Pounding across the windswept plains of dusty Troy, chariots careen around a savage battlefield as spears fly and swords flash. Gods rage in the sky and on the ground as heroes clash and weapons crash. Amidst it all flows the stuff of greatness. Although recorded by a blind poet, the word-picture of the battles at Troy is enough to drive the image home. Modern times call for modern measures, however, and in the digital world, free clipart has replaced blind paints hands down. The world has its needs for great and powerful words, it is true, but the Internet and amateur and professional worlds of print have come crawling through the dust on their knees, begging a new medium.
Clip art used to be clipped from one medium and stuck to another as part of layout design. This clipart has a quick and spread faster than a Greek army inside the walls of Troy. Free clipart became the new epidemic, infecting designers high and low with its accessibility, utility, and quirkiness.
Just like how the Greeks and Trojans volunteered back and forth before any decent victories were won, clip art has passed between no-cost and paid services in an attempt to maximize the quality and availability of both royalty-protected and free graphics. The battlefield is strewn with small, unknown clip art distributors and large image conglomerates alike; some died, some were bought, some fended away, but others found their niche and made it work. Free clipart libraries began to find their home and expand across the internet. Like a wave of armored chariots, the new medium pounded down against the old technology-
And the blind poet patted himself on the back as he watched it all go by. What started three or four thousand years ago with sweeping epics has now spread to three or four thousand websites (or more!) That sweep across the whole range of free clipart, stock photos, and paid image libraries. Humanity is fascinated with imagination and grandiose mental image-making. While the technology of the oral tradition allowed Homer, the blind-but-great Greek poet, to recollect dangerous deeds of derring-do by memorizing and reciting, the modern world now allows the average desktop publisher to recite those instances with a few searches and clicks. And perceived crested helmets and burned breastplates are not the subject of a given clipart need; still, free clip art covers everything from holidays to handbags and school to superstition. Once the mouth to the pen, now the mouse to the printer: the great skill of capturing and captivating the attention of the audience comes by creating the image. Just think: careening chariots and windswept plains done your mind's eye. Imagine how free clipart can do the same.