Deviant Login Shop  Join deviantART for FREE Take the Tour


deviantART Headquarters

A Thousand Years Tradition of Scaring Children at Bedtime
Continues for Children of All Ages

News of the discovery of 500 “new” fairy tales collected over 150 years ago in Germany and locked away in a forgotten archive has me thinking about the enduring importance of these narrative treasures in the lives of human societies worldwide. My worry, have fairy tales been marginalized by modernism?

Do you remember being read fairy tales as a child? Or was your earliest immersion into children’s literature dominated by Dr. Seuss and The Magic Treehouse series? And how long was it before a Harry Potter novel or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and other TV cartoon characters captured your imagination and supplanted parents as curators of storytelling time? Has something been lost in the shift away from the classic fairy tales toward a less “upsetting” childhood syllabus? Has a part of our identity been denied us, an important anchoring to our past generations and their most basic teachings been allowed to come undone and set us adrift?

Check out this chart I found from a few years ago

Top Bedtime Stories of 2008

  1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle (1969)

  2. Mr Men, Roger Hargreaves (1971)

  3. The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson (1999)

  4. Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne (1926)

  5. Aliens Love Underpants, Claire Freedman & Ben Cort (2007)

  6. Thomas and Friends from The Railway Series, Rev.W.Awdry (1945)

  7. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame (1908)

  8. What a Noisy Pinky Ponk!, Andrew Davenport (2008)

  9. Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Robert Southey (1837)

Top 10 Fairy Tales We No Longer Read

  1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

  2. Hansel and Gretel

  3. Cinderella

  4. Little Red Riding Hood

  5. The Gingerbread Man

  6. Jack and the Beanstalk

  7. Sleeping Beauty

  8. Beauty and the Beast

  9. Goldilocks and the Three Bears

  10. The Emperor's New Clothes

From a poll of 3,000 British parents, by

At some point along the way, parents were told that fairy tales are too violent for children’s bedtimes, a sure cause of fright and insomnia, a possible cause of more serious psychic trauma. Even when classic tales like “Peter Pan” are given a Walt Disney film treatment, all of the much darker parts of the story are “disappeared” to deliver a more harmless and more commercial product. (Tip to the wise reader: Be sure at some point in your adulthood to treat yourself to the more satisfying original sources of everything you’ve ever enjoyed as a movie or TV show; whether it’s “Peter Pan,” “Dracula,” or “James Bond,” you’ll be glad you did.)

Societies tend to censor in their pursuit of public tranquility, but it’s hard to keep a good story down (suppressed). Fairy tales keep reemerging at regular intervals in new, transformed, even futurist iterations. The basic lessons these stories teach are simply too resonant with the vibrations of the basic questions in our lives recurring generation after generation, to not be as a riveting and relevant as when they were first circulated in voices by candlelight. This week it’s the opening of “Snow White and the Huntsman.” Early reviews indicate that the film improves upon the main “lesson” of physical beauty possibly disguising a black heart together with inner goodness being the truest beauty has been improved upon. According to early reviewers this updated version emphasizes the severity of the overemphasis on attractiveness in women’s lives generally and the modern woman’s struggle to be herself and rise by her own abilities rather than on her looks. What on it’s trailer surface looks to be just the sort of summer fantasy and action entertainment I’ll certainly enjoy on Thursday midnight – also presents some important life lessons that younger viewers need to know. The fairy tale, and its sacred mission, lives!

It’s not just in new retellings of classic fairy tales that this desire to revisit these stories resurfaces in later adulthood. The current inundation of competing movie superhero canons seems to reflect the need to sort out basic human questions about right and wrong, patriotism and treason, honor and deceit, valor and cowardice, etc. Yes, I am especially thinking of Joss Whedon's wonderful Avengers screenplay. The complexity and gray areas that make these issues so difficult in adulthood makes our basic grounding in the ethics and absolutes of a childhood fairy tale “education’ all the more important.

Fairy tales forewarn and prepare us for a life that will be loaded with dangers – but dangers that can be intelligently calibrated so that we’ll know when we must be brave and fight despite the odds, and when we should retreat to seek a safer way around. Moving beyond films, I am hopeful an upcoming video game being developed by Krillbrite entitled "Among The Sleep" brings this classic fairy tale aesthetic to the gaming medium with a compelling and rich narrative to go with it. I also believe the Latin American literary movement known as “magical realism,” exemplified in novels like Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude” is another example of the reemergence of the fairy tale in “adult” storytelling. Not to be confused with “surrealism,” in “magical realism” the narrative remains absolutely realistic – but with the moments of magical epiphany just as emphatically asserted to be “real.” The effect is a powerful statement that there is more to life than what the controlling “order” demands life must be limited to. The novels of Isabel Allende also comes to mind as examples of "magical realism”. In his “real” fairy tales, Marquez teaches that there is real magic in our lives, but it is only attainable by those with the truest and most faithful hearts.


For the Reader

1What is your favorite classic fairy tale and why do you suppose it has a special significance for you?

2How do you feel about Snow White and Alice in Wonderland becoming armored women warriors in their latest film retellings?  Is this an empowerment of women?

3Is there a particular fairy tale that terrified you as a child?

4Is there a particular fairy tale that excited your imagination and lifted your heart?

5In your view which popular film, book or video game has most misrepresented or tortured the essence of a classic fairytale?

What comes to mind when you hear the name Pablo Picasso? That’s right, it’s time to break it down, Cubism-style! For the first time ever, we are hosting a Messenger Bag Design Challenge! We want you to create an original design for the flap of the bag in the style of Cubism.

For this challenge, we are defining Cubism as an art style in which instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from multiple viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context. Often, the surfaces intersect at seemingly random angles, removing a coherent sense of depth. The background and object planes interpenetrate one another to create a shallow ambiguous space.

Your design should appear on the flap of the bag (below the zipper), using only four colors. The templates provided come in black or grey so please do not change the color of the bag. Remember that the color of the bag can be used in your design without counting as one of the 4 colors you use!

With the Cubism Messenger Bag Design Challenge, we hope to see some exciting new images and perhaps some new deviants who haven’t participated in a Design Challenge yet. Give it a shot and get cubed!

:bulletgreen: Participation is easy!
  • You come up with potential designs for our deviantART Messenger Bags.
  • Deviants vote on their favorite designs.
  • Judges choose 2 designs from the highest-voted submissions.
  • Artists of the winning submissions get cash and their designs printed on Messenger Bags for all to see and buy!
Entries should display an original image or images in the style of Cubism. For more inspiration on this deviantART Design Challenge, check out the Cubism asset pack!

The templates:

:bulletgreen: Update!

Unfortunately there has been some confusion in regards to the design templates for the Cubism Design Challenge. Many entries have shown a different image for the top and bottom views of the template; however, the idea is to have only one unique image per entry. The top image of the template is a view of the full messenger bag. The bottom is a close up of just the flap where the design will be printed. If your current design entry has multiple images please adjust it to only have one. Any entries that show a different design on both template images will be removed from the design challenge category.

You may submit your entry with a design on the top image, the bottom image, or both but it must be the same image.

If you have multiple designs you may submit each as separate entries. Just note that only one of your Entries may be chosen as a Semi-Finalist or Finalist.

Please read the rules listed in the article for further guidance.

Thank you.

:bulletgreen: Prizes, prizes, prizes!

Two winners will be selected! Each winner receives $1,500 cash and 10 Messenger Bags with his or her winning design! Plus, each of the winning designs will be sold in the deviantART Shop. You could find your Cubism design printed on someone’s bag out in the world someday.

:bulletgreen: Not a designer?

You can vote, too! Just like the last Design Challenge, you still have a chance to make an impact and determine the future of deviantART’s designs without being a designer by voting. All throughout the Design Challenge, keep an eye on the Cubism Category.

If you see a design that would make a great Messenger Bag, click “I Want This” on the deviation to cast your vote for the entry. View the entries right now!

:bulletgreen: Worried about cheaters?

Don’t worry. When the contest is over, deviantART will review the source of all entry data (including but not limited to username and IP data) for suspicious activity and remove fraudulent votes. Also, just because a design has the most votes doesn’t mean it automatically wins. Some designs are disqualified for not following the rules. The 100 qualifying designs receiving the most votes will move to the final judging round, where our panel of experts will pick two winners.

:eager: Don’t delay!

Hurry! The deadline for entries is June 12, 2012, and voting ends on June 17, 2012. Submit your designs and cast your votes now!

Click here to get started! And be sure to read the Official Terms for all the technical details.

Let those Cubism ideas jump out of your head and onto a Messenger Bag! :la:

In our continuous effort to improve the deviantART experience, we're publishing Site Updates to keep members informed and to gather feedback. Below is a list of recent changes to the site, bug fixes, and feedback that was brought up by members in the last Site Update.

What's New

Group Journal Comment Messages for Admins 

Screenshot of Groups Message Center Notifications by danlev

Over the past few months, many members have been asking to bring back the feature where Group admins receive Message Center notifications when members comment on their Groups' journals. This week, we brought back this functionality and messages will now be appearing for all new comments.

Group journal messages will appear for all users who have administrative powers over that Group's journal. For example, if the "Contributors" admin class is set to 'Can add/edit most content rights' on Journals, then Journal comments will show up in the Group Message Center for all Contributors in that group.

Improved Groups Widget

New Groups Widget by danlev

The Groups widget on your profile has been improved, so that the distinction between being a member of a Group and being an admin of a Group is more clear.

The widget will now display on your page with two subheadings, so that any visitor to your page will be able to distinguish between the Groups you admin and the Groups you take part in as a member.

Justified Big Thumbnails (Beta Testers Only)

Based on feedback received, we've updated the new thumbnails to be justified. Thumbnails are now spaced out across the rows, making them flush against the left and right sides of the page.

When a browser's window is too small, justification cannot happen without leaving larger awkward spaces. In these cases, justification is turned off and thumbnails become left aligned. We think these changes present the most appealing interface for both cases.

Want to try this feature? Upgrade to a Premium Membership and enable Beta Testing in your Account Settings.

Bug Fixes


  • Literature tags did not migrate with username changes. Fixed by ZombieCoder
  • While browsing past the first page of a member's journal, there were some issues switching between pages of the journal history widget. Fixed by allixsenos
  • There was a bug with gifting Premium Memberships anonymously. Fixed by ZombieCoder
  • Improvements to customizations of the journal widget had side effects on featured deviation widgets for literature. Fixed by ZombieCoder
  • The "Send Note" button was missing from the "Send Note" modal on profile pages. Fixed by KnightAR
  • Names of closed groups were not available for new group creation. Fixed by muteor
  • Fixed drag and drop issues when selecting a literature thumbnail's author tag. Fixed by drommk
  • The Browser Scripts and Extensions category did not allow .CRX file types. Fixed by shadowhand
  • Found several bugs related to mixed Message Center stacks of journals and news messages. Fixed by kemayo

deviantART muro

  • Made deviantART muro faster to load.  Fixed by mudimba
  • Found a case where immediately after using the "save as" function, the file could be corrupted.  Fixed by mudimba
  • Found a problem in the webink and basic brushes.  Fixed by Nodren
  • Discovered that drawn comments were failing to save for a period of time.  Fixed by Nodren

  • A small number of items were orphaned from stacks. Fixed by shadowhand
  • Wrong styling existed on literature deviations. Fixed by samshull
  • The logo was unclickable on public URLs. Fixed by samshull
  • Deleting items from stacks broke the ability to browse using the "next" and "previous" buttons. Fixed by samshull
  • Writer and its toolbar could overlap in certain situations. Fixed by inazar
  • Clicking a deviantART muro recording in the sidebar did not look nice. We made it look nice. Fixed by Alisey
  • The "edit draft" command from pencil menus has been removed. Fixed by Alisey

Your Feedback

In last week's discussion, feedback included:

  • The responses to implementing Group Forums were universally positive.
  • Many users liked the idea of differentiating signatures from the comments they're attached to, but some were opposed to changing colors to do so.
  • It was suggested that opening a new Writer document should automatically load the last skin you used.

Bugs, issues, and feedback from previous Site Updates

Discuss!  Lightbulb

Last week we received fantastic feedback on Group Forums, something that has been requested for quite some time from deviants. This week, we'd like to continue our Groups-related discussions: 

Super Groups are deviantART's premium Groups platform, allowing for extra customization, including renaming Admin classes, changing your group's layout, using group journal skins, and more. 

Are you in any Super Groups? Do you find them useful? What features do you enjoy about Super Groups? What features would you like to see in Super Groups? How do you feel about the differences between Groups and Super Groups? 

We'd like to get an idea of how you utilize the Super Groups features, if you do. If you don't, why not? 

 Lightbulb Have a suggestion, idea, or feedback? Leave a comment on this article!
:bug: Find a bug? Report it to the Help Desk(Be as detailed as possible!)

Resource Roundup #8

Thu May 24, 2012, 1:15 PM by mattdanna:iconmattdanna:
The Resource Roundup is a regular feature showcasing some of the best resources deviantART members share with the world!

Whether you're a beginning artist or seasoned pro, deviantART's Resources Gallery is an inspirational and beneficial asset for art creation.  Take a look at a few of the incredible submissions below – they might help enhance your next artistic creation!

This month's theme is "do it yourself" (commonly known as 'DIY'). We hope you enjoy these tutorials! What would you like to see in next month's edition of Resource Roundup?


Origami Winged Heart Tutorial by pandacub143 TUTORIAL: Paper Stars by RainCookie Origami Panda Tutorial by synconi Origami Pikachu Tutorial by synconi Banana Milky PaperCraft by kickass-peanut


How to: Rainbow Cupcakes by Marki-san-Design Apple Crisp by ElwynAvalon How to make yakisoba-omusoba by BrocX How to make Fudge by Charlotte-Holmes


Wig Hairline Tutorial by Malindachan Cosplay wing tutorial by etaru Tutorial: Cosplay Jewel-Making by cafe-lalonde Paper Mache Armor and Prop Tutorial by FireLilyCosplay


Plush Donut Tutorial by devliann Raichu Sewing Tutorial by Renegar-Kitsune Turtle Tutorial by Piripanda Electric guitar bag tutorial by Eyespiral-stock Pikachu Hat Tutorial by nikkiswimmer


FREE Complete Ear Cuff Tutorial by AmeliaLune Tutorial earrings in art nouveau style by Tegero Octopus Charm Tutorial by Oborochann Tutorial: Candy Wrapper Things by bunnykissd DIY Frame Earring Holder by heartMelinda

The Muse Abides

Thu May 24, 2012, 12:18 AM by techgnotic:icontechgnotic:

:icontechgnotic: May 23, 2012 by techgnotic

Ask any artist about “emptiness” and they’ll tell you about the constant recurring nightmarish emptiness they must face down almost every day as a part of their vocation: the blank space that they must fill. Whether he’s a painter facing a blank canvas or she’s a poet facing a blank computer screen, the blank space awaiting transformation at the hand of the artist can be the loneliest and cruelest place on earth.

So where does inspiration come from?
How does the artist spark it afire?

In the time of the Greeks there were the nine Muses, each a goddess presiding over a specific art or science like comedy, astronomy, dance, love poetry, etc.  When an artist felt “blocked,” he or she would call upon the goddess reigning over his or her art form to provide the inspirational spark of guidance.  As most things in life were then assumed to be controlled by the whims of gods and goddesses, it made sense that the artist simply pray to the appropriate deity to be granted an artistic brainstorm.  The Muses were particularly noteworthy in their contributions to world literature, with great authors through the centuries invoking their aid in the early stanzas of their great works.

O Muses, O high genius, aid me now!

O memory that engraved the things I saw,

Here shall your worth be manifest to all!

Dante Alighieri, in Canto II of The Inferno

By the Twentieth Century, the idea of “goddess muses” had mostly gone away, but artists still found themselves often in need of a touch or a word or a vision of inspiration to kick-start their artistic drives into productive action. In our modern times these “muses” have often been mere mortal women – but they have doubtless been “goddesses” to their celebrants, the artists inspired by them to produce their most “divinely-touched” work. These modern muses have sometimes proved themselves almost as troublesome to their artist-admirers as they are beneficial. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife, Zelda, inspired his greatest writing – but also collaborated in his early death due to excessive partying. Yoko Ono lifted John Lennon from pop music superstardom to a higher level of artistry where he could write “Imagine,” but Beatles fans will forever curse her for taking him there. Some muses have been artists themselves, as in the case of painter Georgia O’Keefe inspiring photographer Alfred Stieglitz.

Poet Robert Graves wrote eloquently about artists being inspired by special women in their lives to whom they attach goddess-like “muse” status, always looking to them (“musing” about them) when in need of inspiration:

“A Muse-poet falls in love, absolutely, and his true love is for him the embodiment of the Muse... But the real, perpetually obsessed Muse-poet distinguishes between the Goddess as manifest in the supreme power, glory, wisdom, and love of woman, and the individual woman whom the Goddess may make her instrument... The Goddess abides; and perhaps he will again have knowledge of her through his experience of another woman...”
— Robert Graves

Celestial goddess Muses and bewitching mortal beauties may be the classic conduits of artistic inspiration, but of course there are countless others, especially since mortal artists managed to escape from beneath the hovering shadows of the gods and breathe more freely in the sunlit landscapes of the Enlightenment. Nature itself has become all the Muse many artists need to recharge their aesthetic batteries, the natural cathedral providing a grander inspiration than any manmade monuments could ever be capable of inducing. Some artists cite music as their constant daily muse. And some artists simply lose themselves in the art of the artists they most admire. Even a special locale, a city or patch of hidden countryside, whether an actual occasional destination or just a place held sacred in memory, can serve as one’s muse to float one’s drifting consciousness upon...

Be she goddess or mortal wondrous woman, be it nature, music, divine art itself or private memories, the artist will forever seek his or her special muse – a forever springing fount of inspiration to quash the tyranny of the deadly blank spaces.


For the Reader

1Who or what is your personal muse? Are you consciously aware of “calling up” this muse when you’re “blocked” or has this just always been part of your process?

3As an artist, have you ever, in the depths of being “blocked,” felt the “touch of the muse” that suddenly gave you inspiration to keep on with an artwork?

2Who are the people, what are the artworks, and what are the events that most inspire you in creating your art (or simply living your life)?

Recent Journal Entries

Official deviantART Blog

Welcome to the official deviantART Blog.

Watch us for official news and information about deviantART.