I'd like to say I'm one of those people that takes what life gives her, accepts it, and moves on. I'd also like to say that I'm sad I'm not one of those people. This site started as the dream of two men, $jark
, not three. Over the years I've gotten a chance to get to know both Scott and Matt as people outside of this community. I speak with Scott quite frequently on IMs, and I've met Matt in real life on a few occasions. Both of them, no matter when, no matter where, have shown me nothing but the utmost love and passion for this community, combined, or separately, they both hold this community in the highest regard, and have always had the most hope for its future. This journal entry is probably going to read something like a story, with facts and links strewn about. This story does not have a happy ending, as most stories do, but instead it ends with something that I feel will damage the greatness of this site. In the beginning, just like every other deviant, I was just one of the masses, submitting my art and hoping for comments, be them praise or criticism. I, like all of you, started from nothing here. Back in the beginning this site was the most intimate community I had ever been a part of, it was not uncommon to see a comment from $jark
on just about every piece submitted. I remember early on, on IRC, a channel of maybe thirty people, all very close with one another, all friends, behaving the way that friends do. I remember when there were no subscriptions, this site was entirely free. I remember the people who got angry when this site started to make a little money. I also remember spending over 300$USD of my own money subscribing myself, and friends, in the first month alone. I remember laughing out loud when my bank called me thinking someone had stolen my debit card. I remember feeling so.. happy.
This site, as it is, and as it was, is a huge part of my life. I have met friends here, I have fallen in love here, I have laughed here, and I have cried here. Back in 2001, I was a different person, and as people got to know me, and I got to know them, I made some mistakes, mistakes that I paid for with the loss of friends dear.. but with the loss of those friends, came the first time I ever spoke with $jark
in a real-time one-on-one conversation. I had deleted all of my deviations, I had, for all intents and purposes, "left" deviantART. In leaving, I ended up on AIM with the man himself, and we talked a lot about life, about love, about passion, about art, about why I was leaving, and he posed a question that changed my life moreso than any question that ever came before, or since; "Will you stay?" I didn't even have to think twice, because, here is a founder of deviantART, asking someone like me, someone he doesn't even know, if I'd stay here, if I'd just brush the dirt off, pick myself up, and stay. As you can see, considering I'm still here four years later, I said yes. $jark
remembers having to ask me if I'd stay a few more times, but regardless of what came to pass since our first conversation, that one moment when he showed me that he cares about every single one of us, enough to ask us to stay, no matter what, is the way that I will always remember his devotion to and passion for this site.
came a lot later for me, at least a year later, after I had moved a couple times, and gotten myself in and out of various jams in real life. We talked on AIM for awhile when I still lived in Torrance, CA (outside of Los Angeles), and struck up a friendship. While I lived in California, I organised and attended my first devMEET, and then went to another. As I met more and more people in person from this site, I could feel $jark
's love for us more and more. I had the good fortune of meeting many
people who have since left this site, people who, like me, felt the effect Scott had on all of us. When I left California, I initially moved to Austin, TX, where $matteo
was attending college. I met Matt in person very soon after moving to Austin, I remember walking towards his apartment, as he walked towards mine to meet halfway, he wasn't entirely sober, and he had no shoes on. We hung out that night, and spent a lot of time talking about dA, life, our friends on the site, and off, and various other things one drunk person and one sober person would discuss. I remember that first meeting as being somewhat surreal, because it's so hard for a lot of us here on dA to be accepting of the fact that the administrators are people, too, just like us. I remember early one morning driving to his apartment to sneak up his front stairs and hang a beaded bracelet I made for him on his door knob, I remember going to the grocery store with him in the middle of the night, more than anything, though, I remember a great friend. I hung out with Matt a few more times before eventually moving again, to a little city outside of Dallas, TX. Over time, Matt and I have lost touch, but I still see him here and there on this site, and I am very happy to see him here in all of this turmoil, posting on the forums, and voicing his opinion on things great and small, relating to the firing of $jark
, even if I am sad that this is why we are seeing him again.
I know that some people view the way that the rest of us are acting considering what has happened to be "wrong," so I just want to get up on my little soapbox here .. * steps up * .. and tell you who $jark
is, to me. $jark
, the administrator, is just a person, just like the rest of us, but he is also much much more than a mere man. $jark
being terminated, as it were, affects me as a deviant, as it should affect all of you, but it affects me more than you, too. See, if you were here in the beginning, like I know a lot of you were, I'd say.. anyone who joined prior to mid/late 2003 or so, you saw this site in all of its glory, you were a part of the community that $jark
always dreamed this site would be. Sure, even then, that long ago, this site was changing, we had subscriptions and prints, we had banner ads, but this site hadn't taken its first steps towards losing that community feel entirely, yet. I am not angry as just a deviant, I am angry as a person, I am angry as a friend, I am angry in more ways than I can adequately describe here, but I am hurt even more than I am angry. Hurt because of what has happened, and hurt because of the way
that it happened. Some people say "home is where the heart is," others say home is where you live. In real life, home, for me, is somewhere I have never lived, not once, not ever. Home is where my grandfather lives, and it is home, because it is his home. That is generally how I would describe deviantART, as well. This site is my home, too, my virtual home. This site has seen me in rare form, this site has seen me grow up, this site has seen me move on, this site has seen me become who I am today, and this site is partly responsible for who I am today, because of relationships formed and broken here. More than all of that, though, this site is home because of $jark
. Back to my comment about being here in the beginning, versus having only seen the site functioning as a company. When this site still had the community feel in every single corner, you could feel $jark
in every single corner, too. deviantART was $jark
, and $jark
was deviantART. You could feel and see him everywhere, in the code, the design, on his page, in comments left by people he probably didn't even know. This community felt so intimate and loving because its leader was loving, caring, giving, devoted, and dedicated. I have never met a single person online, or even in real life, so devoted to a dream that they put everything on the line, with the exception of $jark
. How many of you remember how sick $jark
got because of stress here? How many of you fully realise what he and his family have gone through as a result of his dedication to this site? How many of you know that $jark
on medication from stress here? Look back on your life, reflect on who you are as a person, and ask yourself, can you even come close
to that level of dedication?
This site was never just a site to $jark
, it was never just a way to make money, or a fun little side project. deviantART is and has been his LIFE
. Until the day I die I will look back on $jark
with awe, he is a living inspiration for me, his passion, his love, the way that he cares, how much he cares, the way he gives to us everyday, the way he always will, the way that even if those of us who support him leave this site, dA will live on in all of us
. For me, deviantART has always been like this, it has always been a place of love, and caring, a place for art, a place for friendships, a place to live our lives, a place to grow up, a place to start, and a place to end. I come to dA to be reminded of $jark
, as an administrator, as a man, and as an inspiration to all of us, he has made it feel like dA cares about each and every single one of us, he has breathed a new life into us through this site, and touched us all, and you don't even have to know him to feel these things. Whether you're a subscriber, a member, a senior member, part of staff, or just someone browsing, you matter to $jark
, you always have, and you always will. It doesn't matter to him who pays to be a part of dA and who doesn't, he loves all of us, he makes time for all of us, he cares about all of us, he listens to all of us. Without him, who is left? Who is left that will make us feel like that, without even trying? $jark
makes me feel like that everyday, just by existing. The dA that you have now, without $jark
, is not as loving and nourishing as the dA you had a few days ago, with $jark
, and it never will be again. The dA that $jark
created will live on in all of us that see this fact, and understand and accept it, no matter where we go online, no matter who we become in life. Because of $jark
, I am dA, and dA lives on in me.
I guess now it's time to move onto the more painful things we're all being forced to discover and accept now on this site, I'm sorry for not giving you a gentle transition, but there isn't really one to give. As the years have gone by, seemingly flown by, I've become closer friends with a lot of people on this site, I've had the good fortune of meeting a great many deviants who I have a lot in common with, and I've come to respect a few deviants I wasn't sure I ever would. The history of this site is very complex, and according to different parties, the way this site came to be seems very jumbled and confusing. I was not here when this site began, even though I showed up relatively soon after. I wish there was some way I could prove to all of you that this site really did only have two founders, but I can't. I took a trip on the Wayback Machine tonight with °attila
, surfing the web archives for some hints to dA's past, and saw some things that made me laugh, some that made me wonder, and some things that I feel support the facts. Here is a snapshot of deviantART from 2000
, notice that on this page, the contact
page for deviantART at the time, the only two administrators mentioned are $jark
. Kind of contradicts $spyed
's claim as being the third founder of dA, no? I remember back when it was first announced, $spyed
's new position on dA, and if I remember it, well, it had to have happened after I joined. This, logically, makes sense, does it not? Please do not start to misread me here, this journal does not serve as a means for me to call people out as frauds and liars, I have just seen too much confusion on this site lately to sit idly by while deviants are desperately looking for something to hold onto as the truth in a dark room with no night-light.
I spent a lot of time today surfing dA for links to various things that pertain to this situation, and considering how much $jark
affected all of us, I definitely had a lot of material to read through. I would like to take the time to openly admit that, even though $jark
did me the courtesy of removing my name from them, the black screenshots of dA you've all been seeing of comments that were deleted came from me, here's the entire thread before deletion
, and here's a screenshot of the same URL after deletion
grabbed some screenshots as well, and someone even went so far as to recreate a portion of the deleted thread in HTML format
. Please choose whichever version you'd like to read, as there are some interesting and enlightening things said. I strongly suggest reading this thread, keeping in mind dA's own policy regarding comment deletion
Can I remove or delete comments on my userpage or deviations?
There is no way to remove comments posted, as allowing this feature could lead to member abuse situations. In regards to your own comments, the main thing to remember is be thoughtful on where you are leaving comments, and make sure you do not say anything that you would want removed at a later date, as it cannot be done. Aside from this consideration, all comments are also kept for historical purposes.
I think it is important to remind you all that even though dA's policy states there is no way to remove comments posted, the powers that be (quite obviously) did not feel a need to obey their own rules in this situation. This is just one point that =leliathomas
makes in a deviation titled Not MY deviantPOLITICS
. I direct your attention to this deviation as it helps support the facts behind the actual
founders of dA. When you view this deviation please pay special attention to the interesting way =leliathomas
supports her argument that $spyed
is actually not the founder of dA he claims to be. If any of you saw +mkinne
's journal in December of last year, you were probably quite confused at the notion that we might someday be without $jark
. If you're curious as to what I'm going on about, please direct yourselves to this journal entry, titled the future of deviantART?
, bearing in mind this entry was written in December of last year
. Does +mkinne
have the power to predict the future? Honestly, yes and no. Where he had the beans to post what a lot of us were hearing out in public where everyone could read it, there were rumblings even before his journal was posted. Props go to him for stepping up and bringing the issue out into the light of day. I'm going to give you a helping hand here so you don't have to spend too long looking for $spyed
's comment, it's right here
. Kind of funny how this all turned out, considering that comment. The thread that stems from that comment is recent, however, but still.. we get no answers.
If you're sitting there wondering now after reading all of this, "What can I do?" The answer is that you can do plenty. You can show your support with a comment on this journal entry, or on $jark
's userpage, you can write notes, send e-mails, you can blog on your own site about what's taking place here, you can sign =vurtunetech
's petition by following this link
, you can plan August 7, 2005 with some help from `onestar
by reading his journal about taking back our community
on deviantART's fifth birthday, or you can ponder the meaning of life while absorbing the message behind $jark
's deviation, Things That Make You Go Hmm...
. If you'd like more reading material, please direct yourself to `bookdiva
's journal, located here
. We are not the only site suffering, there is an article up on WinCustomize
's termination, too. Let people know what's going on here, supply them with links and information, make sure people are educated, but please, I urge you, allow your friends and mates online to form their own opinions. Please be civil as you wander the lonely hallways and corridors of dA, there is no need to treat another person poorly because they disagree with you.