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Announcing the deviantART Creative Grants

At deviantART, we have spent the past 11 years building a place where artists can share and discuss their work and get inspired by the work of their contemporaries. A noble cause, for certain, but we would like to be so much more to our beloved community of brilliant creatives. Starting today, deviantART will also be a means of inspiration in an entirely new way with financial support for art.

On 3 month cycles, deviantART will accept applications from artists seeking to fund art-related projects. A panel called the Creative Grants Board will pick those projects that they believe will benefit particularly from a Grant and give those artists the support they need to make it happen. The lucky few who are chosen to receive Grants will also be given a beautiful accolade on their deviantART Profile Page to celebrate their success.

All applications in a given cycle will be reviewed by members of the Board fairly and Grants will be given to as few or as many as the review panel deems appropriate within the budget of available funds. Grants will range between $250 and $750 per application for the first cycle of funding, with a total funding of $10,000 available.

  • Installation of an art exhibition
  • Additional artist materials or resources to support
    the production or public display of art

  • A piece of work that requires specific tools
  • Costs to run a creative event

If you're looking for money to pay your rent, go to classes, upgrade your Group to Super status, buy a Premium Membership, or pay off your student loans, this is not for you.

It's time for our next deviantWEAR Design Challenge, and this one is a little different. Writers, you play a crucial role! We're calling on deviants to create an original phrase, statement, or saying and transform these writings into an artistic and unique t-shirt design. Entries should display an imaginative phrase, expression, or statement as well as a beautiful presentation of the words in a "Design Typography" style.

We are not looking for famous quotes by historical figures, fictional characters, famous poets, and the like. Instead, we are excited to see designs and phrases in your very own words. So let your creative juices flow and share your inspiring words with the world! A picture tells a thousand words, but your typographical design for the "Original Quotes" entry will tell us even more!

:star: Participation is easy!

You come up with potential designs for our deviantWEAR t-shirts.

Post entries to the design challenge.

Deviants vote on their favorite designs.

Judges choose 3 winning designs: 2 designs based on the highest-voted submissions and 1 design from ALL of the Entries to the Challenge.

Artists of the winning submissions get cash and their designs printed on t-shirts and sold in deviantWEAR shop!

For more inspiration on the deviantWEAR Design Challenge, check out the “Original Quotes” Challenge Category!

:star: Prizes, prizes, prizes!

Three winners will be selected!  Each winner receives $1,500 cash and 20 units of their t-shirt! Plus, each of the winning designs will be sold in deviantWEAR. You could find your “Original Quotes” design emblazoned on someone’s shirt out in the wild someday.

:star: Not a designer?

If you’re not interested in entering, you still have a chance to make an impact and determine the future of deviantWEAR's designs without being a designer.  All throughout the Design Challenge, keep an eye on the “Original Quotes” Category.  If you see a design that would make a great shirt, click "I’d Wear This" on the deviation to cast your vote for the entry. View the entries!

:star: Worried about cheaters?

Fret not.  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.  We will also review ALL entries to ensure they qualify. Additionally, just because a design has the most votes doesn't mean it automatically wins.  The 50 designs receiving the most votes will move to the final judging round. Then, our panel of experts will pick two of the most inspiring phrases and best typographically designed “Original Quotes” t-shirts to produce, along with an additional finalist that will be selected from all of the entries to the Challenge.

But hurry! The deadline for entries is May 15, 2012, and voting ends on May 22, 2012. Submit your designs and cast your votes now!

:megaphone: Don't delay!

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

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

Coming Soon: New Submit
Beta testers are currently trying out the new submission process for, deviantART's upload and publishing platform. This new version includes a simplified and tidier interface that makes it easier to understand and use. The feedback on this new process has been very positive, so we will be rolling it out to all members early next week. If you'd like to try it out early, upgrade to a Premium Membership and enable Beta Testing in your Account Settings.

UPDATED (APRIL 30): The new submission process is now live for all members! To try it out, visit your!

Screen Shot 2012-04-12 at 1.21.13 PM by danlev

New Thumbnails (Beta Testers Only)
Just over a month ago, we released a preview of deviantART's new thumbnails. Since then, we've been tweaking the display of the thumbnails based on community feedback. Beta testers are now testing the new thumbnails throughout the site, including browse, search, galleries, and favourites.

New deviantART Thumbnails by danlev

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

Bug Fixes

  • At some browser sizes, print page images were being overlapped by the menu. Fixed by muteor
  • Scraps category had incorrect file type restrictions. Fixed by shadowhand
  • Deviations from the Scraps category were showing up when browsing by newest without selecting a category. Fixed by shadowhand and allixsenos
  • A default font color was missing, which made the site look odd to people who have adjusted their settings to override browser fonts. Fixed by shadowhand
  • The Points modal had display issues when opened while another menu was opened. Fixed by mpsb
  • Sharing tools disappeared. Fixed by samshull
  • Literature thumbnails on stacks don't animate. Fixed by kouiskas
  • When visiting a link while logged out, it would sometimes not redirect to the correct link after logging in. Fixed by kouiskas
  • The "next" button broke for public stacks. Fixed by kouiskas
  • The "delete" button on item pages was not working. Fixed by aMoniker
The following bugs apply to features that are only available to beta testers:
  • Fixed display issues with Film thumbs on the submission page. Fixed by aMoniker
  • Dimmed watermark text when checkbox is disabled. Fixed by aMoniker
  • The page no longer flickers when switching to edit mode. Fixed by aMoniker
  • item pages now have a new submit button. Fixed by aMoniker
  • Inline editing for title/description on item pages. Fixed by aMoniker
  • Fixed some issues with copy and pasting into titles and descriptions. Fixed by adahacker
  • The footer was broken on published deviations. Fixed by adahacker
  • Fixed category picker issues for Internet Explorer. Fixed by adahacker
  • If you edited a skin and then carefully didn't touch your Writer thereafter it wouldn't save the item. Fixed by inazar
  • Opening the 'link' menu scrolls to the top of the document in IE. Fixed by Alisey
  • Regression: adding a link erases selected text in Firefox. Fixed by Alisey
Your Feedback

Discuss!  Lightbulb

Group Messages
As a group admin, how do you feel about the Group messages you receive? What do you like about the Groups section of the Message Center and how do you feel it could be improved?

 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!)



Should Today's Technologies Inspire?

:icontechgnotic:by techgnotic
April 25, 2012

We got to interview a visionary futurist with an eye on technology about what would inspire today's comic book writers to create our next superheroes with knowledge of real technological and scientific advancement.

You never know when it’s going to happen – that otherwise quotidian moment when you suddenly realize your entire thought process has just been tripped up and cast down a cerebral rabbit-hole destination unknown.  Little did I know that what began as a typically pleasurable lunch with spyed and makepictures during the San Diego Comic-Con last year would morph into a mind-expanding mental wormhole voyage to the future courtesy of another guest at our table, JordanGreenhall, known to me only as the co-founder of DivX, Inc., the prestigious leader in software creation for video authoring and encoding.

The question was raised: what’s in store for the future of all this?  (“all this”, i.e., the costumed conventioneers milling about the miles of booths promoting sci-fi movies, comics, toys, videogames and videogame systems, etc.)

Jordan began to answer the question … and that’s when the convention floor began to fade away into a surreal swirl of background static, as a true visionary began time-tripping my brain forward into the future.  I now know why he’s at the top of the speakers’ list of every year’s futurist society conclave, philanthropic ethicist entrepreneurs summit and Aspen Institute-style fix-the-planet think tank confab.  He sees through the pop clatter and clutter into the heart of what’s happening, where it’s all going, and what’s important and why.

So who is this guy rewiring

my cranial circuits, anyway?

Besides revolutionizing the way video is brought to all our digital devices with the DivX codec, Jordan is a trustee of the Santa Fe Institute, a non-profit research center dedicated to analyzing and addressing the planet’s “environmental, technological, biological, economic and political challenges.”

This is the key to knowing what Jordan is really about, besides being a new tech genius. He’s one of the good guys who has decided to devote his knowledge of and special position in the new media revolution to turn the world historic wave of change washing over us in the direction of something positive, a better world. To that end, he is indefatigable as a globetrotting guest lecturer, sharing his insights and visions as an advocate for the “efficient, collaborative, open” model of new media-driven information dispersal, and an opponent of the old “closed, centralized, inauthentic” model of information control. Jordan is a prophet for the new wave, and he preaches that enlightenment comes when one accepts that the wave cannot be possessed and controlled, but only understood and then utilized for everything that knowledge of it can bring to this world and future generations.

The “digitization/socialnetworking/participation” wave is as profound and world-changing as Gutenberg’s invention of movable type. And this wave cannot be “owned” and controlled – it can only be ridden by those who seek to understand it, build it and share it with their digital network communities.

That’s all well and good, but what about the future of sci-fi

and superheroes like Iron Man and Wolverine?

I can only attempt to adequately paraphrase his scientific reference-laden response: Quantum mechanics and new discoveries flowing out of our technological revolution (like what’s going on with the Large Hadron Collider in Europe) is going to fundamentally impact and evolve science fiction, not least of which the “origins stories” of its superheroes.

The caped superheroes prowling Comic-Con are the products of the science speculation that excited creative artists back in the 1950s and 60s. The “science fact” being exponentially produced and disseminated to writers and artists currently will soon result in a whole new paradigm, a radical new chapter in sci-fi stories and heroes. Soon new sci-fi heroes will have their “origins” in detours through extra dimensions (courtesy of string theory) rather than as a result of radioactive spider bites. Evil nemeses will be much more interested in enslaving humanity through data control rather than by death ray. Superheroes will become much more concerned with using their powers to avert environmental disasters and systems collapses. New sci-fi heroes will have their genesis in our artists’ dreams of solving our current world-catastrophic challenges. “Superman” was imagined by no more than a daydream of possessing superhuman strength and being able to fly.

Today’s “imagineers” need only click on the science page of their online newspaper to be provided the raw ingredients for new superheroes with quantum mechanical and interdimensional identities and powers far more mindbending than those possessed by the super heros presently haunting the aisles of Comic-Con.

An interview with:

Jordan Greenhall

Sci-fi at bottom has always been anchored in “possible futures” based on speculative science. What scientific “new idea” do you see really catching fire in the popular imagination which will become a new “standard” for sci-fi stories?

We’ve always known that fiction can (and does) create reality. The often cited connection between Star Trek and a wide variety of our favorite toys (including the incorrigible efforts to fabricate teleportation) is a classic example. What is happening today is that the line between “future” and “present” is getting thinner and thinner. As a consequence, it seems that many of the “new ideas” that will hit the popular imagination are less widely speculative (in the Roddenberry, Asimov or Clarke sense) than they are practical conjectures that have been on the cutting edge for a while and are just about to move into the popular consciousness.

What do you think will be the “paradigm shift” in how new superheroes (or even our traditional iconic ones) will be conceived and how their stories will be told?

Personally I think that the next wave is going to be the re-absorption of the (super)hero into the hero. The superhero is largely the expression of the desire for power on the part of the powerless. One of the major themes of the current era is the “flattening” of power and new, more complex, challenges. I sense, perhaps, a return to the more human stories of adventure and heroism to which the normal person could, in principle, actually aspire. We will be witnessing the most dramatic “leveling up” of individual power since the invention of multi-cellular life. In many ways, a mid-21st century human will be a superhero. When you speculate about cybernetics, genetic and chemical modifications, and the more esoteric man/machine interfaces (for example, one mind controlling multiple geographically separate bodies) – not much of the “superhuman” is left outside of the “adjacent possible”.

With so much riding on how well a “tipping point” mass of the population of the Earth understands enough about climate change, etc, and how committed they become to changing things – how important is the “educational” and cultural role of comic books and sci-fi genre fictions generally in saving the world?

It’s clear to anyone who’s been paying attention that the “ComicCon” genres are (by far) the most effective “memetic organisms” yet devised by humans. It’s sometimes hard to recall that scarcely 70 years ago these genres were marginalized – by the marginal for the marginal. Can it be the case that the flashlight-lit passions of impotent nerdy teenagers have somehow come to utterly dominate the global zeitgeist? It certainly seems that way. And while the rich rewards of this domination still seem to flow more to Flash Thompson than to Peter Parker, the memetic ball is clearly in Superman’s court. Yes – it seems very likely that something like the memetic success of genre fiction is a necessary component to achieving a global tipping point.

Where should anyone who cares about the future of humanity keep their focus trained right now? What general information resources on the web or elsewhere should the concerned world citizen try to be aware of and monitor regularly?

What I’m seeing right now is that most of the best stuff is happening sub-rosa. Bloggers having “off-the-record” conversations. Private groups on Facebook or wikis. It seems right now to be about acquiring a certain sensitivity. A nose for who is saying something that smacks of the future – and a huge network of people who are mutually surfacing the below-the-surface conversation. When you find someone smart, see who they follow (and retweet) on Twitter. Who do they +1 on Google Plus? Whose answers do they like on Quora? Pretty quickly you’ll find yourself tapping into the vital flow of “the conversation” and, soon enough, contributing to the portions that are most important to you. After all, a primary theme of the Great Transition is interaction – not just monitoring.

What is the single most important inspiration or cause that keeps you motivated to keep on thinking, exploring and seeking solutions for the survival, extension and betterment of human life on Earth and beyond?

My kids. If you make the decision to have children you can no longer afford the luxury of being cynical.


For the Reader

1Do you prefer science fiction stories in which superheroes or average human beings are the main protagonists? Do you think advancing technology will shift sci-fi to being mainly about humans with tech powers, or will there always be the need for a super-human “superhero?”

2Which classic superhero do you think best fits and exemplifies the essence of the new Technological Age? Which superheroes do you think don’t fit so well and why?

3Which relatively “new” superhero (who reflects the times and tech of 2012 more than 1950) would you like to see raised up out of the pages of his or her graphic novels and turned into a major film or video game on the same level as “Superman” or “Batman”?

4Flying, x-ray vision, super-strength, shape-shifting, invisibility, mind control, etc. are so played out. Can you think of a “new” super power that could really give you the edge in your struggle for goodness to triumph over meanness and evil?


Earth Day

The Challenge, the Romance and the Inspiration of the Natural World

April 22, 2012 by techgnotic

Since human beings harnessed the secret of fire the natural world has been seen by many
only in terms of how best it can be exploited of its abundant riches. It’s amazing now to
look upon the desert sands of the Arab lands and know that this place, the cradle of earliest
civilization, was once known as “The Fertile Crescent.” All Europe was once one great forest –
until all those trees were needed to create the naval armadas of dueling empires. Only the
Earth’s natural forces, like earthquakes, have been more destructive and wasteful than humanity.

“The Romantics” were a movement of poets, painters, philosophers and others who launched
the first Great Dissent against the idea of our Earth as being only a resource to be used up.
They sensed the destruction of the natural environment would mean humanity’s own decline. They
sought preservation, understanding and, especially, the actual experiencing of nature’s terror,
awe, and sublime essence as the key to discovering one’s own humanity.

Humphry Davy, a Romantic philosopher, wrote that the natural world demanded “an attitude of
admiration, love and worship… a personal response.”

In 1849 Henry David Thoreau published his enduring classic, Walden, about his withdrawal
from society to free his mind and live for a while by a pond in the woods. The dissenting
current calling for connection with rather than dominion and exploitation of Earth has remained
a steady force since the time of the Romantics, especially in the arts community.

The first Earth Day was in 1970, another time of political upheaval and radical dissent.
Concerned scientists and environmental activists took the lead in warning of the dangers of
destroying our planet, focusing on air and water pollution and the chemical poisoning of food
and the soil. Laws finally began to get passed and a general consensus was finally established
that wrecking and using up the planet was probably a really bad thing. A cleaner future seemed
in the making.

Now the world is about to celebrate Earth Day 2012. And while the “green is good” consensus
still holds, it appears the headway that was made in the 1970s has now stalled out and even
gone into reverse.

Once again, it may be the artists who have to step up to make the world aware of the problem,
and with communities like deviantART, it might just be possible to really fire up intense discussion,
launch artistic environmental crusades and spur genuine change.  The new “Romantic” artist response
to the environmental crisis may have already begun with James Cameron’s “Avatar.” Has any recent
movie or other work of art inspired such a resurgence of reverence for natural wonders (and contempt
for corporate environmental misdeeds)?

Now more than ever, as fears that human agency may be fueling global climate change, it is time
to take inspiration in the natural wonder and beauty and rhythms of our Earth.  Perhaps artists and
others, once again embracing a “romantic awe” for life on this planet, can create the art and stoke
the passions necessary to swing hearts and minds back to the cause of Earth’s rescue and recovery.

Deviants Making a Difference

Heidi and Ayame-Kenoshi took action this year in the form of organizing a tree planting
expedition that brought environmentally conscious deviants together from across southern California.

Photos courtesy of kyle-culver

"On April 15, 2012, a group of 20 deviants met in Los Angeles, CA to aid in street tree care. Partnering with, our deviants weeded, watered, and re-staked trees in order to create a more beautiful and green
neighborhood. DeviantART definitely represented, as deviants comprised the majority of the attendees at the event!
After a hard day's work, we ate lunch, drew, and talked all things deviantART. Thank you to everyone who came
out for such a fun and rewarding day!"


Did You Know?

Founded by Gaylord Nelson, a former U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Earth Day began on April 22nd, 1970.  Nelson took action after witnessing the extensive damage caused by the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.

In 1990, Earth Day went global, with 200 million people in over 140 nations participating, according to the Earth Day Network (EDN), a nonprofit organization that coordinates Earth Day activities.

In 2010, the Earth Day Network launched “A Billion Acts of Green” -- a service that allows individuals to register the actions they’re taking to protect the environment -- making it the largest environmental service campaign in the world.

Earth Day focused on clean energy in 2000 and involved hundreds of millions of people in 184 countries and 5,000 environmental groups. Activities ranged from a traveling, talking drum chain in Gabon, Africa, to a gathering of hundreds of thousands of people at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Shafts of Light

by louieschwartzberg

Nature's beauty is a blueprint on how to live a full life. It's her operating instructions that govern our behavior by engaging our sense of smell, touch, taste, and the visual splendors of color, texture, composition, and symmetry. By opening our hearts, nature uses beauty as a tool of survival, because we will protect what we fall in love with.


Questions for the Reader

1How often do you actually stop to contemplate the beauty of nature – in a sunset, a walk in a park, a moment in a garden?

2Do you feel that the sheer amount of amazing technology now filling your life (iPad, XBox, etc) has dulled your sense of appreciating your time in the Great Outdoors?  Do you think you need a better balance of the technological and the natural in your life?

3How much inspiration, as an artist, do you draw from Earth’s natural beauty?  Do you have a special place to take a trip to, to experience for a while, to re-charge your inspirational and motivational reserves?

4Do you have any ideas on how to celebrate Earth Day that might be genuinely inspirational for an artist (or a simply environmentally aware and concerned person)?

5Where is the one place on the Earth you hope to go one day to experience, and why?

6Is there one law you wished could be passed, what would it be?  Or if there is a single simple message you’d like repeated like a mantra in our schools like the Pledge of Allegiance, what would that be?

7What is the most naturally beautiful place on Earth you’ve ever been in?  And what is the most horribly devastated by modern man?

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