Artwork Under Free Licenses (e.g. Creative Commons or Public Domain)
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This geeklist collects resources for free artwork (free to re-use, re-publish and maybe even modify). Since it collects material that is available under various different legal restrictions, please take care to look up the details and follow the conditions if you want to re-use this art in any way.

https://search.creativecommons.org/ is a meta-search tool covering various sites.
openculture.com points to many great resources. Here's a meta-list (from May 2016): http://www.openculture.com/2016/05/1-8-million-free-works-of...

A variety of stock image options (under various licenses) are listed here:
https://blog.hootsuite.com/20-free-stock-photo-sites-social-...

Keywords:
free libre art artwork illustration image picture drawing
public domain creative commons cc
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1. Board Game Publisher: (Public Domain)
Jonas
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http://www.public-domain-image.com/
http://www.pdclipart.org/
http://publicdomainarts.com/
http://publicdomainvectors.org/
http://www.publicdomainfiles.com/
http://publicdomainreview.org/
http://www.publicdomaincentral.com/

https://images.nga.gov/en/page/openaccess.html

Creative Commons
http://creative-commons.deviantart.com/
https://www.flickr.com/creativecommons?ytcheck=1
https://www.flickr.com/commons/
https://unsplash.com/ (Creative Commons Zero

http://www.sitepoint.com/30-creative-commons-sources/

http://opengameart.org/
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2. Board Game Publisher: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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Various museums around the world have made digital collections available. Various licenses/ rights.

Numbers and links as of Feb 2016.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art - The Collection Online (more than 420,000 images)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art - MetPublications (over 450 art catalogues for free (including pdf download)
Getty Museum - Open Content Program (over 100,000 images)
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (some 500,000 images? not sure if all are open access or under free licenses)
National Gallery of Art, Washington - NGA Images (more than 45,000 images)
British Library on Flickr (over 1 million images)

Maybe not what first comes to mind as a museum, but this seems a good place to also mention:
Google Cultural Institute Collections - digital collection, collaboration with several museums. I'm not sure about the rights situation.
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3. RPG Designer: Tracy Hurley
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Prismatic Art Collection

funded on Kickstarter in 2012, headed by Tracy Hurley and Daniel Solis

Quote:
Prismatic Art Collection is a free library of art representing heroes of all backgrounds. In geek culture, there are plenty of Lukes, but not enough Landos or Leias. We want to change that. We're raising funds through Kickstarter to hire a diverse group of artists to create fantasy art depicting heroes of all backgrounds.

Our initial goal is $5,000, enough for at least 20 pieces of art centering on humans in 4 of the classic fantasy role-playing game archetypes. As we surpass those initial goals, we'll explore the world outside our comfortable tavern and unlock additional fantasy races and classes.

The art will be Creative-Commons Attribution Share-Alike licensed (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/), so you can download and use the art for your own role-playing games, board games, novels, you name it. Even a small pledge helps expand the library for everyone. For now, higher pledge levels will gain access to the art a bit earlier and, in the future, work more closely with an artist.

Who are some of the artists who have agreed to work with you?

Ursula Vernon
Jennifer Rodgers
Claire Hummel
Amy Houser
Robert Scott
Liz Radtke
Crystal Frasier
Megan Steckler
Winona Nelson
Grace Palmer
Susan Knowles
Sarah Carney
James Stowe
Karen Luk
Jody Lindke
Meng Tian Zhang
...and more. Currently, we have about 30 confirmed artists overall and we're reaching out to many more.


currently ca. 150 pieces of art, in diverse styles, by various artists
Creative-Commons Attribution Share-Alike
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4. RPG Artist: John W. Sheldon
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(un)Common Adventure Gallery

Quote:
The (un)Common Adventure Gallery is a collection of free-to-publish genre illustrations for publishers, authors, and game designers, directed by John W. Sheldon.

This project is funded by the generous contributions of the community on Patreon.com.

The illustrations on this page are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. When using the illustrations or creating a derivative work, credit the artist as listed below the image. Read the details of the license for more information.


mostly artwork by John W. Sheldon, but also a piece by Juan Ochoa
Currently 14 images available, John adds a piece every couple of weeks. Patreon supporters get to weigh in.
variety of subjects and artistic styles
Creative Commons Attribution
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5. RPG Artist: Wikimedia Commons
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Wikimedia Commons

Quote:
Wikimedia Commons is a media file repository making available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips) to everyone, in their own language. It acts as a common repository for the various projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, but you do not need to belong to one of those projects to use media hosted here. The repository is created and maintained not by paid archivists, but by volunteers. The scope of Commons is set out on the project scope pages.

Wikimedia Commons uses the same wiki-technology as Wikipedia and everyone can edit it. Unlike media files uploaded to other projects, files uploaded to Wikimedia Commons can be embedded on pages of all Wikimedia projects without the need to separately upload them there.

Launched on 7 September 2004, Wikimedia Commons hit the 1,000,000 uploaded media file milestone on 30 November 2006 and currently (i.e. 16th of May 2015) contains 25,810,151 files and 119,893 media collections.

various licenses
broad range of topics
many photos
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6. Board Game Artist: Jeff Preston
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108 Terrible Character Portraits

The project "A Terrible Idea" (Duane O’Brien and illustrator Jeff Preston) kickstarted a bunch of character portraits and published them under a creative commons license (Attribution 3.0 Unported).

The project homepage (http://aterribleidea.com/ccworks/) is currently down, but you can get the images for free via RPGnow/ DriveThru - search for "108 Terrible Character Portraits" (I can't post a link due to BGG's Terms of Service).
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7. Board Game Artist: Thomas Tamblyn
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Thomas Tamblyn (Lorc) is one of the artists contributing to
game-icons.net

Quote:
Game-icons.net is an online repository providing heaps of cool game related graphics.

They are provided provided under the terms of the Creative Commons 3.0 BY license.

It means that can use them freely as long as you credit the original author in your creation (see below). A mention like "Icons made by {author;}. Available on http://game-icons.net" is fine.


Currently 1765 free icons.
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8. RPG: ICONS [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:170]
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The Noun Project claims to offer "icons for everything".
https://thenounproject.com/

The icons are offered under CC-BY (you can pay a small fee so you don't have to attribute the icon to the creator) or Public Domain. (Source)
 
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9. RPG Item: Ye Olde Map Maker [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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New York Public Library: Open Access Maps

Quote:
We believe these maps have no known US copyright restrictions.* To the extent that some jurisdictions grant NYPL an additional copyright in the digital reproductions of these maps, NYPL is distributing these images under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.
(...)
we’ve built up a great collection of: 1,100 maps of the Mid-Atlantic United States and cities from the 16th to 19th centuries, mostly drawn from the Lawrence H. Slaughter Collection; a detailed collection of more than 700 topographic maps of the Austro-Hungarian empire created between 1877 and 1914; a collection of 2,800 maps from state, county and city atlases (mostly New York and New Jersey); a huge collection of more than 10,300 maps from property, zoning, topographic, but mostly fire insurance atlases of New York City dating from 1852 to 1922; and an incredibly diverse collection of more than 1,000 maps of New York City, its boroughs and neighborhoods, dating from 1660 to 1922, which detail transportation, vice, real estate development, urban renewal, industrial development and pollution, political geography among many, many other things.


Old Maps Online provides a cool way of accessing thousands of historical maps (many of them in the public domain).
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10. Board Game Publisher: (Public Domain)
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NYPL again.

New York Public Library Enhances Public Domain Collections For Sharing and Reuse (2016-01-05)

Quote:
Today we are proud to announce that out-of-copyright materials in NYPL Digital Collections are now available as high-resolution downloads. No permission required, no hoops to jump through: just go forth and reuse!

The release of more than 180,000 digitized items represents both a simplification and an enhancement of digital access to a trove of unique and rare materials: a removal of administration fees and processes from public domain content, and also improvements to interfaces — popular and technical — to the digital assets themselves.


http://publicdomain.nypl.org/pd-visualization/

Interesting presentation.

Public Domain
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11. Board Game Artist: Pixabay
Clark Timmins
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https://pixabay.com/

Quote:
Free images and videos you can use anywhere

All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty free for anything you like, even in commercial applications. Attribution is not required.
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Quote:
NASA content - images, audio, video, and computer files used in the rendition of 3-dimensional models, such as texture maps and polygon data in any format - generally are not copyrighted. You may use this material for educational or informational purposes, including photo collections, textbooks, public exhibits, computer graphical simulations and Internet Web pages. This general permission extends to personal Web pages.

News outlets, schools, and text-book authors may use NASA content without needing explicit permission. NASA content used in a factual manner that does not imply endorsement may be used without needing explicit permission. NASA should be acknowledged as the source of the material. NASA occasionally uses copyrighted material by permission on its website. Those images will be marked copyright with the name of the copyright holder. NASA's use does not convey any rights to others to use the same material. Those wishing to use copyrighted material must contact the copyright holder directly.
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13. RPG Item: Mini-Dungeon Collection 076: The Great Library (Pathfinder) [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Libraries have much more than books in store.

https://www.loc.gov/collections/japanese-fine-prints-pre-191... (ca. 2500 Japanese woodblock prints - no known publication restrictions on this collection)

Over one million images without copyright (public domain) from the British Library, on Flickr.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/britishlibrary/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/britishlibrary/albums
https://www.flickr.com/photos/britishlibrary/sets/7215763854... (Highlights)
 
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14. RPG Item: Demonology: The Dark Road [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:4390]
Clark Timmins
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http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/compendium-of-demo...

Oh, yes!
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15. Board Game: Master of Music [Average Rating:5.38 Unranked]
Xander Fulton
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https://musopen.org/music/

Good one for music you might want to use in demo videos (or whatever).

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