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Explore ‘Game of Thrones’

Do you enjoy Game of Thrones? Of course you do. So do we! That’s why we wrote this in-depth look at the show, its importance in the cultural zeitgeist, and its origin as well as the origins of other shows of its ilk. Get your fix here.

Tom Hardy To Star In 3 More ‘Mad Max’ Films

So here’s some interesting news: Tom Hardy has announced that he’s committed to doing three more Mad Max movies after Fury Road, which comes to theaters next month. The trailers we’ve seen for Fury Road so far look absolutely stunning, and we’re cautiously optimistic about the prospect of having three more Mad Max films. On the one hand, we love Mad Max, and we love Tom Hardy, but on the other hand, is three more films bordering on too much of a good thing? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Autumn Afternoon

Attempting to describe this beautiful oil on canvas piece by eddiecalz is leaving us breathless. Just take a look for yourself and enjoy the experience of it.

‘The Muppet Show’ Returns?

So a project is currently in development that would closely resemble the old Muppet Show that was on TV back in the late 70s and early 80s. If you’ve never seen The Muppet Show, it’s pretty hilarious, and it spawned any number of classic bits still widely-known and referenced today. The show still has a way to go before being greenlit, but the success of the recent Muppets movies provides some hope that this is a project audiences will be eager to watch.


When life is too absurd to be depicted in realist forms, Surrealism enters to search for the truth by bending the nature of reality. Find out more about the movement championed by artists like Salvador Dali in our profile of Surrealism.

What Is DeviantArt?

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering how to put what the DeviantArt community is and what it means into words, check out this amazing journal from our very own Heidi.

Why is Dad So Mad?
by Seth Kastle

Post Traumatic Stress Book

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder affects people all over the world, but it can be difficult for friends and family of someone who has it to understand what that person is going through. This is especially true for children of adults with the disorder. That’s why Seth Kastle, a US Army veteran who suffers from PTSD, decided to write “Why Is Dad So Mad,” a children’s book that seeks to explain the disorder to children. Kastle, a father, wrote the book about his struggle with PTSD to help his daughter understand what he’s going through. You can learn more about the book or order a copy of it here.

How To Train Your Wind Waker

This is a crossover that we’re 100% on board with: How To Train Your Dragon and Wind Waker. Major props to TsaoShin for creating this beautiful piece.

Play-Doh Movie

People seemed to really like The Lego Movie (it grossed approximately $250 million US) when it premiered last year, which means that any and all children’s toys remotely similar to LEGOs that can be bought by studios and turned into movies will be bought and, you guessed it, turned into movies. This trend is kicking off with Play-Doh, evidently, which Deadline is reporting Paul Feig may direct. Feig’s involvement could spell good things, as fans of Bridesmaids and The Heat can attest, but a lot could happen between now and the film’s premiere. We will refrain from holding our breath in the mean time.

Luther Strode Sequel

The Legacy of Luther Strode is drawn by Tradd and colored by sobreiro. Issue #1 will be available April 8th! Check out a preview here.

Ads & Art

Can advertising be art? That question is the theme of a community discussion that we’re hosting here. If you’ve got an opinion on the subject, we want to hear it.

Minimal Challenge

CRFractals has announced their minimalism challenge for April! Learn more about it here.

Cute Collection

This collection of cute by Andorada is sure to put a smile on your face. Sleep in all weekend and hang out with these adorable images instead of getting up.

Painted Programs

LunaticLenny is seeking recommendations for software that are good at achieving a "painted" look. Help him out with your suggestions here.

Here’s a short film

Whoa, this short film, called Burnt Grass, is really cool. Basically it’s about a couple who find a way to duplicate any organic matter. In the first scene, their dog stumbles into it and is instantly cloned. Then things begin to get dark. If you’ve ever thought about what life would be like if you could clone yourself, we highly recommend watching this eleven-minute film.

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First of all, we want you to know that you can believe everything you read here, even if it is April Fool’s and we might have told a fib or two elsewhere on the site. Consider the News Desk a hallowed ground. We’ll only tell you true facts here. We are indeed going to show you some of our favorite April Fool’s pranks from around DeviantArt and around the web, but we won’t try to fool you with any of these headlines. Thanks, as always, for reading.


Here are a few of our favorite April Fool’s pranks.

Book Club

The CRLiterature book club has “announced” their book selection for the month of April. Some may call it smut, but 50 Shades of Grey is the official selection so if you haven’t read it by now, this is the best excuse you’re going to get. April Fool’s! The real selection will be announced tomorrow.

Harnessing the Force
CERN physicist Valerio Rossetti

CERN Discovers The Force

Researchers at CERN posted confirmation that they had indeed discovered The Force (yes, the one from Star Wars) as a part of a Star-Wars themed April Fool’s prank. The press release, which you can read here, went heavy on the references including allusions to Yoda, Ben Kenobi, and “Dave” Vader. Considering the breadth and scope of the research currently being done at the Large Hadron Collider, we think it’s a good sign that they know how to have a little fun.

Nature: Dragons Are Real

Another of our favorite April Fool’s pranks came out of the science world today, as confirmed the existence of dragons. Citing some ancient texts and a correlation between global temperature patterns and references to dragons in literature,’s April Fool’s prank is one that we wish were true.

Premium Island

You may be wondering where the money from your premium memberships go, and this April Fool’s prank has the answer: that’s right, you’re looking at the DeviantArt island. Again, this is one that we really wish was true.

by Amazon

Amazon Redesign

Some of the best April Fool’s pranks are the ones that offer an experience rather than try to fool you. Yesterday we told you about Google Maps’s Pac Man feature, and today we are giving some major snaps to Amazon, who threw back to a super 90s version of their site in honor of this hallowed internet holiday. They also loaded the homepage with a couple of jokes, but then allow users to quickly navigate back to the real site so that they can get back to browsing prices on Lord of the Rings blu-rays with ease.

Learn To Art In A Day

seniormentors has launched a new tutorial series called Learn This and they intend to post one EVERY HOUR! The first one is about Photomanipulation and Digital Painting. By the time they’ve posted a few more, we should all be masters of art.


Back to your regularly-scheduled programming.

Amazon Button
by Amazon

Amazon Buttons Are A Real Thing

First Amazon giveth and then Amazon taketh away, apparently. While we commend them for their April Fool’s efforts, the online megastore has also announced that it will be making branded buttons that automatically order household items that you commonly run out of. With the devices, you can put a little Tide button on your laundry machine, and when you’re running low on detergent, you press the button and in two to five business days you receive some more. The announcement was viewed as a joke by many because of its proximity to April Fool’s and also because holy cow have we really gotten to the point as a society that we are too lazy to even walk to our computers or god forbid get out our phones to place online orders when we run out of stuff? I mean they already have one-click shopping on Amazon, why do we need this? Excuse us as we bury our heads in the sand for the rest of the day.

It’s Poetry Time

Calling all aspiring poets! Today marks the beginning of NaPoWriMo is ON! Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a poem every day for the entire month of April. If you’re staring at a blank page, not to worry, SingingFlames has posted some prompts to help you get started.

Suicide Sisters
by Kevin Mellon

Hero Challenge

autodesk-sketchbook has announced the April Hero Challenge with Kevin Mellon, who has been working as a professional comic book and storyboard artist since 2007. He has a comic book called Suicide Sisters, and does storyboards for the TV show Archer. Get information on the challenge here!

Interstellar Honest Trailer

The folks at Screen Junkies have given a pretty spectacular and not entirely undeserved sendup to Christopher Nolan’s 2014 blockbuster Interstellar. We aren’t going to lie to you, we thoroughly enjoyed that movie, but as usual Honest Trailers does a pretty great job of pointing out some of its fundamental flaws. Plus, it’s just hilarious.

What To Wear?

griffsnuff is looking for some feedback concerning her new avatar. Share your thoughts here. (We think it looks great, for what it’s worth).

Which Tablet Are You?

This tablet review by saally may prove to be helpful when deciding what tool is going to suit your needs best.

Color Contest

Knitting-and-Crochet has announced a contest celebrating Pantone's colour of the year: Marsala. Get involved here.

Vesta Tour

Hang Out On An Asteroid

How is NASA so cool all the time? Probably because they’re dedicated to exploring and understanding space. We’re mildly freaking out over this virtual tour of Vestra, the second-largest asteroid in our solar system. The tour interface is reminiscent of Google Earth, and has some snazzy features that let you explore and see all there is to see on this huge space rock. This is just so cool.

Forum Feature

Looking for constructive critiques on your digital art pieces? Check out this thread.

Birthday Patrol

It’s no April Fool’s joke, today is FelipeCagno’s birthday. Say hey and happy b-day!

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New ‘Mad Max’ Trailer

Warner Bros. has released the first full trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road and this movie just keeps looking better and better. The costumes, sets, cars, and explosions are all looking top-notch in this trailer, which illuminates a little bit of the film’s plot. The movie will be released in May.

Comic Advice

Do you have questions about the world of indie comics? nebezial shares his tips and insights, as well as information about the work he’s currently doing.

Now’s Your Chance To Get
A Batman PS4

Sony has announced a limited edition Batman: Arkham Knight bundle edition, featuring a seriously cool looking PS4 with a Batman silhouette on it. Customers who purchase the bundle will also get exclusive access to some bonus downloadable content like bonus missions and custom skins for the Batmobile. Pre-order has already begun on this limited run, so you know, purchase now or forever hold your peace.

Anglo-Saxon Alchemists Vanquish Drug-Resistant Bacteria

So a microbiologist and an Anglo-Saxon scholar get to talking about ancient alchemical recipes. No, this isn’t the beginning of a supremely esoteric joke, it’s the story of how an ancient remedy for eyelash follicle infections was discovered to have some useful modern-day applications. After recreating the recipe, scientists examining it realized that it had self-sterilized — killing off the bacteria that were introduced by its own ingredients. Next, they tested it on some skin cells infected with the drug-resistant bacteria MRSA, which is known to plague hospitals around the world with very few viable treatments. The potion killed 90% of the bacteria in the sample. Researchers have yet to discover why exactly the old remedy seems to work, but if and when they do, it could be the foundation of new drugs that would be instrumental in treating patients infected with antibiotic-resistant MRSA. Yay science!

Catching Feels

This poem by miserabel will strike a familiar chord with anyone who’s ever wished they could turn their feelings off. It’s called “Wanted: Heart Transplant” and we can definitely relate.

Cards Against Humanity Scholarship

So the creators of Cards Against Humanity, a game that would best be described as Apples to Apples for perverts, are creating a scholarship fund for women looking to get a college education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. Women are hugely underrepresented in these fields at both the academic and professional level, which is why the creators of Cards Against Humanity have decided to do something about it. The scholarship will be funded by sales of a limited-edition “Science Pack” version of the game, which is on sale now. Potential scholarship applicants should sign up to get more information here.

Video Journal

Omar-Dogan has posted a video journal that covers the tools he uses, how to paint backgrounds, how he got into @udoncomics and more!

by Google Maps

Google Maps Pac-Man

Go to Google Maps and start playing Pac-Man on any street, anywhere in the world using their special Pac Man feature (which is an early April Fool’s celebration, we think). This is so much fun. So much for getting anything else done today.

Artistic Upkeep

Taking care of your artistic tools — pens, brushes, pencils — is important! This great tutorial from projecteducate will teach you how to makeover your pencils so you get the lines you want when sketching.

Van Gogh Even More Of A Genius Than Previously Realized

This video from TED Ed — from the same group that brings you TED talks — demonstrates the unexpected princples of math and physics that exist in Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”

Outkast: ATLiens
by DL Warfield & Frank Gomez

Forum Feature

Basement-Aviator wants to know what your favorite album cover art is. Share your pick here.

Earth Getting Greener

There’s a glimmer of good news where the future of our planet is concerned. Satellite data shows that the amount of vegetation growing on earth has increased over the past decade or so. It’s nice to hear this because plants absorb carbon-dioxide, the levels of which are steadily increasing in our atmosphere, trapping in warmth. This news comes as something of a consolation prize, though, and global warming is as imminent a threat as ever. So while more trees and plants aren’t going to solve our climate crisis, they certainly isn’t going to hurt anything!

Birthday Patrol

As March draws to a close, say a heartfelt happy birthday to DynamiteHearts!

‘Mulan’ To Become Live-Action Movie

Disney, after discovering with Cinderella — which has grossed $149.6 million so far so far — that it can successfully recycle content by taking beloved animated fairy tales and turning them into live action films, has announced a live-action Mulan film. Of course there’s been a Beauty and the Beast live-action film in the works for months now, but you can expect to see Disney repeat this formula with at least one or two more properties (The Lion King, we hope).

Write Poems

NaPoWriMo begins on April 1st! If you're unfamiliar, NaPoWriMo is when you challenge yourself to write 30 poems in 30 days. IrrevocableFate has posted some information, resources and tips to help you get poetic.

McDonalds To Test All-Day Breakfast, Possibly Causing A Rift In Space-Time

Starting in April, McDonalds is going to test out serving all-day breakfast at certain locations, in order to determine logistical obstacles and profitability. So if a location near you begins selling breakfast all day, please don’t ruin it for the rest of us — go and buy all the Egg McMuffins you can afford.

Introduce Yourself

Hidden-Winter wants to introduce you to this beautiful and amazing person.

Custom Electric Motorcycle
by Andrews Collection

You Can’t Resist This ‘Tron’ Light Cycle

Yes, it costs $25,000, but can you really put a pricetag on being the coolest person you’ve ever met?

Digital Aesthetics

Digitalism is a feature of remarkable Digital Art collected by the group at Digitalists. The latest edition was just released — take a look and see what you think.

Adam West To Become Batman, Again

If you think broody Batman is overrated and campy Batman is your favorite Batman, we’ve got some good news. Adam West and Burt Ward confirmed yesterday that they will reprise their former roles as Batman and Robin (respectively) in an animated feature that we hope is full of shenanigans quotable quips. The film will be released next year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the seminal original TV series. If you are wondering why we’re so giddy over the return of Adam West as Batman, look no further.

Easter Pixel Challenge

Have you seen the Pixel Challenge for this week? The theme is Easter. Learn about the rules and how to get involved right here.

Forum Feature

Operia is challenging you to "choose your own adventure." You can play in the forums, if you’re feeling adventurous.

‘Doctor Who’ Alum To Continue Traveling Through Time On Different Show

Arthur Darvill, who was on Doctor Who as a companion of The 11th Doctor (Matt Smith), will be joining the cast of the upcoming Arrow/The Flash crossover series as Rip Hunter, a time-traveling hero. This might be the first time in TV history an actor has been typecast for his ability to move through time, and we’re very curious whether Darvill is a method actor or not.

‘Twin Peaks’ Book

In case you haven’t heard, the weirdest thing on TV in the 90s, Twin Peaks, is coming back to TV in 2016. In the meantime, the co-creator of the series Mark Frost is releasing a novel that details the events that have transpired in the town of Twin Peaks in the years between when the show was last on television and the present. Let’s just hope that this little mountain hamlet hasn’t gone-a-changin’ on us too much.

Project Porkchop Artist To Watch

filbarlow is an Australian animator who makes some wild-looking creatures, among other things. Take a look at his gallery. You can find more artists featured by Project Porkchop here.

by Jay-Z

Jay-Z Launches Music Streaming Service

Rap artist and music industry mogul Jay-Z has, alongside some other notable musicians like Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Daft Punk, and Jack White, relaunched an online music streaming service called “TIDAL.” The service’s defining feature is, if you feel like you can afford to shell out $20 a month, high-definition (lossless) streaming. If you’re really, really in to sound quality, this is definitely an appealing feature, and something you can’t get from other online streaming services. They are also offering a $10 regular streaming subscription, the price point of which is comparable to Spotify Premium. Otherwise, TIDAL will have high-definition video streaming, and is artist-owned. Presumably, that last part is a nod to the frustrations many artists have voices over Spotify’s low payment rates for the artists whose music it hosts. You can learn more about the service here.

Birthday Patrol

Look who’s celebrating a tandem birthday — none other than endosage and E-V-IL!

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Arkham Update

The release date for Batman Arkham Knight has been delayed until June 23, and every moment in the mean time is slow, silent, torture. While we wait though, a gameplay video has been released. And if that isn’t enough to tide you over, check out this video that explores Batman’s evolution on the silver screen.


It's been 30 years since Back to the Future first hit theatres and this evolution of Marty McFly brings back some great memories

Blomkamp Joins Leviathan

Neil Blomkamp, the director of District 9 and Chappie, has signed on as executive producer to the space whale adventure we told you about last week. In addition, X-Men writer and producer Simon Kinberg is also on board as a writer. In other words, oh my goodness when is this movie coming out already.

Color For All

Valspar, the paint company, is working with lens developer EnChroma to create a special lens that allows people with colorblindness to see shades of color they could not previously perceive. Watch this video to learn more about the project, but be warned, you’re gonna feel some feels.

Send Healthy Thoughts

markiplier had to have emergency surgery last night, but fortunately everything looks good! We wish him a speedy recovery.

Costa Rica: 75 Days of Clean Power

The Central American nation of Costa Rica has cleared a hurdle on their path to becoming a carbon-neutral nation by 2021: powering the country with clean energy for 75 days in a row. Costa Rica uses a mixture of hydroelectric and geothermal power sources, among others, to provide itself with energy without the need for fossil fuels.

Back A Project

Hey everyone, JessicaMDouglas has successfully funded her Kickstarter project, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to support her. You can make a pledge now and get a special print reward!

Going Clear

HBO is releasing a documentary about Scientology, the ambiguous and always-interesting religion of choice of celebrities like Tom Cruise and John Travolta. So far the film is getting very positive reviews, and we are intrigued by its cryptic, slightly terrifying trailer.

Forum Feature

Does your online persona differ from how you are in real life? LilPhantomHorse has sparked a conversation here.

Fly Geyser

A failed attempt to dig a well has created something really spectacular. The Fly Geyser in Nevada is a gorgeous formation in Nevada with vibrant colors and huge spigots of hot water that periodically erupt from its top.

Math Meets Art

projecteducate will be exploring the beauty and complexities of Fractal Art. Learn more about this artform born out of math! View the intro and schedule here.

Birthday Patrol

Today is Berneri’s birthday! Let’s fill it with well-wishes!

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One of the most unique holiday films ever made was originally inspired by the juxtaposition of Halloween and Christmas holiday decorations

that iconoclastic director Tim Burton saw in a store window. The Nightmare Before Christmas was first conceived in the form of a poem rather than a screenplay, composed by Burton in 1982 while he was working as an animator for Disney.

The story centers around Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who stumbles upon Christmas and decides it looks like a lot more fun than what has become his tedious task of leading Halloween festivities every year. What he finds out is that taking over someone else’s holiday, without truly understanding it, much like anything else, is a recipe for disaster.

Disney at first considered the story “too weird” and “too dark for kids,” keeping it shelved until Burton finally said ‘You guys don’t really want to do this, let me take it elsewhere.’ Not wanting to risk the project being successful elsewhere, Disney finally gave the green light.

Taking 3 years to complete with one minute of film needing roughly a week to shoot, The Nightmare Before Christmas made its debut in 1993.

Disney’s decision to release the “too scary for kids” movie under their adult “Touchstone” banner crippled the film’s debut, but the DVD release in 1997 turned the film into a cult hit.  It has since been re-released several times theatrically, including in 3D, and is now considered a “Disney classic.”

The long struggle for Tim Burton’s twisted fable with a heart of gold to be born, and then be given a chance at survival, proves that there is a space in Hollywood for truly visionary artists, but only space enough for the most dedicated and most doggedly determined to survive.

The darkly baroque look of the film was highly influenced by the art of Ronald Searle and Edward Gorey, as can clearly be seen in the set designs which were heavily modeled to look like the artists’ ink illustrations.

Long before “Nightmare” became a holiday classic, Jack was making secret cameos in films.

Jack first appears in the movie Beetlejuice on the top of the carnival hat that Beetlejuice wears, look closely at the Mad Hatter’s tie in Alice in Wonderland and you’ll spot him. He's as an egg yolk in Coraline and a pirate in James and the Giant Peach.

The Nightmare Before Christmas is now a holiday classic that is a Halloween movie as much as it is a Christmas movie, which means doubling your opportunity to find someone to snuggle with by the fireplace, popcorn bowl at the ready, in preparation for perusal of a “Nightmarish” gallery of frighteningly festive fan art. Enjoy!

Role Models: Then and Now

Fri Dec 26, 2014, 12:00 AM
Img-05 by techgnotic

There was a time when childhood heroes were real life human beings people dreamed of emulating when they “grew up.” There were sports heroes, famous astronauts, war heroes, political figures, the leaders of social and humanitarian causes, etc..

Then came “Star Trek” which is thought to be a prime mover behind student interest in scientific, especially space, exploration.  Here the role models were Captain Kirk and First Science Officer Spock – fictional characters entirely, with no connection to our living breathing actual astronauts and scientists.

This trend in fictional TV and movie heroes serving as our youth’s role models, completely displacing actual living heroes, has become a near absolute. Even boxing as a career is now driven more by emulation of Rocky Balboa than by Muhammad Ali.

In 1981 a bullwhip-brandishing archaeologist named Indiana Jones became a new hero and role model on our movie screens. While Archaeology Departments in our nation’s universities appreciated the sudden surge in students declaring archaeology as their major, Indiana Jones is not the role model that legitimate archaeologists want student wannabes seeking to emulate. The Indy Jones character is the worst sort of historical faux-archeologist – really just a looter of indigenous people’s cultural heritage who does more to vandalize and wreck our understanding of the ancient world rather than carefully and respectfully decoding it.

“Iron Man” (2008) and his alter ego Tony Stark, played by the irrepressible Robert Downey, Jr. in the movie, is the latest questionable role model hero, driving interest in young people to become maverick entrepreneurial inventors and engineers.  As played by Downey, Tony Stark uses his immense wealth, political connections and pop star fame to skirt the laws regulating his rogue operations.  Hopefully the “Iron Man” movies will inspire the world’s youth to emulate Sir Richard Branson or Steve Jobs in translating their entrepreneurial expertise into the creation of innovative inventions bettering life on our planet.  The worry is that the Tony Stark character could just as easily serve as a role model for “Franken-food” production and fracking and tar-sands pumping and all sorts of other planet-killing albeit profitable “innovations.”

“Avatar” (2009) is probably the best “role model” movie in recent years.  Not only is it anti-militaristic (in the sense of the military not being a defensive home force, but an invasion force against weaker nations), but its scientists – mostly cultural archaeologists and botanists – are respectful of indigenous peoples’ culture and genuinely seeking knowledge rather than artifacts to loot to fill museums.  The scientists as portrayed in “Avatar” (i.e., ethical and caring human beings) are the best sort of role model cultural and natural world explorers – the ones who leave their bullwhips at home.

Your Thoughts

  1. Are your personal role models at present more likely to be actual human beings or fictional characters?
  2. Which living human being has been your most important role model and why?
  3. Which fictional character has served you as an important role model and why?
  4. When a lifelong beloved role model suddenly disappoints in a spectacular fashion, how devastating is the experience to your emotional/mental health?  Is this why some people prefer fictional role models who never disappoint?
  5. Has anyone ever told you that you are his or her role model?

Collection: Each Chapter's End

Thu Dec 25, 2014, 10:19 PM
52-img-00 by techgnotic

Context is everything. The same photographs and paintings of airport terminals and train compartments and subway platforms that seem so cold and forbidding in contemplation of one’s traveling out into the world, somehow become reassuring in their hard functionality and durability – when thought of as the pathway to the journey back home. Faces of travelers photographed in airports often exhibit muted “Mona Lisa smiles,” masking the direction (to or away from home) that they are headed.

Art Weapon For The People

Fri Dec 19, 2014, 6:33 PM
Phone by techgnotic

As you explore the possibilities just opened up to you by the DeviantArt Mobile App, you should all be asking more than just “how can this app entertain me,” but instead, how can this tool and the network of arts enthusiasts, fandoms, and creators that it represents, help me do my part to inspire and change the world?

You are now connected, we are now all connected, with DeviantArt wherever you are and whenever you want. Art is still humanity’s most powerful, magical and non-suppressible agent of change. Don’t believe the hype. You can make a difference. The arts, all of the arts, are one of the only means we have left to really do that.

As advertised, the DeviantArt Mobile App does indeed place the “world’s largest art gallery” in your hand. But the DeviantArt Mobile App is so much more than just a daily respite, a visit for a few minutes to an artistic oasis during a break time. It’s that of course, but let me be your witness to this app’s mind-blowing potentials.

sharing aid, comfort, advice, tutoring, critiques and friendship. Through status updates, comments and, very soon, person to person messaging, what we have now been given in this mobile app is the ability to support any artist on DeviantArt with encouragement as well as the ability to ask a question, talk commissions—or find teams of artists for special projects. For the last couple of months, I’m probably on DeviantArt 10X more since having access to the app everywhere and anywhere I happen to be. I must report to you that the experience of being a part of this community, well, it just got exponentially, cosmically... deeper. Just wait until you download this thing and spend your first day “together” with it.

The ability to be responsive to events in our world in a creative way has been increased a thousand-fold with the power of the mobile app. The potentials for the future being opened up through this mobile app for our deviant storytellers (writers and poets needing artists, artists needing writers) are absolutely mindboggling. The increased reach and immediacy is even more impactful for curators, bloggers, culture fiends, publishers, producers and anyone in need of a creative jump start at any time of day in any place.

When they were first implemented on the site I think the initial less than enthusiastic reaction of “What? Is this Facebook now and we post pictures of our food and the jacket we just bought?” was justified as a quick impression. Facebook is the defining point of reference online for a “Status Update.” But as soon as Status Updates launched on DeviantArt, this community started to change what they were. When I roll through Status Updates every morning on DA, what I find is a quick tip on drawing faces, an invitation to an Artgermination chatroom where you can improve your line art skills, a link to a new writer discovered just the night before, a wrap up to a community-sponsored challenge, a famous quotation paired with relevant pieces of artwork or a link to a newly curated collection that could change the way we think about art in any given category. This is a whole new way in to our ongoing conversation.

Being a part of this community for the better part of eight years, DeviantArt has always meant for me the creation, discussion and understanding of the world through a special art lens where, unlike anywhere else, there remains the ability to “speak” of our needs, concerns, hopes and dreams with great clarity and truth. The Arts have always been our great translator of truth beyond what mere words can express.

As the largest and most influential community of culture creators and culture responders in the world, we must cherish and make the best use of our grander visual and textual proposal as we artists and art appreciators continue on the ever-evolving arts journey we have chosen and that connects all our lives.

  1. Do you consider yourself to have an “art lens” and can you make art out of anything that flies by in a day: a passing car, a tragic event unfolding in front of you, a simple gesture of thanks or love between people or animals?
  2. Living in public with a declaration of being an artist has just become easier. You now have the weapon. What statements will you hope to make?
  3. Are there places you go to just sit and browse art for inspiration? Do like quiet places or ones filled with people?
  4. Photographs can be art and art can be photographed. What art have you captured and shared on mobile and why? Give us link in the comments below.

Animals Within, Spirit Animals

Wed Dec 17, 2014, 5:34 PM
71-img-00 by techgnotic

There has always been this obsession with the others we share this planet with.

We communicate with them on certain basic levels and yet they inhabit a plane so different from ours: savage, instinctive, a life of sheer survival. At the same time they can do things beyond human abilities: fly through the skies, swim the oceans, apply the physical strength of a dozen strong men. They survive and thrive where we would perish. Yet animals cannot tell tales of their experiences. When we speak of an animal, even our beloved pets and friends, we can only imagine their emotions, thoughts, and inner lives.

Is it then any surprise that from cave paintings to cereal mascots—animals and art are inseparable?

From the beginning of recorded time, animals have been immortalized in pottery, statues, been worshipped as gods, and had fables and myths created in their image. Seventeen thousand years ago, in a cave shielded from the sun, a Cro–Magnon artist raised her bundle of split reeds, dipped them into charred black soot, and began illustrating an opus of animal life: stags, cats, bears, birds. Five thousand years ago, Egyptians integrated animal features into creation myths, and used them as hieroglyphs, adapting the recognizable forms of vultures, bulls, cobras and lions (among others) into a communication system.

Today, in every culture across the globe, animals serve as mascots for sports teams and cereals. We have Tony the Tiger and Toucan Sam. Anthropomorphized animals star in movies and comics. My Little Pony has amassed groups of Bronies. Animal cosplay is mainstreaming into mass culture. It all still begins with a child given that first crayon who immediately begins to sketch the familiar forms of cat and dog.

Animals are intrinsic to creativity and art—but why are they so satisfying to observe, mimic, and draw? What is the power they maintain over us to the extent that so many feel an actual spiritual connection with a particular species of their own extended family—cats, dogs, wolves, dolphins, raptors? While so many feel this connection, artists seem particularly sensitive to the presence of their animal spirit kindred and guides.

Why are artists so drawn to animals?

Visually, animals are beautiful and compelling subjects.

Animals are an efficient subject. Identifying characteristics can be drawn and recognized easily— cat eyes, elephant tails, butterfly wings, bunny ears: all unique visual traits. Powerful physical capabilities lend themselves to artistic expressions of motion. The long fluid moves of a deer, expressively captured with a few expert lines. Quick brushstrokes sketch a hyperactive monkey. Heavy pen lines suggest the static power of a stoic elephant. Physical similarities help artists develop a quick visual shorthand for a specific species—but unlike humans, animals that look alike often behave similarly. While anyone who’s ever lived with a pet knows animals have individual personalities, it’s not over–simplifying to state that each type of animal has its own range of specific behaviors and attitudes. It’s this species–by–species predictability that draw individuals to become fond of a particular animal. Just as an artist may prefer certain subjects or materials, so do artists become fascinated with the idiosyncrasies of a species.

Emotionally, animals express primal urges and desires.

Animal personalities are predictable. Tigers are fierce, squirrels are nervous, sharks are stealthy, hippos are lazy. Compared to the complexity of human behavior, animals are simpler beings. They behave according to instinct, not reason. As such, they serve artists well as ciphers for emotion. It’s not just art that allows us to connect spiritually with animals. It’s easy to observe, in ourselves and others, subconscious similarities between personal behaviors and the characteristics of a favorite animal. We’ll call a clever person a fox, or a stubborn child a donkey. A sweet guy is a puppy dog. A sexy lady is a minx. An angry, stubborn man is a bull. Animals serve as elements of our visual and written language.

Humans explore our own instincts through animal art.

Using animals in art, we recognize the most beautiful and terrifying parts of ourselves—our instincts. Society and language are important for humans, but when we feel urges or emotions beyond what is widely accepted or understood, both of these creations fail us.

When we talk about “spirit animals,” it can be in a magical sense, the idea that an essence we can’t see is guiding us through our lives. Or it can be an affinity for a species we find our instincts connecting with. Perhaps we have a fondness for the way they move, finding them fun to draw. Maybe we can imagine the world through their eyes, running, flying or swimming at top speed. But perhaps we see something more than the animal. We see ourselves.

Animals provide a bridge between the alien and familiar, allowing humans to recognize ourselves in strange forms. We can represent our fears and our desires expressed without reserve. Through animal eyes, we can acknowledge the oddness and the fallibility of humanity. Featuring animals in art, we can interpret many spiritual aspects: the primal and the innocent, the beautiful and mysterious. As long as we share a planet, artists will look to our Earth companions for inspiration and understanding of ourselves.

Community Thoughts

I personally have been drawn to animals my whole life and my earliest pictures were always of wildlife. I think artists see the world through different eyes than most and the things that fascinate us speak to us on a deeper level. Animals are an enigma, they have intelligence and their own means of communication and yet we can only hope to understand and be a part of their world. If you've seen my gallery you know I clearly have a fondness for big cats, I find everything about them to be beautiful and awe inspiring. My art is a way for me to get close to these animals in the only way possible, I’ll never be a zoo keeper (because I know myself and I wouldn’t be able to respect the boundaries they do and I’d get eaten—that’s a fact) and I’ll never own one because it goes against everything in their nature to held in captivity as a pet. It can be a very intimate experience to draw an animal in detail and it makes me feel close to them and privileged to show a side of them that others may not see. Any great animal art in my opinion has to come from a deep love and respect for the subject first and foremost by the artist, and what follows is their tribute.”

:iconheatherzart: Heatherzart

I think people gravitate toward depicting animals in art because they are simply aesthetically stunning to look at. Humans are very visual beings and we have always enjoyed striking colors, beautiful patterns, flowing lines and powerful forms. All animals have something which can be appreciated. Like for example dramatic plumage, or the intricate silver and black patchwork that is the coat of a snow leopard. To capture that on canvas is something many artists find alluring.”

:iconailah: ailah

Your Thoughts

  1. What animal do you find yourself drawn to in your art? What about this subject is so ennobling that you would seek to emulate?
  2. What personal qualities do you possess that drive you to feel a shared connection with a particular animal?
  3. Do you have vivid dreams in which you become, or run with, your “spirit animal”?
  4. Over time, how has your understanding of this animal evolved? Has your perception of the creature changed?
  5. What are some challenges you’ve experienced in terms of drawing animals, and how have you solved them?
  6. How does drawing an animal compare to drawing a human?
  7. Who are your favorite animal-focused artists in the DeviantArt community?

Paul Tobin's Scavenger Hunt Part 2

Wed Dec 17, 2014, 5:33 PM
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Avatar & Narnia: Inspirational Tutorials

Masterful Resources on DeviantArt


PaulTobin is a conceptual designer, illustrator and graphic designer who has worked at Weta Workshop of New Zealand since 2003.

He has worked on films such as Andrew Adamson’s The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, Peter Jackson’s King Kong and James Cameron’s Avatar and most recently The Hobbit.

A master illustrator who has had gallery showings of his own original fantasy and sci–fi art, he has become a spokesman and advocate for other New Zealand fantasy and sci–fi artists. White Cloud Worlds was the 2010 “coffee table” anthology edited by Paul featuring the works of 27 of his amazing fellow NZ fantasy artists.

Paul has recently been the subject of a series of DeviantArt tutorial videos in which he outlines his work as a conceptual designer in film production and describes his methods at Weta Workshop for developing the best original concepts for the prehistoric or alien inhabitants of other worlds of the artist’s imagination. These tutorials should prove an invaluable resource for deviants interested in pursuing careers as studio graphic designers and illustrators in fantasy films.

Read the full interview

Paul Tobin There and Back Again

White Cloud Worlds Volumes 1 & 2

With forewords and introductions from Guillermo Del Toro, Richard Taylor, Iain Craig and Wayne Barlow, these two lavish volumes represent the finest fantasy artwork from New Zealand.

Paul Tobin has graciously given us 20 copies of his books for a DeviantArt competition.

What you need to do

All you need to do for a chance to grab one of his books is to post in the comments below a link to a piece of art from the community that you think might inspire Paul for his own personal upcoming project about the lost city of Atlantis. Paul will then select 10 of the pieces and the deviant posting the piece will get a copy of one of the books as well as the deviant who produced the piece.

Paul will select his favorites on December 31st and we’ll post a wrap–up shortly after.

View the rest here

Paul Tobin's Scavenger Hunt Series

Leave your selections for Paul in the comments below

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Spots fascinate the human mind. It’s as if we’re born “knowing” on some molecular level that we’re not really “solid” but an electronically glued together quivering system of particles. Aristotle surmised as much by simply walking on the beach and lifting up a handful of that solid beach, only to have the countless grains of sand flow through his fingers.

Spots arranged in patterns represent order—and order creates life. Spots and circles are arranged by the artist or craftsman. The eye is fascinated. The mind is pleased.

Img-01 by techgnotic

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

—Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

The opening line of Jane Austen’s most popular novel, Pride and Prejudice (1813), readily reflects the established view of the early 19th century English gentry and the main theme of every single one of her stories—the pursuit of marriage and through it salvation from spinsterhood and dire financial straits. This was the reality of Austen’s world where being a woman meant having limited options in life.  A respectable middle or upper class lady would never have the option of working and had no means of supporting herself outside of the economic institution of marriage.

Without thinking highly either of men or of matrimony, marriage had always been her object; it was the only honourable provision for well-educated young women of small fortune, and however uncertain of giving happiness, must be their pleasantest preservative from want.”

—Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

Austen was born on Dec. 16, 1775 in Steventon, England into a large family of eight children.  She was the youngest girl.  Alongside her sister Cassandra, she was educated at home by her parents, growing with and immersing herself in her father’s library, as well as enjoying comedic plays staged by family and friends. At a time when being a “lady” meant almost universal disapproval of her pursuing a career as a professional writer, Austen was fully encouraged and supported by her family to continue her course towards becoming a published novelist.

A woman, especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.”

—Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen

By the age of 23 Austen had already written the first manuscripts for Elinor and Marianne (later to become Sense and Sensibility), First Impressions (now Pride and Prejudice), and Susan (eventually Northanger Abbey) with her father trying but failing to get her initial works published. It was ultimately her brother Henry Austen who successfully secured publication of Sense and Sensibility in 1811.  The novel’s emergence and popularity within the fashionable circles of society ensured the future publication of Austen’s work.

Her novels seem to draw from events and situations in her own life.  Holding “the mirror up to nature,” Austen used her comedies to reflect the truth in society as she had experienced it. Similar to the theater, society required every lady to play a certain role, one which unfortunately had been assigned to her since the moment of birth. By staying within established social theatrics in her novels, Austen gained the freedom to innocently introduce ladies who rebelled against convention, were confident, spirited, determined, and proved equal in intellect to any man. Her leading ladies raised no objections from readers because to everyone’s satisfaction and approval all the “loose ends” were tied up with her protagonists ending the show properly attired in wedding gowns on their way towards living happily ever after.

I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.”

—Persuasion, Jane Austen

Over 200 years ago the world read Austen’s first published novel, though no one outside her family (and eventually members of the aristocracy) knew she was the author, as the byline read “By a Lady.”  It was not uncommon at the time for female authors to go by other names or, as in this case, even uncredited. Austen’s books continued to be well-received and her earnings provided her some financial freedom, though never sufficient to enjoying a comfortable lifestyle independent of her brother’s support. It was only after her death in 1817 that her brother Henry finally revealed the author’s true identity in the preface to Austen’s final published novel, Persuasion.

Today Austen is one of the most read authors in English literature

Her novels, and even her life story, have been adapted for film (Clueless; Becoming Jane), for television (BBC’s 1995 Pride and Prejudice; Lost in Austen) and most recently re-imagined through today’s technology (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries; Emma Approved), with each production recreating Austen for her current day audience. Even zombies have made their way to Pemberley (in the mash-up parody, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies). From gracing the Bank of England’s £10 note to her latest honor of having Dec. 16 declared worldwide Jane Austen Day by The Jane Austen Centre in Bath, the beloved novelist’s popularity only seems to grow with each generation. Legions of devoted fans, some called Janeites and others Austenites, continue to demand all things Austen, finding in her strong female characters the early echoes of today’s cries for gender equality. It seems the times have finally caught up with Jane Austen, a writer whose words were generations ahead of their time, but always speaking to her readers, especially women, as promises of a more egalitarian society to come.

It is only a novel ... or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language.”

—Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen

Your Thoughts

  1. When reading an Austen novel (or watching a faithfully-adapted movie version) are you surprised by how contemporary the situations and heartaches her characters faced two centuries ago seem, compared with our own?
  2. Does it anger or depress you that the life decision conundrums faced by Jane Austen’s female characters 200 years ago are so much unchanged for so many women living today?
  3. Have you ever felt you had become a Jane Austen character in your own life?
  4. Which authors today are exploring the same subjects in women’s lives (e.g., marriage vs. career; financial expediency vs. romance) on a similar level of acuity, nuance and wit as Jane Austen?

Cosplay Friday: Harry Potter

Fri Dec 12, 2014, 2:42 PM
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Nothing says happy holidays like the magic of Harry Potter!

Witches, wizards, and muggles alike grab your wands and get ready for the Sorting ceremony! We’re heading to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where deviants have mixed up batches of Polyjuice Potion to transform into their favorite characters from the beloved Harry Potter series.

Whether you’re a student from Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw or a follower of ‘He Who Shall Not Be Named,’ these crafty cosplayers are sure to cast a spell on you.

Expecto Patronum!