Yep, me...the "Evil Penis" guy as most of you liked to call me. Or the Spider, that worked, too.
Before I left dA I noticed that even if you do come back, you can never really truly come back. I mean you can return, sure. Not a problem there. But dA is more of a social network than an art site. It has been going down that path on a steady yet rapid pace for a very long time. Now that I have been absent from activities but have returned occasionally to post work I am not received Particularly well. I understand why the staff would avoid me. I mean, come on, those that have followed me long enough understand that my employment with deviantART did not go especially well. I have never talked publicly about that issue and what exactly happened and will not break that silence now. The issues of my leaving were fairly well documented. But what about all those "friends". What happened to them? I supposed I was simply not networking enough. Or, in my case, at all.
I have contemplated coming back and being a part of this community again whether those in charge wanted me to or not.
But, something happened. I realized that I had lost my relevance. deviantART had moved on and so had the people that followed me. It wasn't so much they didn't care. Many...I mean MANY actually are not here anymore. I have been here for nearly 11 years - 8 years with an official account. Before I actually signed up I used to come here for skins before the site went crazy big and everything changed. So, really, I have been involved in this site for 11 years in one way or another.
As old-timers will know they have not all been pleasant. Before I was even employed here and had that less-than-stellar experience, I was berated for other things. I was one of the first few artists to do full male nudes. There were only 5 or 6 guys who had done so before that. We were all lambasted and had to endure harsh criticism on a regular basis. Times they were-a-tough. But, I loved this site. I endured because I believed in what I was doing and believed in the cause. I believed in dA even though they offered no protection for such treatment at the time. I took what was given to me and tried like hell to pass it off as uneducated people who would have the nerve to call themselves art appreciators.?
Point is, I took a great deal. Then there came a point where I could take no more. Between the employment gone awry and the criticism constantly leaved at me I simply had enough. I couldn't come here without terrible feelings of remorse. I clearly had to either work through them or say to myself that my leaving would become permanent exile. I came back every now and then to post a picture but essentially had no activity to speak of. I just wasn't here.
Recently I thought I would give a go at a bit more activity. I realized a couple of things. First, as I have already mentioned, you cannot truly go back. Enough time goes by and too many things change for your comfort level. You no longer recognize what was so important to you that you stayed so long in the first place. Second, it really is a social network. It is not about art. Maybe it never was. But, at least you believed it was and that was all that mattered. Once you realize that since you are no longer socially active you are no longer socially relevant, you look at things in a whole new light. At first, I was thinking that I no longer had a place here because no one really gave a shit about what I was posting, what I was doing, or whether I was dead or alive. Seems like a good enough reason to justify a leave to begin with, right?
This went on for a couple of weeks. I thought about whether I should even try to participate here at all. It didn't seem to matter whether I did or not. My website had the same activity so it clearly was not a venue to thrust people to more of my work.
However, was it really about anything like that anyway?
No, not to me it wasn't. See, I bought into the dA as a social network thing before that was even what it was. This was the way I wanted to communicate with my fans. It was as simple as that. Whether they liked what I did, were offended by it, or just downright pissed off - these were my people. Damn if they didn't eventually come around to my cause, too. They supported me in ways I never imagined. Without them I would not have made it 3 years here much less 11. They were that important. YOU were that important.
Now, well now, times have changed. I have changed. This site has changed. The male nude that I championed for so many years here against all odds is not only accepted but celebrated. Relevance once again had seemed to sway me in a direction that did not only leave me without dA but without a purpose. I had called upon myself as a model when I could not find others to do what I wanted to do. I had to rely on that heavily while I shot standard portrait work that I had little passion for. I have come to point where the model in me simply would not comply with my wishes any longer. I cannot do those "shocking" "Evil Penis" nudes with any sort of regularity if at all. Of course, you never know. Most of you have realized that I just may do anything.
Quite frankly I have just gotten too damn old to do it. It happens to us all at some point and I have realize that I am no different.
So, where does a guy like me go with his work? I have always had trouble with models that want to do the work I do - especially male models. Male nudes are now widely accepted and don't need an old dA has-been like me pushing you in their direction. What is my purpose if I were to return here? What the hell am I supposed to do? See, I always DID something. I championed something I believed in and participated in its' growth. I became a Gallery Moderator which was something I loved and could see more respect given to alternate nude art forms that I thought were not present before. I was then an official paid staff member in a job no one could even describe let alone do. I had SOMETHING to do.
But now, nothing. I have nothing to do. Nothing but one thing...
Hello. My name is Steven Mitchell Perry. I used to be "someone" around but now I am not. I still, however, create art. Though I took nearly a two year hiatus from doing that I am "in the mood". Where it will take me I do not know. But, I hope some of you will come along for the ride. I know that in my absence there have been a lot of new people joining the party. I welcome you. All of you. Everyone who has every offered their support has held a special place in my heart. In that absence I have not been here to welcome you personally and I am doing that now.
Things may be different. I may be different. Paths may be different.
We will find a way through.
Where do we go?
I look forward to finding out.
Much from the Spider.
Oh, and I didn't rant about it but I will mention it. "Groups", a project I actually worked on during my employment here, has changed dA dramatically and NOT in a good way. I think it has completely made the individual artist irrelevant. Unless they want to spend all their time submitting to groups they are fucked. Anyway, I LOVE "Groups", they fucking rock!
*note* - This journal, in all likelihood, makes little sense. It is 5am and I have battled heavy insomnia for weeks making much of what I do confusing to say the least. Just know I actually tried to make a point. I hope, in all my madness, that some of you received that point.