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Deviant Spotlight: Meet The Artists

Mon Dec 5, 2016, 6:59 PM
Og-spotlight by marioluevanosDeviantArt and Laika Studios have come together to bring you the new Kubo and the Two Strings Story Within Contest! Create an illustration showing Kubo overcoming a difficult obstacle inspired by the movie trailer or your own personal experience for a chance to win a selection of collector Kubo items and cash prizes!

Meet The Artists

Learn more about the techniques and thought processes that went into creating these beautiful and inspirational scenes for the Kubo and the Two Strings Story Within Contest!

Tell us about your piece: What obstacle is Kubo overcoming, and how does the power of music and his friends and loved ones help him overcome that obstacle?

“Kubo is overcoming the obstacle of fear and embracing his heart for the sake of saving his village, family, and the world.”

How did you create your artwork?

“I created my piece with paper, watery acrylic and bleach.”

What was the thought process behind your artwork’s creative concept?

“My thought process was more on how much bleach I could use to create movement and contrast. I was trying to see how far I could take it before the piece could accidently become a big blurr cause to much bleach could ruin it. Everything else I was able to control well so the piece was able to come out to what i had hoped it would show.”

Tell us about your piece: What obstacle is Kubo overcoming, and how does the power of music and his friends and loved ones help him overcome that obstacle?

“I wanted to capture that feeling of being overwhelmed at the seemingly impossible journey ahead. I think it’s common to feel anxiety and doubt when there’s a looming responsibility, but I think surrounding yourself with positive influences helps keep you focused. For Kubo, he was given the task of stopping his grandfather all the while surviving against giant skeleton warriors, carnivorous sea monsters, and his crazy aunts but with the help of his family, he was able to overcome them.”

How long did it take you to create your piece?

“I’d hate to say it was kind of last minute, so I had about 6 hours the last night of the contest submissions. It was pretty fun experience though because a few friends and I all entered the contest so we hung out together while working on our pieces, and it’s awesome because most of us got in the top 25. Which kind of ties into my metaphor about having positive influences around you. I don’t think I would have had the same result if we weren’t in it together.”

How did the trailer for Kubo & The Two Strings inspire you to create your final submission?

“I wanted to keep the characters and symbolism from the movie while still trying to create an original composition. The movie is beautifully crafted, as to be expected from Laika films, so there was a lot to be inspired by.”

Tell us about your piece: What obstacle is Kubo overcoming, and how does the power of music and his friends and loved ones help him overcome that obstacle?

“The overall piece is about Kubo overcoming the hatred for his enemy, the Moon King. Throughout the course of the movie, we saw Kubo lose everything he loved to this man and his evil daughters, so the battle is justified with the kid’s hatred towards his god of a grandfather. In the end, though, even after losing his mother and everything he ever loved, he accepted his grandfather into his life when the god became mortal and weak, so defenseless. Rather than striking him down, Kubo’s maturity and humanity shone through in helping his grandfather find peace in this new body.

It is the love and humanity in Kubo’s heart that leads to such a fate for both he and his grandfather. Rather than slay the dragon, the knight heals it and peace is restored between foes. He doesn’t even defeat his grandfather with the sword nor armor, he uses his shamisen and the strings representing his loved ones.

Love is what saved him. It’s what saved them both.”

How long did it take you to create your piece?

“Longer than I expected, but mainly because I was working with vibrant colors I don’t usually dip into. A few days, perhaps 8 to 10 hours?”

How did you create your artwork?

“With patience, carefulness, and understanding — just kidding. I just sketched, prayed, looked up color references (a lot of festivals and city buildings at night actually helped with this), and every character / prop done on their own separate layers so they can be manipulated easier.

Most times I draw the linework along with a light sketch and place the colors and effects under it, just to save the final “over details” for last (which are usually the most fun parts).”

Tell us about your piece: What obstacle is Kubo overcoming, and how does the power of music and his friends and loved ones help him overcome that obstacle?

“The obstacle that he is overcoming is being there for others when things are scary and unknown. I chose to keep his instrument next to him as sometimes you gotta give up some things that you love to help others. Sometimes to help you gotta make your own sacrifices, even when things are getting uneasy and scary. At the top where Kubo comes from, the light is soft and more happy while the bottom is darker, more ominous and not sure what is lurking at the bottom. Its scary sometimes to help others, especially when you are risking your own happiness and safety. Though for those that we love, we would willingly go in head first smiling just to save them or keep them happy.”

What story are you aiming to tell with your final submission?

“No matter how scary and hard things get, keep pushing forward with a smile!”

How did the trailer for Kubo & The Two Strings inspire you to create your final submission?

“A lot of the scenes in the trailer had something difficult that Kubo had to overcome yet he always had a grin. Especially in one of the posters he had a grin, and I feel that the trailer showed a lot that he was a kid that would do anything to help the ones he cared about, and no matter what it was he would go in smiling.”

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DeviantArt Holiday Headquarters 2016!

Fri Nov 25, 2016, 12:01 AM
Find the perfect gift for the art enthusiast on your list – even if that's you! Holiday Headquarters features DeviantArt t-shirts, Core Membership sales, inspiring Art Prints, and hand-picked tools of the trade for artists. There’s something to delight everyone!

Welcome to Holiday Headquarters 2016

Find the perfect gift for the art enthusiast on your list – even if that's you! Holiday Headquarters features DeviantArt t-shirts, Core Membership sales, inspiring Art Prints, and hand-picked tools of the trade for artists. There’s something to delight everyone!

Check back regularly!

New deals and gift ideas will be added throughout the holiday season!

Calligraphy Pen Set
by GC QUill
Artist Tool
Where Art Starts T-Shirt
by DeviantArt
DeviantArt T-Shirt
Holiday Trouble!
Click to play!
Orange Girl T-Shirt
Artwork by DanielaUhlig 
DeviantArt T-Shirt
What Do You Wanna?
Print & Art Gifts
Creative Advent Calendar
by Ikue
Free Daily Resources
Photographer's Wristbands
by Scott McCloud
Gift Card


"I fell in love with Curiosity Stream during Christmas last year, and am still finding new and fascinating things to watch.  The Netflix of educational programming, this inexpensive streaming service is loaded with documentaries, lectures, performances, and more."
Nintendo 3DS
by Nintendo
Wacom Intuos Tablet
by Wacom


"I recommend a Wacom Intuos Tablet for transitioning to a tablet for any kind of digital work.  It works great as a starter-tablet and comes with different software (depending on your needs) based on the kind of digital work you're interested in."

"The Wacom Intuos Draw is great. It's perfect for people who are new to digital art or have never used a pen tablet before."

Film & Digital Camera Tree Ornaments
by Kurt Adler
Microsoft Surface Pro 4
by Microsoft


"I absolutely love my Surface Pro Tablet and having the ability to create digital art on the go.  A sketchbook and portable paints are great, but having all colors and tools at your fingertips wherever you are has been quite the boon!"
Making Comics
by Scott McCloud


"Scott McCloud's "Making Comics" is a book that has heavily influenced the way I think about illustration, and art in general.  It's aimed at comic book creators, but it's really a deep analytical breakdown of art, ideas, and narrative storytelling."
National Geographic Documentaries
by National Geographic


"I'm fascinated by nature and animals, and have watched watched the Nat Geo Channel and Animal Planet for my entire life.  The more someone watches animals and nature, the more familiar they'll become with animal anatomy, movement, and natural landscapes when making art."

Shipping Information

We guarantee Prints orders shipping within the United States will arrive by December 24th, 2016 if placed by the dates and shipping methods below.

If you are shipping internationally, we can’t guarantee specific arrival dates, but recommend using “Priority” and tracked methods to ensure the fastest possible delivery.

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December 21st

Holiday Card Project 2016!

Fri Nov 18, 2016, 6:08 PM

The DeviantArt #HolidayCardProject is back for its 10th year!  With the goal of bringing a bit of holiday cheer to patients in the hospital during the holiday season, the Holiday Card Project connects artists from around the world, applying their tremendous artistic abilities to designing and creating uplifting holiday cards.

In the past few years, this project has received more than 5,000 cards sent in by more than 2,000 deviants from 60 different countries/political regions. Cards are then divvied up and distributed by DeviantArt members to local Los Angeles hospitals, with additional cards given to various hospitals in the U.S. and abroad for DeviantArt volunteers and hospital staff members to hand out to patients.

The idea behind the Holiday Card Project is simple: do something nice for others. However, if you're looking for even more incentive, every deviant who sends in a card will be given a free one-month Core Membership to DeviantArt.

Read below to see how you can join in on the holiday cheer!

:holly: What is the DeviantArt Holiday Card Project?The purpose of the Holiday Card Project is to have deviants create physical holiday cards for people who are hospitalized during the holiday season, helping to bring a smile to the faces of those who may need some holiday cheer.

:holly: Who receives the cards?Cards will be distributed to both U.S. and international hospitals. Some cards will be delivered in-person by select deviants in the areas of the respective hospitals, while other cards will be distributed by hospital staff members. Patients who receive the cards range in age from children to seniors, and have illnesses or injuries that vary from mild to terminal.

:holly: What should I write in a card?Be as creative as you'd like, but remember, the degree of illness for patients will vary from mild to terminal, so it is important to be cheerful and stay positive. Some suggested greetings include, "Best wishes," "Thinking of you," or "Have a nice day." Stay away from phrases like "Get well soon" and "Hope you're feeling better," as it might not be appropriate for all patients. Be sure include a message of "Happy Holidays" as the cards will be distributed for the holidays!

Please refrain from using any religious quotes or references. 

:holly: Can I make a card myself?Of course! An 8.5" x 11" (21.59 cm x 27.94 cm) sheet of paper folded 2 ways to a total size of 4.25" x 5.5" (11.43 cm x 12.7 cm) works nicely. Though, there is no "set" size for cards. Use your best judgment. You can personally design and decorate cards by drawing, coloring, or painting. Construction paper, cardboard, markers, crayons, colored pencils, ribbon, etc., are all great to help make your card as special as possible.

:holly: Can I use cards purchased from a store?Absolutely. Store-bought cards are great, but be sure to add some artistic flair and pizzazz by drawing on the inside of the card or including a few doodles. Use color to brighten up the presentation; be creative!

:holly: How much is postage for sending a card?If you live in the U.S. and are sending an average-sized card, it will probably cost one first-class stamp ($0.47). If you live in a country other than the U.S., the best thing to do is to check with your local postal agency for rates.

:holly: Can I send more than one card?Please do. You can even put more than one card in the same envelope or package to save on postage. However, quality is better than quantity. Sending one quality card that you put time and effort into is better than sending two cards that were thrown together.

:holly: Can I share my cards on DeviantArt?That's part of the fun! The cards we receive are often so impressive that we want to share them with the world. When you're finished with your creation, upload a photo or scan of the card and submit it to DeviantArt using the #HolidayCardProject2016 tag. Sharing your inspirational artworks with others online also helps spread the word about the Holiday Card Project, which leads to more cards being created and shared!

:holly: Will patients know who made their cards?The only way a patient will know who made a card is if you sign your name, which you are welcome to do. While we previously allowed you to include your email address, hospitals are now requesting that email addresses are left out of cards due to security concerns.  If you wish to send a card anonymously, you may.

:holly: Can non-deviants participate in the Project?Definitely. The Holiday Card Project accepts cards from all participants who are willing to contribute to a good cause. The Project is a great way for schools, clubs, church groups, or family and friends to get together and work on a positive activity. No DeviantArt affiliation is necessary.

:holly: What do I get out of this?The idea behind the Holiday Card Project is to try and bring a little cheer to those undergoing a hospital stay. The patients and their families are deeply touched by the kindness and caring from those who take time to create and send cards..

Additionally, once the Holiday Card Project has been completed, all registered DeviantArt members will be given a free one-month Core Membership just for sending in a card. In order to be awarded a Core Membership, please include your username on a piece of paper separate from the card. Core Memberships will be distributed no later than January 31, 2017.

:holly: When is the deadline for the Holiday Card Project?All cards should be received by December 19, 2016.

:holly: Where do I send a card?Please use the following address:
DeviantArt, Inc.
Holiday Card Project
7095 Hollywood Blvd., #788
Hollywood, CA 90028

Please remember to include your DeviantArt username on a separate piece of paper when mailing in your card. To ensure that you successfully receive your free Core Membership, it is vitally important that your username be written legibly!

:stare: Rules and TermsLimit one one-month Core Membership per participant. DeviantArt reserves the right to deem any card contributed to the Project as unacceptable and therefore ineligible for a Core Membership.

:megaphone: Spread the WordShare your #HolidayCardProject2016 involvement across the Internet!  Write a Journal or Status Update, or post to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or Instagram! We can't do this without you and getting the word out helps this great cause get boosted to more people — resulting in more holiday cheer! Thank you in advance.

:note: Past Projects

Holiday Card Project by madizzlee
Holiday card project 1 by silverlakephotos

IMG 2131 copy by madizzlee

Untitled by madizzlee
Img 0361-2 by madizzlee
Untitled by madizzlee

:holly: Where do I direct questions and concerns?Please note that many common concerns have already been addressed in the above questions and answers. Take care when reading the Project's description because there's a good chance it already contains an answer to your question. For any remaining issues, please leave a comment in this journal.

Og-spotlight by marioluevanosDeviantArt and Laika Studios have come together to bring you the new Kubo and the Two Strings Story Within Contest! Create an illustration showing Kubo overcoming a difficult obstacle inspired by the movie trailer or your own personal experience for a chance to win a selection of collector Kubo items and cash prizes!
Watch Trailer

Illustrate your story in Kubo’s world!

We all have difficult obstacles that we must overcome. DeviantArt and Laika Studios are challenging you to illustrate Kubo overcoming a difficult obstacle, either inspired by the movie or by your own personal experience. In Kubo and the Two Strings, Kubo uses the power of music and the support of his friends and loved ones to overcome the various challenges he faces on his journey to find his father’s lost armor. Your artwork may feature Kubo alone, or with one or more of the eccentric characters he meets on his journey.

Kubo and the Two Strings tells the story of a young boy named Kubo who goes on an epic journey to find the armor lost long ago by his father, a heroic samurai named Hanzo. Accompanied by his magical shamisen, a two-stringed instrument, and an offbeat pair of characters, Monkey and Beetle, Kubo faces a series of difficult and terrifying challenges as he learns more about himself and his family.


How To Enter

Step 1

Watch the trailer and download the asset pack to familiarize yourself with Kubo and the Two Strings.

Download Asset Pack

Step 2

Create an original piece of art illustrating Kubo overcoming an obstacle either inspired by the movie or an obstacle you’ve personally faced. You can reference but not directly copy materials from the assets. Read the Official Rules for more details.

Read Official Rules

Step 3

Submit your artwork into the contest by using the “Submit Your Entry” button below. Your entry must be in the form of a single JPG at least 2000 pixels in the shortest dimension.


1st Place Winner

  • $3,000.00 USD
  • A 1-Year Core Membership
  • A Collector's Pair of Kubo-themed Nikes
  • Kubo Blu-ray
  • Art of Kubo book

2nd Place Winner

  • $1,500.00 USD
  • A 1-Year Core Membership
  • Kubo Blu-ray
  • Kubo Mask Set
  • Art of Kubo book

3rd Place Winner

  • $1,000.00 USD
  • A 1-Year Core Membership
  • Kubo Blu-ray
  • Kubo Figurine
  • Art of Kubo book

22 Semi-Finalists

  • 3-Month Core Membership
  • Kubo Blu-ray
  • 1,000 DeviantArt Points
  • Art of Kubo book


The son of a legendary samurai and a goddess, Kubo is a scrappy, shamisen-shredding 12-year-old with magical powers he’s only beginning to understand. Kubo is a born storyteller, raising money to care for his mother by entertaining his town’s villagers with origami reenactments of his father’s past heroics. But when he seeks out the truth of his father’s past, Kubo discovers more than he bargained for, awakening the all-powerful Moon King. Now, faced with challenges beyond his wildest imagination, Kubo must embark on a quest to master his powers and become the hero he was born to be.


A protective talisman magically brought to life by Kubo’s mom, Monkey has one mission: protect Kubo at all costs. As skilled with a sword as she is with her razor-edged wit, Monkey is a no-nonsense fighter with little patience for monkeying around. But while she presents a tough exterior, it’s only to keep her emotions from getting in the way of defending the friends she would do anything for.


A skilled archer and brave warrior, Beetle once served in the army of the legendary samurai Hanzo. Or at least he thinks he did. Stricken by a horrible curse, Beetle’s memories were stripped away and his body transformed into a hard-shelled, oversized man-bug. Beetle eagerly joins Kubo on his quest after learning about the boy’s relationship to Beetle’s former master. Loyal to the core of his armor-plated thorax, Beetle’s multi-armed marksmanship makes him an enormous asset—just as long as he can remember where he is and what he’s supposed to be doing. Wait, what were we talking about again?


A devoted father, Hosato loves nothing more than spending time with his daughter and teaching her about their cultural and ancestral traditions. A model citizen if ever there was one, Hosato is well loved by his neighbors for his sharp mind and good humor. For Kubo, Hosato’s idyllic family life is a poignant reminder of everything the Moon King took away from him.


A kindly widow from Kubo’s village, Kameyo is always there to lend an ear, tell a joke, or give a bit of advice to help Kubo. From silly suggestions on how to improve his performances to recommendations on fun activities, Kameyo does her best to make sure that Kubo doesn’t grow up too fast as he works to support his mom. Old in age but young at heart, Kameyo is Kubo’s best and funniest and definitely least mature friend.


Hashi is without a doubt Kubo’s biggest fan. While trained as a fierce and serious warrior, Hashi isn’t immune to getting silly with childlike wonder whenever Kubo hits the stage for one of his performances. And even though he eagerly volunteers to participate in Kubo’s tales whenever he can, Hashi hasn’t quite worked up the courage to ask his favorite storyteller for an autograph yet.

The Sisters

The spectral twins are both the Moon King’s daughters and his most powerful warriors. Identical in voice and appearance down to their chilling Noh masks, the Sisters are in charge of hunting down their father’s enemies with ruthless efficiency. They never eat, they never sleep, and they’ll let nothing stand in the way of capturing Kubo and carrying out their father’s wishes. Don’t let their smiling masks fool you... if you ever hear their whispering voices, run.

The Moon King

The immortal Moon King is a stone-hearted god who seeks to shape the world in his image: cold, callous, and perfect.  When his favorite daughter forsook her family and fell in love with the human samurai Hanzo, the Moon King became enraged and brutally laid waste to Hanzo and his army in retribution. Now unchallenged and unmatched in raw power, the Moon King will stop at nothing to capture his grandson Kubo and bring him back into the family, thus restoring the earth and stars to their “proper” order.


The ‘Kubo and The Two Strings Story Within Contest’ begins at 12:00:00 am (PT – Los Angeles Time) on October 25, 2016 and ends at 11:59:59 pm (PT – Los Angeles Time) on November 13, 2016 (The “Promotion Period”).

  • Entrant must be at least 13 years old as of October 25, 2016;

  • Entrant must be a current resident of any of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. territories, or possessions and U.S. military installations, to be eligible to enter the Contest;

  • The completed entry (“Work”) may originate in any visual medium but must be submitted at the Contest Site as a single JPG or PNG file at least 2,000 pixels in its shortest length;

  • Entrant must submit a completed entry of an original artwork that depicts an original rendering of the Kubo character from the motion picture Kubo and the Two Strings, which illustrates Kubo overcoming a difficult obstacle, either inspired by the movie trailer or from the Entrant’s own personal experience. You can include characters in addition to Kubo if you wish;

  • Do not include the Kubo and the Two Strings title in an entry;

  • Other requirements and restrictions apply and please read the Official Rules carefully;


The 25 semi-finalists will be chosen by DeviantArt Staff. The first, second, and third place winners will be selected by a representative of Laika Studios. The judges will use the following criteria in whatever degree the judges believe appropriate:

  • Use of Kubo in the Work;

  • Overall Emotional Impact of the Work,

  • Success in Portraying the Contest Theme.

  • Originality and Artistic Skill;

Please read the Official Rules for more details about judging.

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Help Center Uplift

Fri Oct 21, 2016, 10:41 AM by LaurenKitsune:iconlaurenkitsune:

Behind the scenes, our Community Operations Department is tasked with encouraging innovative and creative opportunities within the community, and all the customer support and engagement such a calling requires.

Today, we're excited to announce that the look and feel of our support pages has been given an uplift! 

Help by LaurenKitsune

Today kicks off the first in a series of rollouts overhauling our support pages to a more clean, organized look. Some changes of note:
  • This new Support Search Engine laser-targets the appropriate FAQ or recent Help Desk update light-years better than its predecessor. 
  • FAQs can now be voted on for their helpfulness, to aid staff in improving upon some features that could have more clarity.
  • A more cohesive organization of groupings of FAQs.
  • Easier kick-off points directing deviants where to go, if they're not sure what to search for.
  • Pinned updates and known issues.
  • And, of course, our Suggestions Forum, the same as before, just with an updated look!
That said, updating the FAQs of a site as rich and storied as DeviantArt is a huge undertaking. Please bear with us if some FAQs look a bit odd. We will be updating those in the coming weeks, as well as shining up individual FAQs to make them easier-to-understand than ever before!

Have some FAQ about our FAQ?

Will I still be able to submit Help Desk tickets?
Yes! Nothing about ticket submission has changed!

Will :faq###: in old journals / signatures still work?
Yes! The "old" FAQ will remain intact until the new ones are rewritten. At that point, the :faq###: code will redirect to the appropriate updated ones!

Is still the same?
Yes! Today's change was simply migrating the FAQs and Suggestions forums to our new system. However, we recommend you start referring to the FAQs on the new Help Center, as those will be the most up-to-date. 

I found a FAQ on the new system that is miscategorized!
Thank you! There's an FAQ for that. (But, ideally, we will be updating those in the coming weeks before you even find any!)

:faq###: codes in the updated system doesn't work!
We will be implementing every single FAQ (hundreds and hundreds) in the coming weeks, so we will eventually get to the code you see. No need to report it! Unless the year is now 2030 and you are accessing this site via hologram, and the code hasn't been updated yet. In that case, please notify us.

Thank you for your patience, and we hope you enjoy your new Support Center!

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