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October 6, 2011

Windows 7 themes: Open call for art and photography!

Before I get to my main topic, I have two appetizers for you. The first one features delicious close-ups of one of my favorite food-groups: Chocolate!


Even more beautiful (and much healthier) is the array of gorgeous natural delicacies in Fresh Fruit.


Now that you have something to nibble on, we can move to the main course – announcing the launch of a pilot project for you to submit your own art and photography for possible inclusion in a Windows 7 theme or as a wallpaper on the Windows Personalization Gallery! Many, many millions of people visit the Windows Personalization Gallery every month, so if you’ve been looking for a way to share your talent and creativity with people around the world, this is a great opportunity to get your art and photography seen by millions.

You will retain copyright on and be credited for your works, and if you ever change your mind we will remove your art or photography from the gallery at your request. I’ve tried to anticipate questions you might have and provide answers on the Frequently asked questions page. But if you have questions that aren’t answered there or on the Guidelines or Terms of Use pages, please either send them to the contact email address, or else add them as comments on this blog post. As I see what new questions are coming up I’ll try to keep the FAQ page up-to-date.


Depending on the suitability of your work and how many pieces you submit, it is possible we could do an entire theme devoted to it. Examples of themes devoted to the works of individual artists and photographers include these:


Space by GTGraphics


Illusions by Josh Sommers


City Lights by Talha Tariq


Behind the Masks by Cheng Ling


Nature by Mike Swanson


26 Creative by Fan-Hsuan Chang


Wolves by Dave Johnson


Nicole Doll by Ssu-Jui Tai

It is also possible that we will combine images from multiple artists or photographers into themes by topic. And if you need any ideas for topics, here are some examples of subjects I’d particularly love to see your creative treatment of:

  • Water: lakes, rivers, seashores, raindrops, reflections… it’s hard to go wrong with images of this most lovely element.
  • Monsters, dragons, and magical creatures: Including but not limited to pixies, gnomes, dryads, zombies, dragons, giant squid, werewolves, and aliens.
  • The passage of time:
  • Images of a single scene showing the transition through the seasons of the year.
  • A series of photographs showing a single beautiful landscape as the light changes from dawn through midmorning, afternoon, dusk, and nightfall.
  • Time-lapse photography showing a plant growing.

These are just a few suggestions, so please don’t feel that your submissions need to be limited to these.

By the way, the open call for art and photography page will only be available in English for now, but if the pilot goes well we’ll expand to other languages too. Anyone from anywhere is welcome to submit art or photography, but for now, please provide your information in English.

One more caveat – we cannot promise to reply to everyone who submits art or photography. There is not a big team devoted to the Windows Personalization Gallery; in fact it’s basically just me and one other person, and both of us have a lot of other responsibilities. Plus, we really don’t know yet how many submissions we’re going to get. So if you submit art or photography but don’t hear back, please don’t feel bad. We’ll do our best to keep up, but it is likely that we won’t be able to respond to everyone.

I really look forward to seeing your art and photography. And who knows… maybe your theme will end up on the Most popular tab of the Windows 7 themes page! Speaking of which – special congratulations to Josh Sommers and Talha Tariq, whose Beach Sunsets and City Lights themes are in first and second place!