If anyone happens to read this, I'm not on DA anymore, but you can find me at melaniejoesketch.tumblr.com/
So today marks the tenth anniversary of my DA account. I stopped posting here over a year ago, and I only visit the site occasionally now, but somehow I still remembered that is says on my profile that I made this account on April 13, 2006. I've never had a great memory, and a lot of times I'll only remember an event because I put it in my sketchbook. Going through my DA gallery brings back a ton of things I'd forgotten. When I look at a drawing I've done, I can remember how old I was when I drew it, how I was feeling at the time, who I drew it for or who was there when I drew it, comments I got about it that I appreciated. For some pictures, I can even remember what I was listening to when I drew it.
One of the earliest things I remember being proud of on DA was finding out that LittleKuriboh had seen my Yu-gi-oh the Abridged Series fan art (YtAS, incidentally, also turns 10 this year and god, do I feel old). The amount of art I produced went way up when I joined the Tower of Time forums back in 2007, since it's always been easier and more fun for me to draw for other people. I then joined the art team for that site, which gave me the first taste of doing art in a slightly more professional position than I was used to. I mean, we were doing free art, so maybe more of a faux-professional position, but I still got experience in dealing with customers and taking art directions. If I hadn't joined those forums, I don't think I would have drawn as much, and I honestly don't know if I would have decided to major in art a few years later. Drawing for others on the forums (not just as a site artist, but also for fun) started to teach me to not to treat my drawings as precious, though that was something I didn't fully understand until college.
I didn't post on DA as often in college as I did when I was in high school, partly because I was busy with classes and partly because studying for an art degree has this side effect of making you see every single thing that is wrong with your drawings.
My work associated with DA that I am most proud of is probably my Tournament Cosmos entries from three years ago. The group has unfortunately since be deleted, but Tournament Cosmos was a comic tournament centered around competing magical girls who were on a reality show a la RuPaul's Drag Race. (Now that I think about it, I only found out about the tournament because it was co-run by someone I knew from the Tower of Time. The forums had long been closed by then, but I guess they were still finding ways of encouraging me to draw.)
I reread my comics for the tournament the other day and man, they are rough, rushed, often unfinished and largely nonsensical to new readers since the prompts they were based on were deleted with the group. But I could not be prouder of them. I had never done comics before, never developed a character or storyline in such a short amount of time, and had to do my regular college workload on top of submitting the bi-weekly comic. I still have the books and light-up plastic wand I won from that competition.
Since making this account I have graduated high school, mucked around in college for what felt like an eternity, got a BFA in Animation/Illustration and I'm currently in the process of moving to Burbank, where, in less than two weeks, I'll be starting my first job storyboarding for a TV show. I used to hate looking at my old work on DA (many, many drawings were moved to Scraps or deleted) but I'm glad a majority of it is still up, because it's a good reminder of where I've been and how far I've come since I posted my first deviation ten years ago: