Hello, deviantART! Hello, friends! DeviantART was the original site that lead me to meet you all. It's a shame to see it fall from popularity and usefulness. Here I talk about my art, what's to come, what seems to be happening to deviantART, and what I think should happen to it.
Aaron, you haven't uploaded much on here! What gives?
Summer! Summer gives! But really, a lot has happened in the past year! Enough has happened that I can give an outline of everything that has stifled my previously fairly continuous flow of art on here.
- June 2013: Summer begins!
- July 2013: Summer persists! Constant road trips!
- August 2013: Junior year has begun! Resumed work on Man Made of Gold 3D model.
- September 2013: Dear god, Homecoming is almost here!
- October 2013: First date!
- November 2013: Hey, I did something here. I made Aaron Wright, Ace Attorney!
- December 2013: Midterms, Christmas shopping, and also I gave away my tablet pen. What're you gonna do?
- January: Semester ended. Continued spending a lot of time working on the Man Made of Gold 3D model, but I hit a wall around here, where I was basing my model off of my drawings and basing my drawings off of the model, and the Man Made of Gold's proportions were slightly off. He was tall, skinny, and anatomically weird.
- February: Spring break, Valentine's Day, and I halted work on the Man Made of Gold 3D model.
- March-April: Spent time on musical mashups, a gift for my girlfriend, and reworking the man made of gold.
- May: Prom, AP exams. Continued working on gift.
- June: Finals, and then summer! Two days after school ended, I went to Germany for four weeks as part of an exchange program. While there, I made a bunch of pixel art for tumblr and I was working on a tumblr blog theme.
- July: Man Made of Gold redesigns finally condense. His hair is changed somewhat, and I settle on proportions. I came back from Germany, then went to Comic-Con. Made lots of sketches
- August: Made more sketches, went on a road trip, worked on AP Studio Art summer assignments. School started.
- September: Conquered Switzerland. Probably.
What of deviantART as a platform?
Deviantart has lost traction over the past few years. Particularly, since around 2011/2012. Social networks, particularly twitter and tumblr, have somehow made concise communication more difficult, and yet these platforms have been easier to adopt and use, and thus have caused many to migrate to them. This migration has significantly reduced activity and interactions on deviantart. Fewer journals are being written, fewer favorites are being given, and fewer comments and replies are being made. Additionally, skype has become the primary platform for expounded communication.
Deviantart has not had a major set of feature updates in years, and remains 90% the same as it was 5 years ago. For me, personally, the combination of deviations and messages into one message count has made keeping track of each much more difficult. Nonetheless, my message count has been the most stagnant in years, especially from journals and deviations. Simply nobody else has been doing that much.
As a final note, twitter and tumblr are not at all suitable replacements for deviantart. They suffer from dozens of issues created by the severe limitations on how communication takes place. Both function as a "stream" of information that flows and will flood over anything in a fairly short amount of time. On tumblr, it can be only a few minutes before your post is no longer visible without scrolling down through several pages of your dashboard. If somebody doesn't reblog your post, it is lost forever and nobody cares about it anymore. You won't get popular unless your followers are devoted or unless luck is really in your favor. As well as that, there are few ways for people to give feedback or communicate on tumblr, besides replies to text posts (when enabled) and putting captions on a reblogged post, which people tend not to do because public opinions on things are the mark of the devil on that site. Twitter has the stream issue and the character limit. Its usefulness as an alternative to deviantart is just unavoidably bottlenecked by the core fundamentals of the site. Skype has the limitation of only being a private instant messaging service. You are limited to the instant messaging format and to sharing with people you are in a group with and/or are contacts with.
I hope that eventually deviantart will have its potential realized and will be returned to as an art sharing platform by those who have decided to stick to other sites. My own usage of tumblr is for posting sketches and smaller things that don't deserve to be put in the spotlight on deviantart. Deviantart is and will continue to be my go-to for anything good I make.
Until next time!