Purpose (mission statement)
WPClipart is here to maintain and grow an online collection of artwork for schoolkids and others that is free of copyright concerns as well as safe from inappropriate images. To ensure these qualities, no direct user-uploaded images are allowed. All artwork is collected/edited or created for use by me with the GIMP and some GIMP extras on Absolute Linux.

I'm also trying to make it work without advertising.
Please email me if you have any questions or concerns.
Paul Sherman
Once upon a time,
in my youth, I was told that "knowledge is free..." -- a foundation upon which was built the idea that with study, hard work and honesty you could not only earn a living but perhaps accomplish something worthwhile. In those days I was taught that intelligence, calloused hands and strength of character were the means to measure the worth of a man or woman.

In these days when trivial ideas are patented, when copyrights last for something like a hundred years or more and all around you is talk of lawyers and money... you may begin to think that the only thing important is what you own. But that is not what I believe -- the meaning of my life is not a measure of what I can grab and hold, it is defined by what I do.

I have been lucky enough to find something I enjoy working on that has a value to others, so I keep plugging away...

History of the collection
The project started as a "safe" collection of clipart for my kids. Their middle school used AbiWord, and they were often searching for clipart that was both safe and copyright-free. Since this proved to be both difficult and hazardous (since image searches often yielded some very untoward photos) I decided to create a simple collection for their use. My background as both a photographer and a programmer lent itself well to the project, I put it online with my software for others to download and as the months passed it became very popular.

I made thumbnail pages and put up some Google ads, (made a bit of change every day), then suddenly the Google image search engine spidered the site and my server (which I ran from my basement Slackware machine) was a bit overwhelmed. After fielding 20-30k hits a day for a year or so I ended up putting the collection on a dedicated remote server, and the ad revenue takes care of the expense, and then some. I used XML maps and Google search for a while, until I wrote my own custom search function to speed things up even more. For an image-serving site, WPClipart is VERY fast.

Several years ago Google's way of showing results of image search changed, in that they offered to show images full-size from sites, without actualy having to visit the site. The result, for a publisher, was catastrophic. For a newspaper, it would be like offering full articles from their websites without visiting the sites. How could they possibly survive?
There is still some trickle-through to the website, but instead of making several hundred dollars a month, wpclipart went down to a little better than $2 a day by 2021. So I gave up on Google ads and will hope for donations. I never made much that way, but perhaps after I rid the site of ads, donations will increase?

Obviously I don't rent a server in Chicago for the site, anymore. Luckily I have access to gigabit internet service here in Erwin, TN, and I run a server from home. Hoping for the best -- and actually kind of exciting not to have to follow Google guidelines... for example, had to remove Holocaust images or be banned. Same with some weapons.

Some folks won't like my opinion, but I am really hoping in the future that Google and other web entities will not be allowed to show other sites content unbound (which is basically theft) -- yet be guarded by protections that they did not create the content, so they are not liable if something is wrong with that content. (is actually copyright protected but claimed otherwise. Or is sickening or graphic or hateful....) My solution is that they are not protected, so they will not show content they did not create.

How else can sites with quality content be rewarded? How else can anyone be held RESPOSIBLE for content? Otherwise, Google owns the internet. And make no mistake -- to a very large extent they already do.
Contribute Art
  If you are a photographer or create art by hand or on a computer, the public domain would like some of your stuff! If you want to donate a clip or photograph or several), and would like to have a link appear on the Artists Page, with a nice blurb and a link (maybe bring you some visitors?) -- then please email me and we can arrange something.
Image details
  Some of the clip art were made by me, others are re-works of public domain clips (like several I made into page borders and backgrounds), and many photographs are also of my taking -- but the vast majority of images were acquired from several sources, all documented on the "Legal" page. One of the large sources was OpenClipart - which were converted from SVG and in many cases resized and/or further edited. Many clips from other sources had their density and saturation levels adjusted to what would print well on a typical home/small business inkjet -- openning up the midtones and eliminating large areas of shadow to prevent blocking, bleeding backgrounds to white . . .   and LOTS of retouching of old and historical images.
  Above all else these images, illustrations and photos are Public Domain. Use them for private use, for commercial use -- without any restrictions whatsoever. Attribution is not required. Links are not required (although appreciated.) They are truly free.

  It is my hope that students and others will use the images to make their ideas clearer ; but I also hope that in some cases folks will build upon the images or have an idea sparked by them which will lead them to create new, different and exciting things.