deviantART

Website review by
Conny Coon, Common Sense Media
deviantART Website Poster Image
Online art gallery is creative space for older teens.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 49 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 89 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn advanced art skills using tutorials and develop identity by continuing to post work and get feedback. While deviantART may not be the perfect place for a standard art history lesson, the exposure to such a wide variety of art will be eye-opening. Imaginations will definitely be sparked here; teens can take inspiration from others to create their own unique work. They'll also learn to talk about art in a critical way. deviantART is a supportive community of artists that lets teens share their work, make connections, and improve skills in a highly charged creative atmosphere.

Positive Messages

Messages are largely positive and built around creating and sharing art, as well as supporting other artists. But some art and groups have a sexist or otherwise negative theme.

Violence

Some art and literature feature violent imagery, blood, gore, body parts, and fantasy.

Sex

Provocative imagery -- especially of women -- is easy to find. Manga, cartoons, and stylized graphic art often show sensual imagery and frequently feature partially clothed people in provocative poses. Various groups with explicit names or inappropriate subject matter exist.

Language

Images are named by the artist; user names are not always clean; group names run the gamut from squeaky clean and innocent (Sky and Nature Club) to sexually themed.

Consumerism

deviantART recommends an upgrade to their Premium membership for $4.95/mo, which offers more storage and access to additional features. Artists are encouraged to sell their artwork through the site and buy framed prints, so there’s an inherent consumerism just by posting your art. There are outside links and rotating ads that promote teen- and adult-oriented video games and action/adventure movies. Website-branded wearables are also available on the site.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some of the art posted refers to or shows drinking, drugs, or smoking. While these references sometimes appear to be anti-drug, occasionally, drinking, drugs, and smoking are clearly glorified in the art or comments.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byReviews4teens July 1, 2012

Please learn from my mistakes

My 16 yo daughter got involved with this website before I knew much, if anything, about it. I should have trusted my instincts and deleted her account early on... Continue reading
Parent of a 13 year old Written bybobsax September 16, 2012

Perverts may be lurking

I noticed that somebody had commented on what a pretty girl he thought my 13 yo daughter was. I checked him out and he is at least old enough to drink because h... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byISpeakTheTruth January 2, 2011

Don't even waste you're time.

I have been a memeber of Deviantart for a month and I can tell you that the site is okay in some regards. However, I have many pet peeves with this site in part... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byTheRebel February 24, 2015

DeviantART Sucks

This is a horrible, horrible website. I am a learning artist and I joined this site when my old friend made me an account. It was ok, for a while. Then everythi... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • 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?

Website details

  • Subjects: Language & Reading: discussion
    Arts: drawing, film, photography
  • Skills: Communication: conveying messages effectively, friendship building, multiple forms of expression
    Creativity: imagination, making new creations, producing new content
    Self-Direction: identifying strengths and weaknesses, initiative, motivation
  • Genre: Creating
  • Pricing structure: Free

For kids who love being creative

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