Some of you might have just cocked your heads to the side like an old- fashioned cartoon when you saw the word Deviant.
A Deviant is a nickname for someone who uses the art website DeviantART.com. This website is used around the world for artists of all ages to get some recognition and feedback on their artwork. The website started August 7, 2000, and since July 2011, has grown to be the 13th largest social networking website with 3.8 million visits a week and more than 140,000 artwork submissions everyday.
DeviantART, in its essence, is a website for anyone who loves art to display their artwork for the world to see. Whether you draw, paint, collage, spray paint, paper-m√Ęch√© or even make clothing out of candy wrappers, you can either scan or take a picture of your work and send it through the World Wide Web. When you create an account (which is free by the way), you can comment on pieces of artwork that you like, add them to a favorites folder so that you can find the piece again, keep an online journal and even talk to other DeviantART users in the chat rooms. Even if you don't want to create an account, you can still browse through the artwork.
Although it is a great website, you need to be careful if you are putting your artwork on DeviantART. When submitting artwork, there are little option buttons that you can mark to add a watermark to your artwork when previewed so people cannot claim your artwork as their own, and you can also limit your artwork's audience to DeviantART users, but only if you check the boxes. If you don't check these boxes, there will be a download button next to your artwork and it will make it easy for other users to save your artwork to their computer without credit. This would allow other users to use your artwork on anything they'd like without giving proper credit, including school projects and other presentations.
But besides being careful with the fine print, DeviantART is a great website for artists to gather together, share ideas and bounce ideas off one another. It's also great for discovering new artists and kinds of art you might not have known were out there. If you are looking for some constructive criticism, DeviantART is the place for you. To make an account is free, and you do not have to post any artwork unless you want to.
Paige Eisenlohr, 17, of Clarks Summit, is a senior at Abington Heights High School.