Visit the Write a Journal Entry page to get started.
I'm forever grateful for every deviantART relationship and interaction. We're all part of a diverse community celebrating many different forms of culture and spirituality, and I sincerely thank you for choosing to make deviantART a little slice of your Internet life. I'm thankful for you not just today, but every day.
Connecting you with your watchers.
The Watch Feed creates a sequential stream of activity from your watchlist, including deviations, Journals, Collections, Status Updates, Polls, Forum threads and Critiques. Status Updates let people share quick updates about what they’re working on or what inspires them. Find an awesome deviation? Share it in your Status Update.
As we designed our upcoming Mobile app, we understood the need to build something streamlined and direct to deliver what you want to watch. The Watch Feed was built for smartphones and tablets. While we love the robust tools available in the Message Center — and they’re not going away — the Message Center is not an environment that works well on mobile.
Connect With Your Watchers in New Ways
The Watch Feed and Status Updates let you connect with your watchers in ways not previously possible. In the Watch Feed, deviants can easily interact and comment on artwork and content shared by your watchers.
"With Status Updates, I am closer to the people I watch, which I feel adds a deeper sense of appreciation for their artwork. It's nice to know who is behind such incredible work!" —CrypticGrin
The Watch Feed also includes Status Updates — a new way to easily communicate with your watchers. Status Updates are a great way to share quick updates. Give the world an insider’s peek at a work-in-progress or let your fans know you’ll be livestreaming a drawing soon. Share the work of an artist who inspires you, talk about current events, or start up a conversation that could reach new audiences!
“I've been wanting an easier way to notify my watchers of things. This makes it easier with the Status Updates, instead of having to make an entire Poll or a Journal for a small issue or update.” —TheWickedBeast
Using the “share” button, you can easily redistribute interesting content or Status Updates to your watchers. Using Status Updates and the “share” feature, trends, news, and art will spread through the community like never before.
Controlling Your Watch Feed
If an item is removed from your Message Center, it will also be removed from your Watch Feed. You can customize what appears in your Watch Feed by editing your Manage Friends settings for specific deviants. (These settings apply to both the Watch Feed and the Message Center.)
If you choose to unwatch a deviant's content (for example, Journals), existing Journals will remain in your Watch Feed; however, future Journals will not appear.
Artist credit: Open up by moiret
Tags create landing pages around topics — making it easier to discover related artwork, bringing together artists and art appreciators, and forming communities around common interests. As DeviantArt grows and creates new ways to discover great content, we believe tags will play an important role in better surfacing artwork.
Tag Deviations, Collections, and Status Updates
You now have the ability to tag your deviations and Collections. Tags added to your deviations will be publicly viewable — this is a change from the previous use of keywords, which were private. Visitors can learn about your work by viewing how you tagged it, and can find more works by you and other deviants based on tags. Tags can also be used in comments, Status Updates, Journals, and Collections.
Tagging your deviations and Collections will improve their visibility across the DeviantArt network. Tags are the glue for surfacing and creating context around different types of content. Tagging is a crucial part of discoverability and will help your work find the audience that will appreciate it most! The goal of tags is to help you find art and topics that resonate with you, real-time community activity, and new ways to participate in the community.
“Tags will make it much easier to categorise and find deviations!” —Baka-Inu-Ninja
Tag pages display artwork, Journals, Collections, Status Updates, and a stream of activity around a shared theme. You can also find a list of deviants who are frequently using that tag, to connect with other people who share your interests.
Tags Transitioned From Keywords Must be Approved
Important: Keywords added to existing deviations before tags launched will not display publicly unless you approve them using our new Tag Editor, which can also be used to add and edit tags on your existing deviations in bulk.
Editing Tags with the Tag Editor
Using the tag editor, you can add, edit, and approve tags on your deviations in bulk. The Tag Editor allows you to manage tags, up to 20 deviations at a time — making it a more seamless process for you to tag your content. The Tag Editor can be accessed next to the “tags” field while editing any existing deviation.
Share your thoughts on the new tags feature by posting a Status Update using #Tags.
Artist credit: My Postit Notes by Dr-Koesters
We owe you an enormous debt of gratitude. Your input and feedback around our latest Beta releases -- Site Navigation, Activity Feed, and Status Updates -- has been incredibly valuable and because of it, we're able to make significant improvements to those features that will benefit every user of deviantART. We sincerely couldn't do it without you.
The information and data gathered from those Updates will be used to ensure a smooth site-wide launch, and we again thank you for all of your help. As sometimes happens in the Beta process, the Status Updates submitted in our test period need to be deleted to make some of the changes you requested. This will likely take place mid-next week. But, we encourage you to please keep testing, coming up with unique ways to take advantage of these features.
Since Monday, we’ve received over 3,000 comments, nearly 100 bug reports, and extensive feedback regarding these new releases -- and Beta Testers have published over 7,000 Status Updates! Pretty impressive.
We will continue to make adjustments and fix bugs, will be rolling out these features to more deviants in the next week.
More deviantART Than Ever Before
Around the clock and across the world, deviantART staff have been working to not only evolve the way our community interacts with one another, but enhance the ways we discover and talk about works of art. These upgrades enrich the deviantART you love into an even more magnetic, kindred experience while retaining everything that makes us deviantART.
We’ve seen comments that some of our new features remind deviants of functionality best-known on social media sites. But there are aspects of these functions that will benefit the deviantART community and enhance our daily experiences, so it makes sense to embrace them.
The core of deviantART will always remain the same, and the same artists will be around for you to interact with and draw inspiration from. Only now, their ability to reach you and other future watchers is enhanced and streamlined, and we guarantee the results and reach of creators will be staggering.
As one of our Beta Testers, you've been given a glimpse into the way the lives of our deviants are about to be changed forever, and we couldn't be more honored that you were the first to see them and help us refine them for site-wide release.
Keywords on deviations were built to be an important tool to help discover artwork. But as deviantART grows and strives to create new ways to discover great content, we’ve found that keywords as we currently use them have become underutilized. We think we can do better -- and can make a better experience for the community -- by making some changes.
In the coming month, keywords will transition into tags, and we’ll be improving the way they work. Tags will better surface artwork, allow deviants to form communities around topics, make it easier to find other artists and art appreciators, and increase discoverability.
For example, if you're a fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles it can be difficult to know what to search for: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ninja Turtles, TMNT, Donatello, etc. Public tags provide visibility to see how others are tagging their deviations, which will allow you to align your behavior to the norm, or choose to be deviant!
You’ll hear more about tags in the coming month, but to prepare for the upcoming release now, we wanted to let you know that:
Keywords are changing to tags.
Tags will soon be publicly visible on deviation pages.
- Our system will automatically transition some of your keywords to the appropriate tags for better discoverability when tags fully launches (for example, common keyword phrases such as “lord of the rings” will become “#lordoftherings”).
As a reminder, tags on deviations can be edited at any time. If you’d like to update your deviations before any changes are released, now’s the time to do so! (Simply visit any of your deviations and click the "Edit" button. You don't need to add a hashtag before a tag, but you can!)
Frequently Asked Questions
Some of my new deviation tags look weird. What gives?
The old keyword field was unstructured, while new tags are all single words. In the keyword to tag conversion process, we had to do a bit of guesstimation regarding the translation. A keyword field for "my little pony" might mean “#mylittlepony,” while "sunset australia watercolor" might intend "#sunset #australia #watercolor." In the event you see a tag that doesn't apply to your deviation, simply remove anything not appropriate.
I can only enter 64 tags to describe my deviation, but I was previously able to enter as many keywords as I wanted. What gives?
Public tags provide visibility around seeing how others are tagging their deviations. One of the problems with keywords was that everyone had to invent their own terms or guess what others were using. There would be many keywords around the same topic -- my little pony, mlp, mplfim, mylittlepony, my_little_pony, fim, friendshipismagic, and so forth. By making tags public, you'll be able to discover tags that the community is using in a more predictable way. Having 10 or 20 relevant tags will enable more people to see your art than having 100 irrelevant ones.
We’re excited to show you what we’re working on, and will be updating you more about the power of tags in the coming month. For now, we’d love to hear your feedback:
Do you add keywords to all of your deviations? Roughly how many do you typically add?
Do you base your keywords on medium, subject matter, or other things?
What keywords do you commonly search for?
Let us know how you’re currently using keywords, so we can make the new tags as powerful and as useful as possible.
Today marks deviantART's 14th birthday! This is truly an exciting time in deviantART’s history, and I'm confident that the next few months will be some of our best ever. It might sound cliché or exaggerated, but we’re in a position to change the arts (and the world) through technology, empowering artists of all shapes and sizes to do truly amazing things.
But before I get too far ahead of myself, I'd like to take a minute to participate in "My deviantART Story" to document a few of the ways that deviantART has helped me grow as a person.
Importance of Travel
Before deviantART's World Tour in 2009, when spyed and I visited nine countries in two months, I'd never been outside of North America. The World Tour gave me a deep appreciation for travel that I wouldn't have gotten if not for the amazing friendships I've made on deviantART. Traveling forces you outside of your comfort zone and opens you up to new experiences and awareness that can't be learned any other way.
In life, we're oftentimes faced with two choices -- listening to/following the opinions of others or relying on our own gut instinct. The older I get, the more I've come to trust my gut feelings and intuition, or otherwise I'd end up kicking myself later. The importance of speaking up and representing your own thoughts can't be underscored enough.
From interacting with brilliant co-workers to seeing the daily ins and outs of computing around the office and online, working at deviantART demands a certain technical aptitude. I've loved computers and the Internet from an early age, but my job requires an understanding of how different technologies and processes work. Having such knowledge not only aids with things like decision-making, but it also helps with communication so I'm able to articulate concepts to various kinds of audiences.
While I am very much an art appreciator over an art creator, my time at deviantART has taught me so much about the arts that simply isn’t covered in a standard education. On deviantART, artists of different genres, diverse age groups, talent levels, and fame are all just a click away. I've gained a deeper appreciation of the arts simply by observing and being surrounded by so many talented individuals.
I have a few close friends from childhood, but my time on deviantART has provided me a wealth of friendships I wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity to make. These friends have opened me up to different ideas, cultures, and points of view, and I can’t imagine what life would be like without them.
I've said it before, but the sentiment remains true -- I'm forever grateful to have talked with every deviant who has crossed my path -- even in a note, comment, or journal. The deviantART community has flourished and prospered in the past 14 years, and I'm thankful for that, every day.
Fourteen years of existence marks a period of growth, change, and introspection — an era of creativity and emotion that leads to long-term personal and artistic development. As we celebrate deviantART's 14th birthday, we want to thank all of you for joining in on the journey of growth and development, from the deviants who have been here from the start to the deviants who are starting out their deviantART experience today.
How has deviantART helped you grow as an individual and/or as an artist? Tell us your story through an art feature Journal!
Using the deviantART section of the sidebar, search for deviations to include in your Journal.
Click on the art you want to include to add it to your Journal.
Feature five (or more!) works in your Journal, and tell us a bit about why you've chosen each artwork you feature!
Title your Journal My deviantART Story, then post it to the Art Features category.
Comment on this article with a link to your "My deviantART Story" Journal to get the 14th Birthday Profile Page Badge!
DeviantART couldn't be more excited to sponsor Artists' Alley for the fourth year in a row. Our aim has always been to keep focus on those who not only make the entire convention possible, but provide us with a world of entertainment across all media: the artists.
Go forth and march with your creative brethren!
Get the poster!
Spread the word!
Arm yourself with the above image. Plaster the poster on the walls of your bedroom or school, share the image across social media, design mash-ups and remixes to be submitted back online, or make print-outs and start your own local art revolution. (The image is available for any use, as long as it's non-commercial and in the spirit of deviantART.)
What is art?
In keeping with artist solidarity, we want to hear what art means to you!
- Is art what gets you up in the morning?
- Is it what you live and breathe?
- Is it a way to connect with friends across the globe?
Leave a comment and finish the sentence, “Art is __________.”
'Add Media' functionality has been enabled for all deviants in this journal. Feel free to upload your Comic-Con poster-related photos and images!
See a full list of Premium Membership benefits.
While you're at it, you should check out the exclusive PremiumMembers Group. Not only does this Group keep deviants up-to-date on the latest Premium Membership news, they also host weekly contests and events!
Free Premium Membership Day only lasts from 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM Pacific time on April 7, 2014, so, use it while it lasts!
Please note that Way Back Browsing and Username Changes will not be available as part of this event. The ability to have Prints profits paid in checks will not be extended to those with one-day Premium Memberships on April 7, 2014. We apologize for the inconvenience.
First of all, if you love the Internets and you haven't seen @midnight yet, you're missing out on some serious lulz. A few nights a week, Hardwick invites some comedian pals on the show for some Geek-Centric Improv Comedy. Sort of like a British Quiz Show brought to you by Reddit. Or "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" with slightly less dancing, but an equal amount of thick-rimmed glasses and awkward sexual tension.
In a segment called "Star Weird" on Monday's episode, Hardwick's guests had to choose which of two artistic descriptions was an actual deviation on deviantART. YES, MOM, HE SAID DEVIANTART'S ACTUAL NAME ON TV! MUCH WOW! The comedians were the hilarious Rachel Bloom, Kevin Shinick, and Seth Green, whose "Robot Chicken" series has delved deeper into the "Star Wars" franchise than most Sarlacc pits.
Watch the clip:
(Unfortunately, Comedy Central videos may not be available in all countries.)
Let's make art!
Not only are we uber honored by the shout-out, we're confident the deviantART community can create the deviations that were suggested as mere jokes. Let art imitate life! Well, let fan art imitate comedy!
Artists, we want to see your interpretations of @midnight's fake ideas! Pop in your "Star Wars" Blu-ray as inspiration and bring to life these joke deviations suggestions!
- C-3P0 as an oiled-up muscle droid dancing on a Gay Pride float
- A Jedi in a Mexican poncho named "Obi-Juan Ken-riguez"
- Seth Green as a sexy slave girl Princess Leia
Congrats to the featured artists!
R2-TATTOO by CallMePo
Darth Vader Creation by Ticiano
Morph: Seth Green by dolphinbad
Share the love!
Once you've created your Star Wars-inspired masterpiece, link to your deviation below. Twitter users can also tweet their art to the show using @midnight. You never know, maybe you'll be featured next!
We're proud of the artists who made it onto the show, and want to encourage them and others to keep creating and imagining. Laugh now, but you could upload a fabulous oiled-up C-3P0 as he was meant to be seen, and, next thing you know, you're being offered a job at a comic franchise or video game developer. Hey, it's happened before!
UPDATE: Thanks to the efforts of our amazing community, deviantART won the People's Choice category at the 2014 SXSW Interactive Awards! We'd like to sincerely thank everyone for participating. The creative energy and inspiration that run through the deviantART community is absolutely awe-inspiring for those of us fortunate enough to be helping out behind the scenes. We truly believe that we are the greatest community in the world, and we work towards sharing that feeling with our deviants each and every day. Thank you for sharing this win with us!
Thanks to the generous efforts of deviants like you, deviantART has been honored as one of the top-five finalists in the People’s Choice category of the 2014 SXSW Interactive Awards!
We couldn't be more humbled to be amongst the other highly acclaimed finalists, but we still need your help! This year, voting for the People’s Choice category is open to everyone, all over the world. However, the process is a bit tricky, as it requires voters to cast their final votes live, using a smartphone or tablet app.
(Voting has closed!)
- To participate, you’ll need a Apple or Android phone or tablet.
- Visit the Apple App Store or Google Play.
- Search for and install the “Visual Voting” app. (It’s free!)
- Open the Visual Voting app and choose your method of sign-in (Facebook, Twitter, or anonymous).
- Click the "SXSW Interactive People's Choice" pink banner.
- Are you attending? Select “No” or “Yes.”
- Click on "Cast Your Vote" pink banner.
- Select "deviantART" as your People's Choice!
Thank you for your support!
We wouldn't have been considered for this honor if it weren't for the support and passion of deviants like you. By getting the word out, deviantART hopes for the chance to bring you even more cutting-edge technology in the creative realm, reaching more artists than ever before. So, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for all the support you've given us over the years, and stay devious!
Spread the word!
Because the voting window is so tight, we're relying on word-of-mouth to help spread the message. If you're so inclined, please share your deviantART support across your favorite social media platforms, tell your friends, download the app onto your dog's smartphone and vote on his behalf, and help us rock the vote!
If you're interested in learning more, I recommend following the group or subscribing on YouTube.
In other news, deviantART is one of the few companies honored to be nominated for a SXSW Interactive Award – the leading conference and festival celebrating the Web, held each year in Austin, Texas.
Should anyone feel so inclined, we could use your support to win the People's Choice Award, which is based only on the number of votes we get from people like you. Voting is simple and takes just a couple of clicks – no account creation involved. Vote here and tell others to do the same!
Thanks to all, and happy-almost-March!
Our recent partnership with Autodesk has allowed deviantART to become the first community integrated into SketchBook -- the professional-grade painting app that is easy to use for every artist. Merging these two powerhouse environments means that tablet users will be able to publish their creations from SketchBook directly to their deviantART accounts. Deviants will also be able to use the app to browse the inspirational works of other SketchBook artists in the autodesk-sketchbook group.
This is a first step in what will become a much fuller integration that will bring more deviousness to SketchBook and add a powerful creation tool to the arsenals of deviant artists everywhere, as we welcome new SketchBook users into the deviantART community.
DeviantART is the first community integrated into SketchBook Pro and SketchBook Express.
Submit art directly from SketchBook to deviantART or get inspired by browsing art made by other SketchBook artists.
The SketchBook mobile apps are a great way to take illustration software with you wherever you go.
FeedbackWe want to hear from you! Do you have ideas for future SketchBook/deviantART integrations? Your feedback just might be a part of the next update, helping artists around the globe become more connected!
How To DownloadTo take advantage of these creative tools with a devious spin, simply grab the full SketchBook Pro or free SketchBook Express app on Google Play for Android, or the iTunes App Store for iOS.
SketchBook Express (Free)
Our first-ever deviantMEET in Las Vegas hit the jackpot!
On Sunday, December 1st, deviants were already lined up outside the doors at 5:00 PM, even though the event wasn't scheduled to start until 5:30! (A handful of amazingly dedicated super deviants arrived as early as 3:30 PM!) Far be it for us to wait to get the party started, so we opened the doors a little early, allowing the crowd to rush in. After signing our guestbook – we know, physical guestbooks are so Web 1.0, but they're great mementos! – our devious artists dispersed to play at the deviantART booth.
Stocked with six Intuos 5 Wacom tablets to play with, a 24-inch Cintiq, SketchBook Pro for sketching and painting, enough table seating for traditional drawing and portfolio review, and bags upon bags of free swag (including stress balls, deviantART Sharpies, and tons of free stickers), everyone found an awesome and creative way to spend their time.
Over 300 deviants, friends, and family showed up to our booth and got exclusive access to the other booths at Preview Night of the Autodesk CAVE Conference. One of the most rewarding things about attending deviantMEETs is witnessing a true cross-section of the range of ages, skill levels, and artistic disciplines represented all across deviantART. Watching everyone mixing and mingling, picking up tricks of the trade and passing along wisdom to others, and settling down for a quiet moment to create and inspire offline as much as they do online is truly something to behold. Sometimes it's easy to forget how much we all have in common, but deviantMEETs showcase our connection right on the forefront!
This was the first deviantMEET staff members can recall where we've had trouble giving away food! At most deviantMEETs, we provide some kind of snack, like the tasty pizza at our November deviantMEET in Hollywood, and it's gobbled up within minutes! Las Vegas deviants happen to be really health conscious! Our deviantART green cupcakes -- Pantone matched, of course! -- were turned away by a good many. We, less-than-health-conscious staff members, can confirm that they were indeed delicious, as Ben (xraystyle) ate at least four.
On a more serious note, we can't thank the Autodesk CAVE Conference enough for their support and encouragement in allowing us space to house our humble deviantMEET and maybe even bring deviantART to a larger crowd of artists and art enthusiasts via our booth. For its first year, the CAVE Conference was imagined as a gathering of artists, designers, and storytellers to learn, share, inspire, and challenge each other. If creativity is your fuel, CAVE was the place to find it.
Our booth was right near the convention hall's entrance, and along the entrance wall was the CAVE ART Collection, representing a wide variety of content, styles, and subject matter that celebrated imagination. This year's collection includes artwork created in SketchBook Pro by students, professionals, and aspiring artists from around the world, many of whom were deviants.
On Monday, Angelo (spyed) help kicked off the conference by delivering a keynote speech about his experiences in community building and how the lessons he learned supplied the building blocks to the successes of the deviantART. His experiences seemed to resonate through the audience within, many of them deviants who have gone on to work for professional organizations in all genres of artistic expression. Truly inspirational. And he was followed by Neil Gaiman, so, not a bad lineup!
Next, Ron (techgnotic) hosted a presentation about the ever-evolving role of communities as they pertain to artists. Now, more than ever before, creators are coming to the Internet and deviantART to interact with their fans and inspiration, and often those fans help to shape the focus of the total narrative. It's an interesting and innovative time to be on either side of the creative community!
Photo Credit: makepictures
All in all, we couldn't be more grateful that we were given the opportunity to engage with our Las Vegas deviants and introduce them -- or reintroduce them -- to the inspirational world of Autodesk.
danlev and Shyree
- DEVIANTMEET!(lateupdate) by lupalover101
- OMG HAD SO MUCH FUN! by iingo
- DeviantArt Meet 2013 review by RatchetJak
- deviantART Las Vegas Meet by BleachedKitten
- SO HAPPY by Steampunk08
- What Happened at the Vegas DeviantART Meet by Dragon21Studios
- Along Came A Writer... by Reprogrammed
- DeviantartMEET was fun. by SignatureFeather
- Back from deviantMEET by ryanproductions14
- The First DeviantMEET in Las Vegas, NV by R6b1xCub3r
- How was the deviantMEET? by LyraFan25
- deviantMEET in Las Vegas! by Death58
- Las Vegas deviantMeet by PvtLavaRunner
- Las Vegas DeviantMeet 2013/AutoDesk Cave by BuddhaTeddy
- First DeviantMEET by PandaLovesAll
- DEVIANTMEET by CongotehJackal
You never know... we might be coming to your neck of the woods sometime soon, so keep your eye on hq for updates, and stay devious!
To protect your deviantART account, we strongly suggest that you change your password.
When updating a password, create one that is complex and unique, making it impossible for would-be intruders to identify it, whether by educated guess or calculated attack.
DeviantART strives to provide all our members with a safe and fun environment to grow and create. As part of our ongoing effort to keep your site experience protected, we're proactive when it comes to account security.
Come for the speech, stay for the meet!
Whether you've attended previous deviantART events, or you want to make this your first, this deviantMEET promises to be an event unlike any before. Opening with an exclusive storytelling session, deviantART CEO and Co-Founder, Angelo Sotira (spyed), will share behind-the-scenes stories about deviantART's inception and formative years. Then, stick around for the fun, traditional deviantMEET-type activities – sketching with friends, chatting with staff, and maybe even walking away with a bit of swag.
- Location: 7083 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028
- Date & Time: Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 at 7:00 PM
- Admission: FREE, all-ages event!
- What to Bring: Laptops/tablets, sketchbooks, cameras
It's a rare opportunity that deviantART's CEO gets to share the vision of the company, where we came from, and where we're headed offline and outside of his Journals. We wanted to invite local deviants to have some fun with our staff, hear the tales that made us what we are today, and generally recreate the friendships you've made online at this unique offline opportunity.
After Angelo's talk, you can ask staff your burning questions, hang out and create art with supplies you've brought with you, and enjoy some free snacks. We might even have some devious swag to go around.
Feel free to bring your favorite digital tablet, iPad, sketchbooks, notepads, cameras, and laptops if you feel up to it! We can't wait to meet with you!
Two weeks ago, we released two new products – deviant and art Mentions and new username symbols. Gratefully, and as we'd hoped, many deviants are embracing these changes in exactly the ways we'd anticipated, and the ways we ourselves did over the past several months of testing. While some deviants embraced the changes, it's fair to say that others have felt surprise, curiosity, and maybe even shock. These feelings are totally normal, but for the large part, there's a hope present. A positive outlook. The first steps in a new era that makes the way for our goals in the future, and, at the same time, removes clutter and confusion that new deviants often experience.
As with any change, there are a handful of deviants that don't understand why we made the choices we did – how we came to the conclusion to change. They're confused by the newness, scared that they don't recognize the site they love, and they urge us to "change it back." We understand those worries and share the nostalgia for things past, but this decision was not made lightly.
From Text to Graphics
The change from text-based symbols to graphical symbols was personally challenging for me for entirely sentimental reasons. As it was for spyed, who reinstated his $ symbol, back from a temporary + symbol, a week before launch so he could enjoy it just a little longer. That might sound a bit silly, but those were real feelings, and we completely sympathize with deviants who have had a hard time adjusting to the change.
In the early days, deviantART's community was obviously much smaller – so much so, that there became a need for the handful of paid staff to differentiate themselves from the active volunteers, who often went above and beyond for the good of the community. This was for two reasons: one, the sheer level of dedication from the volunteers was so great we wanted to give them a distinction all their own, and two, for better or worse, confusion would abound in the community on the rare occasion a volunteer said something a paid member of staff would not have said.
We eventually implemented the $ symbol to indicate paid staff vs. those generally helping out, and the * and = symbols to denote those with Premium Memberships. Lastly, the ~ symbol was used to indicate all deviants. The big irony here was we considered having no symbol at all for deviants that didn't fall into the other categories, not thinking too much about it.
There soon grew a need for even more distinctions. Back in those days, the symbol for a Prints staff member was a % (which we thought was hilarious because resembled a paper rolling through a printer). Gallery Moderators were given a ^ symbol because their role was to elevate conversation. Chats, and later the Groups system, were denoted with the # symbol which referred to a "topic" back in the old Internet Relay Chat (IRC) days, and we wanted that to roll over to deviantART, where chats and groups also brought people together under a particular topic. Along those same lines, deviants with an @ symbol were our Chat admins, which also had roots in IRC, where the symbol meant the same thing. As time progressed, it became necessary to acknowledge deviants who had been around for a long time in meaningful ways, so we began awarding Seniors with the ` symbol to applaud them for their significant contributions to deviantART.
In 2005, and again a few years later, we actually considered making the change from text-based symbols to graphical, but we just couldn't let it go. It was too much a part of our roots, and we weren't ready. But now, eight years later, it was overdue.
Keeping the Lights On
It's a fact that we very much need to thank our Premium Members for their contributions to deviantART. It's not subjective; we are genuinely in a debt of gratitude to these deviants, and we're honored that we're able to give them extra features and recognitions in exchange for their gift of support. We've said this before, but it bears repeating and there's no exaggeration. Premium Memberships on deviantART keep the lights on for all of us.
Some people might ask, "Well, what about the Prints Program? What about advertising? DeviantART makes money there too." The Prints Program is a tool that can be utilized by art appreciators all over the world that gives back to artists in a meaningful way, offering them exposure and high-quality craftsmanship you won't find at other websites. We thank every person who takes part in it, and we're honored to help each of the artists the program supports. And advertising does help contribute to keeping our lights on, our staff employed, and our servers running, but when the dot-com bubble burst or when the stock market tanked, there was no ad revenue. In those times, the reason deviantART survived and so many other sites didn't (because their venture capital imploded) was that deviantART continued to have its vision supported by our deviants.
So, yes, we wanted to thank – and want to continue to thank – the deviants who made all that possible. If you have a star symbol next to your username, you should be proud, because you're helping keep deviantART on track into the future. Premium Memberships offer the single purest line of support we have to work with, and we couldn't be more grateful for the contributions of each and every Premium Member.
(On the topic of the look of new symbols, at their base, they're really not so different from before. zilla774, from our User Interface team, put together a fantastic journal about the project to redesign and replace username symbols. I urge you to give it a read.)
Clarity and Gratitude
When we kicked off the process to redesign and replace our username symbols, the project only came about as a way to reduce confusion – it was brought up during examination of our onboarding process for new deviants. As I said in the New Username Symbols launch article, a common question from new and old deviants alike was: "What do username symbols mean?" Over the years, as we’ve surveyed deviants, we’ve found that very few understand symbols. It was a roadblock to understanding the full deviantART experience. We don't want deviants to focus on symbols and meanings. We want the focus to be about the art. We aimed to reduce the clutter and static to getting new deviants up and running, adding art to the community, and inspiring others.
We were never trying to put people down with the removal of the ~ symbol for non-Premium deviants. That's the truth.
If you're a deviant who hasn't yet achieved the status of the other symbols, you should be proud. You're a member of the greatest art community in the world! There are tons of tools available to all deviants for free, and we have so much more we're able to offer the entire community in development as we speak. Each and every one of you – symbol or not – are to thank for making the community what it is.
To The Future
We hope even in the short time that has passed, deviants are starting to become accustomed to these symbols, and maybe even growing to prefer them to the old system. I will say we're continuing to make small tweaks here and there (including addressing concerns about internal and external linking) and playing with minute differences in size and appearance in various places on the site. And, as always, we listen to all feedback and suggestions on Journals like this one and anything submitted to hq, so you can keep your feedback coming, and your message will be received. (Due to sheer volume, we can’t respond to every message, but I promise and assure that everything is read.)
Thank you for continuing on this journey with us. As I mentioned, these new symbols are paving the way to even more amazing things deviantART can do in the future, and we couldn't be happier to share it with all of you.
Posted on October 3, 2013
We're heading to Sin City, and we're betting on an amazing time with our deviants!
Join Us in Las Vegas!
Our first ever deviantMEET in Las Vegas!
DeviantART is headed to beautiful Las Vegas for the first time, and we can't wait to add more deviousness to the Entertainment Capital of the World. On Sunday, December 1st, deviants of all ages are invited to join us in taking over the Venetian for a deviantMEET and gaining special, free access to Preview Night of Autodesk CAVE Conference!
The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, Sands Expo Hall C
- Location: 201 Sands Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89109
- Date & Time: Sunday, December 1st, 2013 at 5:30 PM
- Admission: FREE!
- What to Bring: Sketchbooks, cameras, tablets, and money for food/drinks!
Connect with deviantART staff, fellow deviants, and recreate your online connections offline with the help of deviantART and Autodesk!
Autodesk has invited deviantART to be a part of their first-ever CAVE event — a dedicated conference for artists, designers, creators, and storytellers. To make it even more interesting, they've offered to give deviants FREE exclusive access to Preview Night of the CAVE Conference.
The deviantART crew will be waiting in the Sands Expo Hall C (at the Venetian) to meet and greet, hand out nametags, and then we'll head to the CAVE Conference floor to take over Preview Night in deviant style!
Feel free to bring with you your favorite digital tablet, sketchbooks, notepads, and cameras. (Since we'll be doing a bit of walking around, however, you might want to leave your laptops at home.) This is an all-ages event!
As part of our ongoing process to make the user experience cleaner and more intuitive, we've launched a new set of username symbols designed to help easily identify deviant-types.
At a glance, the new symbols are quickly recognizable. When hovering over a username symbol, a tooltip appears, providing a brief explanation of that user's deviant-type. If clicked, a modal appears, giving a brief explanation for each username symbol, with "Learn more" links that lead to more detailed explanations.
A word from Heidi:
Over the years, a few things have come to seem like deviantART mainstays. Deviant green, intricate art categorization, colorful avatars, symbols next to usernames. In our constant re-evaluation of what's best for longtime deviants and new users alike, we do sometimes need to stop and ask ourselves if a makeover for some aspect isn't overdue. Changing username symbols was one of the harder things we evaluated.
I've been testing the new symbols for a few months now, and while I love its sleekness, its clear message, I do occasionally find myself missing my old symbol. Symbols have permeated into deviants’ minds, made their way into works of art, and sometimes defined how deviants thought of their front-facing persona on the site. But I can honestly say in good faith, I think this new design will permeate the community just as the original system did. It beautifully aligns with the design direction we’ll be traveling moving forward, and, perhaps best of all, it doesn't require insider knowledge for understanding.
I invite you all to memorialize the old symbols and commemorate their meaning from ages past in any expression that inspires you. But I know these new symbols will usher in a new era with just as much meaning and visual attachment as ever.
–Heidi, VP of Marketing
We appreciate that the previous username symbols have a long history and have become ingrained in the deviantART community, and we want to assure the community that this change was not one that was made lightly. Many factors were taken into consideration, most notably that removal of the old symbols allows us to implement more technological advancements in the future, including Mentions. Given time, it’s our hope that the new username symbols will become an emblem of deviantART culture.
Throughout the years, I've met incredible people at deviantMEETs, town hall meetings, and visits to new countries -- all of which have fostered relationships and changed my life. I'm extremely grateful to have talked with every deviant who has crossed my path -- even in a note, comment, or journal. The deviantART community has flourished and prospered in the past 13 years, and we're thankful for that, and for you, every day.
No one loves a birthday celebration more than I do, but before I break out the cake and balloons, I want to sincerely thank everyone who has touched my life over the years and helped cultivate the site I believed in to make it the artistic community I always knew it could be. Thank you.