Template:Mergefrom Template:LowercaseTemplate:Infobox Website deviantART is a popular online artistic community. It was first launched on August 7, 2000 through the work of Scott Jarkoff and Matthew Stephens at different stages of the planning and development of the site.
deviantART aims to provide a place for any artist, photographer, or writer to exhibit and discuss his or her works. It also provides a community of like-minded individuals. The site consists of over 2 million users and over 20 million submissions (as of March 25, 2006).
deviantART now displays multiple forms of art and creative expression laid out in an extensive category structure. The artwork on display ranges from photography to digital art, traditional art, literature and skins for applications. The site also has extensive downloadable resources for use within artworks such as tutorials and stock photography.
The idea of a deviantART community, though inspired by other projects such as deskmod.com, screenphuck.com, customize.org and skinz.org, which were all application skin based websites, was thoroughly original in nature. The developers of deviantART, most sharing backgrounds in the application skinning community, took the concept further to make it an art community.
Throughout the existence of deviantART many individuals have been involved with the site in both a public and private capacity. These individuals have held and still hold numerous positions from administrators to volunteers serving as gallery directors and help staff. The current management and administration of deviantART is now fairly extensive, with Angelo Sotira serving as the current CEO of deviantART, Inc.
The site uses unorthodox capitalization in its title (deviantART) as a way of emphasizing its deviancy, and other aspects of the site reflect this attitude as well. As such, the following terms are used throughout the site:
- dA — frequent abbreviation for the site's title (also less commonly known as devART, and as dART, pronounced as "dart").
- Deviant — a user of deviantART.
- Deviation — every submitted piece of artwork is called a "deviation", so long as it is declared by the artist ("deviant") to be fully polished and in a state for exhibition. If not, the work is a "scrap" (an unfinished work, not exhibited prominently).
Besides the basic features of an online artistic community, deviantART also incorporates:
- Several forums, a shoutbox, and a chatting feature called dAmn (deviantART Messaging Network)
- A private messaging service; private messages are called 'Notes'.
- Daily Deviations, the featuring of selected artist's works in prominent places on the site, such as the front page.
- The ability to enter one's longitude and latitude, which can be used to locate other deviants (who have also entered their location) living close to them.
- Any deviant may select any other deviation as one of their 'Favourites'. This will place the deviation on that user's personal page, giving the original artist extra exposure. Deviants may choose to display only recent favourites, or randomize all favourites each time their userpage is viewed.
- Every deviant has his or her own personal page at the URL http://username.deviantart.com, where username is replaced by the username of the deviant in question. This page may list the deviant's interests, mood, hobbies and so forth. It also exhibits the deviant's recent works and his or her Favourites. Deviants may also select and display their most prized work as a 'Featured Deviation'.
- Each deviant can edit their own public journal. The journal is a blog-like feature: a deviant may write an entry and it will be displayed on the deviant's user page. However, no feature which restricts certain posts from being seen by the general public has been implemented.
- Any deviant may add any other deviant to a watchlist called deviantWATCH. Doing so will cause them to be notified every time anyone on their watch list submits a new piece of art or submit a new journal entry; one can also elect to be notified of the submission of scraps. These notifications may be toggled in the 'Friends List', where deviants are also allowed to group or remove watched deviants.
- A deviant may also buy themselves a Prints account, whereby they may sell their works for money, receiving 50% of the profits.
- There is also an adCast program, for advertising art- and community-related products/pages at a discounted rate.
Obtaining a subscription to the site unlocks enhancements to these features, as well as provide additional services, such as larger thumbails for browsing.
The site is in a constant state of growth, and features continue to improve and increase in number. There is a forum specifically focused on suggestions, and another for repairing known problems. In the past, a monthly magazine called devMAG was produced, but this was discontinued.
deviantART maintains a subscription based service that offers extra features and privileges.
Some of these subscriber-restricted features are:
- Advertisement-free browsing.
- Greater customisation of a user's personal page.
- deviantMOBILE - the feature to download any (agreed) deviation to one's mobile phone, by a supported mobile phone carrier.
- Private forums.
- Faster surfing.
- Ability to alter the size of thumbnails used when browsing deviations.
- An opportunity to become a beta tester and try out new features.
Subscription is usually bought by the year, but must be renewed constantly. However, some members, predominantly the staff, attain a subscription that continues "Until Hell Freezes Over", i.e. never ends.
All deviants on deviantART are referred to by their given nickname, which is preceded by a user symbol. The symbols are listed below.
|Symbol||Type of User|
|~||Member (the level a deviant achieves by registering)|
|*||Subscriber (one who pays a subscription)|
|=||Official Beta Tester (a subscriber who participates in the beta testing program)|
|`||Senior Member (a member recognized by staff as a positive contributor to the deviantART community, awarded with [some] permanent subscriber privileges. Seniorship may be revoked in special cases, reassigning the member to a normal Member or Subscriber, depending on the last paid subscription. Also, former staff typically retain senior membership, and often attain the "until hell freezes over" subscription status.)|
|°||Alumni Staff (Former Core Staff Member)|
|#||Art Group Member [no longer in use] (now the "#" refers to a channel (chatroom) in the deviantART Messaging Network, dAmn.)|
|:||Premium Content Staff [currently defunct]|
|©||Policy Enforcement Staff|
|%||deviantART Prints Staff|
This service was formerly known as deviantART Prints, and before that, deviantPrints. Formerly a secondary website that acts as deviantART's store, it is now totally integrated with deviantART.com. Here, any user who has bought a Prints account may sell their deviations, printed onto a variety of media. One may also sell prints without such an account, but will only receive 10% of the revenues instead of 50% of the profits.
On June 17 and June 18, 2005, deviantART held their first convention, the deviantART Summit, at the Palladium in Hollywood, California. The summit consisted of several exhibitions by numerous artists, including artscene groups old and new at approximately 200 different booths. Giant projection screens displayed artwork as it was being submitted live to deviantart.com, which receives 30,000 new images daily. The summit also hosted various art-related workshops and seminars. Leaders of deviantART hope to hold a new summit each year.
deviantART as a corporationEdit
deviantART was originally created as a part of a larger network of music related websites called the DMusic Network. The site flourished largely because of a team of volunteers after its launch, but was officially later incorporated. Volunteers and community members still largely comprise the site's staff.
Over the years, the website has grown so much that several features available to non-subscribers have been removed. These removals have been explained as both an encouragement for members to subscribe (such as the ability to view artwork thumbnails in a user's message center) and due to cutbacks that had to be made to save bandwidth during the "bandwidth-crisis" that happened in deviantART's second year where providing a free service to so many users put a huge strain on the site resources.
Termination of Scott JarkoffEdit
On July 29, 2005, Jarkoff was terminated from deviantART staff, causing an uproar within the community. Various statements by deviantART regarding the issue have portrayed his termination as necessary, but most of the user base rejects this assertion. With Matthew Stephens' resignation in 2003, supporters of Scott Jarkoff assert that now neither of the founders remain in deviantART's administration. In contrast, Sotira insists he was a founder, and also the first full time working staff member of the deviantART administration. The deviantART administration has been generally tight-lipped throughout the incident citing legal restraints.
Various campaigns have sprung up in support of Scott Jarkoff, including the "Bring Back The Community" campaign, "Yellow Day" (because Jarkoff was sometimes known as the "Yellow Alien"), which was carried out by many of Scott Jarkoff's supporters on deviantART's fifth anniversary, August 7, 2005, and the lesser publicised "Grey Day" (in honor of Matthew Stephens).
Historically there has been sporadic unease regarding deviantART's potential usage of uploaded art. Posting requires assent to dA's Submission Agreement, which grants deviantART the legal permissions to re-use and even modify any artwork posted on deviantART (see in particular Section 3. License), as well as the right to sublicense any of that artwork to a third party at dA's sole discretion.
Critics have argued that those usage rights are too broad and far-reaching, that the legal language is unnecessarily complex and weighed in dA's favor, and that the difficulty of terminating the agreement means that "dA effectively owns your art." Defenders assert that deviantART needs the rights to legally offer its basic services, and to enable future services and business relationships that may become desirable. (See also the official Help Desk response to questions and criticism.)
On March 1, 2006, deviantART's administration issued the most dramatic revision to date in response to months of community initiative. The far-reaching usage rights remain intact, but matters of termination have been clarified, improved, and made more accessible, so that artists can reclaim their usage rights simply by removing their works from dA as they please. Though some remain concerned about the basic arrangement, many now feel reassured by the new "freedom to leave."
Outside the legal issues involved in posting art, the immense popularity of the site has made it an easy target for copyright violation, as a malicious user can easily reuse artwork displayed (usually as clip art for websites) without the author's knowledge. Also, many users either ignorant of the site's purpose or the site's submission agreement often submit art works they did not produce. Others attempt to use deviantART as a photo-hosting site for their own needs, which is also strongly discouraged.
Due to the impractical nature of researching the copyright status of any art work reused in deviations, many copyright violations remain untouched until the violation has been proven. Administrative work regarding policy violations is often viewed as one-sided and unconcerned; this is because some users are not aware of the copyright policies, and claim to be falsely or mistakenly accused. This has led to many clashes between users and staff.
Concerns over free expressionEdit
A concern for some deviantART members is the supposed increasing intolerance towards certain kinds of art, such as those depicting male nudity, as opposed to the female nude which is very popular on the site. The site itself is unbiased towards or against any type of art, other than images which are graphically pornographic or promote racism.
The deviantART staff are also able to delete any of the Deviations on the site, and will do so if that Deviation has broken the rules of the site. However, there have been worries that artworks or comments have been deleted when they back up positions that either contradict the site's staff's political positions or draw ire from the site's sponsors or potential sponsors.
The Daily DeviationEdit
Each day some deviations are chosen by staff members to be shown on the front page. These are called the Daily Deviations, or DD. Only some staff members have the ability to feature deviations, and site policy is that this choice is completely up to the individual. There are guidelines that staff should seek to promote lesser known members and refrain from giving a Daily Deviation to a member who has had one before, but these are not mandatory.
Misunderstanding the above policy has led to concern from many members in the community who feel that the Daily Deviation should be used for a certain purpose. The lack of a certain type of artwork among the list of Daily Deviations is often seen as censorship. This is, however, only due to the tastes of the staff who feature deviations. The most controversial aspect of this is between male and female nude photographs, where the female nudes which have been posted as Daily Deviations vastly outnumber the male nudes.
Daily Deviations can be suggested by normal users by use of the site Note message system. The deviantART FAQ recommends that users send their notes to the Gallery Director who oversees the gallery in which the art they want to suggest resides. While some staff members reply to every suggestion received, others only reply to suggestions they agree with. This has led many users to believe that their views are seen as unimportant by staff and led to a more fractured relationship between staff and users.
Some members see Daily Deviations as very important, others are more ambivalent. As it is, a featured deviation is only spotlighted for one day. Normally this results in between 1000 and 8000 additional views of the artwork. Other ways for deviations to be promoted by users include linking to them in journals, or marking them as a favourite.
Concerns over deviantMOBILEEdit
The deviantMOBILE service allows artworks to be downloaded to a user's phone wallpaper free of charge, whether that user is the author or not, but only if the original author has agreed. This has raised some copyright concerns, especially because the original authors of the downloaded Deviations receive none of the revenue produced.
The main concern over the service is that it is an opt-out service rather than an opt-in one, in that all artworks submitted to the site before the onset of deviantMOBILE were automatically signed up for the service. This led to many full galleries being made available without the authors' awareness, as many artists said they did not receive the emails that warned them of the introduction of deviantMOBILE.
Most objections to the service fail to take into account the stipulation in the license agreement that deviantART may distribute anything submitted to the site using any form of digital media. However, some also point out that a mobile-phone screen is hardly the place for artworks, and devalues or defaces the work of many artists unfairly. deviantMOBILE is still in service at the current date.
- Note: The summit was held Friday and Saturday, contrary to how the second paragraph of the Wired article reads.