Before you read the following letter that I have written to dA, please take the time to familiarize yourself with the situation at hand. Some people might think that it is a trivial matter in a sense it is as these are merely features on a website but it is the principal behind the actions that matters.
A world famous electronic musician recently released a music / digital art montage on DVD. I have nothing against this musician himself in the past he has done some wonderful work and I will admit without reservation that I have several of his CDs. Recently his DVD was advertised through a top journal on dA this musician even became a member of the website. But why? DeviantART is not a place for music files that was decided early on. So what does this artist have to offer for the community?
Recently he was subscribed till hell freezes over a status reserved for select staff members. He was also given the ability to customize his journal with graphics a status reserved for select staff and administrators. Individuals who have been on this website for years and who have devoted a countless number of hours / dollars dont even have these simple privileges. When news of this broke out in several journals around the website the subscription was changed till 2030. What is his journal used for? Its an advertisement for his DVD! Zing! Placed below the journal (to the convenience of the dA user) is the website for the product. Zing!
Im sorry guys, but Ive sat on the fence for far too long when it comes to this website. When something pops up that concerns people I voice my opinion but then I start to play favourites with everyone in an effort not offend anyone. Not any more. Please read the letter below and spread the word (you can copy the letter if you wish or link to it) if you feel deeply about the issue at hand. Remember its not the features its the principle.
My name is Evan McMaster, and I have been a member of the deviantART community for three years. Without deviantART I wouldnt be taking photos or have the appreciation for artistic mediums that I do now. Photography has become a central pillar of my life; I plan to use it in my future ethnographic studies under the belief that visual aids compliment the written word and vice versa.
Much of what I know about photography and artwork in general comes from deviantART. That is a wonderful gift and it has been my goal over the past three years to pass that on to others. Artwork is something that everyone should experience / practice at some point in their lives. The creation of deviantART has allowed for a unique online community to form: where space and time are compressed and international barriers are dissolved as artists from around the world interact and learn with each other. How often does that happen?
Being a senior member has aided my goal I was thrilled to be awarded that particular status after two years of hard work and since then have taken on my new leadership role with great pride. I enjoy helping out others in any way possible by either answering questions directly, or pushing them in the right direction. It is rewarding to know that Ive helped (in any way / amount) with the artistic schooling of others as those before me helped with my artistic schooling. Im sure other senior members and older deviants feel the same way being recognized for hard work and devotion gives one a sense of purpose and pride within a community. This recognition shouldnt be handed out on a whim; it must be earned. The recipients must stand above others as community leaders role models for the next generation of deviants.
Since 2003 I have invested roughly $630.00USD ($700.00CAD) in the website. This money has been spent on subscriptions, prints accounts, and artwork not only myself, but other artists. As a University student that amount of money is quite large, and despite the fact that it was spread over the course of three years it still adds up. I will never question my expenses as I feel they have made a change in the lives of others. This is one of the many ways in which I express my belief that art is important. Art is universal, and it must be shared.
I feel that I am more than deserving of a lifetime subscription I would love to be a member of MyArt-Space till hell freezes over. I would also cherish the ability to customize my journal with fancy graphics (as others are able to do). I might not be a world famous electronic musician, but I have my merits. I have my merits, and so do the countless number of senior members, long-standing deviants, and community enthusiasts on this website. Any feature that helps spread the awareness of artwork is a good feature right? Is it not an investment in the lives of future artists? That is what this site is about, right? I could also address you as a business man and state that such a feature could work as a key selling point for potential members. More money? No problem!
But let us not worry about the principles behind such a request we can work the details out in private and keep the rest of the website out of the loop. Even if a subscription till hell freezes over isnt possible we can aim for 2030. Im only 24, and another 24 years seems like an eternity.