So, it looks like it's been over 10 years since I registered here, and 5 since I wrote a journal. GROSS NEGLIGENCE. You're all overdue a proper rambly wall of text from me to commemorate this sad fact. Here goes.
Where do I start? Yeah, I'm still into anthro art, yeah, I still draw. Madness, right? Where's the proof?
You may or may not have noticed my immediate change in username. Actually, that's even more negligence on my part. I've been going by the handle 'huskion' since 2007 or so, and apologies are in order for anyone who wanted to keep in touch and didn't get informed - which brings me to my other excuse.
I've been inactive on deviantART for the usual variety of reasons that the vast majority of anthro artists out there are. Simply: The anthro art community here on dA receded when the likes of Yaoi! Gallery, SheezyArt and FurAffinity came around; in other words, since around 2006 or so. dA has become more or less riddled with photographers and anime/manga artists, and as most of you old timers will know, comments have regressed a great deal to near-youtube level profundity. I have nothing against those things, they're just not for me. I always felt that my photography wasn't good enough to exhibit (ha, that's ironic considering some stuff you see on here these days) and that I grew out of anime/manga when I stopped being a teenager. The comments going to hell thing was inevitable.
While I don't necessarily feel I need commenters' insight or community spirit to draw and upload things to the public, I feel I'm very much the social butterfly and far from introverted, so I just went along with the other anthro crowd. It feels strange in itself to refer to it as "anthro" art, when all of us know it's furry. That's another thing about dA. It's a bit of a safehaven for premature closet-furries or people who don't want to associate themselves with the fandom; read, people in their teens who seem to have gotten it into their heads that furries are abhorrent sex obsessed deviants (oh wait, this is deviantART... goodness, I'm on a roll with the sardony today), and that a furry is the last thing they want to be or have anything to do with, while still being able to draw their anthropomorphic characters and write stories about them.
I don't think that's hypocritical, I just think it's part of growing up. Eventually, those people will either lose interest in Furry as a whole, or they will get over themselves, once they realise the simple truth: People like that are everywhere. You get freaky perverts in every fandom, and freaky perverts in the general public who have nothing to do with popular culture. Just turn on your TV, it's a horrible world out there - so sooner or later, for your own good, you have to find your way out of your sheltered bubble and brave the elements of contemporary society.
I'm at peace with all that, I suppose. Mostly because I'm no better myself, but everyone has their secrets. Anyway, swiftly moving on.
When I opened my account on dA, I was in the first few months of the International Baccalaureate Programme in 2002. That's the final years of high school when your family lives abroad and wants you to go to a University in another country. The IB Programme is a complicated, stressful yet prestigeous qualification that teaches you a hell of a lot of life lessons far too early, and I can't say I recommend it to anyone who isn't an overambitious nerd (like I thought I was) and wants to become a rocket scientist or a full-time surgeon. I digress.
My dA account was an idea I came up with to support my Visual Arts class in the IB. I figured, that it'd be an extension of my research workbook, something I could show people during my graduation vernissage, and an inexpensive, fantastic way to showcase my better artwork to the right people who were interested. I wanted to use it to show off to my teachers, be a sideshow to my mother's dinner guests and brag to my friends like a stuck up arsehole whenever they expressed their surprise at my drawing skills by foolishly complementing me. (Don't look at me like that, I was 16 for chrissake!) To begin with, that's what dA was for me. I only submitted my best work and I only received proper constructive critique. Perfect.
It quickly became nothing of the sort.
Suddenly, I started stalking other anthro artists with more talent than me and being a creep like a typical noob. I was taken aback when one responded to my efforts to be friendly with, "If you want to get into my character's pants, don't talk to me". I ignored that sort of conceited behaviour for the most part, because duh, if someone can draw so well, then they must be an awesome person, right!? I miss being naive and ignorant, but it's places like this that teach you a healthy amount of cynicism and to treat things strangers say to you over the internet with a pinch of salt.
Before I knew it, I had 70-odd pieces of artwork on here with a fair few watchers and a satisfying amount of comments, and even a handful of regular socialites I could call friends, most notably krhainos with whom I am friends to this day. Then I broke down like a hormonal freak and deleted everything to seek attention. Then, a while later, I felt stupid about it, of course; because that happens all the time, and I got nothing out of it apart from regret that I'd destroyed all the proof of my handiwork and the acknowledgement that came with it. On the other hand, you could say I did myself a favour, as I had single-handedly made myself a nobody and successfully avoided the name-and-fame-game that most internet artists strive for in some way. Screw the pageviews, comment counts and faves. I'm not daily deviation material, no sir-ee.
At first, I tried to undo it all and get noticed again. Then, I graduated high school and had bigger fish to fry. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts to study at British universities that were way beyond the academic level indicated by my lazy exam results, I decided to go study Modern Media and Digital Arts at a place called the Polish-Japanese Institute of Information Technology (PJWSTK). It was easy to get in, local so I could live at home, and cheaper. I met one of my best friends, Crono8 there, among others - most notably goku-no-baka, Radditz and angelicetherreality, who are all far more 'popular' and successful on here than I ever aspired to be (even before I met them). I did two years of that college (you couldn't really call it a university) before I dropped out due to language barriers, an art block and a very shitty bureaucratic system that wanted to extort money out of me for retaking classes without actually being able to attend them.
I went into real life for a little while. I did a few jobs - I worked in a hotel taking group reservations, data entry, tech support at an expo centre, translation and freelance computer service. Then I became an elementary school teacher. Don't really know how that happened. It's a little horrifying, now that I look back at it, and it surprises everyone I tell just as much as myself. I was in a suit and tie, waking up at 5AM every day, herding nose-picking ankle-biters and marking their homework. I escaped.
During that time, my artistic esteem healed itself a bit, and I got back into drawing and stuff, but still kept it sparse, preferring to give other people the acknowledgement and support, and help them play the game. I was more into drawing for the fun of dicking around with other people on openCanvas than actually getting real art done. Occasionally, I would lose a few hours and get something done properly. Then I put it up here if I could be arsed.
I've since moved back to England, the country of my birth, to give university another shot. I'm doing Japanese with Film Production, in my second year and loving it. Art and Furry are still a big part of my life, as anyone who knows me personally can tell; and I don't feel like I shove it under everyone's collective noses or try to get attention for participating in it - but the attention is nice, and I like to think that it makes me a little more interesting... So in essence, a tiny bit of that teenage me is still there.
With that, I'd like to accept my non-existent academy award for having a dA account for 10 years, and give thanks to my friends on here, and off here, anyone who ever saw my artwork years ago and anyone who bothers to look at it now. Here's to another 10 years of not forgetting that I can draw a bit.
Peace and Love. Let's dance.