When thinking about the internet, the first things to come to mind are usually social networking sites. From instant messaging on AIM to long, faux-philosophical status updates on Facebook, to even the silliest of 140-character messages on Twitter, the internet has become a place for the sharing of information. But along with the sharing of information comes the sharing of some of the more bizarre information and ideas in the world. I doubt anyone knew that there are people that get aroused by anthropomorphic animals before the internet became mainstream. Nor that everything and anything can and will be porn whether you like it or not, and at least a thousand people could be getting off on it at this very moment. But we’re not here today to talk about the dirty, naughty side of the internet. We’re here to talk about the artsy side of the world wide web, which also happens to encompass some incredibly disturbing stuff. As is the norm, more after the jump.
What can I say about deviantART, honestly? At its core, it is a place to share artwork of various kinds: from hand-drawn or digitally-made pictures, to comics, sculptures and even the odd-fanfic or two. It is a place where creativity grows, where artists evolve, and fun (& horror) can be found at every corner. To be honest, there is crap, but given how large and inclusive the community is, that’s just a given. Believe me when I say that there are talented artists to be found on the site. You may have to go past the front page of the site to find some of the more creative and “beautiful” things, but believe me when I say that they are there. There are over sixty artists on the site that I follow the work of, and countless more than I haven’t even laid eyes on yet. On my account, there are over 300 pieces of artwork that I have favorited and counting. And I’m constantly on the search for more each and every day, looking for all the diamonds in the rough.
What you are most likely to see more than anything on deviantART is fan art. There is quite a bit of original content on the site, sure, and that’s what I enjoy checking out the most. But overwhelming majority is fanart, and I’m 100% okay with that, as should you. After all, who doesn’t have a special something that helps bring out their creative side. Maybe it is a favorite video game series, or a book, television show, or film. I can certainly say that the main reason I started drawing was because I fell in love with cartoons, more specifically the ones on Cartoon Network. I imagined up stories with these characters, tried my best to draw them, et cetera. Fan art is simply one of the best ways to evolve as an artist, or at the very least, a starting point. By copying the styles of the artists you love, you eventually create your own style and start moving on to your own ideas. With many of the people I follow, this is often the case from where I’m standing.
As stated in the previous paragraph, original ideas are the main reason why I constantly visit the site: typing in a random word and seeing what pops up. This is where the weirdness factor of deviantART kicks in and the site’s name takes on its true meaning. You will find some really creepy stuff on deviantART, even if you choose to ignore the countless Nartuo/Bleach yaoi crossovers. Decapitations, talking fruits, blood and gore, and pig-faced whores (seriously). The list goes on and on…and I love every single bit of the insanity. Maybe I just have a warped mind, but the image of a teenage girl getting impaled with a giant thermometer makes me laugh my head off. And on the other side of the spectrum, you can find just the most adorable pieces of art known to man, women, and dolphin.
It is under my own belief that deviantART is, hands-down, the best place to get your artwork out into, if not the public eye, at least the art community. From teenagers to adults, from Americans to Indonesians, you can see the work of various people. The world is full of amazing artists, and a good chunk of them can be found on that site. From amateurs to professionals, the art community has expanded drastically since we’ve become able to share our arts-and-crafts projects with random people from places we’ve never been. I can safety say that I wouldn’t want to imagine a world where this isn’t possible, nor would I ever want to turn back the clock to such a time. I’m grateful that such a large art community is just a few clicks away, because when I go back to posting artwork on my account, there is sure to be a bit of support.
If one thing is certain, the internet is full of douchebags. But there are far more people on the internet willing to be nice and give you a bit of help or advice (good or bad) when you need it. And deviantART is a site where you can expect some feedback on your work, or at the very least, a few views. And other deviants occasionally hand out some great advice in drawing pretty much anything you could imagine. There is even a nice tutorial on the use of color in your art, which I’m a huge fan of. A quick visit to deviantART not only allows you to see the cute and the weird juxtaposed with each other, but also some really amazing tutorials on art and nice people. Or you could just laugh at some random comics. Each to their own.
In the end, all that really needs to be said is that deviantART is just an all-around awesome site with great people, great art, and a large community. If you like drawing or are even just a fan of art, and you don’t have an account over there, what the hell are you waiting for!?