It's come to my attention just today that the group's Founder BlazinFlizard had deactivated their account without warning, no announcements to this group, and informed none of the Co-Founders about transferring ownership. Because of this, I'm stepping up and taking initiative (Along with @SolarRoseArt) to shut down the group as a whole after many years of being the biggest dragon artist group on DeviantArt. Why? Continue reading if you want to know why such a hasty decision is being made.
First and foremost; Co-Founders do not have the ability to delete the group (otherwise I would have done it already). And because ownership wasn't handed over to anyone else, this is why the group is simply shutting down instead of being deleted.
Second; BlazinFlizard has been revealed for years now to having been a pedophile and started dating a minor( she was 13 years old and he was 19 at that time). Today they are now married. Not only did he KNOW she was a minor, he knew how wrong it was and proceeded to date her anyway. And she wasn't the only minor in the dragon community he flirted with. He's been very absent from this group for a while now because he was trying to build up another place for artists outside of DeviantArt called Art Noodle.
For more information, I urge you to look at these twitter posts below. Blazin is well known for his love of lolis (a slang term used for underage girls who have a childlike appearance, or a woman of age who dresses and looks particularly childlike). His characters and art consist of this trend of girls he claims are of age (18) but likes to draw them as if they look like minors. It's difficult to browse his gallery on any platform and not see NSFW art of his and others characters strikingly resembling lolis.
We are disgusted and apalled by this and have no tolerance for pedophiles in our community. By all means this isn't to attack Blazin or his partner (who has stated she wasn't groomed) as he is aware his reputation has been dragged through the mud (reference to twitter posts above) because of what he did. This is to inform the community he created of what happened recently. This is wrong, and even if they both cared for each other, dating someone who is a minor as an adult is nothing less than a pedophelic act no matter which way you look at it. Please do not contact either of them, just know our stance on the matter and move on, the damage has been done and there's no reason to take any action against them now that his partner is of legal age.
Now you may be asking "why are you shutting down TheDragonLand? Why not just keep running it?"
Because BlazinFlizard deactivated, he never handed ownership over to another user in the group, nor did he leave the group, so his account is etched on to the group's home page forever, and I cannot in good conscience be part of a group where a pedophiles image is present without any means to remove it.Because the group has been on the decline for a while now, it isn't as active as it once was (most likely due to the Founder's involvement in creating Art Noodle and as such was not active in their own group).Because more and more artists are leaving DeviantArt due to the Eclipse rebranding, why put in the effort to keep an inevitably dying group alive?
Throughout today we will be purging the content of this group, deleting the gallery, widgets on the home page, journals, etc. (except for this one). This will be the last message from us at TheDragonLand, this group grew so much over the years, and it was nice seeing that happen, but it's time to leave everything behind and move on.