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I'm excited to let you know that Autodesk, Inc. has made an investment in deviantART and that one of Autodesk's top executives, Samir Hanna, Vice President of the Autodesk Consumer Group, will become an observer on the deviantART Board of Directors.

Autodesk has over 30 years of history in helping designers create amazing things. You may know Autodesk for apps like SketchBook and Pixlr for drawing, illustration, and image editing, or for software like 3ds Max and Maya, which are used by the top film and game studios around the world to create fantastically realistic 3D characters, environments, and effects.  Amazing fact: the last 17 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects use Autodesk software. Autodesk is also known for engineering software like AutoCAD, Inventor, and Revit, which has been used to design some of the world’s tallest buildings, longest bridges, and most incredible machines.

With the investment we plan to improve deviantART at a faster pace than we could have just under our own steam.  More deviantART delivered deviously -- that's the plan. I can assure you, there will be no change in control over the community or company as a result of this deal but the rest of the terms are staying confidential for now.

Our consistent growth as a community and in raw numbers visiting the site proves how vital dA has become to so many involved in the arts and in the popular culture reflected and created by deviants. It takes more than just extra servers to keep up with this growth. We so deeply appreciate all the support from the community, from staff and from volunteers.  It’s hard work but with a huge result -- for me and for many others the best place to be on the Internet.

-- Angelo

:spyed: 

p.s. Go say hi to autodesk-sketchbook !!!  

As you get older, you may begin to see birthdays as a distinctive point in time. A time for reflection on past successes, past roadblocks, past lessons. I also see it as an opportunity to look forward, set goals, aim ridiculously high. I'm sure everyone's heard people joke about disliking getting older and lamenting another year passing, but not me. Not yet, at least. The wisdom and hard lessons I've had to learn over the years helps me map out my immediate future. I may stumble, sure, but I also have a lifetime of overcoming obstacles and analyzing achievements to guide my decisions. All I can do is keep learning and growing. 

I feel much the same way about deviantART. 

I don't need to tell you that a web property sticking around for 13 years is a rare thing, and it's not an accomplishment we take lightly. We owe our continued existence to all of you, and the passion and inspiration that emanate so naturally from the community, from the most successful professional to the most eager student, cultivates a bond that my team has been honored to be a part of every day for the past 13 years.

We may have provided the framework for this community of artists, but in embracing our products and supporting our efforts, you've truly made it a home. And so, on our 13th Birthday -- August 7th, 2013 -- I couldn't be more thankful for every one of you and the community you've helped build. For us, 13 is an extremely lucky number, and we're simply humbled at the prospect of providing more frameworks for you to cultivate for years to come. 

The big joke around the office, of course, is that on our 13th birthday, deviantART is finally the age we require our youngest members to be, and I think that's a poignant statement to our coming of age. We're still fresh-eyed and optimistic, but we have had a lifetime of trials we've overcome, endeavors we've grown from, and a past to reflect on, but we're ready to take on the world as a young-adult company.

But we still need your help! We look to our deviants for guidance, and we look forward to growing with you and for you. When I think of what lies ahead, I get shivers at the possibilities. If the past 13 years have taught us anything, the most giving community on Earth is this home for artists in a small corner of the Internet, and I couldn't be more proud to be taking this journey with all of you.

Earlier this week, bradleysays sent me a note reminding me of this Journal titled "deviantART in 10 Years", that I wrote back in 2003, musing on where deviantART would be in 10 years, and it couldn't have come at a better time. (Thanks, Bradley!)  Here is a clip from it: 

I think deviantART will be looked upon as a revolution unto itself. Having been able to scale not only it's infrastructure but it's community and spawned sub-communities (within the garden of deviantART) to include the various arts of hundreds of millions of artists worldwide.
And as the ultimate compliment, it will be taken completely for granted. A service fully integrated into daily life, on every pleasing screen you see.
The ultimate entity through which artists deliver their message to all man kind. 
We live in remarkable times that demand change, and permit unfathomable growth. Growth that has only practical boundaries defined by the actual size of possibility. And we intend to be a catalyst.

That message was our hope back when the Internet was a very different landscape. In 2003 when this was written, there was no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, MySpace or even Friendster. The only other network we recall was LiveJournal. And with the passing of time, the scaling of our numbers, and the welcoming of record-breaking numbers of talented artists with every passing day, (now 28 million registered deviants!) I'd say we should all be very proud of all we have achieved together. 

So goals for the next 10 years? I'd like to pose that question to the community, but first I'll give it another try.

:bulletgreen: :bulletgreen: :bulletgreen: 

I think artists en masse will be making their livelihoods on deviantART directly, or as a result of it. More schools and professional companies than ever will learn the importance of our deviantART Profiles, Search Results and features that permit access to artists of every kind. When we began in 2000, I said many times in my journal that I felt that artists were stranded on all corners of the globe, lacking a well-lit path to follow to earn their living in the arts. We all felt this, because it was true.

In 10 years time people all over the world, of all ages will have easy access to every tool, every artistic lesson, every imaginable support group to provide a well-lit path from a humble beginning, to international stardom in the Arts.

These are bold, revolutionary words to me witnessing the Arts at the forefront with all of you. But I believe we all know in our hearts that this is how quickly society is changing, and that this is possible. And because it is possible, and because we all want this; it will be true.

:bulletgreen: :bulletgreen: :bulletgreen: 

So, if I haven't said it enough, thank you for sharing this special day with us, and thank you for making deviantART possible. Be sure to swing by our hq for some devious festivities, art contests, and we even have some presents for you to help ring in our 13th year. We're feeling pretty lucky. 

And by the way, if you were born on the same day deviantART was, August 7, 2000, then welcome to your first day on the site ;)
I'm in Love

pepper-1 by spyed

It isn't just the incredible honor of having a Traditional Pepper drawing by Stanley " Artgerm " Lau, which in itself keeps me and everyone around me gazing in to her incredibly beautiful eyes.. 

pepper-2 by spyed

... No, that's not the only reason. Owning a Pepper is a real treasure. This International Woman of Mystery has captured the hearts of some of today's most highly regarded digital artists. Her creator, Artgerm is easily the most popular artist on the Internet. His Gallery is filled with blockbuster art pieces. He achieves position #1 on the home page of deviantART with almost every submission to the site:

Chunli Style by Artgerm Wonder Woman Return by Artgerm Pepper Smile by Artgerm
Three Kingdoms - Xiao Qiao by Artgerm    Pepper Robot II by Artgerm    Poison Ivy Sideshow Art by Artgerm
Pepper Freedom by Artgerm Batgirl 12 by Artgerm Pepper Delivery by Artgerm Windrunner - DotA2 by Artgerm


Not to mention, I have access to some pre-release tech here at deviantART that allows me to see the demographic responses to art pieces. I've looked closely at Artgerm's Gallery, and it achieves something we see rarely; His audience is as Female as it is Male. Almost a 50%/50% split on pieces that involve Pepper. Your typical Pin-Ups and Comic Book Covers tend to skew remarkably Male. This doubles the size of Artgerm's audience potential, generating grand slam after grand slam chart topping digital art masterpieces. So why do women love Pepper so much?

Pepper Groove by Artgerm
Pepper Freedom by Artgerm


... Some might say it's because Pepper isn't just the most beautiful woman in the world, she's also a strong, confident figure to be admired. Artists all around the world have come together to try their hand at drawing her for The Pepper Project

Simply-Pepper by PepperProjectPepper Retro Junky by PepperProject
pepper by falk2021Pepper Tech by PepperProject
Combination Pepper by PepperProject
Pepper-station by PepperProjectPepper and seafruits by PepperProject


So perhaps my love is justified? Yes, but I'm not even done yet. This piece in particular has special meaning. First of all, this year at Comic-Con we had the great pleasure of Artgerm coming to Artists' Alley to see his fans and accept Traditional Commissions for the first time. That's right, check his Profile, he's accepting traditional commissions for the first time!! Artgerm joined us on our Business of Fan Art panel: 

Untitled Drawing by spyed
-1 by spyed

Meanwhile, my beautiful girlfriend Viktoria came to Comic-Con with her friend Diana to show off some leg (hehe), and cosplay as Sonic the Hedgehog and Amy Rose! 

Comic Con 2013 62 By Makepictures D6egnbe By L by spyed

She spent weeks on her costume, so as a fun side note I brought this Sonic head back in the car with me, and I happened to drive Artgerm back to Los Angeles so he could catch his plane to Singapore. He saw the Sonic head in the back seat... 

yo by spyed


And so we have Sonic Pepper:

pepper by spyed

She's not only the first ever Traditional Commission of Pepper by Artgerm, she's also the perfect encapsulation of the best Comic-Con year that deviantART and I have ever had!  The deviantART tattoo on her left arm is the ultimate finishing touch. The cherry on top. I'm truly humbled..


Dear Artgerm 

Thank you. This was an incredibly kind thing to find at hq this past Monday. It was fantastic to see you and I look forward to the next time we get to hang out. Also, thanks for geeking with me about dA, and answering a million questions that I pummeled you with the whole drive back to LA. hehe

Your work is so inspiring. I've been staring every day at this Pepper and her absolute radiance as she pops off the paper, seemingly alive. Her eyes are focused on the viewer of the piece, you have to walk far to the left or right to lose her gaze. Guests to my home all stop to take notice and ask about her.

Why? I think I know.

Her lines represent a perfect gateway into popular culture at a global scale, capturing the essence of the most popular style of artwork in current times. To me, Pepper is the face of now, and the face of the future.

Sincerely,
-- :spyed: 
If you participated in Artists' Alley this year on the floor of San Diego Comic-Con, in the far left corner of the Con by Hall G, then this is a journal especially for you. It's also a journey for readers, or members of deviantART who want to get a glimpse into something incredible deviantART's community does each year.

The event this year was brilliant. We are so incredibly proud of every exhibiting artist in the alley. And today, we're just as war-torn and beaten up from all the action as you are. This is my first productive cycle on our first day off in a few weeks. I probably should be doing what I imagine our other teammates are doing, relaxing! Instead, my heart is pounding, my mind is racing, my jaw clenching at times. Some things just need to be said and I can't rest until they are.

We're also proud of the patrons who visited Artists' Alley and either spoke with artists about their projects, commissioned or purchased illustrations, comic-books, etc. and supported the ~200 artists who came from afar to further their careers, perhaps shake a hand that could provide their next big opportunity. As a patron you are literally watching artists struggle and fight to realize their dreams. 

It's beautiful! It's humbling. This is the story of why this year was even more meaningful than others.



San Diego Comic-Con is a cultural pillar that has a deep responsibility to protect its most important asset: The Heart and Soul of Artists' Alley.  


Long before deviantART, San Diego Comic-Con and specifically Artists' Alley were home to the Frank Miller's and Kevin Eastman's of the world. This is where they'd go to take their ideas and their characters and give audiences a shot to try out a brand new story, meet a new set of characters and potentially get their first fans. From this they might get enough attention inside the industry to get a deal. This was one of the only ways to pursue the dream. The significance of Artists' Alley is a book to be written in the pages of history. Many of the stories we love owe their success to the Alley in a big way. It is where quite a bit of the magic behind THE CON comes from.

It's our 3rd year sponsoring Artists' Alley, and by sponsoring I mean providing carpeting, cushioned seats to protect artists backs, awesome jumbotron screens to draw in people that the Alley has never had before, and a deviantART Lounge where passers by can draw on Wacom Cintiq's using Autodesk's Sketchbook and deviantART Muro while others watch. It is all situated on the sacred ground of Artists' Alley; the Heart and Soul of Comic-Con.

If it were up to us, Artists' Alley would be in the center of the Con surrounded by Small Press, Mid-Sized Publishers like IDW, Dark Horse, Image, etc. and the big media companies on the outer perimeter. The big companies would be the first thing you'd see as you walked into Comic-Con, giving them the great exposure they deserve and pay for. As you continue to walk the Con, every fan, even on their very first visit, could deduce where the heart is and where the respect should be paid. 


This is My Garden and These Are My Flowers. And I Nurture Every Single One of Them.


For nearly three decades a woman by the name of Clydene Nee has been deeply involved in Artists' Alley. As lead volunteer for many of those years, she's responsible for the artists: who sits where, what is and isn't allowed, who gets in, who doesn't... She leads volunteers that enforce the rules, keep the aisles clean, and people moving. Set up, take down. The meat and potatoes. The grind. The work. The gears behind the Alley that keep it running smoothly. 


Artists' Alley at SDCC in 2010 was a ghost town. As I do at all Cons, I went to speak to the artists one by one. Hi. I'm Angelo Sotira. I run deviantART. I just wanted to say hello. How is the Con treating you? How is deviantART treating you? My standard fare. I love these conversations, they usually go quite well. 

Just not in San Diego in 2010. These people were angry. And it didn't take many of these interviews to understand why.

"The carpet ends right before the alley, so people don't come here." - Anonymous
"We're like some kind of ugly step child." - Anonymous 
"I can't afford this! It costs money to come here, they're raising rates every few years while providing us with less! I can't justify this for next year, no one comes by our booth so what's the point?" - Anonymous
 "These chairs are breaking our backs. It's 5 days for the Con. I'm 57 years old, I can't sit in a chair like this for 5 days. I go home early, and I'm in pain for a month after I leave." - Anonymous  (This person in particular was IRATE. Yelling. Red in the face.)


Four years ago, Clydene Nee and I were introduced by our mutual friend, DeevElliott, on the floor of the Alley. Like today, my jaw was clenching. Clydene was stern. She was expecting me. I started with my youthful arrogance.

"What is going on here? These artists are angry. I can't tell you how upset I am. This is ridiculous. Why isn't there carpeting? Why don't these artists have decent chairs?" -  
She didn't hear a word. Her stare completely shut me down. I didn't know what to make of her. After a long pause and a deadpan stare, we started to walk. She raised her arms to the side, palms up..
"This is my Garden, and these are my flowers. And I nurture every single one of them. Do you understand?"
What are you supposed to say to THAT? I looked at DeevElliott for comfort, he gave me the raised brow look. It wasn't comforting. It was clear that I was alone now, all Dave could do was bring me to her. He had no intention of stepping on any boundary beyond that.

Needless to say I didn't get a word in edgewise for the next 30 minutes. What became entirely apparent, however, was the strength and commitment of this woman to Artists' Alley. As we walked, I noticed a deep humbled respect given to Clydene by each artist booth we passed. And for the first time in the Alley, just by walking the floor with her, I saw artists extend a sliver of that respect to the guest she was walking with, as well. It was humbling.

A chill came over me as I started to realize the significance of this woman. I connected for the first time to the roots of a community on the floor of Artists' Alley, the depths of which I hadn't scratched. Curiosity. Respect. Intrigue. God, if there's one thing that I love in this world it's the value that a strong community can create for people. 


Comic-Con 2013 - Artists' Alley


It is our third year now sponsoring Artists' Alley. Yes, the deviantART community itself is ultimately responsible for these contributions. The difference is night and day. Just read the comments to this Journal from any participating artist this year. The traffic to the alley is off the charts, the chairs for three years now are comfortable. The black carpeting lines the Alley from wall to wall. Brilliant jumbo-tron screens rotating the artwork and names of the artists in the alley high above. The jumbo-trons are strategically positioned in the aisles so that all the way on the other side of the con, you can see them. This draws people in! And with the greatest pride, the deviantART logo flies high above the deviantART Lounge inside the Alley, inviting artists to come learn and participate.


We're proud to say, this is what Artists' Alley looks like now (in 2012, still getting shots for 2013 which are even better!): 

Comic-Con-ABCs-V by spyed

A pretty bad shot from the entrance to Hall G, but you can see the droves of people: 

SDCC-floor-Alex-Wilson by spyed

The artists point of view, their tables swarming with fans: 

ArtistAlley by spyed


Packed. Absolutely packed! Exactly what deviantART is about; Entertaining, Inspiring and Empowering the Artist in All of us. In this case, we brought the jumbotrons and the carpeting and the seats... the environment in which artists could be empowered, attracting people, creating traffic and therefore allowing artists to thrive. It's basic stuff, but it just wasn't there.

A garden was nourished that had nearly died.



We Love Artists Alley!!!!!


We'd like to thank Comic-Con International for all of the progress we've been able to make together. The Con is swamped each year, and we can understand that help is needed if we're to make things better for the Alley and for Artists. We're thrilled to continue helping to make Artists' Alley the best it can be.


Meanwhile, as Clydene and I embraced in the Alley this year, tears streamed down our faces. There is much that still needs to be done... and we do need your support. So if you were in the Alley, I'm looking for you in our comments area here on this Journal. What was your experience? Share your stories.  

Clydene we want you to know: The deviantART community is here to help water and nurture your flowers. With all of our hearts, we love you and Artists' Alley. You are legend to us. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for standing strong, and brave, as you are.


Angelo and Clydene by makepictures

A photo from 2011 with me and Clydene Nee. A backpack presented to me by her, signed by all the artists in Artists Alley.

(It's now framed in a glass case at deviantART HQ.)


What was it like?


I'm thrilled to announce that later this year we're going to dig deep in to the roots of SDCC Artists' Alley so we can share the wealth of history in its past. +Watch depthRADIUS for updates on this! 

Check out our updates right from the Con! 



Please Share Your Comments!


All comments are welcome, but also this is a special invitation for all artists participating in Artists' Alley each year. I encourage you to share your experiences here on this Journal in the comments area. Share your stories of the past, tell your tales of the present, as we all look forward to Comic-Con 2014! 
Update: I met George R.R. Martin at San Diego Comic-Con! - I got to share this Journal with him, and he confirmed how much he loves MarcSimonetti and the art works he makes, not just the throne but generally. I agree. -- Awesome! And Congrats Marc!! (I can't find the photo of he and I, I'll post it soon!)

Update 2: Turns out, MediaBistro had actually beaten me to the punch on this scoop. Legit!


I'm about to share with you some Game of Thrones awesomeness we discovered thanks to my friend Anand Kishore, but ... first: If you were gracious and responded with the kind of passion many of you did to my deviantART v999 Journal -- Then you should know that to be just as gracious, I've asked danlev and his team to review every response, dive deep to understand exactly what everyone means, and then respond officially to your suggestions. So, thank you! And know that we're taking your feedback very seriously.

Game of Thrones Awesomeness: 

As it turns out, Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin has a blog titled Not a Blog over at LiveJournal. About a week ago, he posted about the Iron Throne and how the HBO series (which he says he loves) doesn't quite portray the Iron Throne the way that he saw it in his head. Here's a snip from his blog: 

Untitled by spyed


The Iron Throne is DEVIOUS!!!!

It should come as no surprise at this point that deviants are behind the concept work for just about everything in entertainment. The depiction of what the true Iron Throne should look like is no different, with our very own MarcSimonetti (deviant since November 2006) as the artist behind George R. R. Martin's official reference for what the Iron Throne should look like. 

The Iron throne by MarcSimonetti
"This Iron Throne is massive. Ugly. Asymmetric. It's a throne made by a blacksmiths hammering together half-melted, broken, twisted swords, wrenched from the hands of dead men or yielded up by defeated foes.." - George R.R. Martin, Author, Game of Thrones

For the record, the wide majority of our team here at deviantART are gigantic fans of the show. Nommy smile mini

Game of Thrones Tyrion Lannister by imaginism Game Of Thrones - Daenerys Targaryen by DaniNaimare 
George R. R. Martin by lost-angel-less

 





Spyed La
 




We're working on deviantART v999. So far, it's a lot of prototypes, concepts and color explorations that are waiting for clarity on some technologies coming out of R&D. 

A lot of you probably wonder where the hell our mobile apps are. I do. Quick answer: They're trapped under a bigger project. It's worth the wait, but we're far overdue on release. The biggest problem has been the Message Center, whose architecture, look and feel, etc. simply doesn't port over to Mobile & Tablets. For these, we need to streamline the incredibly powerful experience of deviantART's message center, so that it can be consumed on smaller screens without having to click lots of buttons.

Activity Feeds are supposed to be the obvious solution. But at deviantART, people love their Message Centers specifically because they aren't feeds. Each item from your +watch list, or Feedback area comes in as an item. Each item must be removed from the Message Center by you. This is great because it allows us to be especially supportive of the artists we +watch. Even if we're gone a week, we don't miss a beat on replying to art posts, journals, or pieces that need critique, etc. 


Exploring Activity Feeds: 


Earlier this year we prototyped "Activity Feeds" based on the people you watch. We wanted to see how the data felt when experienced this way, especially when Comments were added in from the people you are following.

 (Disclaimer: little user interface work was done on this, just function)

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 5.56.17 PM by spyed


Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 5.51.30 PM by spyed

Playing with my +watch list using this approach was really nice. The biggest benefit was the comments, I found myself in conversations I didn't know were happening previously. And deviantART felt incredibly inviting to me as a result of that. You will definitely see Comments from people you +watch accessible to you in deviantART v999. But we recognize that Activity Feeds aren't necessarily the right solution for us, and that preserving the best aspects of our current Message Center is a *must* for deviants around the world. 

We're going to begin by improving the look and feel of our current message center. And we'll likely release an activity feed in our first Mobile apps later this year.


Next Up:


Personalization, More Like This, and how they tie together to produce a beautiful deviantART especially for you.


Questions:


How do you like your message center?

What works the best?

What isn't working so well?

What would you like to see? 

:spyed: 






A collection of pieces featuring Nas, by members of deviantART: 

Nas by helenesse

Nas markers by thevilbrainKING NAS t-shirt by Cloxboy
NAS by forillynilly
Nas by Graffiti-Artist    Nas - Hero by Hella-Sick

nas by alexlartwork22
Nas Hero by Oni0n-HeaD
Nas by K1lluminati
Nas by Tecnificent
NAS Article by DiabeticMinority


NAS aka Nasir Jones by face-art
Nas: Hero by Illmatic94Nas - Queens Bridge by BwsHustla
Nas by Nostalgic2001

NAS by HH753
nas by geowarriors20
NAS by shureoner

Nas Wallpaper by onemicGfx
Nas by GabyS11NaS by MrHSingh
Nas Abstract by Graffiti-ArtistNas by djghosttrain
Nas by ideoteqa
NAS wallpaper by m4Rkogfx
Nas Wallpaper by K1lluminati
NAS Blowing Smoke by psicko
nas by Cobra-Kahn
nas-the thief's theme by eugiboogie
Nas napkin by JOSHic
Nas by Cyber-AL


Nas by RawGraff


nas by aniaania2001
Nas by tee00











I am very excited to announce a strategic partnership between deviantART and Madefire, the leading Motion Book application in Apple’s App Store.  (iPhone & iPad)


Together with Madefire, we are releasing the Madefire Web Reader on deviantART in a new category on our front-page called "Motion Books.” You will immediately find a dozen Madefire Motion Books there, with more books released each Wednesday.


Browse Motion BooksTM













deviantART & Madefire are undertaking an epic journey






In the coming months, you will see many more Madefire Motion Books on deviantART as deviants gain access to Madefire's Motion Book Tool. When Madefire integration on deviantART is fully complete, deviants will be able to make, read, sell, and buy books and comics, and transfer them to mobile devices -- all within the deviantART experience.




We have every imaginable comic and book format on deviantART and the most advanced community of comic book artists, writers and storytellers. One of the Madefire founders, LiamSharp, has been a deviant for six years and represents both an artist in need of this solution and one of the driving forces behind its creation.






Madefire's Motion Book Tool





Treatment - Tokyo: Episode 1 by MadefireStudios Captain Stone is Missing... - Episode 1: Chess by MadefireStudios Mono - The Old Curiosity Shop: Ep. 1 by MadefireStudios The Engine - Episode 1 by MadefireStudios The Irons - Hybrids: Episode 1 by MadefireStudios The Engine - Episode 4 by MadefireStudios





The Story So Far...




For years we have been searching for the right way for deviantART to enable deviants to tell their stories. We have such incredible stories here on deviantART, and few true story telling tools to aid our Literature community and our Graphical community to come together in unity and develop stories together. We've been asked with great passion by our members to bring such a capability to deviantART for a long time.







Many solutions we reviewed are backward focused on print strategy, where formats for publishing stories mirror the needs of paper printing. One of our challenges is that deviantART is a global, digital community that thirsts for great tools that enable digital story telling first. Digital-first means that a book is created for the purposes of being distributed digitally. Yet all digital-first tools didn't seem to take full advantage of new platforms.


We were immediately enamored with Madefire and its digital-first approach. It just looks so fantastic, exploding cells off the ‘page’ with the pop vibrancy that the comics style had always suggested, but never achieved until now.


Madefire's Motion Book Tool is Web-based, which inherently provides collaboration capability. DeviantART is obviously Web-based, and our new Sta.sh cloud storage solution already features Sta.sh Muro and Sta.sh Writer which will now be joined by Madefire's Motion Book Tool. Using Sta.sh, all of your files are easily accessible to you and (soon) your collaborators as you build Motion Books. You can easily use the deviantART Premium Content Platform to sell the books, and the stories you will create can be truly brilliant, limited only by your imagination!






Let Me ExplainHow It Will All Roll Out




  • The Motion Books category is live now on the front-page of deviantART.
  • The Madefire Web Reader is available now, with the Premium Content Platform integrated.
  • Various books available inside of the Madefire iPhone & iPad App are released on deviantART now, with more books each Wednesday.
  • The Madefire iOS apps including iPad and iPhone are available for download.
  • Very limited access is available for the Madefire's Motion Book Tool which is just not ready for full release to an audience as expansive as deviantART. We will allow more and more creators in as the creation software becomes ready for the big time!




  • In two (2) months time an initial larger group of members (hundreds) will be given access to the tool for testing. These members will be selected randomly.
  • Based on feedback we will roll out the tool to thousands and then millions of deviantART members.
  • To gain access to the Motion Book Tool, simply +watch the MotionBookTool group and hang tight! Work on your comics and books as you have been, we will be reaching out especially to deviants who are posting their stories on deviantART already!






Ultimately, Madefire software will be available to all members for FREE and will permit you to convert existing static comics or books into Motion Books or create fresh new books using the tools! All books can be formatted for Web (deviantART), iPad and iPhone with support for other devices coming in the future. Unfortunately, Android is not currently supported. We decided to do "Web" first!






Houses of the Holy - Episode 1 by MadefireStudios Mono - The Old Curiosity Shop: Ep. 2 by MadefireStudios Captain Stone is Missing... - Episode 2: Ada by MadefireStudios Treatment - Tokyo: Episode 2 by MadefireStudios The Engine - Episode 2 by MadefireStudios The Engine - Episode 3 by MadefireStudios




You will be able to make your Motion Books available for FREE or you will be able to use the Premium Content Platform to set a price and make money though the deviantART My Earnings interface.  With the same free software, you will be able to simply convert your static books to the Madefire Reader. And soon, following the roll out plan the full Madefire's Motion Book Tool will be available to members, again for free, through Sta.sh so you will be able to build Motion Books from scratch.


You will then have the option of publishing Motion Books both on the web through deviantART and on mobile for the iPad and iPhone through Madefire.


I am really proud that deviantART is once again at the lead edge in giving artists the tools they need for extending their creative and financial career possibilities in the arts, while liberating their artistic independence through the ultimate collaboration with other artists.





The walls of traditional commerce that limited the practical distribution of your work and imagination are burning down. Now you can join with other artists and writers to build fantastically illustrated worlds, populated with the coolest characters engaged in the most exciting story narratives, coming to life with incredible sound and fury, and make your storytelling career a reality – without the benefit of massive personal financing or winding your way through the maze of the traditional publishing world.


After you’ve had a chance to sample Madefire Motion Books come back here and let us know what you would do with this medium or share with everyone who you would most like to see tell a story with a Motion Book. I have a few favorites of my own that I’ll drop into the discussion once its gets started. For now, enjoy a great read.


Browse Motion BooksTM
















Our team has been testing an early version of our brand NEW Commissions portal. On the Commissions Portal you can find ALL of the (currently) 26,000 available Commission offers from artists, neatly categorized by Style, Type, Price, Popularity, etc. It's awesome! 

When we launched Commission widgets on Profile pages a few months ago, I personally didn't find them to be very helpful by themselves. Without a directory of available artists for commissions, and what commission options there are from across the whole community -- I couldn't be sure that I was buying the right thing.  

Untitled Drawing by spyed

The new portal (which will be accessible right from deviantART.com's home page) has added an incredible value to my life since I've been playing with it: The ability to easily commission artists! 

Because the commissioning process exists in-line on the Commission area, I was able to facilitate 5 commissions in an initial 2 minutes and 30 seconds for a total of ~2,000 Points ($25) which I want to discuss in a second. But, yes, you read that correctly. Two minutes and thirty seconds to commission 5 artists to make custom stuff for me. I did have to have a Note conversation later on with each artist, bringing the total time spent on these commissions to about 10 minutes of discussion. One of the commissions failed to complete due to misunderstanding that I think can be avoided. But about a week later I have the four final results to share.  

Pngwx by spyedSpyed by Tobsen85English Setter by yochan91spyed icon : commission : by xaxiko


I gave artists very simple instructions like, "This is awesome! I want one! Just make it Ninja-styled like my Avatar!!" or, "OMG it would be amazing if you could draw an english setter [link] that had just gone through a stinky garbage bag!" -- (Because Bentley, my English Setter, did this a few weekends ago when I left a garbage bag on my porch for a minute before taking it to the trash. GRR! hehe) or, "This is great!! Could you draw me like that?

Simple, easy instructions to get us started. Which is what you should expect from 100-500 Point ($1.25-$6.25) commissions. This way, artists who are either learning or interested in perfecting a style of work can just facilitate an easy commission that motivates them and inspires them, plus adds a couple bucks in to their pockets. 

Here are bigger versions of the results:

Spyed by Tobsen85English Setter by yochan91
by Tobsen85 and yochan91 respectively. 


spyed icon : commission : by xaxiko
A ninja avatar made in a style xaxiko is working with. 



Pngwx by spyed


And a Spyed Chibi by MiniWoopWoop which is interestingly very similar to the avatar made by xaxiko if you look closely! 


I'm extremely happy with my purchases!!! I not only feel happy to share these with you but also with my friends and family. I feel as though I got a great value for $25. And I also feel as though I supported artists by giving them fun tasks to work with in exchange for the fees they requested.

I do want to say that I believe this portal is going to assist greatly in raising prices that are charged, as artists see what other artists are able to charge and what they offer at those price points. 

If I had one message for deviants using the Commissions system it would be: RAISE YOUR PRICES! Your time is valuable, your work is valuable. If you're a young artist and learning, incorporate price points in to your learning. Sure, offer 100 Point Commissions for fun, but please don't form any beliefs that your work and time should be worth $1.25.

Minimum wage is ~$9 an hour in the United States. That's 720 Points an Hour. Your work is skilled work, so especially as you develop as an artist you can charge much more than minimum wage. Please consider the time you are taking. It is fine if you want to discount your time because you feel you are taking longer than a Pro would, but if you spend multiple hours please value your time. Professional illustrations and the like should range from $250-$5000 a piece depending on your skill level. Professional Logo Designs can range from $250 to $50,000 a piece but tend to average about $1,000. Know this! 

We are very excited about Commissions on deviantART as we believe we will be able to assist a growing community of artists and clients to find each other. We are equally excited to nurture professional artists who grow up on deviantART so that they can be invited to join our new professional commissioning platform known as DreamUp.com -- Rates on DreamUp start at $200 per Commission, whereas on deviantART you can find any price point even as low as 10 Points from developing artists. Additionally all artists and designers are welcomed to our Commissioning Platform on deviantART! 

If you are an artist who accepts commissions on deviantART, set up your Commission modules on your profile today so that you can get commissioned by our Staff and an increasing number of clients who we are giving access to over the following weeks and months! (Full public launch is yet undetermined, but within 3 months.)  

Visit EDIT PAGE on your Profile: 

Untitled Drawing by spyed

And add the Commissions Module from the Misc category!

Untitled Drawing by spyed

Then, follow the instructions on the Commissions Module. You will automatically be indexed and promoted inside of the Commissions Portal! 



Some Questions: 


  1. Why are deviants setting prices at 10 Points or 100 Points for Commissions like the ones above? 
  2. What is the right price point for these types of Commissions in your view?
  3. What types of art or design would you like to Commission from artists or designers on deviantART? 



After nearly 13 years of service, The Shoutbox, a key piece of original deviantART history was removed from the Chat page today. For 7 years it served our members on our homepage at www.deviantART.com. Its moment of permanent sunset brought us sadness, and joy, a reflection of life and death. Before life there is peace, and after, peace again. The Shoutbox lived a life of furious service connecting many generations of deviants from all corners of the globe to befriend, and to flame, and to befriend.

Untitled by spyed
  (Pssst... Look closely at the right hand bar where it used to be, below "Latest Quotes"! Thanks starvingartist!)

Gone forever, to rest in the shadows. 

With all our love,
:spyed: 

 
Dear Citizens of the Shoutbox,

I did make a promise to keep the shoutbox open. And I wish I were in a position to keep that promise. 

I don't personally maintain the shoutbox or have the knowledge of how to do so, I also don't maintain the system resources it uses, or the complications it introduces when network wide updates are made to different systems that effect the shoutbox. There are teams at deviantART like devious Technologies and Product that do this. And they area easily the most strained resources that deviantART has.

These teams made a strong case to me this week in saying that usage of the shoutbox has decreased substantially from the hundreds of people who would flow in and out of it in years past, to now exactly 60.

I will tell you that the number 60 is a very particular number to me and to deviantART. The number 60 was used and discussed in great detail during the design and build of the Groups system. When I heard the number, I knew the tides had turned and it was time for change.

I wish the number were 70, or 90, or any number above 60. 

I read a case study that said men participating on a regular basis in a social group of 60 other men live 10 years longer on average. (I realize the shoutbox is men and women almost equally) -- But the case study reveals value to both genders of participation in larger social groups of some diversity as well.

Malcolm Gladwell writes in the Tipping Point about social connections, and that 60 people is the number of people that the average person can maintain relationships with after family, old friends and necessary-to-know co-workers are removed from the total number of people a person can keep personal track of.

At the start of my digital life on the Netherworld BBS in Northern Virginia when I was just 12 years old, we had built the network up to 42 phone lines which was the total number of people who could be on to "chat" and play games at any point. This was the single most important group of people to me in my life if I had to summarize. They shaped me and helped me through the most difficult things even if they didn't necessarily know it. 

Moving to upstate New York made dialing in to The Netherworld a long-distance phone call that my parents had to pay for. Many $700 phone bills later, they put an end to it. And my heart was broken in a way I will never forget.

The pain made me seek community again, and led to the creation of DMusic.com, which led to the creation of deviantART and the creation of the Groups system quite directly for example. I want nothing more than a harmony of 60 person eco-systems all around deviantART, so that deviantART can "feel" small and serve millions in just this way.

I believe we all have a thirst for this feeling. It is as human as the wires of the web can be in their current state. (I mean who's to know what Google Glass or something adds to the equation right?) 

So I understand what is on the line here and the passion with which you guys will fight this. My heart really goes out to you here and as I told my team earlier today, sometimes my role really effing sucks.


It is clear that the 60 of you have found a harmony together. I love this! And I feel awful that I have to be the bad parent that can't keep their promise. In every way I can count I've literally convinced myself about 3 times in the writing of this note to keep the shoutbox going.

What hardens this reality is that the number is 60. deviantART must maintain a position where it builds and maintains software for the building of communities. When we service a single 60 person unit of community we are utilizing resources in a way that doesn't benefit the greater good of deviantART.com. 

I encourage you guys to stick together and to fight through this change. There are alternatives to the Shoutbox right on deviantART: A GROUP, a CHAT ROOM, even a Profile page that already has a shoutbox on it. All of these things are substitutes on deviantART, not to mention available alternatives in private web hosting. None of them would be the same. I get it.

It is precisely the purpose of a community like deviantART to bring together groups of sixty people for life long companionship in a best case scenario. This is a very difficult thing for a group of people to achieve and I really believe it is something you guys should work on quickly to relocate so that you don't lose your touch with each other. 

My heart goes out to you, and I'm sorry.

-- Angelo 


Untitled Drawing by spyed

Untitled Drawing by spyed
Untitled Drawing by spyed







I hope ya'll are having a fun weekend! 

-- A
In the deviantWATCH, we would like to switch to Feeds vs. Messages you have to "X" away one by one.

Now, I could use a wide net of input for message center revamp, but really I'd like to start with a narrow view of just deviantWATCH.

The deviantWATCH lives within Messages, which contains within it Feedback, Notices, etc. as well. deviantWATCH messages come in like crazy in your message center once you are watching 20+ people. And of the folks reading my Journal, I know you guys tend to have over 100+ people that you +WATCH.

Help me understand something. Because if we go off and make changes, we're going to have a riot on our hands. And no one needs that kind of sadness in their lives:

Why can't we switch to feeds? 

Feeds would effectively index YOUR deviantWATCH in to deviantART's search engine, so your deviantWATCH Deviations would have all of the filters and capabilities of the home page. Categories, Newest, Most Popular 24 hours, 1 week, 1 month, etc. BUT all of this would be narrowed just to your deviantWATCH. You could search, you could have all of the viewing benefits of Browse like SitBack and RSS feeds.

The down side? Or is it the upside? No "X" -- deviantWATCH would simply show you your Watch as a search result feed, it would even tell you how many new items are in your feed, but once you viewed your deviantWATCH the counter would reset to zero. You could always browse your entire Watch history, but you wouldn't be able to push "away" all the deviations you're "done" with. Instead, you'd have to +Favorite them or Sta.sh them or something :)

Ok, go ahead, get the torches out.. and let's chat in the comments :)

-- A







I mentioned I was in Mammoth over the holidays, which, besides an annoying sickness for the first few days, was so much fun I don't even know where to start. But I'll get into that in another Journal.

I wanted to share with you a note I found on my desk at hq when I returned. Yanira works here at the office once or twice a week and she had her nephews in with her during the break. 
Letter by spyed

We have a ton of these deviantART coasters laying around HQ so they must have found them. We originally made them for originaldrinkanddraw and I'm so glad they found them! I'm going to have to get more just in case the elves come again!

Look what they left for me!

Coaster1 by spyed




Coaster2 by spyed


Coaster3 by spyed



Coaster4 by spyed


How cool are these?! Um, please ignore the devious slogan on there... Hopefully the artistic elves knew we were talking about delicious, healthy milk! :) 

Happy New Year! Cheers to the creation and celebration of art in 2013!! 

-- A

Commission Modules


    As you can see on my profile, you may now commission me in order to answer either a simple, or complicated question for a fee. This isn't the intent of this system, but I wasn't about to offer my drawing skills for commission. I just don't think I've built up enough of a reputation with my drawings in this way. Meanwhile, I need to test the Commissions Widgets, we're considering releasing them on Friday for more folks to use them! What do you think of this?


Sta.sh on Forums


    Enhanced conversations were released to Senior Members for use in the deviantART Forums.  In short, they permit you to use your Sta.sh Cloud Storage along side the deviantART Media language. So you can easily add photos, emotes from the community, your favorites, anything in your gallery, even things in your friends galleries in to the conversation threads to increase the bandwidth of your online conversations. We've stumbled in to a few truly fun use cases while playing around with it, and we're talking about how everyone feels about these new capabilities.

    I also posted this journal a couple of days ago:  

 

    I've since reached out to all of the folks whose art was used in this way. I've heard back so far from 3 of the original authors and generally speaking they either like it or don't mind it. And like the general tonality for how we are planning to launch it. (Allowing you to choose not to permit comments on your work. Effectively, just as we do now with existing comments.) 

Life


    I hope you guys are having an excellent Holiday season. Bentley, Royce, Viktoria and I are jumping in the car first thing in the morning to drive up to Mammoth Mountain to get our Holiday Ski on! On the way up, there's this fantastic frozen lake where I stopped last year and took these great photos with Bentley and Vik (o-KOUKLA-o) that I posted in January: 

Untitled by spyedUntitled by spyed
Untitled by spyed
Untitled by spyedUntitled by spyed


    We will most certainly miss chris and pachunka this year who flew home to be with their families in Canada and Ireland respectively. But we WILL be joined this year by a new member of the family ... Royce! 

Untitled by spyedUntitled by spyed
Untitled by spyedUntitled by spyed

    Bentley is constantly getting pounced by his little sister who is full of puppy energy.

Untitled by spyedUntitled by spyed

    But he's getting squeezed plenty to make up for it. :D 

Untitled by spyed

Happy Holidays folks! 

:spyed: 





Untitled Drawing by spyed
Untitled Drawing by spyed

Untitled Drawing by spyed
Untitled Drawing by spyed

Untitled Drawing by spyed
Untitled Drawing by spyed
Untitled Drawing by spyed
Untitled Drawing by spyed
Untitled Drawing by spyed
Untitled Drawing by spyed
Untitled Drawing by spyed

Untitled Drawing by spyed
Untitled Drawing by spyed
Untitled Drawing by spyed
Early deviantart by kdso
Deviantart Wallpaper by Slgado

On the seniors forum (to start) we've introduced the new sta.sh media bar (limited release only to senior members for now) allowing them to use sta.sh, muro, and deviantART in your comments. For fun, I made this in a few minutes using the new system. It allows you to use dA Muro, and its new annotation tool in order to point things out inside of art. but, I used it to have some fun. :) 

-- Angelo
aka Spyed
aka "this guy" - :rofl: 
So it's the year 2013 just about, and we don't have hover-boards yet. I'm just as bummed as you. But there's great news, because at least we have Boosted Boards!! This kick-ass project got kick-started with $450,000+ and my buddy Garry Tan over at Y Combinator got me an intro after I rode his beta-model. I'm such a fan...  

Here's me riding the new model, Garry will be so jealous I got to ride it first! These long boards have the goods to hit 20+ mph up hill!!! If the limiters were off they could hit 60mph, but I felt really safe on this thing. It's so smooth and easy to drive... I haven't skateboarded in over a decade and look how easy I make it look! 


Meeting Sanjay (CEO) and his co-founders Matthew and John plus other members of the team solidified this project for me. These guys are super bright, 110% dedicated and working their fingers to the bone on this project. It's the ultimate gig; innovation, engineering, tangible design, incredibly fun! When SGonzalez and I left we were buzzing for the rest of the week. 

That night, I dreamed of the feeling of being on that board... something that only happens to me when I ski, or snorkel. It's exhilarating!  

I've set up the boosted boards team with beta DreamUp.com accounts... if any of you make it in to the private beta version of the platform, look for commission work from these guys and you'll be a part of a really great project!


Also, while there... we met the DOUBLE ROBOTICS team who are building The Double. The Double is a "telepresence robot" allowing you to remotely move around a space anywhere in the world with a gyroscoped bot you can drive around! As shown below, people can see your face and talk to you! Something like an RC Skype-Bot! They're still $2g's but... the company is young so hopefully the price will come down! 

Untitled by spyedUntitled by spyed

Have a great weekend ;) 

-- A




  
I was in Greece visiting my family recently... and after everyone went to sleep, I couldn't. I knew there was a beauty outside that I rarely have a chance to see. And a deep, primal hunger drove my need to be outside to breathe in.

It was pitch dark. I couldn't see anything but the stars and maybe the driveway lights. But my camera can see so much more.

Untitled by spyed
Untitled by spyed



Untitled by spyed
That's the milky way coming just about almost out of that chimney of the little house where I was staying.

Untitled by spyed



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Shooting star!

Untitled by spyed

Untitled by spyed


Is this a deviation? 









I'm really tired of only being able to submit one jpg in to a deviation. My art is often an adventure and the art is in the adventure.  :5moremins: by Synfull

deviantART doesn't allow me to publish that. Sticky Note by BoffinbraiN

That's an easy thing to fix, technically. It just has big implications. But I think we should just do it and see what happens.  Shit hits the fan REVAMPED by Tryer1234

How?

It would mean that you could publish things made in Stash Writer as deviations. Which breaks the promise that when you click a deviation, all that results is a deviation. It could be an entire publication, like techgnotic's articles.

We're pussy footing around this change within the company, and today while attempting to publish my art work for the fifth time lately I've just effing had it. I haven't posted to deviantART since the summer because of this. 

And my current gallery? It's a sham compared to the work I've been doing the past few years with my art. I just have a hard time publishing it here. It's time for change.

Sta.sh and Sta.sh Writer are close to being clean, strong, independent products. Sta.sh is huge already, set to be a top 500 web property by itself by early next year. If you get wind of what's being released on it next week or the following you'll begin to see it's over-9000 ultra mega power. I already have access to the magic and it's changed the way I look at my creative and publishing process.

So, strap yourself in for a troll rampage until we get this squared away but I'm ready for galleries to contain truly rich media deviations.

-- A 



Deep Dive on deviantART - 12 Years

Journal Entry: Mon Oct 29, 2012, 1:42 PM


Hey guys, 

I did a deep dive interview last week with Jason Calacanis from "This Week in Startups", it's posted to youtube so I figure I'd share it with you all:


Should give you an insight in to some of the things we're up to. :ninja:

Let me know what you think! 

Cheers,
:meditate: 


spyed sense:


i really need to change my signature.
it's been simmering in lame for way too long.

:meditate:
Ninja image created by AndyFairhurst