An art project is a project that has the primary purpose of displaying artwork, either interactive or not; they are sometimes called "Art Dumps". If the project is very interactive or a series of frames, it is usually referred to as an animation. Art projects are never discouraged by the Scratch Team, as Scratch is not only about programming but also expressing creativity in any way, even artistically. Art projects will often have less programming, will only play music besides showing and switching artwork, and are sometimes a still image with no scripts at all.
A common event is for Scratchers to have art contests. A typical contest has a theme which the contestants must base their drawings on. Once they finish their artwork, it is shared as an art project. There is a limited time to complete the work, and on the release date the judge (contest creator) or many users vote for the best artwork. Often there is a reward to the victors, sometimes being love-its and favorites, however, this may be discouraged by some members of the Scratch community.
Art contest creators often require the contestants to remix a base project for organization of the contest. The contest creator can then view each remix, as they are the officially submitted projects. Due to the remixing involved in art contests, the base projects often make the What the Community is Remixing row on the front page.
One of the main purposes of Scratch is for users to create their own games, stories, and interactive art. Most art has been interactive in the past, but a recent trend in non-interactive art projects have been noticed by the Scratch Team; though an unexpected trend, such projects have been accepted. Many complicated artworks reach the front page, and their artists usually reach fame and popularity. There is much controversy surrounding art projects in Scratch, a lot of Scratchers complain that they are a waste of space, since they do not contain any actual programming, and "ruin" the purpose of Scratch. While this can be supported by Scratch's nature as a programming language, many Scratchers are still open to the new style of Scratch art.
|“||Scratch is about being creative. That's why we don't capitalize “program” in “imagine, program, share”. Scratch is open to everyone - artists, gamers, RPGers, and people who make stuff that can not be categorized.||”|
– Lightnin, Scratch Team at MIT
Some users who create art projects feel that anyone who remixes their art is "stealing" it, and some suggestions have been made to be able to disable remixes. If a project is a direct copy, it should be reported, but any project that has changes is allowed. The main controversy is over recolors; although some users make contests for coloring, others do not like it when people remix their art and recolor it.
An art request is where a scratcher gives another a scratcher a piece of art, for nothing in return. They are often abbreviated as "ARs". Typically, most scratchers will not do Art requests because they are either to busy or want something in return for their art.
Another popular type of art projects is an "art trade", which occur when two or more Scratchers draw art for each other. Art trades are often abbreviated as "ATs". These happen to be fairly common on Scratch, but some users discourage it because they feel that the art they draw should only be for themselves. Art trades are unlike art requests, because during art requests, one scratcher requests a piece of art from another Scratcher, but doesn't have to draw art in return. Art trades are almost never front paged, mainly because they have no purpose to anybody but the Scratcher who receives it.
"Design Trades" are similar to Art Trades, except instead of giving and receiving art you are receiving a character design. The character design can be anything, once you receive your character from the other scratcher, the character is all yours. You can do whatever you want with the character. These are commonly abbreviated as "DTs".
Typically, most scratchers have a "status" section in their "About Me" or "What I'm Working On" sections of their profile. They are used tell other scratchers if their Trades and/or requests are open or closed. If something is "Closed", then the artist is not currently doing them, and will reject the proposal if someone asks them to do one. If it is "Open", then the artist is doing them, and people can ask for a request or trade(typically in the user's comment section on their profile page). If it is "Open", usually when you ask the artist to do either AT, DT, etc. they will let you do one with them. They usually look something like this:
"Art Trade/AT: Open
Design Trade/DT: Closed
Art Request/AR: Closed"