I'd known about deviantArt for quite a while before I joined. My friends and I were into a number of fandoms, and sometimes we suffered from intense feels
resulting from those fandoms.... So much so that we needed an outlet. And fanfiction.net could only help so much. I think it must have been my friend martiowlsten
who pointed me toward deviantArt. And the artwork I found therein supplied. What a smorgasbord of catharsis.
And then, on August 15, 2007, I came home from work and put my key in the door.... and didn't hear my aging cockatiel Leia start shriek-singing in wonted greeting at the sound. I came inside. My brother was on the family room couch, watching something. Leia was in her cage in the living room. She was dead and stiff. I put the blanket half over the adjacent parakeets' cage so they wouldn't have to see any more.
She had been old. I'd guessed it was to be expected, someday. And I'd had pets die before. I didn't cry, but I still felt.... heavy.
I took a shovel from the shed, and buried her in the backyard.
cry. When she came home and I told her. She didn't get to say goodbye.... And I felt.... stupid for having acted so robotically, putting her in the ground so quick.
We shared memories and I wondered when I could just get back to my life. What was wrong with me? Was I so cold?
That evening I joined deviantArt, probably looking around for catharsis again, albeit a bit listlessly. Stonily. Heavily. Maybe sinking into the internet and wandering around aimlessly was just my version of getting drunk, since I'm a good little Mormon girl who doesn't drink alcohol.
Maybe it helped. Maybe it didn't. Sometimes only time helps.
It was around Harry Potter heyday time. This was my first favorite:
So I had an account, and even a few favorites. And my friends martiowlsten
welcomed me warmly into this new community. They had seen some of my art at work or over emails, but I had never posted any of it online. I was afraid of.... thieves or spoilage. I wanted my works to mature
before I showed them to the world. But Marti and Danika encouraged me, and I uploaded a few things.
This was my first upload, something of which I was very proud, and something the world had already seen anyway. Or at least.... anybody who'd flipped through Nintendo Power issue 175:
That and a couple other Zelda pieces went into my gallery. I had no idea how to interact with other members of the community, though. Some of the comments I got went unanswered for months
So I had an account. And I had some art.
But I was silent for a very long time.
Life went on, and some time in 2009, I pulled myself away from a colored pencil drawing and told myself It's okay
. If I didn't want to do it, I didn't have to do it. I'd been saving a DVD series I had ordered, not letting myself watch it until I finished this picture.... But I finally just put the picture aside. I wasn't enjoying it. It was a tiresome chore. I admitted to myself: I didn't like drawing anymore
And I broke out the DVDs. The series was called "Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles". It was a computer animated show I hadn't seen since 1999 or 2000, and I quickly fell in love with it again.
It was a fantastic show, and many of its visuals still hold up well even today. But even better than that, out of the entire franchise, Roughnecks was probably the most faithful to Heinlein's original novel. However, its fanart is sadly lacking in the deviantArt community.
There are a very few good ones, though.
That picture I'd been working on? It still sits unfinished. But I had meant it to represent.... Everything
Around came 2010, and I finally broke down and went to see How To Train Your Dragon. I didn't expect anything more than cheap thrills; I hadn't really enjoyed anything from DreamWorks since Antz
and Galaxy Quest
. But strangely enough, I thought How To Train Your Dragon was chocolate covered gold with sprinkles on top. All six of the bee's knees. And I felt a strange exploding urge.... my hand, my pencils, my colored pencils.... were so restless....
Over the next few years I submitted eighty-eight
How To Train Your Dragon-based submissions. I think it's safe to say that that was the milieu that brought my art back to life like a defibrillator.
A few years have passed, and here I am. I have submitted many deviations from many milieus as well as from my own imagination or recollection, all in many, many forms. Drawn, photographed, vectored, written.... I have a better grasp of the community now, too, and though I don't always answer all my messages, I do read every single one I get. I have joined a number of groups. I take part in contests and activities. DeviantArt is a big, wide world. But I have come to feel so welcome and comfortable here.
My skills have improved as well. When I came here, I didn't know how to use my Wacom tablet:
But I've practiced and learned.... and become more patient:
That is my latest, really
refined art piece. Huh. What do you know? Full circle back to another Zelda piece. The Legend of Zelda really will always hold a very special place in my heart.
I am so pleased with the growth I have experienced while a member of this wonderful community of artists. I would
say "I'm getting there," but.... the truth of it is, there is no "there" to get to. Artistic progression does not lead to any destination. It's just a road that goes on and on.
Where are you on the road? It doesn't matter. There's always room before, and there's always room behind, and that goes for everyone. Never judge yourself against anyone but who you were yesterday.
As for me, for now I may just keep walking down the road. Maybe we'll walk together. Who knows? Maybe one day I'll call that old colored pencil drawing back to me, and I'll finally finish.... Everything
I'd been thinking about it lately.
This lovely lady reminded me when I saw her the other day:
I guess time will tell. It usually does.
See you down the road.