Million Artists is a new project, aimed at raising funds for medical charities, while creating the world’s largest piece of collaborative abstract art. Each donor selects a pixel of color to become part of a huge abstract ’painting’. You don’t even have to be an artist to take part and donations are made easy by PayPal or credit card.
Featured Artist
Total donations: $1775
Total donors: 222

May 27, 2007

Post an interactive banner to show our updates in real time!

All you need is to copy following few lines and paste them onto your web page:

<iframe src="http://millionartists.com/webServices/thumbnail100px.php/YOUR_Referral_ID/CF3E3E/C080F0/CCFF66" frameborder="1" scrolling="no" height="134" width="398"><a href="http://millionartists.com/thePicture.php"><img src="http://millionartists.com/images/thumbnails/MA_108x108.png" alt="Million Artists project"/><img src="http://millionartists.com/images/million_artists_logo-145x30.gif" alt="Million Artists project" /></a></iframe>

That code will create the following interactive banner:

The colors are customizable using parameters:

Posted by Eugene at 11:59 PM

May 25, 2007

Project improvements: 1 - Music and Color editor

Thanks everybody for supporting the project! I feel guilty for not giving it much attention, but now you all pushed me to do better. So, here is a plan:

First we need to improve user's experience - the current activities proposed to our artists are not attractive enough, they're missing the 'creativity', 'art' or self expression.

There is an idea to make a light and sound editor, so artists would write their melody or upload their MIDI files and compose them with colored light dots similar to the new musical instrument created by the media artist Toshio Iwai www.youtube.com/w/Toshio-Iwai-(TENORI-ON) to let every artist create their own melody. We would have every artist's profile where they could show their pixel as well as the melody they created. When the instrument created by Toshio combines sound and light, we could add colors already chosen by our artists.

Once the melody (combined with lights and colors) is created, the artist would be able to download it, send to their friends or just send them a link to the video file located on our server.

Some time ago Anthony attended Toshio's presentation. We tried to contact Mr. Iwai to get him involved or at least approve our idea to eliminate possible copyright troubles; however we received no response back. And here I need your help: to contact Toshio Iwai and explain him our project to resolve possible copyright questions and to find an experienced web, flash and graphic developers that would be interested in supporting the project.

Posted by Eugene at 01:52 PM

October 19, 2006

3rd Quarter Results

The website seems to be very quiet recently, but behind the scene things are still moving along. We were recently interviewed by GQ magazine, they are doing an article on innovative methods of fund raising and Million Artists will be listed. The article will be in the December issue of GQ. Look for it at news stands or online at http://gq.com. However, don't expect to see us on the cover  :)

We recently forwarded the donor lists and cheques off to the charities. Electronic receipts will be issued by charities and you can see the results over here millionartists.com/financialReport.php

We started working on the web site improvement to make it more interactive and interesting. You should see something interesting in the coming months - stay tuned.

Posted by Eugene at 04:33 PM

August 01, 2006

CFW and NOCA join Million Artists in record-breaking work of abstract art

Aug 1, 2006

Cystic Fibrosis Worldwide and National Ovarian Cancer Association have recently accepted to be recipients of funds raised by the MillionArtists.com record-breaking attempt to make the world's largest collaborative work of art.

... more

Posted by Eugene at 12:05 AM

July 27, 2006

The first cheques have been forwarded to the charities.

As per our agreement with MSF and SickKids we have transferred both the money and the donor details to the participating charities.

A two weeks delay was caused by the fact that neither MSF nor SickKids currently have a PayPal account where we could transfer gathered donations. Both charities found that the logistics for opening the account would take too long time and we agreed to send checks to both charities. Hopefully they will have PayPal accounts opened by the next financial transfer making it much faster, secure and easier to trace.

Charities only received the details of the donors from which they received a donation. To protect personal information files were encrypted using 256-bit AES; "street address" and "email" fields saved as an 'encrypted binary' in our database.

New development:
We are working with two new charitable organizations and updating our development web site; including the translations. Announcements regarding our joined effort will be released on August 1st.

Posted by Eugene at 12:12 AM

July 04, 2006

Site translated into 27 Languages

I want to say a big thank you to all the translators for all the work in doing the translation. Eugene can be a demanding person to work with :-) - so I am doubly impressed with all the great work.

Eugene has done an amazing job of coordinating the dozens of translators and proof readers who have charitably donated their time to translate the site. We've learned a lot about the difficulties in large scale translations and managing version control of different versions of content in websites.

Again thanks to all the translators for a great job done.


Posted by Anthony at 10:33 PM

June 02, 2006

Watch us on CTV

Watch us on-line

CTV - Webmania

Last night Anthony and I were interviewed on CTV "Webmania", which is broadcast across Canada. It is the first television exposure for the project and we hope it will boost awareness. I was fairly nervous before the interview, so don't judge me too hard if you watch it...

The TV station was huge and empty at night. They broadcast something like 14 stations and only need a handful of people. Richard, the interviewer, said that running a TV station these days is less complex than a website. I'm not sure I 100% agree :-)

CTV Inc. is Canada's #1 broadcast communications company with conventional television operations across Canada and a leading position in the specialty television sector.

Posted by Eugene at 09:41 AM

May 29, 2006

Media Coverage

The story of millionartists.com was recently got picked up by Canadian Press and then was picked up by several Canadian media companies such as The Globe and Mail, CANOE Money, and working.canada.com. This sparked more people to contribute and keep the momentum going.

Posted by Anthony at 04:56 PM

May 24, 2006

New WIKI site to aid translators

We recently setup a wiki to aid communication between all the translators of the Million Artists website.

wiki.MillionArtists.com is a WEB based version control system. WIKI provides user friendly interface for our translators and allows them to edit, update and compare different versions of their source and target language files.

Posted by Eugene at 05:21 PM

May 07, 2006

SickKids and MSF Join Million Artists in Record-breaking Work of Abstract Art

May 7, 2006

SickKids Foundation and MSF Canada have recently accepted to be recipients of funds raised by the MillionArtists.com record-breaking attempt to make the world's largest collaborative work of art.

... more

Posted by Eugene at 01:15 AM

May 01, 2006

Lost in translation :)

A few days ago I decided to advertise a volunteer job for translation of MillionArtists.com from English to other languages. This was the first time I used proz.com and I must admit that its user interface is pretty easy and new people like me are not scared away by the registration procedure. So late at night I placed my ad and switched off my PC. When I turned it on the next morning, there were about 50 messages... and this is for just the volunteer job!!! I was absolutely not ready for such a large response... I was surprised and overwhelmed by the storm of messages I received. People from all over the world offered their help. As I started answering people the number of unopened emails just kept growing... I guess there were about 100 different people and if I count all messages going back and forth, I think I sent about 300 emails from 6:00 in the morning until midnight. It was an absolutely great experience - I never met so many excellent people in one day before. We will publish a full list of all the translators on our contacts page in a few days.

While we are busy with dozens of translations we also have some press releases that we are working on. Hopefully these will improve awareness of the project and get some media exposure. As well MSF was nice enough to provide us with a list of their media contacts which we are going to approach.

Posted by Eugene at 06:01 PM

April 05, 2006

We need your TONGUE!

Is English your second language? The Million Artists project is
looking for volunteers to translate its web site into their native
tongue (native language). By helping out you will contribute to the
success of the worlds largest art project and help world class medical

We have already started working on Spanish, Chinese (Simplified),
Russian and Hebrew translations and planning to have some of them
ready in a couple of weeks.

We are still looking for volunteers for French, German, Italian,
Portuguese, Bulgarian, Arabic, Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech,
Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Japanese,
Latvian, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Slovenian, Swedish,
Vietnamese and other languages.

To contribute please contact me at Eugene Pik

Posted by Eugene at 07:03 PM

March 21, 2006

Referral Program

The Referral Program's purpose is to advertise the 100 most active Artists based on the number of referrals they have and list the top 20 on the front page with a link to their homepage. The list includes Artist's Name, Location, a link to their WEB Site, Number of Referrals and the combined referral donations amount and is updated on daily basis.

The more you refer the higher on the list you will go and the better the charities will do. By appearing on the front page you can drive traffic to your homepage.

Friends will only be deemed to have been referred if they register as the MillionArtists.com artist using your Referral URL to initiate the sign up process.

... more

Posted by Eugene at 01:32 AM

March 16, 2006

The largest collaborative abstract art project.

What the final image will be like? Is there a way to organize the pixels so that the final piece can be meaningful and pleasing to look at?

I see the point regarding the "meaningful and pleasant look" and have to agree that our picture may become just "white noise"... My friends even asked me to run a computer simulation to see what I may get at the end, but I answered that when I do have a control over the location, I don't have one over the people preferences' and can't simulate the color choice which depends on thousands of different factors: age, sex, country, and perhaps even the moon. For example, I know that probably most 9 year old girls would prefer the color pink. I can't simulate or predict that.

On other hand I'd compare this "random pixel location" method to Jackson Pollock's method of "dripping paint from cans with holes in the bottom", but I must agree that mine is ever more extreme: when Pollock used his own senses to make what he believed reflects his art vision, I'm going to use sense of color of a million different people. Will I get the "meaningful and pleasant look" at the end? I do not know. Will it show the feelings of the million people? I believe it will. So I guess this work may become interesting and probably even known as the "largest collaborative abstract art project".

Posted by Eugene at 01:48 AM

March 13, 2006

New Site Released!

Well finally we have our new site up. It took a lot longer than expected to get the charities involved. I think the cause was that Eugene and I were fairly busy and as this is something new for most charities it took them a while to understand the concept. Eugene is still trying to work with Unicef to get them involved. They have forwarded us to their New York headquarters and have been fairly slow to get back to us. Yes even charities have some bureaucracy.

So far the feedback from SickKids and MSF has been excellent. One interesting modification of the site came from MSF - who do not allow their logo on the same page as a corporate logo. We moved the sponsor logos to another page.

We have forwarded the site to many of our coworkers and they have given us excellent feedback as well. Eugene has done and excellent job taking all the recommendations and working them into the site. He also removed the text content from code. He took all the English text and then put it into a file. He also translated the site into Russian. He has been very busy. If you would like to help out by translating the text into your language please contact Eugene by email. He will send you the language file.

We are also looking for Artist/Art critic support. Do you think this a great idea? Or do you think it is ridiculous? Speak out and either post it to your weblog and send us a link or send us an email and we will post it.

Finally, we need your support spreading the word and getting more people involved. If each of us get 5 people to contribute to the picture it will be finished in short order.

Posted by Anthony at 07:11 PM

January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year to all of the MillionArtists.com readers and artists! Thanks for reading us and supporting us during 2005. We have some even more interesting things happening in 2006.

The beginning of the year is a good time for change, that's why a month ago we started working on our new look and new concept. We are still working and hope to show you our changes soon, but shh... that's all I can tell you now. Please be patient and let us surprise you!

Posted by Eugene at 08:11 PM

December 12, 2005

New site coming...!

Eugene and I are working a brand new look at theme for the site. I can't really tell much about it yet until a few things are sorted out. However - basically the idea is to break the world record, and do a lot of good at the same time.

There are both technical and logistic issues to sort out - but stay tuned!

Art by Max Magnus Norman

Posted by Anthony at 09:13 PM

November 23, 2005

Php vs Python for web development

I'll have to hand it to php - the learning curve is much shorter than python, java or even asp. It seems to lead to a copy, paste, change, and tweak it style of programming however.

We still have a few changes to make to the backend scripts (python) and we are essentially done. I'll have to hand it to Eugene - he has already got 17 people to participate. Good work Eugene! Where are my friends?

Here is the only random photo I could find on the web. I don't think we will end with anything like this.


Posted by Anthony at 10:27 PM

November 19, 2005

Welcome to our new homepage design

It was a real quest to find royalty-free pictures that support world records listed on our home page. I'd like to hear your comments and suggestions, please send them to my email as it listed here.

Posted by Eugene at 02:19 PM

November 09, 2005


I can't believe that we are mostly done. The paypal integration was a bit of a headache as the IPN interface isn't that well documented and there are limited examples in python - our programming language of choice. Luckily the api is fairly straight forward and it was easy to translate java into python. We used python 2.4 with the mysqldb library. I wanted to use SQLObject to wrap the database queries with a nice ORM wrapper - but it wasn't worth it. I looked at using Ruby on Rails, Django Subwayand TurboGears. In truth for a quick website which you have to do a bunch of modifications and you want to host at a standard host you may be better off with php and/or standard mod_python.

I'm not sure what to expect with this site. A work of art like this Monet?

I think not. But the output really should be quite interesting.

Posted by Anthony at 10:11 PM

October 14, 2005

web site design

Anthony is working on the web site architecture and back end programming. I've contacted my other friend Assia who is an artists and professional web designer. She will help us to make the web site to look good. Unfortunately everyone's days are busy, so working on nights...

I was reading the Guinness World Record application form. In the beginning they ask if this is definitely an existing Guinness World Record or a new proposal. I didn't know what to answer... On one hand there is existing record set by Jim Campbell that I wanted to break, but on the other mine is somehow different - it is technology based versus the real one.

Should the picture created over the Internet fall under Guinness 'art' or 'Internet' category? I do not have the answer... I guess it would be fair to let artists to vote for the category and once I have enough responses I'll send the application.

Posted by Eugene at 06:44 PM

October 09, 2005

... And there was light

To break a Guinness World Record... Sounds interesting, but how am I going to do that? Is that actually a break of the existing record or setting of a new one? What are the technical details? Questions, questions, questions...

OK, here is the plan:

On the main page of MillionArtists.com site I will have one million pixels (single dots) that could be filled by (surprise!  :) ) one million people.

Each person will select the color and brightness of his pixel and pay $1 on PayPal.com web site for authentication. The pixel will be randomly placed on the unused space of the picture. Once the picture gets filled, PayPal can officially confirm number of artists involved in the project.

Yesterday I discussed technical details with my friend Anthony and he agreed to help me setup a web site. Anthony and I worked in computer industry for many years, but when I was more involved in support, he has a development background. Together we are very strong team to run the project.

I registered MillionArtists.com domain name. It must explain its purpose.

Posted by Eugene at 09:50 PM

October 04, 2005

...And there was morning

A year ago I read about a picture designed by Jim Campbell.
Jim set Guinness World Record when his picture was painted by 25,297 people and was completed in 3 years, 7 months on June 14, 1998. Then I thought "would it be possible to use Internet and computer technology, I could break that record!" However I had no idea how to identify people involved in the project, how to prove that these are real people and not some kind of computer generated fake identities.

From time to time I was returning to that idea until three weeks ago I read about English student Alex Tew and his MillionDollarHomepage project. He is selling ads placed on his web page. One pixel for one dollar... At that moment I felt like lighting hit my head... Of course! Here we are! People can be authenticated using reputable financial system! I've got an answer for the problem I was thinking whole year about!

Now I'm ready to go for a Guinness record! Yahoo!  :)

Posted by Eugene at 07:38 PM