When I started to get my feet wet on the Internet, not all of it went well. Quite the opposite. I was quite a newb, and my homeschooling background coupled with strict parents didn’t help. Then add that I wasn’t on it enough to get the hang of things. It was a very bad combination.
I talked to very few people online. But there was one person I was in correspondence with that I had met over an Atlantis fanfic. As time went on they introduced me to a site by the name of deviantART. I signed up in 2004 after hearing them mention they were on it, and slowly started to delve into what it had to offer. I do remember I had posted a few things but because of my social ineptness mixed with poor drawing skills, pieces were lackluster at best. I didn’t even have a proper scanner at the time.
Jump to 2006, an incident happened between me and said person. We stopped talking and that was the end of the relationship. I was lost quite a bit, as they were only one of two people I regularly talked to online at the time. When I finally got over it, I looked to see how to make new online friends. Naturally, I turned back to deviantART, as it was the only place I had actually bothered to put something more of myself out there (such as my art).
And while that relationship going south was really devastating to me, it was a turning point for who I was as a person. I was being forced to forge my own path, not run after someone and try to like what they liked to be friends. No, I was instilled with a small semblance of strength to make my own choices.
During nights at the computer lab in Walters State, I started to upload pixel art of ships I drew. I used spare change to delve into new video games. I once again took to Google looking for message boards to join, in an attempt to connect with people over my newfound interests.
It was in this foray I ran across people on deviantART that shared similar interests to me. The three biggest people I remember I was talking to was an artist who did these lovely botanical drawings, especially since they liked to make lots of puns with their photos. Then there was another girl who happened to like a GBA game I had started playing, by the name of Sigma Star Saga. We actually still talk to this day, though not often. Lastly I met a fellow Gundam Seed fan for a bit in my 2007 semester, who got me on the road to eventually going to my first anime con. While I did have a fallout with her as well, one of her friends got to talking with me, and are still around to this day.
It’s people like this that made me devote more and more time to deviantART. It was to a point I was visiting it even more than Facebook, well into 2009. By that time, I was participating in art requests and trades, commenting in forums and starting to build up my favorites collection. I had a long way to go with my art and still do, but it was someplace I had an outlet for.
At the same time, I made a major discovery of the Youtube platform. I vividly recall the first thing I uploaded was a music video for Gundam Seed. Making AMV’s was a thing introduced by the 3rd person I had met on there, and it soon became a skill to know how to put a video together if anything.
While I have a long story after to my life from then on, being left to figure out where to go on deviantART was one of the most influential milestones in my later life. I had a lot of bumps and obstacles to encounter, but it eventually made me stronger. It was a completely different community, say trying to share art at Walters State or with cousins. And lastly, it taught me how to share about myself; something that took well over a decade for my family to be familiar with.
To close my storytelling this week, let’s take a look at some of the first pieces I had posted back then. All but two of these are gone from my current gallery as of today, since my art style and quality had shifted dramatically.