|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (July 2011)|
Where art meets application! (2000-2014)The world's largest online art gallery and community (2014-present)
Type of site
|Art display/Social networking service|
|Created by||Scott Jarkoff, Matt Stephens, Angelo Sotira, and others|
|Launched||August 7, 2000|
|182 (July 2015[update])|
DeviantArt (formerly stylized as deviantART from 2001 to 2014) is an online community. The site was first launched on August 7, 2000 by Scott Jarkoff, Matthew Stephens, Angelo Sotira and others. DeviantArt, Inc. is headquartered in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, California, United States. Works are organized in a comprehensive category structure, including photography, digital art, traditional art, literature, Flash, filmmaking, skins for applications, operating system customization utilities and others, along with extensive downloadable resources such as tutorials and stock photography. Additional utilities include journals, polls, groups and portfolios. "Fella," a small, devilesque robotic character, is the official DeviantArt mascot.
As of March 2013[update], the site consists of over 25 million members, and over 246 million submissions, and receives around 140,000 submissions per day. In addition, DeviantArt users submit over 1.4 million "favorites" and 1.5 million comments daily. The domain deviantart.com attracted at least 36 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a Compete.com study. As of July 2011[update], it is the 13th largest social network with 3.8 million weekly visits.
DeviantArt started as a site connected with people who took computer applications and modified them to their own tastes, or who “deviated” the applications from the original designs. As the site grew, members in general became known as “deviants” and submissions as “deviations”. DeviantArt was originally launched on August 7, 2000 by Scott Jarkoff, Matt Stephens, Angelo Sotira and others, as part of a larger network of music-related websites called the Dmusic Network. The site flourished largely because of its unique offering and the contributions of its core member base and a team of volunteers after its launch, but was officially incorporated in 2001 about eight months after launch.
DeviantArt was loosely inspired by projects like Winamp facelift, customize.org, deskmod.com, screenphuck.com, and skinz.org, all application skin-based websites. Sotira entrusted all public aspects of the project to Scott Jarkoff as an engineer and visionary to launch the early program. All three co-founders shared backgrounds in the application skinning community, but it was Matt Stephens whose major contribution to DeviantArt was the suggestion to take the concept further than skinning and more toward an "art community". Many of the individuals involved with the initial development and promotion of DeviantArt still hold positions with the project, from administrators to volunteers serving as gallery directors and Message Network Administration. Angelo Sotira currently serves as the chief executive officer of DeviantArt, Inc.
DeviantArt ran for 7 years without any additional investment besides the initial US$15,000 from its founders at the moment of its founding. It has used several different monetization strategies before having its own cash flow.
On November 14, 2006, DeviantArt gave its users the option to submit their works under Creative Commons licenses giving the artists the right to choose how their works can be used. A Creative Commons license is one of several public copyright licenses that allow the distribution of copyrighted works. On September 30, 2007, a film category was added to DeviantArt, allowing artists to upload videos. An artist and other viewers can add annotations to sections of the film, giving comments or critiques to the artist about a particular moment in the film. In 2007, DeviantArt received $3.5 million in Series A (first round) funding from undisclosed investors, and in 2013, it received $10 million in Series B funding.
Boldly Facing the Future
On December 4, 2014, with the publishing of an article entitled Boldly Facing the Future, the site unveiled a new logo, and announced the release of an official mobile app on both iOS and Android to be released on December 10, 2014.
In the article, CEO Angelo Sotira writes, "Our new logo is symbolic of everything we believe. It is an audacious and inspired evolution of our original dA mark—literally turning the art world upside down. We love it because, like DA, people might not get it right away and, like all great art, it challenges perceptions and perspectives. Most importantly, it elevates DeviantArt and our artists."
The site has over 265 million images which have been uploaded by its over 28 million members. As of July 2011, DeviantArt is the largest online art community. Members of DeviantArt may leave comments and critiques on individual deviation pages, allowing the site to be called “a [free] peer evaluation application”. Along with textual critique, DeviantArt now offers the option to leave a small picture as a comment. This can be achieved using an option of DeviantArt Muro, which is a browser-based drawing tool that DeviantArt has developed and hosts. It is simple, with eight free brushes available for anyone’s use, although only members of DeviantArt can save their work as deviations. Another feature of Muro is what is called “Redraw”; it records the user as they draw their image, and then the user can post the entire process as a film deviation. Some artists have begun in late 2013 experimenting with the use of breakfast cereal as the subject of their pieces, although this trend has only begun to spread. 
Individual deviations are displayed on their own pages, with a list of statistical information about the image, as well as place for uploader and member comments, and ‘sharing’ through other social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). These deviations are required to be organized into categories when a member uploads an image, and this facilitates the DeviantArt's search engine in finding images concerning similar topics.
Individual members can also organize their own deviations into folders, allowing further organization on their personal pages. These personal member pages, or profiles, show a member’s personally uploaded deviations and journal postings. Journals are like a personal blog accompanying a member’s profile page, and topic coverage is up to the member; some use it to talk of their personal or art-related lives, others use it to spread awareness or marshal support for a cause. Also displayed are a member’s “favourites”, or collection of other users’ images from DeviantArt, which the member can save to a folder of its own. Another thing to be found on the profile page is a member’s “watchers”; a member may add another member to their “watch list” in order to be notified when that member uploads something. The watcher notifications are gathered with other notices in a member’s Message Center, other notices being when other users comment on that member’s deviations, or when the member receives favorites.
In order to communicate on a more private level, “Notes” can be sent between individual members, similar to an email within the site. Other opportunities for communication among members are DeviantArt’s forums and chatrooms; chatrooms being for group instant messaging, and forums being for more structured, long-term discussions.
DeviantArt has been revising the site in versions, releasing multiple features at once. The third, fourth and fifth versions of the site were released on its date of founding, August 7.
|1||August 7, 2000||Site goes public as part of Dmusic Network.|
|2||February 5, 2002||In version 2, browsing was made easier.|
|3||August 7, 2003|
|4||August 7, 2004||In version 4, the chat client called dAmn was added to the site.|
|5||August 7, 2006||In version 5, each deviant has a Prints account, through which they may sell prints of their works for money, receiving 20% of the profits.[clarification needed] Users can also obtain Premium Prints Account offering 50% of the profits and an immediate check of material submitted for sales. Before version 5 of DeviantArt, users did not have by default access to this service and it had to be obtained separately. By paying for a subscription, a deviant could also sell their work for 50% of each sale.|
|6||July 10, 2008||In this revision, the message center, front page and footer were revamped. Users are now able to customize the DeviantArt navigation toolbar. The design style of the site was slightly modified as well.|
|6.1||Early 2009||In this revision, there is a slight change of design and easier search options. Users are given more options to customize their profiles, and stacks are added to message center later in 2010.|
|7||May 18, 2010||Features a new smaller header design and removal of search bar except on home page. The staff later made updates to Version 7, including a search bar to every page.|
|8||October 15, 2014
(updated December 4, 2014)
|Re-styled header, removal of the large footer, updated browsing interface, addition of "watch feed", a news feed containing a summary of postings by watched users, status updates, and additions to user collections.|
Along with occasional version upgrades, there have been numerous features which DeviantArt was using before other social websites; co-founder Angelo Sotira shared these in an interview.
|Innovations||DeviantArt launched it in...||Other networks (year founded)|
|A messaging center that tracks and highlights community interactions||2000||Facebook, 2004|
|Galleries for photos, artworks, and videos||2000||YouTube, 2005|
|Personalized, blingable profiles||2000||Myspace, 2003|
|Default subdomains (yourname.DeviantArt.com)||2000||Tumblr, 2007|
|Small square 50x50 avatar icons||2000||Twitter, 2006|
|Crowdsourced emoticons||2001||Friendster, 2002|
|Thumbnail images with drop shadows||2002||Flickr, 2004|
|CSS-based layout (no HTML tables)||2003||Most online networks|
|Tools for commenting in pictures rather than words||2010||Tegaki, 2008|
On June 17 and June 18, 2005, DeviantArt held their first convention, the deviantART Summit, at the Palladium in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, California, United States. The summit consisted of several exhibitions by numerous artists, including artscene groups old and new at about 200 different booths. Giant projection screens displayed artwork as it was being submitted live to DeviantArt, which receives 50,000 new images daily.
deviantART World Tour
Starting May 13, 2009, DeviantArt embarked on a world tour, visiting cities around the world, including Sydney, Singapore, Warsaw, Istanbul, Berlin, Paris, London, New York City, Toronto and Los Angeles. During the world tour, the new "Portfolio" feature of DeviantArt was previewed to attendees.
Occasionally, DeviantArt hosts a meeting for members to come together in real life and interact, exchange, and have fun. There have been meetings for the birthday of DeviantArt, called 'Birthday Bashes', as well as simple general get-togethers around the world. In 2010, European DeviantArt members held a deviantMEET to celebrate DeviantArt's birthday in August.  There was also a celebration that year in the House of Blues in Hollywood, California. 
Company interest from elsewhere
Due to the nature of DeviantArt as an art community with worldwide reach, some companies use DeviantArt in order to both promote themselves and create more advertising. Dodge ran a contest on DeviantArt in 2012 for art of the Dodge Dart car, and over 4,000 submissions were received. Winners received cash and item prizes, and were featured in a gallery at Dodge-Chrysler headquarters. CoolClimate is a research network connected with the University of California, and they held a contest on DeviantArt in 2012 to address the impact of climate change. Worldwide submissions were received, and the winner was featured in the Huffington Post. Lexus also partnered with DeviantArt in 2013 to run a contest based on their Lexus IS design; the winner's design will actually become a modified Lexus IS and be showcased at the SEMA 2013 show in Los Angeles, California. Cash and other prizes were also involved. DeviantArt also hosts contests for upcoming movies, such as Riddick. Fan art was submitted, and director David Twohy chose the winners, who each received cash prizes and some other DeviantArt-related prizes, as well as had their artwork made into official fanart posters for events. A similar contest was held for Dark Shadows. Winners received cash and other prizes. Video games also conduct contests with DeviantArt, such as a 2013 Tomb Raider contest. The winner had their art made into an official print sold internationally at the Tomb Raider store, and received cash and other prizes. Other winners also received cash and DeviantArt-related prizes.
Copyright and licensing issues
There is no automatic review for potential copyright and Creative Commons licensing violations when a work is submitted to DeviantArt, so potential violations can remain unnoticed until reported to administrators. A mechanism for notifying administrators of such issues is available. Some members of the community have also been the victims of copyright infringement from vendors using artwork illegally on products and prints.
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