DeviantArt (deviantART from 2001 to 2014) is a Web site featuring art from registered users. Art types include full-fledged paintings, sketches, digital art, photography, sculptures, writing, fan art, comics, 3D CGI art, and more; there are extensive downloadable resources such as tutorials, stock photography, and CGI digital models. "Fella", a small, robotic, cat character, was the official DeviantArt mascot until 2014.
Unusually, this site had a Headscratchers page before it had a regular page.
DeviantArt was originally launched in August 2000 by Angelo Sotira, Scott Jarkoff, and Matt Stephens 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 8 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 CEO of DeviantART, Inc.
DeviantArt has a reputation for deleting artwork that they find to be risqué or outright pornographic, a great Irony considering the site's name (and the fact that a good-sized portion of the artwork that doesn't get deleted is still pretty risqué) and the "Artistic Nude" category. Not too unrelatedly, it also has a reputation for being populated by furries, oversized egos, and bad fanart. There's even a game about making a search with only two words and trying not to find catgirls, Sonic the Hedgehog or furries. All in good fun of course.
DeviantArt also has a reputation for how many people think there should be a "Quality Control", however, because "Quality" is extremely subjective, a lot of people's "Quality Control" wouldn't be to remove poorly drawn work from the site, but to remove entire genres of art that the people don't like from the site in general. It's also known for blocking criticism from some art, meaning you can be banned for criticising the art. However, this was also put in place due to the amount of people who didn't seem to realize that constructive criticism has to be constructive and were flat-out insulting the artists personally or mocking the work. Even so, it extended to people who don't want to hear criticism at all, constructive or no, but you do hear people who want critique on the site and specifically request it.
It also has a decent selection of free 3D CGI resources, many made by professional resource creators who are effectively giving away "free samples" or working for fun on properties that they cannot possibly get licenses for.
Other communities that offer a similar focus include:
- Pixiv, which is essentially a Japanese counterpart of DeviantArt and tends to have less censorship regarding suggestive themes and is limited to just drawings, 3D CGI (and free resources), and literature, so sorry, photography fans.
- ConceptArt.org is for people who actually make a living drawing all day and will eat you alive if you're not prepared to take criticism (the real kind).
- Elfwood is an older fantasy art gallery that DeviantArt may have been later inspired by, and had its own share of backdoors drama in its heyday.
- Cghub.org is a site purely for professional artists, but you sacrifice effective censorship of suggestive pictures in exchange for a massive amount of truly talented work.
Now has a recommendation page.