Perhaps I hope for too much, but lately I have noticed that deviantART members have begun using this site, which I love very much, as something akin to pintrest, photobucket, tinypic, and shutterfly. I am sorry, but this site was not meant for that. At least, I do not believe it was meant for that. It is not supposed to be a place where one downloads pictures of one's favorite artists, or a meal one had at a restaurant, or even, in all honesty, the pictures of one and one's friends at ComicCon, or any other costume/artistic convention.
This site is supposed to be a place where ARTISTS post and store their work in a detailed and organized place where they can receive constructive criticism and critique from others.
That being said, my definition of that very loaded word "artist" is a vague one. I believe it constitutes anyone who is passionate about a medium, be it written word, film, culinary, 3-D media (from digital to physical), or wet/dry 2-D, and wishes to pursue this medium, and gain skill therein. This, of course, bears no relation whatsoever to the skill of the individual involved. If you passionately draw stick-figures, or bake char cakes, you still count as an artist in my eyes, so long as you wish to improve. And believe me, this site is AMAZING for that. I have learned more about cosplay and costume creation on this site than I have from anywhere else. This site has some of the best concentrated knowledge for...pretty much every media I have bothered to search.
Using this site for anything else is a horrible abuse, in my eyes. I don't care if you're completely incapable of painting the next Starry Night or carving the next David (I hear younger people saying "what're those"). What I care about is your passion. I want there to be something in your head you are trying to express. I don't care if whatever that is doesn't translate at all. I want it in your head. If it's in there, that's all that matters.
Of course, with any argument, there are exceptions to the rule. I have seen images of conventions where it's a group costume, and it's honestly the only place you could all meet. I get that. And if you can turn that into something that is more than just "look at me and my pals at X, Y, or Z-con", then I'm totally chill with that. I saw one of a Katara and Zuko cosplay once where they shot it in front of a fountain and made it look like Katara was waterbending at Zuko. That was really creative and cool to me. I realize a lot of people have probably done it, but this group looked like they put effort into the timing and besides which, the costumes were beautiful. And handmade.
There are other sites that have dealt with this issue. ELFwood has mods who check your work before it's posted to your gallery. It takes forever, and has its own, extensive list of problems, but one thing they do not have over there are rampant copies and people using the site as a weird shutterfly.
Okay. I've ranted long enough. I doubt anyone's going to read this, but it's something that's been bothering me for a while, and I wanted to get it out there.
I don't mean to offend anyone. This is just how I feel. In addition, if you're feeling up to it, and actually read this journal, I'd ask you to share a link to it. I don't dream of thinking I'll start a dA revolution, but I'd like for like-minded people to join together on this issue.
Watching: my brother play Bioshock: Infinite
Playing: Batman: Arkham City
Eating: Waiting on awesome Chinese food
Drinking: Diet Dr. Pepper