Check out Run Your Jewels

Show off your skills by remixing a piece of digital artwork by a top illustrator and you could win prizes, recognition and street cred, says Justin Maller

Justin Maller, the artist behind the online digital art playground that is Depthcore, is back with a new initiative which looks like it's just as much fun. It's called Run Your Jewels and this art remixing arena is already catching the imaginations of creatives around the world.

It works like this. First, a well-known, skilled digital illustrator uploads an image with all its layers, elements and source files intact so that you can play with them. Maller himself provided the imagery used in round one and round two saw Florida-based artist Hyrdro74 upload grist for the mill. An artist can then download the imagery and remix it in any way they like. Upload your piece to the site before the deadline, and then the online audience votes on their favourite. The prize is different with each contest, and can include books, prints, stickers and other cool stuff plus, as Justin Maller notes, infinite street cred.

From round two, Jarrod Bevear's riff on Hydro74's cat image (inset).

"Some people stay pretty true to the source material and do a gentle remix," says Maller. "I prefer the submissions where they rip it apart and make something entirely new and original out of it."

But, of course, it's not up to him. Online voters decide the outcome. The winner of the first round was Team PDF, a Hungarian collab consisting of Csaba Feteke, Gergo Pocasai and Zsolt Dobak. You can see their image above. Voting us currently underway for round two, and further contests are scheduled to take place on the site every two weeks.

Maller continues: "I've reached out to a few friends about hosting future rounds. Matei Apostolescu is hosting the next round, and I've been talking to good friends like Kervin Brisseaux, Emeric Trahand and James White about hosting future rounds. I have a few ideas to take things out of the box a little as well and expand upon the collaborative notion - I think we're going to surprise people with some of the avenues we explore!"

Round one image by Dani Matakupan.

It will be interesting to see what he and partner Brian Smith, who built the site, come up with. In the meantime, watch for a result for round two and a new source file for round three in a few days time. Once again Justin Maller has come up with a great way for digital artists to connect online and gain exposure for their work.

And the site's unusual name? "It's actually just a line from an old rap song I like," says Maller. "I thought it was good for this: let people take something then run their skills on it, show everyone what they've got and drop some jewels. I'm terrible at naming things. See also: Depthcore, et cetera."

And here's a round two submission by Daniel Barojas.