What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this arts-based online community is a great space for teens to showcase their artistic endeavors -- but it’s not for young kids. Over 100 million works of art -- from literature to photography to manga and body art -- can be found throughout the gallery space. Users can browse, comment, critique, and build their fan base. There’s even the potential to buy and sell art. The work featured in members’ galleries varies in quality -- and appropriateness. Parents should be cautioned that there are some images that may be offensive, including violent imagery, mild nudity, and provocative poses. Members can update their status, comment, send public or private messages, participate in art contests, and chat live in hundreds of different-- unmoderated -- chat rooms.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- making new creations
- producing new content
- identifying strengths and weaknesses
- multiple forms of expression
- conveying messages effectively
- friendship building
Engagement, Approach, Support
deviantArt is a fun place for budding artists to share their work. It's a place for stick figures, oil paintings, and digital creations, and though it's a little cluttered, teens can find their niche in the community.
deviantART is essentially a social network, and teens will receive mostly positive feedback from peers, empowering them to continue creating. Selling art online can help them with IRL marketing skills later on.
deviantART is huge, so they've got some well-oiled systems in place to keep members on track. If teens don't find the assistance they need in the FAQ or Site Tour, they can open a ticket with the Help Desk.
What's it about?
DEVIANTART is an online community of artists, where kids can share, discuss, and sell original artwork. With 26 million registered users, its huge social network reaches artists in 190 countries. Users create an account, then fill in profile information and add their art to personal galleries, which can then be viewed by other visitors. Art is categorized into searchable sections like "Traditional Art," "Photography," and "Manga and Anime." deviantART also offers tutorials and a professional portfolio creator for artists ready to take it to the next level.
Is it any good?
As a global arts community, deviantART is not as deviant as it claims. There’s tremendous talent and creativity on display through the many, many galleries of art and literature on the site. Genres are vast and include everything from photography, cartoons, and comics to digital creations, film, and flash animations. Members can display and critique the works on display, and there’s a sense of support and camaraderie among the artists who participate. However, among the works with artistic merit, there is also some devious activity. Completely unmoderated, there are offensive posts, explicit group names, and some works that might be deemed inappropriate for younger eyes due to their sexual subject matter or graphic, violent imagery. Older teens interested in art will surely find some phenomenal inspiration, but they will likely come across some questionable content.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about how a supportive online community can help build confidence in kids. What can be learned from other creative kids? Why is it important to provide constructive criticism in a virtual community? What harm can be done by doing the opposite?
Talk about online etiquette. What does etiquette mean to you, and how do you demonstrate it online? What rules of the road will help maintain a courteous online environment?
What should you do if someone in an online community is using inappropriate or suggestive language? What kind of information is safe to post in public forums? What can teens do to stay safe online?