That last batch of pictures I've just uploaded are the last I'll be submitting to DeviantART.
I'm not going to deactivate my account but I won't be uploading any more images here, to a website that's played an important part in my life.
I first heard about dA from elbooga when we were in first year in college. It was the first time I'd seen art from so many amateurs in one place. I don't mean amateur in any kind of pejorative sense, but just a place for people who enjoy making pictures, some of whom maybe have aspirations of becoming professional some day, to upload art and submit it to the criticism of strangers.
Louise said I should sign up.
I said I would if she would.
So we did.
To silence, initially, but gradually the comments dripped in. None of the malice or disdain that would go on to define the feeling of setting foot into Youtube, just compliments. In the long run, that can obviously lead to abject complacency, as I've seen in a few people, but I was getting constructive criticism in college on my animation and film-making. On dA I was somebody who painted for fun and the positive feedback made me want to paint even more. I loved the moment of uploading something and immediately refreshing the inbox to see if there were any +favs, comments or *gasp* a +devwatch.
The watching and being watched was so dynamic. When my painting hit a slump and I took up photography, I started watching completely different people and started being followed by photographers. The same again when I started doing digital photomanipulation. Then warm 'welcome home's when I started painting again and the patient followers who'd obviously sat silent and bored by my appearance in their devwatch inboxes during my photography phase seemed happy to see new paintings from me.
It's a pity my gallery doesn't represent a perfect visual illustration of these phases. I've had a few too many self-conscious ponce moments over the years and deleted some old pictures (basically the whole first year is gone and plenty more since then), but I always tried to fight it so there's still plenty of crap in there.
The reason I'm quitting is pretty simple. Initially, I was scared of uploading my art. I preferred to just draw and keep it to myself. Eventually, I started to like uploading, then loved it. dA particularly. It wasn't just the comments, but seeing other galleries, and talking to different artists which in some cases turned into a kind of real friendship (if you can imagine such a thing), notably flesh-was-sweet (now DevDead) and fasth
But now I'm 27. I spend a lot of time on the internet. I won't apologise or regret just how much I fucking love the internet, but there's so much great, inspiring (so amazing it's depressing) art to look at, so much to see and do, that I'm not spending nearly enough time on my own art.
I've deleted my facebook, I'm weaning myself off the nonconstructive internet island-hopping that eats up my day and I'm going to make something happen because things have been frustrating. It's strange to think that I've wanted to be an illustrator for a long time now and, in 2011, I finally illustrated a book. Then another one. Then another one. In the space of about four months. But I don't feel like I've accomplished anything. I don't care that my name's on Amazon. I don't care that I can say "I've been published".
Those are things that I thought were my goals.
It turns out they're not.
It turns out that goals are kinda shit.
All I want now is to be happy with what I'm producing and I can't get better by spending as much time as I do on the internet.
So, like I said, I'm not deleting my account but I am sort of formally leaving.
I want to say really really REALLY REALLY big thanks to everyone who's commented and followed me and been so nice and supportive over the last 7 years (almost 8 years!)
It means so much to me and it's all part of the reason that I am now no longer the amateur I was when I signed up.
I hope that those of you who like my work and want to see what happens in the future will stick with me.
I have a fairly regularly-updated blog @
and my portfolio site and original art shop:
and on twitter
TL;DR Goodbye deviantART and thank you