Today marks my fifth year on deviantART! (Oh wow I completely forgot about that emoticon!)
I’d been a lurker for a while; the girl I sat next to in Photography A Level showed me her page and I was amazed by her underwater photoshoot - it all seemed so advanced from the rest of our indie/experimental shoots.
When I did join I submitted my A level work and to my surprise got two comments! I didn't really know what to expect – this was the first website I joined with a community, and I certainly hadn't expected comments so soon.
A lot has changed in 5 years for the both of us – I am still coming to terms with how unwell I became and the things that happened surrounding it. When you spend so many years of your life just existing, it’s a shock when you start living again. “I don’t remember food tasting like this?” , “What is this feeling to go out and socialise?” , “Why don’t I want to spend my whole weekend at the computer anymore, and more importantly, what do I do instead?!”. The most difficult part, for me, is that I don’t remember as much as I should. I know that I pushed a lot of people away and as a result of my mental health; I have one person that I still speak to regularly from school/sixth form college. If you’re one of those that got shut out, I’m sorry, I still think of the happier times a lot.
Over those years we’ve had our ups and downs, and a fair few AFK periods. I’ve met so many people through deviantART; some who I will never forget. The devMeets, the hours of endless chatter during my volunteer time with other moderators, sharing ideas, examples of our adopted genres, and discussing the needs of our now-not-so-little community (and of course there are the things that can’t ever be unseen). But also I should not forget to mention, the rewarding feeling of watchers who would always comment on newly submitted pieces.
Comments in our community are so invaluable. There are the good ones, and the not so good ones, but both stimulate conversation and for people to connect which is, I guess, the idea of a community. My favourite thing to do on deviantART is to browse one of the categories that this style of art falls in, and find pieces I like and leave a comment – maybe even a favourite (and sometimes a llama badge!). I think if you’re a deviant and you don’t do this, then you are really missing the whole point of deviantART. I’ll never understand those popular accounts that never leave comments on other people’s work; it’s like buying a fully-furnished house and living in your car instead! I know that when the deviants that I look up to leave a comment on my work it makes me want to parade around the room doing a victory dance. And yes this has happened on a few occasions!
So if you’re one of those accounts, take five minutes today and just browse your genres gallery – you never know what you’ll find!
I do really enjoy the deviantART community, I’m sorry for going away for so long. Thank you for standing by me for all these years. My mind is slowly re-awakening to art and as I open those doors again, other, meaner, thoughts flood in too so it’s all a delicate balance of art, happiness, and keeping my job. Hmm that sounds like an art idea...