I find it a little hard to believe that I've been an active part of deviantART for just under three years already... possibly more considering the long period of time I spent perusing art and poetry on this site before actually joining up as a member. At first, dA was little more than a distraction on long car-trips and even longer classes. But around the time that I turned 15 (wow it seems like an eon ago), my dad was just starting to let me sign up for online accounts, and one of the very first I set up was deviantArt. I initially used it for browsing art and adding them to my Favourites folder for inspiration for fan fiction (which was pretty much all I was about at 15) - then I got my first camera and decided to use my account to its full potential. Looking back on my ancient stuff now, it all seems pretty amateurish and cringe-worthy, but at the time I was desperate to photograph anything and everything just so it could go on my dA account - cellphone photos, snapshots, you name it.
I started spending more time on the Popular pages, looking out for inspiration on how I could improve my picture-taking skills. The more I uploaded, and the more avenues of art I went in to (I dabbled a bit in poetry and traditional art, as well as some prose), the more feedback I received and the more people I began to talk to. It was a surreal experience at first, being able to connect with so many people from such diverse locations and cultures, but all sharing the same common interests and belonging to a singular online community. The more involved I got with the dA community, the more friends I started to make. It was on this very site that I stumbled across (more like barrelled into, in a digital sense) my two closest friends, my North American counterparts, my Northern other halves (other thirds maybe?) -
Yes, you amazing assholes
It was because of you two that I grounded myself in the dA community, and the reason I started getting into fandoms like Hetalia and Supernatural, and the reason I started writing fan fiction (which is still a major part of my dA account aside from my plethora of photographs). Thank you for our endless rant-sessions, fandom freak-outs, and entire Skype conversation dedicated solely to the use of caps lock and emoticons
There are so many people on dA that I owe so much to, whether it be for inspiration, company or just making me feel as though I had a place to belong when everything in my real life was on a downward spiral. I owe a lot of thanks to all of you, and I'll try my best to make sure I don't leave anyone out of this journal because you all mean to much to me To my dA friends and family, whose comments can take an awful day and make it brighter, who make me feel as though I'm doing something right with my art when all I see are mistakes
- We've connected over poetry, and I still look forward to seeing your new work in my inbox every few days or weeks or however long it takes you to bring something truly special to dA.
- from our poetic Facebook banter to mutual art appreciation and speculation on how the world will probably implode, I always appreciate every comment, every message, even when my day has been down in the dumps and I have no energy left for anything even remotely productive
- my real-life anime enthusiast and high-school IT-buddy, making those long classes all the more bearable, as well as being the one person I could have a complete mental breakdown with over fictional characters (
Get back up from UCT asap plz
- my long-distance waifu and fellow Hetalia enthusiast, I love listening to all your OC concepts and seeing your art pop up in inbox every now and again
- I know we don't speak much, but I'm still a huge fan of your writing and it constantly pushes me to improve my own style to get even one iota of your talent (this deviation destroyed me just by the way)
- I've seen your art improve constantly since I made you sign up for dA (partially because I live with you too), and it makes me proud that you're learning and growing as an artist (proud photographer sister is proud)
- I'm still constantly blown away by your sheer magic with words, and I always get just a little bit excited when I see some new work pop up in my feed; I wish my feeble attempts at poetry could be an eighth as good as yours, but for now I'm content just to sit back and watch a master at work
- I will never get over how endlessly entertaining your manipulations are, I remember seeing them for the first time and deciding that they needed a folder of their own because they just couldn't be compared to anything else
- we don't speak as often as we should, but I still remember how you always supported my work even when I didn't want to myself, and I'll always be grateful to you for that
For anyone I may have neglected to mention, I love each and every one of you and the contribution you've made to making my dA experience something that I'll never leave behind - I'll always be a part of this community throughout my growing stages as both an artist and a photographer, and as a person. Each of you has given me something that has made me into who I am today, and I can only hope that i've given back just a fraction to each of you in return. This community is something very special, and I hope we never lose that.
Happy birthday, deviantArt!
Here's to another 14 years of art and community