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Submitted on
December 22, 2012
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Director of Community Relations :iconmoonbeam13: :

Table of Contents

1. Happy Holidays and Merry New Year
2. Volunteer Openings in Community Relations
3. Community Projects
4. Official Contests
5  Project Educate 2011/2012
6. Art History Project
7. News from the Chats and Forums
8. News from the Galleries

1. Happy Holidays and Merry New Year

As the old year begins to fade into the sunset, it is customary to reflect on the passing year and make plans for the upcoming one.  Some do this in the form of resolutions, some people make action plans, some people just swing into the new year the same way they swung out of the old one :) Whatever way you intend to welcome in 2013, I hope you're surrounded by love and that you do it safely!

I've been reflecting on the year and like many, with some focus on the unimaginable events of the last few weeks. Specifically, the shooting in Newtown.  I know that it's "human nature" to want to find answers but I find the media coverage to be brutal.  Let's be honest, we could have the attackers themselves explain the 'why' and it still wouldn't make sense.  You can't make sense of the senseless.

Regardless, I wept when I heard of these events and I believe I'm not alone. The sorrow was felt around the world and I'm sure the new year will bring on many gun debates and discussions, some of which have already started.  I'm not here to talk about gun laws and policies, I want to talk about the power of community and being better humans.

In the wake of the events, Ann Curry of NBC News wrote:

Newtown's heartbreak has a lot of us asking, "What can I do?" Thinking about this, I took to Twitter and asked people to imagine what would happen if all of us committed to 20 acts of kindness to honor each child lost in Newtown. I added, "I'm in. If you are, RT #20Acts."
Tens of thousands of people on Twitter and Facebook not only seized the idea, they increased it to #26Acts, to include the heroic teachers, and are launching acts of kindness big and small all over America. The acts are spreading overseas, including one tweeted from Borneo.

Certainly the idea of Random Acts of Kindness and Paying it Forward are not new notions but ones we need to be reminded of.  The deviantART community is especially amazing at things like this.  From the simple acts of participating in the community to critiquing or collecting someone's artwork.  From buying someone a premium membership to donating to someone's cause.  I'm always wowed by the lengths members of the community are willing to go for, all intents and purposes, complete strangers.

Throughout the year, we upset each other, we get angry at each other and feel like we just aren't being listened to.  Whether it's members of the community, staff, volunteers or senior members - we've all found ourselves feeling like we're on the opposite side of the fence. What I have come to realize over the years is that the main motivator for how voracious these 'debates' can be, is our shared love of the deviantART community.  We may not always agree on the ways to care and nurture for it but we are all coming from a place of love and protection for something we hold dear.  

That's a great realization but what do we do about it? Well there's no one answer or I'd have suggested it years ago :D but what I can tell you is what I'm going to do.  First, I totally participated in #26acts and I plan on continuing to participate in working in random acts of kindness into my days going forward.  I'm going to learn to be a better listener, I tend to multi-task and I'm not going to do that when someone is trying to talk to me.  I'm also going to practice forgiveness.  I am not infallible and let's be honest, carrying around a grudge is exhausting. I'm also going to try to be more patient - this one is going to be a challenge :D It's time to start over, rebuild and renew :) I have placed my 'resolutions' for you all to see so that you will help hold me accountable and hopefully join me :heart:

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below about how you think we can improve the 'community' in the deviantART community.  What would you like to see more of? Less of? Do you have any resolutions, if so what are they?

I wish you a safe and blessed holiday and hope you're spending it with people you love. I look forward to spending an amazing 2013 with you all.

Merry Yule :heart:

2. Volunteer Openings in Community Relations

If you're interested in learning more about being a volunteer on deviantART please read FAQ #85: Can I be a volunteer on deviantART?

To see current openings on the Community Relations volunteer team please check this journal. If there isn't a spot open please consider helping out from within the community.  Read How to be a guiding light and shining example by RockstarVanity and So you Want to be a CV by Thiefoworld

3. Community Projects

:omg: Want to show your devious pride and get involved in ongoing Community Projects? Check on one of these!

4. Official Contests

All "official" contests will begin at midnight PST on the start date and end at 11:59 PST on the end date. This applies to all Community Relations run contests and all deviantART sponsored contests.

The ":flagus:" icon marks US Only contests

:bulletpink: dARelated RED Contest - Deadline December 31, 2012
:bulletpink: Anthro Challenge: December - Campfire and Ice - Deadline December 31, 2012
:bulletpink: Crossovers Contest - Deadline January 9, 2013
:bulletpink: :flagus: MAMA Scared Stiff Contest - Deadline January 9, 2013
:bulletpink: Four Line Poems - Deadline January 15, 2013
:bulletpink: :flagus: Beautiful Creatures - Deadline January 20, 2013

5. Project Educate 2011/2012

The past two weeks have seen a lot of Community action over at projecteducate with deviants across the site getting involved with writing articles. Below is a selection of articles that have been shared during the fortnight as well as some useful tips on how to get involved and our exciting 2013 Schedule.
:bulletpink: The 2013 Project Educate Schedule
:bulletpink: Community Week Leaders & Participants Guide
:bulletpink: Interviews with Community Week Superstars
:bulletpink: How can YOU join Project Educate?
:bulletpink: The Importance Of Anatomy
:bulletpink: The Impact of Colour

6. Art History Project

December sees the final weeks of Artisan Craft month over at ArtHistoryProject. Follow the group to get up to date information and articles in your inbox and be sure to check out previous months too! January brings Photography month with lots of exciting articles and the chance for you to join in as well!
:bulletpink: Welcome to Art History
:bulletpink: Photography Signup for January!
:bulletpink: The Art of Paper Folding
:bulletpink: How to make a viking dress
:bulletpink: An easy wire wrapping tutorial

7. News from the Chats and Forums

:bulletpink: Forum Events Calendar
:bulletpink: Chat Events Calendar
:bulletpink: November's Forum Feature : Food
:bulletpink: Chat Tutorial #8 - Requesting Help
:bulletpink: Chat Tutorial #9 - Emoticons on dAmn
:bulletpink: Show Me #8 - Birds
:bulletpink: Common Forum Topics Addressed: Art college
:bulletpink: dAmnit by user Ft. $fourteenthstar

8. News from the Galleries

:bulletblue: Anime & Manga Monthly Update

:bulletblue: Anthro

:bulletblue: Artisan Crafts

:bulletblue: Comics & Cartoons

:bulletblue: Community Projects

:bulletblue: Customization
:bulletgreen: Icons & Handhelds
:bulletgreen: Digital Dolls
:bulletgreen: Emoticons
:bulletgreen: Skins & Themes

:bulletblue: Designs & Interfaces
:bulletgreen:Game Development Art

:bulletblue: deviantART Related

:bulletblue: Digital Art
:bulletgreen: 3-Dimensional Art
:bulletgreen: Fractal
:bulletgreen: Photomanipulation
:bulletgreen: Pixel Art
:bulletgreen: Text Art & Typography
:bulletgreen: Vector
:bulletgreen: Vexel

:bulletblue: Fan Art

:bulletblue: Film & Animation

:bulletblue: Flash & Animation

:bulletgreen: Literature

:bulletblue: Photography
:bulletgreen: Abstract & Surreal
:bulletgreen: Animals, Plants & Nature
:bulletgreen: Artistic Nude
:bulletgreen: Darkroom
:bulletgreen: People & Portraits
:bulletgreen: Photojournalism
:bulletgreen: Pin-Up & Glamour
:bulletgreen: Still Life Photography
:bulletgreen: Urban & Rural Photography - Urbex Feature

:bulletblue: Resources & Stock Images

:bulletblue: Science Fiction & Space Art

:bulletblue: Street Art & Graffiti

:bulletblue: Traditional Art
:bulletblue: Body Art

The Community Relations department exists to encourage, facilitate and
develop the relationship with our deviantART community.  Our goal is to
nurture our community by encouraging, stimulating artists to create,
collaborate, and participate in a friendly, safe, and supportive
artistic environment.  Watch communityrelations for up to date news and to learn how you can get involved in projects and events!

Bi-monthly news article from the Community Relations Department :)
Add a Comment:
Moonbeam13 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for reading :)
iingo Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist

:santa:Merry Christmas to you too.

And a way to improve the community? um...hmm. Maybe do more fun activities with each category of art cause I barely see anything with Manga and barley see anything with icons and other ones. Maybe do like art crafts with each category and other fun activities with each category of art. But hey, just an idea.

:love: Happy New Year to all as well
RockstarVanity Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012
Something about improving the community of deviantART...when I have time, I love to check out the Suggestions forum here and see what kind of things people are coming up with to help make dA a better place. Yesterday, I also visited the Help With Life forum, which I rarely read (not for any particular reason other than I don't usually have time for much forum browsing).

It absolutely broke my heart to see some of the truly horrible responses some people had left, probably under the impression that they were helpfully offering a reality check or a dose of tough love...that's my rose-tinted diplomatic view of it anyway, it may not be accurate. I know a lot of the time people post things in there that everyone responds to with "Go and see a doctor, please!" or "This isn't something people on an art site are qualified to help with", and that's fair enough.

But I noticed a few threads which were obviously written by young people at the end of their tether who felt that they had nowhere else to turn. It takes a LOT of guts to share not only personal things, but personal things that you know people are probably going to be judgmental of, in the hope that perhaps someone out there will show some empathy or be able to relate to your situation or offer some advice. To see those threads filled with "Life's tough, get over it" comments, or (even worse) comments blaming or insulting the original poster for not being able to cope adequately with an awful situation, was shocking and kind of disgusting.

I don't honestly understand why anyone would bother reading a forum that they KNOW is for people to talk about their problems and then leave bitchy comments belittling those problems. I know it's not possible to stop people from leaving comments like that on threads posted by vulnerable younger deviants, but it IS possible for more people to offer understanding and kindness. I was so upset by what I saw yesterday that I have decided to make my deviant resolution for 2013 to visit Help With Life more often and try to offer support and empathy when I see that someone needs it.
Moonbeam13 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Definitely something to look into in the new year.
Anj3lla Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012   General Artist
:iconbigheartplz: Love and Light :iconbigheartplz:
LadyLincoln Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Kindness is certainly something that never goes out of season.

With love and blessings,
Moonbeam13 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Endorell-Taelos Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012   General Artist
mirz-alt Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012   General Artist
Beautifully said.
DistortedSmile Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Add a Comment: