sent me a few questions about the site and I figured they'd be interesting for everyone to read. What's your earliest memory of your involvement with deviantART? An incident? A place? A work of art?
My earliest memory was the conversation I had with jark on IRC. We used to frequent #mp3 and #deskmod and other desktop customization chatrooms.Where was deviantART physically located when it all began, and how did it evolve from there?
Physically, it was always located in SoCal with Angelo. Since DMusic owned all the servers, we were originally tacked on with them.Was there a particular artist, or piece of art, that suddenly gave you a new estimation of what deviantART might eventually become? Who was that artist / what was that piece, and what do you remember about your reaction to it?
Man, that is a really good question. We always had amazing artists involved in the community from day 1. My two biggest inspirations at the time were jake, precurser, pixelphreak, and monaux... among many others.What was the height of the extent of your involvement with deviantART, both in terms of the social networking you were drawn into and the technical demands of the site's infrastructure? Can you describe what those days were like?
I was basically in charge of Artist Relations. I was the liaison between the community and the dev team. And we had tons of technical problems back then, since we were constantly pushing the limits of what the current technology could handle. We had many outages, laggy days, and even some data loss. It was a constant battle just to keep the site up. I was involved in the site and active in chatrooms, forums, shoutboxes, etc. for about 10-14 hours a day, depending on how much schoolwork I had. I was a full-time college freshman at the time.Have you seen work on deviantART that you've wanted to purchase? Or have you ever commissioned art from a deviant?
I was in charge of getting the print program together, so I have TONS of deviantART prints somewhere in tubes and boxes. In college, they were all over my walls, but over the years, I have lost some and failed to put some up. I have often talked about commissioning jasinski for a piece to go above my mantle, but I've been too busy to really move forward with it.Can you tell me about your lowest point with deviantART? Have you ever wanted to separate yourself from the site entirely?
Absolutely. I think it's pretty common knowledge that Angelo, Scott and I had our differences. The lowest point, from my perspective, was when Jark was let go. I didn't have a good relationship with Angelo at the time and things were strained to say the least. Since then, I have sat down with Angelo and discussed exactly what happened and why it had to happen. I understand now that Angelo was sort of forced into the situation and how hard it was for him during those times. We are now on really good terms and I think it all comes down to communication. Talking things out really helped.Was there anything in particular that you learned about art, as a result of your involvement with deviantART?
Everything I know about art I learned from deviantART.
I have no formal education in any of this, so the entire experience was a learning process for me. All I knew before deviantART was how to create some cool interfaces in Photoshop. I didn't understand why it was important or the impact it had on our everyday lives.What is your current level of involvement with deviantART?
I am a consultant at the moment, hoping to get more and more involved as time goes on. I miss working on the site and am so excited to see how far it has come since I left. Angelo, Heidi, Chris, and others have done a remarkable job at creating and managing one of the most talented teams I have ever had the privilege of working with.Are you satisfied with your current involvement with deviantART, or are there issues you'd like to see resolved?
Like I said, I would like to be more involved, but it's a delicate process. I live in Austin, Texas and most of the company is in LA. So I get to visit, but day-to-day operations are hard when working remotely. Ideally, I'd like to come back as a product manager and focus on one product while maintaining my role as an advisor and consultant to Angelo.Having been present from the very inception of deviantART, would you share your thoughts about the site regarding its tenth birthday? Positive thoughts, negative thoughts?
Looking back to those early days, I think about how many of those sites, those people, those ideas are still around. I would say that 99% of everything that made deviantART into what it is today are gone. Deskmod is gone. Wasted Youth is gone. 545studios.com is gone. Most of the original core staff have moved on to other jobs or projects. It's amazing that we were able to create something so profound that it withstood the test of time. They always say the best music can be enjoyed by every generation. I'm not trying to compare dA to the Beatles
, but it's amazing to see people growing up and new generations taking over, all in the name of art.