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Wed Nov 21, 2012, 1:05 PM

deviantART muro, our cutting edge in-browser drawing tool, offers a variety of different brushes for use in creating digital paintings. In the past, we've offered some brushes for free, and others as part of premium brush packs. We're happy to announce that all current brushes are now available for free!

We want to make deviantART muro a powerful artistic application for you to use, and part of that is giving you the tools to create powerful, dynamic pieces of art with the application. With access to more brushes, you'll have even more opportunity to further express yourself artistically. And best of all, it continues to be a completely free experience, powered by your This builds on our initial introduction of Redraw functionality, giving you the ability to watch recordings of artistic progress and unlock and learn from artist's individual processes.

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Odyssey Propulsion 3

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 5:01 PM

Maya has finally taken the knife to Paul. Will her incisions be surgical and freeing or murderous and final, an act of love or an act of vengeance?

Whose story will Paul trust – Maya’s or Lysanna’s?

Is Paul really just a random victim or has there always been a special fate or predetermined bit of prophecy awaiting him which is now about to be revealed?

There are only three more chapters left, three delicious spaces to be filled in our attempt to achieve literary immortality… Well, at least, in our attempt to achieve creating a story to be told around summer campfires to scare the hell out of the new kids.  What we need is a mind-melting fate or test to now be revealed to Paul, one which he must decide to accept or take flight from, one with worldwide consequences for the human race as well as Paul’s own singular soul, one with a real possibility of leaving only eternal madness as its legacy.  Oh Edgar, Oh Howard, please deliver unto us your unearthly graces and guide our words to legend!

Paul is either the next evolution of human wonder – or the final corruption of human alienation and indifference. Your decision as writer of his tale is final.

Good luck with your deliberations.

SUBMIT Chapter 6 Literature →
SUBMIT Chapter 5 Artwork →

Recent Literature Submissions

Truth or ConsequencesMaya gasped in disgust and pulled out her knife.
Paul, still huddled before the toilet, felt his tentacles wrap themselves around his waist as if to protect him.
"Maya?" Paul asked.  Maya didn't lower her knife.
"Jesus, Paul, what--"
"--I was hoping you'd know," Paul said.  "I just woke up and...they were there."
Without taking her eyes off Paul, Maya moved over toward his bed and pulled off the thin blanket.  She tossed it to him, and he covered himself with it.
"I don't know what this is," Maya said.  "I've never seen anything like this before."
Paul stared into her eyes.  Maya averted her gaze and lowered her knife slightly.
His dream.  Something
had warned him about Maya.
But it had just been a dream.  Hadn't it?
"The Proxitol isn't working on you anymore," Maya finally said.
"Tell me something I don't bloody well know!" Paul said, his tentacles unwrapping themselves from around his waist.  They moved up, spreading ab
  Sea and Starshine"Well now...aren't you just full of surprises?" Maya's flippant remark could not disguise her irritation or apprehension at Paul's sudden transformation.
Paul seemed frozen in time as he stared at Maya - not knowing if she was addressing him or the creature within. It was then that Paul realized that Maya might never have been been speaking to him.  In his own self-righteousness he never considered that whatever these things were they may place no more significance upon humans than humans would a slug or an amoeba.
His senses dull and feeble - smothered by exhaustion and the remnants of the Proxitol - Paul could feel Tal'Shen pressing into his consciousness.
If We Are To Survive We Must Work Together.
Paul had not the faculty nor the motivation to resist.
"What can I do?"
The Mind And The Body Are One But Your Mind And Body Are No Longer Aligned. You Cannot Control What You Are Becoming.
Paul's mind lost all distinction between truth and deception. Tal'Shen's prese
  Queen of the UnderwaterShe sneered the moment she saw him. “You’re really something, aren’t you. I was hoping to spare your life, Paul, but the time for being merciful is past. I assume it’s contacted you finally.” She pulled out a nasty looking knife.
Paul backed up slowly, stumbling over his unsure feet. The tentacles on his shoulder writhed as panic swept through his body.
She continued on, and took a step forward. “Your body is becoming like my sister’s. She can barely control her form, and it seems you can’t either. You’re going to become her mindless slave as soon as the rest of your body transforms. I can’t have her interfering with my plans for our realm any longer.”
The knife was suddenly against Paul’s throat, sharp and cold. A small trickle of his blood wound its way down his neck, no longer a pure red. It gleamed with a silver light, and he could feel Maya’s disgust. “I am going to be Queen of Fo-Uisce. Not her!!!
:thumb337646494:  Gone FishingMaya barely acknowledged the wriggling mass of tentacles on Paul's back as she stepped into the dingy light of the loo and threw a crumpled overcoat at him.
"Put this on," she commanded.
He shuddered.  He was cold, so utterly cold--like no warmth in the world could ever reach him again.  He tried to sit up but only managed to shift position, like a slug on the slick bathroom floor.
"I...I'm c-changing," he whispered through chattering teeth.
"No shit, love," she replied as she stood over him and lifted him roughly by his left wrist on to a sitting position.  He dangled in her grip, shivering and twitching, gasping for air like a fish on a hook.
"You smell like piss," she said with disdain and released his wrist.  His arm fell to his lap like a cold, dead thing.
" s-s-said the Proxitol would help t-to..." he trailed off, his words lost to a twitching spasm.  
"Apparently Proxitol stops working when the spawn chooses to gestate," she began.  "And it looks like we h
  Free and SafeIn one of Maya's hands was a syringe of Proxitol, in the other was the knife from before.
"It time for another shot. We've got to get you under control." she said, her voice now sounding as unsure as Paul's own when this had first began.
Pauls eyes, also beginning to change, were locked onto Maya's. They flared with emotions that he'd kept locked away in fear, rage among them. "And what if the Proxitol fails again?" he asked, his voiced resounding in the room as both a groan and a roar. His head cocked to look at the knife. "Will you use that?" he cackled, sending shudders down her spine. "In case I get out of control, was it? Well let me tell you something..."
He paused, raising his left arm and looking it over. It had grown the same iridescent scales that now moved to cover his body and sported the beginning of claws where his nails had once been. "I am NOT out of control. Rather, for the first time in a while, I am IN control."
Her hand raised the knife, and she rushed at him, but s
  BattleMaya gasped when she saw the tentacles coming out of Paul's back. She never believed the symbiote would gestate to its full potential so quickly. Especially not with the proxitol she was fighting it with.
But here it was protruding from its host. Waving and wiggling in the air and begging her to engage.
And Paul wasn't asleep. He looked at her with his baby blues but when he blinked blackness covered his eyes. The spawn wasn't just growing in him. It was connecting with him.
It was growing because of him and he was helping it along.
"Paul," she said. "You're sick. You need to lie down."
"I don't think that's what's going to happen, Moya," Tal'shen said through Paul's mouth. She was startled to hear her true name spoken. "We'll be going to see mother now. Would you pleased step out of the way?"
"I can't let you do that Spawn of Lysanna." Tentacles sprouted from Moya's back and hips as she shed her human shell. In moments she transformed from a thin woman into a cephalopod-like beast. Sh

Recent Artwork Submissions

within a dream by puzzledpixel
Chapter 4 - Dreams of the Deep by Micha-vom-Wald   Mutation by David-Steele
Discovered by Scodge
bruxism II by hellehathnofury

"Really liked the different perspective/point of view, made it stand out from the rest of the entries. Very unique idea that was well thought out. The various layers and colors of the fall trees captures how close a harvest moon appears to be just within reach."
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"Captures the joy and simplicity of a fall day. You want to be a part of this dream. The amount of detail, wrinkles on old man and overalls the boy is wearing, really brings to life the emotion. Like how the trees extend above the shoebox."
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"This entry has its own uniqueness (there aren't any people or animals) and simplicity that makes it stand out. The attention to detail of all the components really makes it life-like."
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The New Comments

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 1:03 PM

Today, we've upgraded comments, allowing you to easily add formatting and media to comments. You can now pull in images to your comments and then draw on those images using deviantART muro! This new feature, powered by Writer, makes collaboration in even better!

Easier Collaboration and Communication

We're happy to announce the new comments. As you're aware, Writer allows rich text editing of literature and journal deviations on deviantART, and we're happy to expand this functionality to more areas of the site.

The new comments allows multiple features and rich text editing to be employed on these comments. Not only does it improve on functionality that already exists in comments, it also pulls in the full power of the Writer application into your comments, completely revolutionizing creative communication on

Add Formatting and Media to Comments!
  • Add formatting to comments with the formatting toolbar!
  • Add images to comments using the "Add Media" sidebar.
    • The conversation tab shows deviations on the page.
    • The tab shows items in your
    • The deviantART tab shows deviations from anywhere on deviantART.
    • The emoticons tab gives you access to official and community-created emoticons.
  • Draw on images using deviantART muro!

Screen Shot 2012-11-16 at 10.23.26 AM by danlev


How is your experience? Visit your or a friend's to try it out! Please let us know what you think in the comments below!

Faux Propaganda Art

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:31 PM
Untitled-1 by techgnotic

The Comfort of Mindless Obedience

When is information true and useful and when is it just “propaganda?” Why in fact is an image or phrase or animated art sequence “propaganda” rather than it simply being a “lie?” What about acceptable lies that define our society as much as they degrade it—for example commercials that obviously hype a product with untruths or political advertisements full of unachievable platitudes.

It can be instructive to look back at the early days of “mass society” and the need to impart vital national information before the ubiquitous presence of personal radios, televisions and telephones in every citizen’s home. World War I and World War II provided the framework worldwide for the mass “propaganda poster.” It’s amazing how similar the mass propaganda posters of the warring nations were – in their patriotic images just as much as in their simplistic messages of sacrifice and belief in the cause. Many are familiar with Uncle Sam, born in WWI and Rosie the Riveter from WWI, whose “Yes, we can,” was repurposed in the 60s and again recently as an Obama campaign maxim.

The messages seem simple and quaint today, instilling the glow of some kind of nostalgia. Yes, the point of propaganda was always to get us back in line, onto the straight and narrow for God and country or for country and religion alone, the conundrum that the opposition were doing the same was easily handleable without too much intellectual athleticism. In fact, sometimes mass conformity feels good – like a U2 concert. We’re being sold that something is way more important that it really is, but we don’t mind … so it’s “propaganda” as opposed to being a “lie.”

“We’re being sold that something is way more important that it really is, but we don’t mind … so it’s “propaganda” as opposed to being a “lie.”

“Us” vs. “Them”

In researching the subject the Mass Propaganda Poster didn’t make it through the Vietnam War era. If it showed anywhere as a graphic equivalency, it was on anti-war T-shirts. It wasn’t just improved TV technology and the daily coverage of that national struggle (in the jungles of Nam and the streets of American cities). It was also that the war was too confusing, to ambiguous, to be reduced to the simple “us” vs. “them” formula of the two wars that had come before. So iconic poster art of young American men fighting evil devils wasn’t just ineffectual, but insultingly simplistic.

So instead, the mass propaganda art posters of the 60s were the psychedelic rock-n-roll posters promoting the new phenomenon of guitar heroes. The cultural “war” it seems was better suited to the creativity of simple iconic poster art than the complex disaster of war. Of course, the use of mass propaganda in posters was reaching a zenith at the same time in China as part of the Cultural Revolution in every home, every workplace and every government operation.

Today, while “actual” political propaganda posters are still occasionally put out on the street of our cities to vex the establishment by artists like Robbie Conal, there is the new phenomenon, best exemplified by artist Shepard Fairey’s “OBEY” posters and stickers, of “faux (false) propaganda art,” which mocks and comments on the very concept of mass propaganda itself. The artworks often call up classic images from the “loose lips sink ships” days of war era propaganda to stir our patriotic fervor for battling the Sith and joining in other causes. Star Wars and Star Trek are favorite subjects used for the primary context of these fake posters, as well as many video games and movie and TV franchises. Faux propaganda memes are a regular subject for deviantART satirists as can be seen on this page.

Faux propaganda art has an eerie vibe – like playing with fire. Remember, this was the stuff utilized, for real, by feared despots to drive others to countenance the murder of millions. But now it seems so childishly safe in its simple messages. One has a feeling of nostalgia, even—as if any evil has been sapped from the subject, and with the viewer being a survivor of a bygone era. We are no doubt being manipulated and “sold” on more contemporary issues by more sophisticated means of mass propaganda flooding our brains daily—but at least these colorful beasts from the past are easily mastered for our simple enjoyment.

Once again, Do we have any scholars out there who might shed an even more educative light on the subject?

Has anyone been studying or reading extensively about the history of Propaganda Art?

Would love to hear opinions, analysis and corrections from those of you even more familiar with the history of propaganda art than I.

CommentaryFrom deviantART's Advisor in Chief

The notion of “faux propaganda” is false because it remains propaganda. When my kids asked me what I did during the Vietnam War, my answer was that I fought the war against the war in Vietnam; and that my side won. The strongest image I have of that movement is, of course, the peace sign. The second strongest is a raised red fist. The first of these symbols was borrowed from the anti-nuclear movement of the very early 1960’s. The second was borrowed from communist propaganda posters of the 1920’s and possibly earlier.

Shepard Fairey’s Obama poster was propaganda—for good, I believe, just like the peace sign—even though it owes its context to posters of Mao Tse Tung and the now high art of Andy Warhol. The red fist was propaganda for bad as it was to become to be understood and then it was used for good, as I believed; and will likely be considered bad or good again in another round of propaganda to come. But what’s interesting to me is that the stylized look of a Mao poster, the peace sign and the raised fist will always be considered propagandistic in a Pavlovian sense. You see them and you know them to be propaganda.


Questions For the Reader

  1. Do you like modern faux propaganda art or does anything recalling the Horrors of past wars still seem inappropriate as an art subject – if only because of possible inadvertent trivialization?
  2. Do you think faux war propaganda posters for movies like Star Wars raise real issues about the danger of war (like in Star Wars) ever being presented, even subconsciously, as “fun?”
  3. Are there examples of modern mass postering (like the Obama “HOPE” political posters) that still send “real” and effective messages and information?
  4. What about your own politics drives your feelings on this subject and artform?

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