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Name: deviantART (dA, DA, DevART)
Dates: August 7, 2000 - present
Type: Artist Community, Gallery, Social Networking Site
Fandom: Multifandom
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deviantART is a community site for artists. It is open to art in a wide variety of media, both original and fanart, which has its own category, possibly the largest multifandom fanart collection online. Artists can display their art in their own gallery, and there are site-wide categories and search functions for browsing all archived works. dA also has a shop where artists can sell prints and other printed goods, though anything labelled as fanart is automatically excluded from these commercial features to avoid copyright problems.[1]

The site also has social networking features. Members can comment on art, add other members' works to their favorites, and subscribe to the updates of specific artists. The site also offers journals, collections, polls, and forums for discussion.

DeviantART and Fandom

This article or section needs expansion.

In 2009 dA expanded its group functionality, so that now groups are a properly supported feature with group management tools, rather than the previous "clubs" which were just repurposed individual accounts. This made the creation of fan clubs much easier, many of which attracted tens of thousands of watchers.

Art trades and art collaborations were frequent on the site.

Fanfiction is also posted on the site; see the fanfiction category.

Frequent Topics of Debate

Topics of discussion among artists on Deviantart cover a wide range of issues. As some commentators on fail-fandomanon explained ironically:
"...continued referendums on whether tracing was a valid learning tool, accusations of art theft being thrown left, right and sideways, endless concrit wank, wank about lineart being available for coloring and the colorist not crediting the lineartists, commission price wank, continued wank over style and technique, Digital versus Traditional and intra-faction fighting thereof (Photoshop versus every other program; "Crayola crayons are fine!" versus "You absolutely need the super-expensive 30,000-color Prismacolor kit", that sort of thing), and of course, continued wank about style, technique, and whether one style or another is "superior".... [2]
"..... and wank over watermarks. Necessary evil to prevent art theft? annoying thing that detracts from the art itself? No one can decide on that!"[3]
"Pricing Wank is my favorite and least favorite kind. "Five-dollar commissions are selling yourself short!" versus "Two hundred dollars for digital art is unreasonable!".

I forgot to mention Commission-wank in general! Commission-wank can get ugly at times, though. People ripping other people off on both sides (as in artists taking the money and running and customers getting full inks/lineart and then not paying), wank over content of commissions (artists having lists of things they won't draw and customers asking for things on that list anyway and then more or less saying "I'm paying you money, why won't you draw this?"), and as I've mentioned, endless pricing/payment structure wank.

Yes. Payment structure wank. As in whether to expect the whole payment up-front or split the payments up because not everyone can afford to pay up front, especially when you get higher in price."[4]


The introduction of the site's own virtual currency, the "deviantART Points" soured a lot of artists on deviantART, as the site encouraged the usage of these virtual points to commission artists. The virtual currency could only be spent on deviantART products and services and could not be exchanged for real money.[5]

Some fans also found the site's double standard regarding male and female nudity objectionable. Some also felt that m/m fanart was at a higher risk of deletion than other types of shippy art.[6]

Fanfic Purge

At one point, DA was host to a lot of explicit fanfic in fandoms that also had a lot of art: Hetalia, Homestuck, some others. DA was the #1 place to find Reader Insert fic in those fandoms. Then they started cracking down on "adult" content - this was before they had an adult filter option - and much of that fic was deleted; it seemed that some groups of fans were going out of their way to find & report it.

This may not have been before AO3 existed, but it was before most fans knew about it.

Further Reading


  1. deviantArt FAQ #743: Can I sell "fanart" as prints? (accessed 26 January 2009)
  2. fail_fandomanon, Archived version
  3. fail_fandomanon, Archived version
  4. fail_fandomanon, Archived version
  5. These were an awful idea.
  6. I don't remember the specific fandom(s) involved in this wank but it was around the late 2000s.