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.
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.
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