Interview with DeviantArtSecret

19 min read

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FantasyStock's avatar

DeviantArtSecret (also called "DAS") has been a part of deviantART's culture since March 15, 2006. It is a place at deviantART that accepts anonymous secrets from members of dA. The gallery at DAS is full of secrets that compel all kinds of emotional responses from watchers who seem mostly supportive.

The idea for this project was inspired by PostSecret, a web site founded by Frank Warren who posts random anonymous secrets sent in by all sorts of people. These secrets are sent to Mr. Warren on homemade postcards. Because so many secrets have been received, only a limited number of secrets are seen by the public.

At DeviantArtSecret, you can see ALL of the secrets that have been accepted into the gallery. Any member of deviantART may send a secret to DAS. You can learn how by following the steps laid out in the club's guidelines.


Secret-Teller (also called "ST") is a shared account that allows secret tellers to comment on their own DAS secrets and reply to others that have commented on their secrets. Please read this journal entry to learn more about how it works.

My interest in DAS has to do with the use of stock images and other art resources found at deviantART. There is a listing of resource providers that allow their work to be used in the secrets that are submitted to DAS. This list can be found on the main page of DeviantArtSecret.

The following interview was conducted via email with the anonymous owner of DAS. None of the answers I received have been edited in any way other than to add a few bullets to question 8. To be honest, I still don't have a clue as to who answered the questions in this interview, nor do I know which deviants have used my stock to submit their secrets to DAS; I only know that my stock has been used for the project more than once, and it intrigues me each time!

I'd like to urge other resource providers to get on the list. It's a rewarding experience to be a part of this kind of secret outlet that allows people to get their secrets off their chest without the worry of being judged out in the open. You can find out how to participate by reading on...

Interview with DeviantArtSecret

    1. Who is the founder of DeviantArtSecret? (This would be a crappy interview if I didn't at least ask!)
DeviantArtSecret: This is all part of DAS, it is a secret ;)

    2. You keep a list on your main page that shows resource providers who allow their stock images to be used to create art for the DAS project. What inspired the need for this list, and how has the list been important to DAS?
DeviantArtSecret: When DAS was first started, we allowed any photos. But this became a problem, as too many members ( and none members) would send in reports to dA saying it was their art. Causing the secret used to be removed. So it was decided that photos would no longer be accepted. If a ST ( secret teller ) would like to use a photo, they would have to use a stock image. dA has a large amount of wonderful stock images, it has been a great help to many ST's. DAS has also found many ST's make a stock account themselves as they want others to be able to use their photos in DAS.

    3. In your opinion, what are some of the best secrets that have utilized deviantART stock images?
DeviantArtSecret: Now this is a hard question to answer, as DAS has so many artrist who have a great amount of tallent.  We would not want to single out anyone.

    4. Some stock providers in your list allow their stock to be used in secrets that may be added to one of your YouTube videos. In what ways is this permission helpful to the project?
DeviantArtSecret: Every now and again we will add a you tube clip which more then often will have secrets which use a stock image. Some stock artist only want their stock to be used on dA. Not outside of dA. It is very helpful for DAS and the ST's to know which secrets can or an not  be used on Youtube.

    5. How can a stock provider get on your list?
DeviantArtSecret: To be added to the list is very simple. From your stock account send DAS a note, in the note you will need to say if you mind your stock being used on Youtube or not.

You will also need to have a min of 30 photos added to the stock gallery.

    6. You also have a somewhat short list of stock providers that don't want their stock resources used for DAS. So the question is, "Why?" Are there any possible drawbacks for a stock provider to consider before allowing their resources to be used for DAS?
DeviantArtSecret: Some stock artist just dont want their art to be used in DAS. It could be for many reasons. But more times then not, its because a lot of the ST's who use stock images do not use the stock image as the stock artist would like it to be used. Most ST's who use a stock image add text over the stock image. Some stock artist do not like this. They would like to see more editing done to their stock.

This is the main reason we have found stock artist do not want their stock used in DAS.

There are of course other reasons they may have. We are not normally told why though, we just get a note saying "Please add me to the do not use stock list" With no reason give. Which we respect. It is 100% the stock artist choice.

    7. This has never happened to me at DAS, but let's say one of my stock images is used in a secret that I find truly offensive or somehow troubling. How would you like me to handle this issue with DAS?
DeviantArtSecret: This is a good question, and thankfully not something we come across all too often.

If a stock image of yours is used in a way you do not like, all you need to do is send us a note from your stock account ( must be your stock account so we know it really is the stock artist who is asking ) in the note link us to the secret you are talking about, along with a reason why you are not happy. We will then reply to you, it will then go from there.

    8. Artistically speaking, what are some good tips (or DAS guidelines) for deviants that want to submit their secrets using stock images?
DeviantArtSecret: We do have a journal which has all this information on it. It can be found on the main page of DAS. But in short, a few of the main guidlines are.

  • Keep the secret short and to the point.
  • Do not use your own photo.
  • The secret needs to be a max of 900x900 pixels
  • One secret at a time. ( wait for your secret to be added before sending in another)
  • Be creative as you can be.
  • Note from interviewer: please inform DAS of any stock providers whose stock you used in your secret. DAS will anonymously contact the stock provider for you to let them know where they can see your secret. DAS has never told me who sent the secret; they only say that it's there and that my stock was used.

    9. Maybe I want to submit a secret to DAS, and I find a perfect stock image for my secret, but the provider of the stock image isn't listed at DAS. Is it ok to submit this secret if I include proper credit? How does DAS deal with this type of thing?
DeviantArtSecret: Yes of course, a lot of stock artists dont know about DAS, we always message or note a stock artist letting them now their stock has been used. It gives them the choice to let us know if they would like to be added to our list.

DeviantArtSecret: If you havent already cheecked out DAS. Its a great club for getting your secrets out without anyone knowing who you are. Its also a place you can go when you feel alone, you will often come across a secret much like your own, it helps to know you are not alone.

We also welcome help and support from its members.

Some Examples of DAS Secrets

DAS would not provide or suggest secrets for me to feature in this article, but I couldn't resist showing a few examples of what DAS is all about. Here are just a few of the anonymous secrets that have been shared at DeviantArtSecret with the help of some participating stock providers...

Contact DeviantArtSecret if you'd like to allow your stock images to be used this way. Keep in mind that you need a minimum of 30 stock images in your gallery to be added to their list of DAS stock providers.

Big thanks to DeviantArtSecret (whoever you are) for agreeing to this interview!
© 2011 - 2021 FantasyStock
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AEnigmaDragon's avatar
This is a really interesting article and the group is truly unique.
The questions were very reasonable and good chosen, great job guys :lol:
MTC101's avatar
What the STs don't realize is that the minute they send their images to DeviantArtSecret, their secrets are out. Not because of anything DAS could do; I'm sure (s)he is a great person & will keep it all under his/her hat. But regardless of that, ever image sent is transmitted over the Net. Every transmission has the serial number of the computer it's sent from, among other bits of info. If someone really wanted to, he could find out who revealed their secrets. It would take time & probably a fair amount of cash, but it can be done. The STs would be better off keeping their skeletons in their closets.
KnightOfTheWind93's avatar
At the same time, Who is going to pay Thousands of dollars, to find out who wrote "I'm gay" or "I love you" on a site like this? Yes its possible, but the odds of it happening? DAS has been out for 5 years now. I doubt it will ever happen.
MTC101's avatar
Who says it would cost $thousands$?
KnightOfTheWind93's avatar
I did a little research.
Deviant-KB's avatar
Thanks for showing some love to one of my favorite groups on dA. :heart:
Variety-Stock's avatar
FreakyZi's avatar
didn't know there are such thing, thanks for this great exposure =)
DeviantArtSecret's avatar
Thank you for interviewing is :D
We hope this will encourage other stock artist to take part in DAS. The more stock accounts involved, the more choices the ST's will have :D

SarahJPhotography's avatar
Thank you for featuring my stamp :)
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