|PRINTS of my pictures are available here: www.redbubble.com/de/people/mo…|
Dear fellow artists,
this is going to be my last journal entry on DeviantArt for a while. I need a break from DA and perhaps the internet altogether. A few weeks ago I considered deleting my account entirely, but then decided I didn’t want to do something I might regret further down the road, so I’ve simply put most of my pictures into storage, disabled all prints and made sure what was left was carrying my logo.
This has actually been a long time in the coming and there are a number of reasons for why I need a break. I was close to leaving dA in September, but was then (very surprisingly) gifted a one-year subscription by perushinkov, which caused me to reconsider. Instead of leaving, I joined the team at DigitalSpotlight, hoping to get more involved again, trying to rekindle my passion for this site I used to love and which still means a great deal to me.
DeviantArt is not what it used to be. Some have told me that I am seeing changes where there are none. DA is and always has been a big melting pot of ideas and talents; weird, funny, happy, sad, shocking or even disgusting. This is definitely true, but DA has changed regardless, and so have I. Some changes are purely cosmetic, others go deeper. People, groups and chatrooms have come and gone. Functions have been added, others removed.
To me DA feels more like a hangout for teenagers now than ever before. It’s a simple alternative to facebook, one with less limitations when it comes to uploading pictures. It’s a place where you can meet other people and discuss TV shows, movies, music, politics or other things. Those who actually post pictures are not necessarily interested in art. Creativity – what I consider the essence of art – often seems lost. The only thing that’s important is being seen. Anywhere, anytime. And memes, stolen illustrations, desktop wallpapers, cheap fan-art or cosplay pics, signature banners and porn will get the job done more efficiently than time-consuming work. Why waste 10 hours painting something of your own, when you can just slap together a few pictures from Pixiv and then write “All credit to the original artists” with zero risk of getting punished. Alternatively, just draw a crappy pink pony, add the tag MLP and watch the comments roll in. Use the popularity of some TV-Show or video game to your advantage.
Talented artists are being overlooked, because they’re literally too creative and not willing to spam their work across dozens of groups. Their only chance on DA would be the latter.
While reviewing submissions for DigitalDelights I came across plenty of artists who were submitting their art to hundreds (!) of group galleries. They were so desperate to be seen that they were more than willing to spam their images across DA. For some pictures the number of groups was triple that of the views’.
I was once a member of close to 30 groups, though I never submitted a single picture to more than three on my own. A few weeks ago I cut the number of groups down to 6, watching only those I felt I truly liked. What good is a group that will automatically accept any random picture anyway? Some philosophers argue that everything is art, but if that were true, art would just be a synonym for everything and we would be visiting DeviantEverything or DeviantStuff instead of DeviantArt.
People have gotten downright angry at me, because I told them they had to credit the artists/photographers whose work they were using. I tried telling some kindly, I tried telling others more aggressively – the results were always the same. I tried reporting some to DA and found out that there was no way to do so. There’s a button for reporting copyright infringements that can’t be clicked. DA cares about copyright infringements, just not enough to actually do something about it.
I had people steal my artwork and use it commercially on Youtube and other websites. In one instance, a shop was selling postcards of one of my pictures. More recently, I told a big facebook page with thousands of motivational images (at least three of them were mine) they couldn’t just slap their logo on pictures that weren’t theirs. They apologized and promised to change, but uploaded new pictures with the same logo mere hours later. My e-mails to a well-known Youtuber (LeafyIsHere) who illegally used one of my pictures (minus my web-address, which he had cut away) as a preview image for a video with close to a million hits, were ignored, but I was immediately contacted by his PR-company Omnia Media after I got my picture removed through a DMCA-takedown request. They filed a formal complaint with Youtube, in which they literally accused me of not being willing to negotiate.
For the first time in ten years I have felt the need to contact a lawyer regarding the illegal commercial use of my images. He told me that YouTube protects the identities of its users and that going after Leafy probably wasn’t worth the trouble.
There are many, many wonderful people on DeviantArt and the web in general; people who have helped me develop my skills; people who have motivated me time and time again; people I will miss. But there are also plenty of ignorant and arrogant people out there. Greedy idiots who are willing to do anything for their own success.
I need to get away from the latter for a while.
Current Residence: Bavaria
Favourite genre of music: folk-rock
Operating System: Windows 7
Personal Quote: Only those who greatness see in little things are happy in their ways
Please DO NOT use any pictures from my gallery for photo-manipulations or similar! It takes me hours over hours to create original pictures from scratch and I try to encourage everyone to do the same.