May 13th, 2003.
The day I joined deviantART.
That was ten years ago. A decade.
In that time I've been married, divorced, married again, welcomed my two children into the world, been held in rapture at new friendships and grieved over friends passing, attended devmeets with over 400+ people and made more art than I ever ever thought I would. I've been a member, premium member, a volunteer Gallery Moderator, and now a Core Staff member, running a department within deviantART.
Had anyone told me that my life would unfold in that way ten years ago I simply wouldn't have believed them. The impact that this single website has had on the direction my life has travelled is profound. It has shaped me as a person, as an artist and as a professional. It has enriched my life and those of my family and friends.
So at this time, ten years passing, how can I possibly sum up my experience in a drawing, or a photograph or a cake or anything else? I thought long and hard about it, I had planned on doing something to mark its passing but I realised that anything I attempt to do will just not do justice. How can you distil the experience and impact into something that small? You can't. Well, I can't anyways. I think my gallery speaks for itself on this. Go back ten years and see what I was doing back then, vs what I've done since. Quite the journey. Even though I regret not having done as much as I could, and the fact that my life is so full of other things that I get precious little time for art, I'm immensely proud of my achievements to date. All because of this one website.
Kinda blows your mind really doesn't it?
Yes dA has its faults. Yes I'd love to change things about it. Yes I'm actively working to make those things better and make the changes we ALL want and the site NEEDS. But despite its failings and because of its successes I am what I am. You are what you are. It's enriched all our lives and for that I am massively, stupidly, overwhelmingly grateful.
I wanted to namecheck everyone that's important to me here, but then I realise that the list would be way way too long for this journal and you, dear reader. But I guess there are a few people who deserve special mention.
- Angelo, you started this ride, and for that I am grateful. humbled even.
- Fiona, we've talked every day since I started on staff in 2007 (and a good deal before). You're the best. Although you can't hide from being Chixor forever. You'll always be that username for me
- Quiet, but with so much presence and such an awesome AWESOME person. The true heart of deviantART.
- If heidi is the heart, simon, you are the crazy, adrenaline pumping adrenal glands of deviantART. The part that keps me excited and wanting more every day in my job.
- You had the biggest impact of my professional life here. Here's to you buddy.
- dT's head, and underneath that cuddly bear exterior beats the heart of a My Little Pony cosplayer. If only he'd let it out to run free.
- Forest & Mike, you guys single handedly dragging my colour usage out of red and black. Working on deviantART MURO has been an education not only in art but also quantum physics.
- I miss you. Every single day since you passed. I've never said it before and never will again.
All the deviantART $taff - OMG guys, just... OMG. What an amazing set of people.
All my watchers - Seriously guys thank you. To have one person think my work is worthy of praise is mindblowing, let alone nearly ten thousand of you. Honestly, seek medical help right now.
There are lots and lots of you that I haven't listed here. For that I'm sorry, but you guys know how I feel about you anyways
With that said, I'll leave you with one thing. Sentimental fool that I am, I think this song sums up nicely how I feel about all this:
Only a few things will we recall
With love, with gratitude
Only a few things
On the hour in which I die
So if I cannot tell you
If the words I do not find
I want you to know
There are only a few things
That I will be carrying
In my memory when I go
you brought joy to my world
So I will tell you now
In case you don't know
That you'll be with me
When I go