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DeviantArt, Inc.
Web address

DeviantArt: Art is Application. (2000-2014)

DeviantArt: The world's largest online art gallery and community! (2014)
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Art display/Social networking service
Registration Optional
Available in English
Created by Scott Jarkoff, Matt Stephens and others
Launched August 7, 2000
Alexa rank negative increase 140 (April 2014)[1]
Current status Active

DeviantArt, Inc is an online community showcasing various forms of user-made artwork, 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.[2]

DeviantArt aims to provide a platform for any artist to exhibit and discuss works. 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.[3]

As of March 2013, the site consists of over 25 million members, and over 246 million submissions,[4] and receives around 140,000 submissions per day. In addition, DeviantArt users submit over 1.4 million "favorites" and 1.5 million comments daily.[5] The domain attracted at least 36 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a study.[6] As of July 2011, it is the 13th largest social network with 3.8 million weekly visits.[7]


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”.[8] 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,[9] but was officially incorporated in 2001 about eight months after launch.[10]

DeviantArt was loosely inspired by projects like 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.[10][11][12]

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.[13] 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.[14] In 2007, DeviantArt received $3.5 million in Series A (first round) funding from undisclosed investors,[15] and in 2013 it received $10 million in Series B funding.[16]

The DeviantArt logo used from 2010 until December 2014. It was formerly stylized as deviantART since 2004 prior to this day.

On December 4, 2014, the site unveiled a new logo, and announced the release of an official mobile app on both iOS and Android[17] for December 10, 2014.[18]


The site has over 265 million images which have been uploaded by its over 28 million members.[19] As of July 2011, DeviantArt was the largest internet art platform.[20] Members of DeviantArt may leave comments and critiques on individual deviation pages,[21][22] allowing the site to be called “a [free] peer evaluation application”.[23] Along with textual critique, DeviantArt now offers the option to leave a small picture as a comment.[24] This can be achieved using an option of DeviantArt Muro, which is a browser-based drawing tool that DeviantArt has developed and hosts.[25] It is simple, with eight free brushes available for anyone’s use, although only members of DeviantArt can save their work as deviations.[25] 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.[25] 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. [26]

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.).[27] 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.[28]

Individual members can also organize their own deviations into folders, allowing further organization on their personal pages.[23] These personal member pages, or profiles, show a member’s personally uploaded deviations and journal postings.[29] 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.[30] 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.[31] 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.[30] 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.[30]

In order to communicate on a more private level, “Notes” can be sent between individual members, similar to an email within the site.[30] 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.[32]


DeviantArt has been revising the site in versions, releasing multiple features at once. Third, fourth and fifth versions were released on the date of site's birthday, August 7.

Version Release Changes
1 August 7, 2000 Site goes public as part of Dmusic Network.
2 February 5, 2002 In version 2, browsing was made easier.[33]
3 August 7, 2003[34]
4 August 7, 2004 In version 4, the chat client called dAmn was added to the site.[35]
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. 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.[36]
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.[37]
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 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.[24]

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 ( 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 Just about every network out there now
Tools for commenting in pictures rather than words 2010 Tegaki, 2008

Live events

The Hollywood Palladium while hosting the first deviantArt Summit
World Tour meet in Toronto in 2007

DeviantArt Summit

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.[38][39]


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. [40] There was also a celebration that year in the House of Blues in Hollywood, California. [41]

Company interest from elsewhere

Due to the nature of DeviantArt as an art community with global 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.[42] Winners received cash and item prizes, and were featured in a gallery at Dodge-Chrysler headquarters.[43] 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.[44] 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.[45] 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.[46][47] A similar contest was held for Dark Shadows. Winners received cash and other prizes.[48][49] 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.[50]

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.[51] Some members of the community have also been the victims of copyright infringement from vendors using artwork illegally on products and prints.[52]


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  4. ^ "DeviantArt – Job Board". 
  5. ^ "DeviantArt 10th Birthday Bash at House of Blues – Angelo Sotira's Closing Speech PT 2". 
  6. ^ "DeviantArt attracts almost 40m visitors online yearly". Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  7. ^ Matt Rosoff (2011-07-27). "These 19 Social Networks Are Bigger Than Google+". Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  8. ^ Perkel, Daniel. "Making Art, Creating Infrastructure: DeviantArt and the Production of the Web". Berkeley CA. Retrieved September 28, 2012. p.29
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  19. ^ "". Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  20. ^ Salah, Alkim; Bart Buter, Nick Dijkshoorn, Davide Modolo, Quang Nguyen, Sander van Noort, Bart van de Poel, AlbertAli Salah (July 2011). "Explorative Visualization and Analysis of a Social Network for the Arts: The Case of DeviantArt". Journal of Convergence 2 (1): 1–9. Retrieved September 24, 2012. p.1
  21. ^ Mccreight, Brian M.. "A Comparison of Peer Evaluation: The Evaluation App versus DeviantArt". Purdue University. Retrieved September 28, 2012. p.32
  22. ^ Perkel, Daniel. "Making Art, Creating Infrastructure: DeviantArt and the Production of the Web". Berkeley CA. Retrieved September 28, 2012. p.33
  23. ^ a b Mccreight, Brian M.. "A Comparison of Peer Evaluation: The Evaluation App versus DeviantArt". Purdue University. Retrieved September 28, 2012. p.33
  24. ^ a b Wang, Jennifer (2-24-2011). "THE DEVIANT EXPERIENCE". Entrepreneur 39 (2): 22–28. ISSN 01633341. Retrieved November 24, 2012. p.27
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  26. ^ Reinstein, S.T. (2013). Trends in Postmoderish Art (& the Procurers thereof). New York: Penguin.  
  27. ^ Mccreight, Brian M.. "A Comparison of Peer Evaluation: The Evaluation App versus DeviantArt". Purdue University. Retrieved September 28, 2012. p.34
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  29. ^ Perkel, Daniel. "Making Art, Creating Infrastructure: deviantART and the Production of the Web". Berkeley CA. Retrieved September 28, 2012. p.31,34
  30. ^ a b c d Perkel, Daniel. "Making Art, Creating Infrastructure: DeviantArt and the Production of the Web". Berkeley CA. Retrieved September 28, 2012. p.34
  31. ^ Perkel, Daniel. "Making Art, Creating Infrastructure: DeviantArt and the Production of the Web". Berkeley CA. Retrieved September 28, 2012. p34
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  33. ^ "News: OMG OMG OMG". 2002-02-05. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  34. ^ "News: deviantArt Passes The Terrible Twos, Turns Three!". Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
  35. ^ "News: deviantART v4; Fournando be dAmned". Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  36. ^ Angelo Sotira. "Spyed's DeviantArt Journal: deviantART v5 Release Notes". Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
  37. ^ DeviantArt, Inc. "News: deviantArt Version 6". Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  38. ^ DeviantArt (2009-05-08). "deviantArt World Tour 2009". 
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  41. ^ "deviantART's 10th BirthdAy Bash! Party with us! by Heidi on deviantART". Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  42. ^ "Dodge Dart looks to score during NFL opener – Direct Marketing News". 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
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  44. ^ "Christos Lamprianidis: CoolClimate Art Contest Winner: What Motivated Me". 2010-10-07. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  45. ^ "Lexus IS Design Contest by Moonbeam13 on deviantART". 2013-07-12. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  46. ^ "Riddick 'Rule the Dark' Winners by Moonbeam13 on deviantART". 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  47. ^ "The Riddick 'Rule the Dark Fan Art Contest' by Moonbeam13 on deviantART". 2013-07-18. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  48. ^ "Dark Shadows: The Barnabas Portrait Project by Moonbeam13 on deviantART". 2012-04-09. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  49. ^ "The Barnabas Portrait Project Winners Announcement by Moonbeam13 on deviantART". 2012-05-11. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  50. ^ "Tomb Raider Reborn Contest by Ayame-Kenoshi on deviantART". 2013-02-01. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  51. ^ "FAQ #155: How do I report a submission which I think breaks the rules? on DeviantArt Help and FAQ". Retrieved 2008-01-08. 
  52. ^ "Art Theft Scandals Rock deviantArt". Retrieved 2007-05-29. 

External links

  • Official website
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