Lately, I have become quite disenchanted with this artistic platform, DeviantArt. I say this especially in regards to me attempting to gain recognition as an aspiring illustrator and author. And, do not mistake me, I still long, on a daily basis, to eventually have at least a 4-digit watcher count (or 5-digits, if I am truly feeling idealistic) during my lifetime, and I still wish to gain the approval and recognition from my fellow creators (so long as my fundamental creativity is by no means jeopardized).
But, simultaneously, my ambitions in that respect has gotten more lenient in recent days, primarily because I am attempting to function within a dysfunctional system. What do I mean by this, exactly? Well, approximately a week-and-a-half ago, my dear friend Seminon, had written a journal entry informing her watchers of some (now resolved) technical difficulties that she was having. But, she also had mentioned there had been some ethical issues pertaining to the DeviantArt staff, such as half of the employees supposedly being fired without warning as well as implementing the substantially detrimental feature that is CORE membership.
In regards to the technical difficulties, I have some experience with such myself, actually (although, different from Seminon’s). Within these past 2-3 months at least, upon navigating the website on my PC, there is this rather frequent glitch that occured when I would click on something, be it a deviation or the “view more” tab or otherwise, it would load back the previous webpage that I was on. And, as one could well-imagine, it has been a significantly frustrating experience… Furthermore, I had experienced even greater frustration upon me utilizing the DeviantArt mobile application. Back when I utilized the application far more frequently several months prior, I have noticed even worse glitches (this was all before the application was functioning optimally, of course). Initially, when such technical difficulties began to plague my experience with the application, it started with deviations simply not being able to load; there were merely the “grayed out” quadrilateral silhouettes in the place of said deviations. Thus, I was no longer able to utilize this application for its primary purpose: to view the artwork of myself and others. I had even taken the liberty upon submitting a work order hoping to resolve this issue. But, alas, nothing came of it. In fact, the technical issues with the DeviantArt application has only gotten worse for me. To this day, I cannot even log in to my account through the application. And, every time I skip the account login menu, every single tab and search query that I navigate results in an infinite loading loop, without even any of the silhouettes.
Now, pertaining to the issue with CORE Membership, I imagine most of us can agree that this is DeviantArt’s way of not only funding itself, but also grossly capitalizing upon its own status within the realm of the internet as a commodity in itself. Furthermore, it seems to me that DeviantArt has been shifting away from being this inclusive website for artists of all calibers and executors to something attempting to model itself after art websites, such as Artstation, primarily designed for professional and/or highly successful artists. Thus, it also appears to me that through the implementation of CORE membership, that DeviantArt is fiscally piggybacking off of those who have been fortunate enough to make a substantial living through their art, alone, where spending either $15 or $50 (which, I know not about the majority of you, but I would much rather spend such funds upon art supplies and the like to legitimately further my artistic pursuits) would seem like practically nothing to them, all while both parties prosper from the exposure. I believe that many of us can also concur with how DeviantArt is seemingly demonstrating rather blatant favoritism (especially considering what benefits CORE member provides) towards those who feel compelled to invest in CORE membership. And do not get me started on all of those damn advertisements that we non-CORE members have the displeasure of dealing with…
Anyways, as someone who, like most of us, I suspect, is attempting to gain recognition as a freelance artist who has no ties to any media companies and the like, I just do not see any longer DeviantArt being a viable platform in such a pursuit, at least not though said platform alone. That is why it is my intention in the near future to broaden myself on other potential art platforms, so that I simply do not limit myself when one collapses. Now granted, I cannot say entirely for certain if DeviantArt is truly “dying,” per se. Rather, I can strongly speculate that such a platform is changing, and certainly not for the better if you are amongst the artistic “common folk,” such as I. Perhaps, I may be appearing too overly critical, but only because I know that DeviantArt, even though ethically questionable in recent years, has done much good for a great deal of people, myself included. And, I do not want any future deviants to be deprived of such joy, be it from artistic success or otherwise. But when a company such as DeviantArt conspicuously prioritizes in the wrong endeavors while ignoring debilitating flaws and the pleas of the downtrodden, it does not beckon much faith from me. All I can simply say at this point is that if DeviantArt wishes to survive in its current form for another nigh twenty years, then I would highly suggest that it does not deviate (no pun intended) from the purpose by which DeviantArt was incepted as a truly inclusive website for artists of all fathomable sorts.
Now then, I have nothing more to say about such matters for the time being. Just be aware, that, despite my harsh criticism, I have no absolute intention of abandoning DeviantArt primarily due to my strong ties here. But I do intend to broaden myself on other artistic platforms in order to better my chances to gain the recognition as an artist and writer that I constantly yearn for. I shall further elaborate upon such transitional matters in the near future. But, until then, should any of you have any questions, concerns or otherwise, please do not hesitate to do so whichever method (public comment or private note) that you would prefer. Otherwise, I ask that you all maintain a sense of hope and vigilance within these turbulent times.
P.S. – Also, just something to note, given all that I have stated here, this template rendition should have a far more clear meaning, now…