When I first heard about DeviantART, 11 years ago, the Internet was a very different place and I still had to use a dial up modem to get online. I was working in social work and staying up way too late on IRC chatting with all sorts of nerds and geeks. I had been trying to learn how to use Photoshop and someone suggested I checked out DeviantART. So I did, and I was very much hooked from the start. I was blown away by the artwork from people like AlexandraVBach
-- so I brazenly left comments on their work asking for tips on how get better at using photoshop to create photomanipulations. Luckily for me, they were very helpful and thus the start of some very special friendships began.
Fast forward a few years and communicating with other deviants got even easier. Our chat network (dAmn) was born and a featured chat with the legendary suzi9mm
took place. I was a bit of a fangirl for her back in the day and of course I had to attend!
Soon after that event, I was asked to join the volunteer team, and the rest as they say, is history. A few months later, I was working full time for DeviantART, and continued to develop my coffee addiction and insomnia with the encouragement of Moonbeam13
. We've been through a lot over the years and I love her to bits. I should tell her this more often!
It's safe to say that my DeviantART journey has been an insanely awesome. I have gone through some major health issues, bereavements and far too much personal drama. However, DeviantART was -- and still is -- a constant in my life that has been there every step of the way, with tears and laughter and not to mention some outright WTF moments.
Now, 11 years on, I'm 42 years old and happier than I've ever been. I think that shows in my artwork too. I can't recall the last time I opened up Photoshop with a view to actually making a photomanipulation. These days I am far happier behind the camera, but I still look back upon my idols from way back when I need inspiration. People like superkev
, for example.
I could keep writing here, but suffice to day DeviantART has truly touched me in profound ways. People always tell me that I am so lucky to work for DeviantART, and yes, I know that is true and I very much agree. But you know, I think we are all lucky to be part of such an amazing community. A community that is filled with people who will always be there for each other, no matter what. People like you.