Picture tells a thousand words and yet costs less?

Something I’ve started to wonder about recently, as I’ve been scouring the web in search for sites where to submit work – there is a reasonable number of sites that accept written submissions (like short stories, poetry, etc) and pay for the accepted pieces. I’m yet to come across a page that offers similar conditions for submission of illustrations and frankly starting to question whether they even exist.

Which brings up a question – how come? Why is the value scale so tilted towards written word that a drawing is literally worth nothing, although in many cases it can communicate complex concepts just as well or even more efficiently? In fact a drawing can be worth less than nothing, considering that many well-reputed competitions charge an admission fee of approximately $25.

An article from the Irish Times that I came across a few days ago referred to a similar topic – illustrators of children’s books in Ireland not getting proper recognition for their work as all the laurels were endowed upon authors. The idea here is not to diminish the authors, but simply to have them share the limelight with the illustrators. Judging by the article, most authors wholeheartedly agree.

I actually believe that it was here in Greece that I saw illustrators’ names printed on the covers of children’s books for the first time, because I remember noticing it as something unusual. Whether this symbolic recognition also translates into practical rewards, is of course a different question altogether.