 20 | Blog

Christmas Photoshop Design Contest: Winners & Top 20

Posted Thursday, 27 November 2008 in Photoshop
After a week of careful deliberation, we have the results of the final round of the Crestock Photoshop Contest 2008!
First a reminder of the brief: "Apocalyptic Christmas – The cost of living is up, our savings are gone, our jobs are at risk and the economy is in free-fall. Now all we need is a seasonal greeting card to match!"

1st Place: Winner of the Mac Pro with 30" Cinema Display

1. kaboom1976   [view fullsize image]

The quality standard of the entire contest, and of this final round in particular, has been nothing short of outstanding. There are several handfuls of entries on this shortlist that all all answer the contest brief with considerable flair, backed up by considerable technical refinement.

In the end there can only be one overall winner, but we'd also like to thank every single one of the participants, both in this round and in the preceding rounds. There would have been no contest without you, we hope to see you all next year!

The Top 20

2. Bontea   [view fullsize image]

3. lycanwings   [view fullsize image]

4. dogtrombone   [view fullsize image]

5. darioberardi   [view fullsize image]

6. termipeitto   [view fullsize image]

7. kac2or   [view fullsize image]

8. MarcusAurelius   [view fullsize image]

9. Dominik_Blaszczyk   [view fullsize image]

10. Doug   [view fullsize image]

11. j909   [view fullsize image]

12. temporary_peace   [view fullsize image]

13. leemski   [view fullsize image]

14. alisommer   [view fullsize image]

15. lamaksstalk   [view fullsize image]

16. panic_embryo   [view fullsize image]

17. kaifiji   [view fullsize image]

18. lionad   [view fullsize image]

19. Jurgt   [view fullsize image]

20. microbot   [view fullsize image]

Honorable Mentions:











































The source photos used in Round 4:

Browse all the entries for round 4 here

Check out the winners of Round 1, Round 2 and Round 3 as well!
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Thank you
By Bontea on Thursday, 27 November 2008 4:09 PM
Congratulations to everyone who made the effort to participate, there are many great entries and I want to thank everyone who supported my illustration, it was great having you around. I wish you well!
By dogtrombone on Thursday, 27 November 2008 4:18 PM
Congratulations Kaboom! A lovely piece of work.
Well done to all the other finalists... it is an honour to be amongst you.
And a big "Thank you" to Crestock for the opportunity, the judges for their time, as well as lots of "thank you's" to those who took the time to comment and vote on my image.

Next year? Must try harder...
A good explanation how this was chosen is needed
By freejay on Thursday, 27 November 2008 4:24 PM
Is the guy on the roof giant?
Unbelievable that this entry was even in the top 50 let alone win.
Sorry, but this winner definitely is far from the best entry here.
I am perplexed as to how the judges chose this pic , especially with the central figure on the roof out of proportion to the rest of the pic.
By j909 on Thursday, 27 November 2008 4:27 PM
congrats to all , specially to Bontea , amazing work broo , tnx crestock for this amazing learning experience ,

By Sansana on Thursday, 27 November 2008 4:28 PM
congrats to the winners!
fuck diplomacy
By Rodier on Thursday, 27 November 2008 4:32 PM
come one.... u judges really think that kaboom1976's piece is better than Bontea's???

sorry kaboom.. your piece is very good... but its far behind bontea's in an OBJECTIVE look.

im really dissapointed with that decision... and... microbot's in 19th place?

do you even know how to use photoshop??? do you know how a focus effects may be used??... and how blendigns must be to be considered well done??

give the prize to the one that deserves it.
thank you.
By espigan on Thursday, 27 November 2008 4:41 PM!!
By Olaf on Thursday, 27 November 2008 4:43 PM
"...Now all we need is a seasonal greeting card to match!" No. 7? No. 9? No.19? Againnn!!! Seems to me that the only people who don't understand the brief are the judges!!! what in the name of christmas have this entries to do with the brief!! come on!
To the winner, congrats; To the serious!!
By microbot on Thursday, 27 November 2008 5:33 PM
lol this can only be some very bad mistake

bontea you're the real winner for sure!
By ROBOTICA on Thursday, 27 November 2008 5:44 PM
igorad, danjul, Bombardierbob in th honorable mentions? Is this a joke, right?????
Amaizing how this contest worth 2 cents... ARE THE JUDGES BLIND!!!!!!!! there's a lot of good works outhere who deserve more...

By Mik300 on Thursday, 27 November 2008 5:49 PM
Dear friends: do you need more of this? just take a good look of the finalist in this round. What a waste of time!
Holiday Card?
By KatsPurr on Thursday, 27 November 2008 6:11 PM
A big congratulations to all the winners and honorable mentions. Lots of quality work there. Good job everyone!

I do have some criticism though - not towards any of the artists, but towards the judges. Namely, wasn't one of the requirements that the image was supposed to portray a holiday card? From what I can tell, the winners are mostly just really well done digital art pieces and don't have even the remotest link to any cards.

I just think it's very unfair towards all the people who DID follow the rules, considering that making the image into a card has a whole set of considerations which restrict the end product.

And FYI I didn't even take part in this round, so my opinion is purely from a neutral outsider point of view.
Congratulations to the winner.
By pruizw on Thursday, 27 November 2008 6:17 PM
To the winner: congratulations. Amazing job. Well deserved.

To the top 20 and honorable mentions. Good work. There are some amazing entries in there.

To the bitter resentful people... just accept you suck and try harder next time.
By NEVER AGAIN! on Thursday, 27 November 2008 6:18 PM
To even watch this contest was the worst waste of time. Never again even thinking about looking out for one here at this site. The winner artwork is one of those I overlooked as it has nothing what makes a winner. The total crap to be honest. It was the same with the previous rounds inhere. It is the same with the second and other places even the mentions are not the real "intense" and "alarming" ones. Only word that describes this contest..THE FULL BULL!!!

If it was not for 50% Discount on a overpriced clipart I bought and got for signing up, even those are horrendously high, 5$ for a file, I never would have heard about the contest and have stood with IStockPhoto who I see as the one and only real Stock Images Site and not this one here.

Totally nonsense contest, as the winner with this artwork I would feel ashamed and like a real loser. One can feel more like a winner when not even haven't been mentioned by the judges, as their votes are not representing anything that stands for good judgement.

This is some contest like one sees as the TV Series like Simpson, where Ralph wins a contest with a hillarious piece as the principal Skinner was blind again.

No good joke!
RE: By j909 on Thursday, 27 November 2008 4:27 PM
By RE: on Thursday, 27 November 2008 6:30 PM
HOW can this artwork on place 2 even get in the mentions? Can you explain that Crestock??? I do not know how deep you looked over the piece but look at the rabbits in the right corner, first one in the front okay, but than this artist placed the same one also behind the other trees, simply duplicated bunnies that are so misplaced a few times after another, like a beginner does.
To RE:
By Bontea on Thursday, 27 November 2008 6:35 PM
I repeated the bunnies to create a feel of creepiness and I hope you're not expecting an award for spotting such an obvious thing. Do you really think I was lazy to paint them? I hope you're kidding.
By velendil on Thursday, 27 November 2008 6:36 PM

Bontea - You are winner for me !

By Bontea on Thursday, 27 November 2008 6:37 PM
Rodier, you've been such a character the entire round :) Cheers!
to RE:
By Rodier on Thursday, 27 November 2008 6:46 PM
hahah! that was a DUMBASS comment...
''...even get in the mentions??'' hahahahhhaa sorry this is funny shit...

By And on Thursday, 27 November 2008 6:52 PM
Ok. I think many don't understand the reasoning wich led the jury to chosing the winner. It's not late to know what impressed him, when they awarded the work.
P.S. For me it's obvious that the work of Bontea deserves the first place. It's simple, explicit, with an engaging atmosphere, generous from all points of view. So ...
yo bon
By Rodier on Thursday, 27 November 2008 7:00 PM
hahah, i had fun being this way... i never made things the way i did on this contest... i whored it and i got hated ... and i asure you it was fucking fun to get some hilarious comments!!

what i really dont get beyond my arrogance.. is why my piece is not even there... they dont really like me at all hahaha

im really sorry u didnt win man, it was served in your hands and these judging eagles took it away.

By Bontea on Thursday, 27 November 2008 7:03 PM
It might be hard, but please do not take the number that was associated (or not) to your work as
the representation of its value or even worse, your value. If you identify the criticism directed at your work with you, as who YOU are, you will be the only one suffering. Sure, it is great to receive approval but the way you see yourself and how much you believe in yourself should never depend on it, NEVER. Today I have learned to think bigger and not to beg to anyone anymore. So in a way I'm grateful for this contest and its results, it was an eye opener.

And above all, I can't tell you how grateful I am to have had received such positive responses and this is incomparably more valuable than the computer that will be so obsolete in a few years anyway. Don't get me wrong, I would've made very good use of it since I've never had my own (I'm still working on my girlfriend's). Thanks everyone, you've made a difference and above all, trust yourselves NO MATTER WHAT!
By jrunin on Thursday, 27 November 2008 7:10 PM
Bontea: To me, in my eyes, and i'm sure it's not just me, your work is THE BEST. Quality, art, humor. When i see your entry, i feel like you are working for Pixar or something. I wish someday i will be able to do such a good work as you did. You really won on this contest, never forget that.
To Bontea and all:
By jrunin on Thursday, 27 November 2008 7:12 PM
Bontea: To me, in my eyes, and i'm sure it's not just me, your work is THE BEST. Quality, art, humor. When i see your entry, i feel like you are working for Pixar or something. I wish someday i will be able to do such a good work as you did. You really won on this contest, never forget that.
By j909 on Thursday, 27 November 2008 7:17 PM
"please do not take the number that was associated (or not) to your work as
the representation of its value or even worse, your value."

"Today I have learned to think bigger and not to beg to anyone anymore"

"trust yourselves NO MATTER WHAT!"

this is a winner attitude , im surprised big time as others finding bontea's work didnt won but we cant control judges desition , theres so much work involved in winners entry so dont complain , work harder for next year and be wiser at the time you develop your idea , the real prize on this contest is how much you learn , period.

my 2¢

By laurentb303 on Thursday, 27 November 2008 7:37 PM
What a real waste of time...

Brief respect? Why bother?
Given material respect? Why bother?
Technically? Why bother?
Imaging aware judges? Why bother...

I was already thinking this since round 2...Now that is over I'm pretty sure I won't do that whole thing again.

I know that no one will care about it and will think that I'm bitter. Nevermind. I know the work I've done what's good and bad in it.
By richy_88 on Thursday, 27 November 2008 7:39 PM
i felt bontea or termipeitto should have been the winners, 2 outstadning works of art, i cant say the same for 1st place i'm afraid, i cant really understand the choice of 1st place, the proportions and focus are all wrong. I have a theory that the winners are the oens who spend the most money on ... :P
Bontea! Bontea! Bontea!
By Bontea Fan on Thursday, 27 November 2008 7:54 PM
You're number 1 in my pants
By Bontea on Thursday, 27 November 2008 7:56 PM
WTF do you want?
By Bontea on Thursday, 27 November 2008 7:59 PM
Sorry, I'm a bit dizzy (maybe drank a bit too much) :P
By Rodier on Thursday, 27 November 2008 8:13 PM
lets go throwing stones at crestock's!!
By Bontea on Thursday, 27 November 2008 8:19 PM
Meet me outside in 5 mins :D
By Jurgt on Thursday, 27 November 2008 8:21 PM
May I throw with you? =).

Thanks for the mention in the top 20, but I really dislike the #1, it should have been Bonteo for sure. And some other pieces in the finalists are, in MY OPINION full of crap with no eye of quality.

But that does not mean I had no fun drawing =).
By Bontea on Thursday, 27 November 2008 8:22 PM
Sometimes I hate the limits of this www, I wish we could all hang out for a beer and have a laugh. Rodier, you're so funny,
lol I guess they really hate you :)) Thanks fly out to j909, Sansana, Rodier, microbot, KatsPurr, velendil, And, jrunin (thanks dude, never forget), richy_88 and many others!
Whats the big deal here!!!
By JudgeCPC on Thursday, 27 November 2008 8:23 PM
What's wrong with you people? what's the problem around here? Everybody knows right now that this contest is a real waste of time!!

After the first place, everyone is a loser!!!!

Sorry for you bontea, your work looks great but you lose as everyone around here, so what's the big deal!! you fight for a nomination or a position in the top entries like a real losers!!!!

The crestock "Waste of time" contest!!!
By Rodier on Thursday, 27 November 2008 8:26 PM

these are around da house, catch and throw fellows! ... uooopss nice blond!
By Bontea on Thursday, 27 November 2008 8:29 PM
Jurgt, we can throw my vampire bunnies at the windows just like in Open Season. I can copy/paste some more for you :P

JudgeCPC Why so sad? Let me grab you a beer! :)
By Bontea on Thursday, 27 November 2008 8:30 PM
Lol, massage stones :))
By Jurgt on Thursday, 27 November 2008 8:35 PM
hahaha, I've read that you're a master with copy-paste those lovely vampire bunnies? :D haha, let's do that! (cheers)
By starfantazy on Thursday, 27 November 2008 9:45 PM
just my 2 cents...

i was kinda ashamed when people went out on me for my defending the winner of the next round and here people are doing what i was and its not nice at all. i personally am going to leave my opinion out of this one, but in all honesty, this is crestocks contest... it was their opinion to give the prizes away. and im sure you are making the winner feel like a total tool.

come on guys. just come back next year and beat everyone else and hope that people will not react like this,
to the winner
By sharptv on Thursday, 27 November 2008 10:09 PM
congrats on winning the grand prize!

i must admit, i really thought bontea was gonna win. his concept was amazing! but i think i know why it didn't win first place. maybe it's because he illustrated the image. YES that takes pure talent to do so, but i guess the judges were looking for more PHOTOSHOP photo manipulation. taking outside elements and putting them together. comparing both kabooms and bontea, it's clear kaboom has a lot more photoshop (with outside elements) work done.

ie. the boots on the man, the house, the shingles, the snow, the fence, the sled, the reindeer and much more.

congrats to the winner again, i can totally see how much hardwork was put into that piece! good stuff!

By JudgeCPC on Thursday, 27 November 2008 10:10 PM
With all my respect starfantazy, are you planning to come back to this circus next year?? Hahahaha!! this is not a fair contest!! come on!!! take a good look of the final results in each got to be blind!!!
By Dominik_Blaszczyk on Thursday, 27 November 2008 11:12 PM
CONGRATULATIONS kaboom1976!!!!!!!!!!!! BRAVO
Judges miss again
By round4 on Thursday, 27 November 2008 11:18 PM
The judges tend to follow the briefs strictly, but when the briefs are first introduced they are vague and open-ended. As for this round I'm sure that many didn't know if they should design it like a card or simply as a regular image.
By ishbu on Friday, 28 November 2008 12:56 AM
I stopped working on my entry after seeing Bontea's piece, thought you completely had it in the bag, oh well better luck next year I guess.
I am totally surprised!
By Heinlein on Friday, 28 November 2008 1:09 AM
I thought for sure Bontea's was a sure winner.
I do not understand where the theme of the economy is portrayed in the winners image. Anyway the guy sitting on the roof looks way to big in proportion to the rest of the scene.

By rights Bontea's entry should have won.

By j909 on Friday, 28 November 2008 1:24 AM
EXACTLY!!!!!!!! agree with sharptv ,

this is a photoshop contest and the winner won for a reason , shure some "mistakes" should have as ALL the works have , sorry but any of the entries are PERFECT , even bontea's one have some , and was his work the one i liked the most but have their mistakes too , you can check how the trunk lid of the deers car is totally out of proportion and direction ,

the winner achieved to create a "photo / shop custom entry " , with a nice concept and literally custom made concept , his own shoots and chopping & editing & tweaking everything to create a different story , thats it ... that simple , that have a real value bro , bontea's work is pure amazing illustrate talent with a very very nice story , shure with its photoshop tricks also and a very nice looking kind of PIXAR image but i understand why the winner , my work finished # 11 this last round & 12th on 3rd round , i won snopp dogg's wallpaper contest this year and the best thing about this contest is ..... HOW MUCH YOU LEARN ,shure if you want to , i entered last year photoshop contest for the first time and the first 3 rounds i didnt made it at all , and my works looked very nice trust me , but not even choosed for honorific mention , my last round work made it top 20 but i learned a lot after that contest and i won snopp dogg contest ( wich was kind of different being a wallpaper contest ) , this time i only entered 3 & 4 rounds and i made it to 11 & 12 so im learning from every contest so stop barking and start working and practicing for next years contest ,

my 2¢

tnx again crestock ,
By doug on Friday, 28 November 2008 2:30 AM
depressing though.
By bdesign on Friday, 28 November 2008 2:36 AM
everyone have done great job, for those who has won their prize congrat,...this contest is great way to learn what they have missed in their skills for some beginner designer and learn how to improve both quality and skill of the work for the pros, truth is there is nothing such as the master of photoshop,...just u can handle all the tools doesnt make you a master, cause everyone can learn it, dispite of their ages or their profession. the true master is how to make their unique concept in so little time but can produce so maximum quality cause designing is all about deadline. so dont expect to win the grand prize for your first entry for the last round and offense others work, i believe judges have difficulties in making the decision. there are so many entries for a single prize in each round. you cant make everyone a winner, this is a contest. dont feel bad by going to the bar and grab the whole drum of beer. lol, please, it's not like you're getting divorce or something. take it like man, grab that mouse and work on something new for yourself to make a better work. c u all next year.
To bdesign and others
By RoxanaC on Friday, 28 November 2008 9:42 AM
I hope you're not talking about Bontea, cause that would show that you didn't even bothered to read what he said on this page. Look again, he didn't say anything negative about ANYONE'S work, he stayed positive, and thanked the people that supported him.
As to the drinking issue, it was a joke, I think everybody caught that beside you, sorry.
I was baffled when I saw the winner, and the first thing that came to mind was "did he win this because of his making of" ? Cause you know, that would be like saying he won because he worked harder than anyone else, just because he had the pictures to prove it.

But all put aside, regardless of the fact that it is clear that Bontea should have won, people are upset because they don't understand why that entry won and not another one, there were some pretty good entries here, it's understandable that there are questions, as Crestock probably should have explained their choice better.

We all have to accept the decision, but that doesn't mean we can't question it or say something about it. In fact there's nothing more to say, everybody got it covered. :)

So let's move on, shall we?
By lamaksstalk on Friday, 28 November 2008 10:01 AM
This is bull shit, crestock is doing this only for promotion and their website popularity.
There no recognition for skills, i'd like to know who the judges are, the results of all the four rounds show their incapability. This is no way a "Photoshopping" contest.
I'm sad
By jrunin on Friday, 28 November 2008 10:16 AM
Because my entry was not even mentioned. It is that bad? Never mind, my style doesn't fit here.
Don't take the results personally
By Bontea on Friday, 28 November 2008 10:47 AM
Thanks RoxanaC! Yeah, the beer is the symbol of getting over and having fun. And the break-up demo was indeed strange, I thought of that too. You know, I have a theory - maybe the the MacPro wasn't even for real. Just a marketing bait. So they paid someone 1 grand or less to create that comp (demo steps included) or made one themselves and save some money.

Of course it's a theory but even if this was for real, I would still understand it somehow because it's JUST BUSINESS!! And business gets ugly many times because it involves money. Don't get the results personally, and most of all don't hold any grudges while they're out dancing.

Nobody cares about your frustration with the contest. THEY WERE EXPECTING EVERY SINGLE COMMENT TO BE EXACTLY AS IT IS way before they even posted the results! They're not stupid, they're just screwing with people's trust. And unfortunately it is the most valuable asset a business can own.
Bontea, i agree
By freejay on Friday, 28 November 2008 11:44 AM
This whole competition stinks of fraud.
No way would any judge, even with a basic knowledge of Photoshop and graphic art, have voted for that winning entry. Everyone can see that there are basic technical aspects in the pic like proportion and focus, that are clearly wrong. And wheres the originality? There must be 50 other similar looking entries! Sorry. but it shouldn't of even made the top 50!
Its obvious from the results that this last contest was pre determined by the staff. But they screwed up by using a poorly created entry!
I think what they dont realize is that Cresstock has lost alot of credibility through these ridiculous results.
If you guys cant pick the best artists work in these competitions, then how the hell can you pic the best pics to sell on your site?
Your PR campaign has backfired through you not using a pro artist in this final round to make your winning entry.

Still waiting from the staff for a clear explanation on how they chose the winner, and what made it different to the others.....that will be interesting!

By Bontea on Friday, 28 November 2008 12:09 PM
Amen to that. I guess silence speaks louder than words.
holy shit!
By Rodier on Friday, 28 November 2008 1:01 PM
they still havent gave a healthy explanation???
and where is kaboom??? does he exists???
They made me laugh at least....
By US Soldier & Proud on Friday, 28 November 2008 3:13 PM
Must really suck to be that depressed wth life and all you see around you....maybe you should lay off the crack pipe for a bit and look around for some beauty.

I could see a few of these would be interesting, but to have all of them based on doom and gloom should be telling ou something about yourself....

Seek help...seriously.
To US Soldier & Proud
By jrunin on Friday, 28 November 2008 4:02 PM
Dude, you are f*cked up. If you will look at the title of the contest you will see why. The title is: Apocalyptic Christmas.
By freejay on Friday, 28 November 2008 4:17 PM
And i forgot to add that the lighting on the guy on the roof is all wrong.
us soldier
By Rodier on Friday, 28 November 2008 4:20 PM
go to sleep!
By lalima on Friday, 28 November 2008 5:06 PM
Congrats to the winner :-)
By ssjothun on Friday, 28 November 2008 5:25 PM

My name is Sverre Sjøthun, and I'm the internet marketing director here at Crestock. I'm also the guy who started this design contest tradition back in 2006.

The whole point was to offer something unique to the design community...give people a chance to compete against each other. Not in an everyday tennis match - I've done my fair share of that too - but a real contest, (no spec, I might add) with real prizes worth a healthy months salary - and then some - for free.

When was the last time you were given such an opportunity?

Now, I totally understand that many of you think Bontea should have won - it is exquisite. But I'm not a judge. None at Crestock are - to keep things unbiased. Even if you disagree with the judges verdict, do not drag the winner into the dirt. There's no class in that.

Rodier is asking where's kaboom1976. I'm asking you: if there was a lynch mob knocking on your door, would you open up?

The judges are all merited in the field of design; Art Directors, chief design strategist, graphic designers. They know what they're doing.

As for the fraud accusations - This is the third year in a row we're running this contest. Of course this is the real deal.

Finally, I'm afraid I'll have to ask some of you to keep things a bit more civilized in here - no flame wars or bashing. Please.

If anyone disagree or would like to discuss things, I'm available at sverre [you know what goes in here]

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

Sverre Sjøthun
By Rodier on Friday, 28 November 2008 6:20 PM
im sorry sverre, but the lynch mob is not knocking kaboom's door... its on the judges's door...

after re-reading this:


The quality standard of the entire contest, and of this final round in particular, has been nothing short of outstanding. There are several handfuls of entries on this shortlist that all all answer the contest brief with considerable flair, backed up by considerable technical refinement.

In the end there can only be one overall winner, but we'd also like to thank every single one of the participants, both in this round and in the preceding rounds. There would have been no contest without you, we hope to see you all next year!


i cant stop thinking how capricious was the decision that they even didnt say ONE word about the winner piece... if they are knowns in their design field well alright great! show it explaining such decision.

what is happening here is not a randomized complaint about the decision... whats happening is a grand public part claiming the prize for another participant ... and that part are giving reasons to say that.... something that judges didnt as i said before.

im sorry for kaboom176, but even him was sure he was not gonna win.
Thanks for answering but you're missing something
By Bontea on Friday, 28 November 2008 8:22 PM
Nobody's lynching anyone here, unless you can die defending your entry from words. Afraid of what? That's just another piece of nonsense.

Sverre, thanks for praising your contest to us, and telling us how much you're giving to the community. You're scolding us for not appreciating the contest as if everyone had a fair chance.

Just please don't tell anyone that the prize is free because that would be an insult. Everyone here worked hard for their entry. I think you should've been talking about how much the community gives back to Crestock without asking for anything but a simple honest, clarifying answer back from you - I'm surprised you're not mentioning anything about that. Next time, please don't take anyone's work for granted, because even if we chose not to think too much about it, we all contributed to your growth. So don't even try to make us look like we're ungrateful.
By ssjothun on Friday, 28 November 2008 9:09 PM
Bontea and Rodier,

What I'm trying to say is that many contest that are put on are either on spec or don't have any prize worth mentioning, or you have to pay an entry fee just to get in - what we've tried to put together is something unique where you can have a lotta fun, learn from each other. I'm not saying the prize is free in terms of work hours, and I think you know that's not what I meant.

I assure you I fully appreciate the time and effort being put into a large number of these entries; even though I've been doing design work for years, I know for sure I could never stand a chance up to you guys. Which is one of the reasons I'm more into overall strategies, usability, architecture and such at this point in my career.

I might have been blunt when using the word lynch mob, but I know I wouldn't feel too comfortable coming in posting my WHOOHOOs if I won. I hope you see what I'm trying to say.

When I first launched the contest in 2006, I was not expecting such a tremendous interest and feedback and to have so much fun. I most certainly appreciate what the community is giving to us - which is one of the main reasons why we have kept this tradition.

We've been doing adjustments to the rules and to how the contest is held every year to improve - much based on feedback from the community. Last year we got flak for including public voting into the final results. Some tried rigging the voting, but we had that under control, still we decided to not count public voting this time.

I'm sorry things didn't turn out the way many was hoping for, and perhaps we'll re-evaluate a few things before next year's contest.

But for now, the winner has been chosen - by the jury - and there's hopefully at least one happy guy in the crowd.

Sverre Sjøthun
By Bontea on Friday, 28 November 2008 9:43 PM
Well that's exactly the problem. I can't understand why doesn't he or she feel comfortable - it's the selected winner.

You know what - Nevermind!

I wish you warm and wonderful winter holidays along with your families. Bless you!
By Jay on Friday, 28 November 2008 11:03 PM
Surely as the Internet Marketing Director, you would of got the judges to explain to you why they chose the winner before you answered here.
Perhaps if you dont want to say why this entry won, then maybe the judges can explain in this forum.
Saying you dont know is unnaceptable. and as till now, there has been no proper explanation.

no consolation
By rodier? on Friday, 28 November 2008 11:54 PM
By ssjothun on Saturday, 29 November 2008 1:51 PM
Let me first start by explaining you exactly how the voting works. There are 8 judges - renowned designers and design bloggers that are in no way affiliated with Crestock - just to keep things unbiased.

After submission for each round has closed, the Crestock staff, and in this particular case me personally went through every single entry and created a shortlist - 38 entries to be specific.

This shortlist was given to the judges and they created their own top 10 ranking - the scores from each judge is what makes the final winners list; the entry with the highest score wins.

Like I've said earlier, we're evaluating the contest after it's over, and if you have some constructive criticism, I'm all yours. Though I must say I find it very inappropriate to insinuate that the contest or prizes are bogus and not for real or that we're just after screwing people over - let alone accusing us for fraud.

If there's one thing we've been extremely focused on, then it's to be totally open and upfront in every aspect. I could've deleted every single negative comment or started banning people etc., but I haven't.

That's just not how we run things here at Crestock.

Again - if any of you have have any constructive criticism, I'm all yours, and I would love to hear it - my email is 7 comments above.

Sverre Sjøthun
By dvb on Saturday, 29 November 2008 4:20 PM
hey bontea , could you please let us know how you did your entry , i mean what u used to make it , software? , wacom? , tools?

thanks ,
By Bontea on Saturday, 29 November 2008 5:07 PM
Sverre, the winning entry should never, ever beg for explanation - the reasons for its choice should have been obvious for everybody and I can guarantee you that the number of negative comments would've been minimal. Keep this in mind for next year because it's the secret to a successful contest.

In the end, and I hope you agree with me, every image that you sell on your website, every commercial image should please THE WIDE PUBLIC. They are your clients, they know best what suits their needs. So the jury's role is to save you the time and money needed to ask every person in this world. The jury should predict this easier, faster and cheaper.

To me, it's hard to see which qualities of the winning entry have had such an appeal to the judges that it received the highest marks of all. That's the only thing I cannot see and I assure you that it's not a coincidence that almost none of the participants did either.

But if you think you need a trained eye to see beauty, let me tell you that I may be young, but art is not new to me. I have an artistically trained eye that went through a specialized Highschool of Art, then University of Art where I studied intensely digital image processing techniques along with traditional artistic techniques. I have tried everything from mezzotinta to typeface design. My specialization was graphic design and illustration. I have studied intensely drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, composition, color theory, aestethics and philosophy of art, etc. Dozens of art related disciplines, old and new. I have a strong understanding of what sort of ingredients make a successful image. The positive response generated by my entry is there to back this up. So if the jury expects me to believe that the winning entry contains the largest amount of artistic qualities in the entire contest, I am sorry but it is simply not true. And I am not the only one who sees this.

I really hope you understand my point because I am not wrong. In fact I am so sure that I am right that I would bet on my life that if you print the first 20 entries and take them either in the street or to a jury formed by the best artists and the most successful art directors in the world, kaboom's entry will not be chosen as being the best at all. Far from it.

Every single comment here on this page is constructive criticism disguised as a complaint. When they say "What a waste of time", they're throwing gold at you. They will help you, give you hints on how the contest should be improved. I know you have a side to defend but just go beyond that to see how right they are. If the contest made so many people unhappy it is obvious that something somewhere went wrong. And fortunately you don't even have to troubleshoot at all because again, the public helped you by formulating everything into a simple question that appeared under multiple forms. "Why this over any other?"

You did a great job by creating the contest. I don't have anything with you personally Sverre, you seem a nice guy; but your position comes with responsabilities and it is up to you to ask the jury why the winning entry is better that all the others, so you can give the people the longest single awaited answer.
By Bontea on Saturday, 29 November 2008 5:30 PM
I'd like to end this dispute, wrap this all up once and for all because it already took such uneeded proportion.
By freejay on Saturday, 29 November 2008 7:48 PM
Bontea explained it well. and perhaps if you gave an explanation why the Judges chose this pic instead of how, then people wouldn't complain.
Most here have a trained eye and can clearly see the decision was wrong, and you can argue all you want against the concensus, but that wont change peoples minds untill a proper explanation is given,
So is it possible to ask the judges why they made this particular decision, and relay it to us?
By jellybeens247 on Saturday, 29 November 2008 8:48 PM
I understand where your frustration is coming from and thats because your mind had been occupied with all the comments from people WANTING you to win - Trouble is, the judges disagreed and gave it to someone else. As the saying goes, " Dont count your chickens before they hatch " and clearly you counted on everyones comments and fed your ego BELIEVING you win -- ultimately leading you to a devastating loss. Your ego got to you, and its gonna keep bringing you down from here on in if you dont change the way you are thinking. Youre good but not everyone agrees im afraid.

Curious in seeing what other work you do, I just googled your name and I found links to your site and i want to say goodstuff but hey really man do yourself a favour by save your REPUTATION and walk away from this. Do you want people to remember you as a whiner ? Seeing your posts in this thread - you went from good sport , to bitter ... to a SORE LOSER. I am sure i am not the only one who sees this. And please dont take this as an insult either because I am only trying to save your reputation. Put it in perspective, the judges WILL answer if they feel the need to justify it, just dont be imposing because thats just being ridiculus ... thats my 2 cents about this to saythe least.

anyway im not a member of this site, found it through a friends blog and thought it was interesting enough that I too will want to try for it in the future!

Cheers mate
By Bontea on Saturday, 29 November 2008 10:18 PM
I accepted the results the moment I saw them - but then, I guess I got carried up by the situation, hence the evolution of the tone. But the fight was not about ego, it was about principles.

See my last short comment, I'm over this already.
Thanks for your concern mate, cheers!
By 1 on Sunday, 30 November 2008 1:05 PM
"This shortlist was given to the judges and they created their own top 10 ranking - the scores from each judge is what makes the final winners list; the entry with the highest score wins. "

I'd like to know how this contest is 'scored' to me this seems like a rather unfair way of judging artwork. I dont think it should be 'scored' at all, I dont think i have ever looked at a piece of art work and began to score it for variosu things such as color/compostion, etc. you have to look at the overall image and decide how good it is, what it means to you, how it makes you feel, and then have an opinion on it. maybe scoring the works of art is the fundamental flaw that makes the winners seem like they were drawn from a hat.

how was the winner scored?? i hope he scored 4/10 for proportionsm, that guy on the roof is huge (or the reindeer are babies this christmas? :P )
By dentalfloss on Sunday, 30 November 2008 2:35 PM
i got this link from one of the honorable mentions and after viewing and reading a lot of the comments, i want to say this:

everyone who thinks that guy (who is santa jr according to the artist) in the winning piece is too big, don't you think bontea's elf is too small??

what i'm trying to say is that BOTH CHARACTERS ARE FICTIONAL!! no one knows how big or small they are!

you know harry potter?? that hagrid character?? that guy is HUGE!!! why can't santa or santa jr (for this matter) be that huge as well?

you all talk about imagination and creativity... well then.. USE IT!!

stop complaining and accept the outcome of this contest. the more you hate, the more next years contest may not happen (or have less spectacular prizing). don't ruin it for others.
By ssjothun on Monday, 1 December 2008 12:46 PM
I'm afraid I'll have to draw a line here. No one is disputing Bontea's obvious talent, but a decision has been made by the judges, and it's final.

The current discussion is like flogging a dead horse, and we're not getting anywhere, but like I've said a few times now, if anyone have constructive criticism or suggestions on how to improve anything surrounding the contest or the voting system, I would love to hear it. My email addy is sverre [you know what] - or you can post your suggestions here in the comments.

I would also like to point out that even though you're anonymous through your nick names it does not constitute for calling people names or offend people in one way or the other - it's bad netiquette, and we do not accept that kind of behavior. Comments violating these obvious, yet unwritten rules of the web will be deleted.

No one have to worry there will be no contest next year because of controversies etc - it will be held as long as I have a say - and I do.

To quote Bontea, and I totally agree with him on this one, I'd like to end this dispute, wrap this all up once and for all because it already took such proportion.

Sverre Sjøthun
are you serious?
By unfairjudging on Tuesday, 2 December 2008 4:37 AM
How is it fair for everyone in the contest, if the actual people judging the contest only see 38 entries? Who decides what 38 entries the judges see? You and your crestock staff? I thought you also said you picked judges with no affiliation with crestock to remain unbiased. How are you not judging what 38 go to your unbiased non affiliated judges? I'm confused...
By ssjothun on Tuesday, 2 December 2008 8:09 AM
When you're looking through all of the entries, it'll become clear that some entries will never come close to winning, while others do have qualities with them. And some are really, really good. Those entries that have the highest quality end up on the list that I spent 7 hours building.

It's fair and it's simple, and it let the judges actually spend time studying the best entries in detail before deciding.

Sverre Sjøthun
363 are not that many to view in one week
By Anatol on Tuesday, 2 December 2008 11:21 AM
38 only to judge? 363 (all entry) - 38 = 325 participant (90%) with not fair chance.
the rules dont say 8 judge + somebody from crestock. you personaly select this 90% (yes, 325 participant is 90%) that "you think are not good" and dont go to jury.

when you decide what go to jury, you become bias preliminary judge.

20 winner + 42 mention = 62 works on this page. if only 38 is from jury, this means crestock choose other 24 on this page only. sorry i dont see this is fair. you can delete this coment too if you want, you do what you want, i understant this is your contest but still not fair.
By ssjothun on Tuesday, 2 December 2008 2:24 PM
I spent 7 hours creating a list of the best entries, and those 7 hours does not include deciding which one is actually the very best.

What you are demanding from the judges is that they spend up to 10-12 hours of their spare time each of the four rounds - that's 320-400 hours in total since we have 8 judges, and that's just unreasonable.

If we tried approaching anyone with a proposition like that, we'd get no judges and there would be no contest.

Sverre Sjøthun
move on
By wilsonink on Wednesday, 3 December 2008 1:45 AM
this contest is over, for most of us bontea was the winner and it nothing change it, i may suggest as you have already read here, for the next contest, include an explanation at the end of every round why the winner is choosen, also as in the last comments, when every round is finished you can take all the entrys on the contest, zip them and send it to the judges and ask him to get a 30 top list everyone and send it back to crestock team, i think that's like one day of work for every judge, than crestock can compare what entrys the judges get in common and send them back, this time they get top 10 and first winner :) i guess there's not much work, that way all the entries can judged by the real judges, also i think that adding "consolation" prices for the top 20 like some points to get images at your site would be good as recognition :), hope you take in count this, later.
By rodier on Wednesday, 3 December 2008 3:02 AM
this is a good twist!

pd..its me.. didnt want to login
By ssjothun on Wednesday, 3 December 2008 8:18 AM
wilsonink, thank you for your suggestions, much appreciated. Some are easily implemented, and I do like the idea of what you propose with the selection of entries. It's even possible that it's doable, but the problem again is time.

Contrary to what some people believe, we're not after "anyone" that will do "anything" for money - the judges in this contest are very busy people with full time jobs, are in the middle of their own projects and have only so much time available. (And for the record, they do get a compensation for their efforts.)

If we won't offer a prize for all the top 20 entries, there's definitely a possibility that we could look into prizes for the very top entries aside from 1st place.

I very much appreciate this kind of constructive criticism wilsonink!

As for angered's reply - I think I made myself pretty clear about what kind of language and behavior is accepted on this site, and it's simply out of line, thus I deleted it.

Let's try and keep things clean and civilized in here...

Sverre Sjøthun
By starfantazy on Thursday, 4 December 2008 2:26 AM
so why did my comment get deleted? i used no bad language and actually gave a decent reason as to why you did the contest the way you did... this kinda makes me suspicious tbh
By evenmoreangered on Thursday, 4 December 2008 3:19 AM
If you can't handle someone calling you out, don't delete their comment so other people can't see what a sham you're running here.
By Amazed on Thursday, 4 December 2008 11:09 AM
Perhaps, starfantazy, because language is not limited to calling people were accusing the guy for being stupid drunk at work, calling Crestock a fraud etc...anyone with even half a brain knows that's not the right way to communicate, in any social setting, if you want to be taken seriously...or not have your post deleted.
you're misleading
By Palmtrees in the sun on Thursday, 4 December 2008 1:44 PM
The deleted comment did not contain the most official type of language I've ever read but, undoubtly, was raising some very legitimate issues. You have to keep in mind that humans don't always mean what they say, so taking ad literam every word, in this context, is just mean.

We are very diverse, every person uses a different style of expression but you have to be a bit tolerant and get over the differences between us.
It was obvious to anyone that instead of "how do I know you weren't piss drunk when you made that list of 38" he meant: "how do I know in which circumstances the selection of those 38 was made?" i.e. nothing to do with drinking, just a form of expression. He probably drinks pineapple juice only, who knows?

To say he acused him of being drunk while working, is simply misinterpretation on purpose.

Also, the fraud term appeared above multiple times in various forms without a problem. Even without that, its appearence shouldn't be viewed as a problem because at its source it's just an effect to a cause. If you want to solve the problem care for the cause not the effect.

Apparently some of the comments are being deleted because they're not civilized, well, civilized people have freedom of speech.
Censorship is an act used in oppressed countries not in a civilized world.

Civilization comes with freedom of speech, a bit of tolerance and acception of various cultures including their communicative style.
My suggestion, let everyone have their say. Good bad, whatever it is, people will always respect someone whom respects their freedom.
By Design Geek on Thursday, 4 December 2008 6:37 PM
Well, the guy can't be that lost when it comes to design - he got me down to a T for sure lol
to amazed
By starfantazy on Saturday, 6 December 2008 11:57 PM
wait, i never said anything about him being drunk or anything personal at all.... wtf are you talking about? i have not said anything to get deleted on either side. neither using the term drunk or fraud.
By DShooter on Friday, 19 December 2008 1:00 PM
Well...SomeONE doesn't have any imagination. If so they would not of used the same person sitting in the same position in the same pose. Also using the same car and christmas ball and etc... Or did they ALL have to use the same thing for the contest? I really disliked them all!
(*_*) buenazooooo0
By teo on Tuesday, 6 January 2009 7:27 PM
(*_*) esta de lo mejor que he visto por la web

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