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On artists lost

I've been active in the art community online since about 1997, which in Internet Years makes me a dinosaur. I started out in the furry art community. I don't draw it much anymore, which is a shame really because for all the insults folks throw around at the furry community, I was at my most creative back when I spent my time world building and creature building. Now I'm active in the generic cartoonist/fannish illustrator's circles and reside mainly on DeviantART. The community is much larger there, so it's hard to poke your nose out.

Anyway, in that time you tend to see a lot of artists come and go. A lot went in the wake of Yerf, like Punch - does anyone remember her? She had a gorgeous fashion designer's style (I think she was in school doing fashion or costume design). I've searched the Yerf archives and such, no go. Lost to the ether, I suppose. There was also a DeviantART artist called Mellon, I think. He was Spanish or something and did very Burton-esque art. Lots of clocks and swirls and things.

Then today I suddenly snapped and thought Jennadelle. That's a name I remember. She (I always presumed she was a she) had thousands upon thousands of page views on DeviantART - was one of those big name artists on the website. Back then, DA was a lot smaller, but frankly, it was still a behemoth compared to Epilogue, Elfwood, Side7, SheezyArt (ringing any bells, guys? haha)

And then she just upped and left. Cleared out her gallery. I never found out why, so I Googled her today and found out that she has done what I wish so many artists would do when they clear out their galleries; she's zipped it all up for download. I could kiss her.

Anyway, she posted on her livejournal that she doesn't mind folks sharing her art on Tumblr and such, so I hope she doesn't mind my sharing some here. A lot of her art, looking at it now, is a tad generic angst, but most of it is absolutely gorgeous. It's funny how accurately I remembered some of her pieces. The following are some I remembered in striking detail. To me, that's all I could ever hope to ask for, as an artist - that my pieces find a place on someone's mind so vividly that years later they're remembered, and maybe even sought after.

  
  

Find all her art at Jennadelle.

Other names I remember but haven't seen active in forever: Kestral, who had a black raven avatar (and a gorgeous website layout once, I remember.) Gryllus, who drew lots of bugs and beetles and things. Cara Mitten, who popped up recently but I don't know if she became active again. WhisperWing, with her gorgeous cat comic? Any more? Probably hundreds. Sad really, which I suppose is why it's so nice that there are those who have stuck around. Familiarity is community, even if none of them know my name.

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
secondlina
Nov. 24th, 2011 10:26 pm (UTC)
It always feels weird to me when an artist I admire just seems to drop off the map. Did they die? Find a job in the art world? Quit? Became a buddist monk?
reaperfox
Nov. 24th, 2011 10:36 pm (UTC)
I know... I just can't imagine not drawing and sharing it online. I've been doing it so long now. The idea of emptying my DA gallery? Guh, I just couldn't.
secondlina
Nov. 24th, 2011 10:40 pm (UTC)
Seems like it would kill a bit of one's heart.
martes
Nov. 25th, 2011 12:06 am (UTC)
Cara Mitten is on FA here:
http://www.furaffinity.net/user/ironfeathers/

not as prolific as she used to be, but at least she's doing stuff again. I'm pretty sure her long absence was due to getting lost in WoW, owing a lot of people art she never delivered, and probably some health-related issues.

WoW claimed a lot of artist victims, even if said WoW addicts won't ever admit it. Some people 'went pro' and stopped doing art for fun. Some people took their toys and went home, for whatever reason. Some people are scared of being associated with 'furry' and hide who they used to be. Some people just quit doing art, period, or got married and/or had a baby and quit doing art.
reaperfox
Nov. 25th, 2011 12:14 pm (UTC)
Riiight, I knew she'd popped up again. I wonder how many WoW did claim, really. I know Kyoht spent a good while drawing little else (when she wasn't playing), but she seems back in the field again.

The Kyoldie thing's an odd one really. Whatever you thought of their art, they had the fandom in their hands. They could have scribbled on a napkin and made a fortune. I remember being totally envious of their lifestyle, too. And then it all sort of just... dissolved. Ky didn't seem to draw a lot for ages, and Goldie went a whole other route. I guess they're both living off their art, so it's a success story, but I'd be so sad if went from being a "big name" like that.
martes
Nov. 25th, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
A number of things played into the toppling of KyOldie from the pinnical--

A big part is that the uber-rich big spenders at furry cons stopped buying art. There were only a few people who could fford to drop 5K on a peice of furry art, and when they were gone, prices plummeted. And then the economy tanked. And a lot of other really good artists appeared on the scene (Blotch) who did not have Goldie's baggage (a reputation of being a snob, flakey, too slow, refusal to do adult work, ect.)

Kyoht got sucked into the WoW maw and still has not gotten back to the point where she used to be, which is a terrible shame.
frenchpresser
Nov. 26th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC)
WoW seems to be a real artist eater in multiple cases. :/
glddaisy
Nov. 25th, 2011 12:58 am (UTC)
ahaha..I forgot all about her >.> was she really on side7?..thx for bringing me back to 12 years ago

I never watched her on DA I dont think. I do always remember being really impressed and her stuff always made the top favs...but now that Im looking back its not as awe inspiring as I seem to remember.

theres alot of artists I wonder what happened to D: and how many of them are successful?
glddaisy
Nov. 25th, 2011 01:01 am (UTC)
LOL Im looking at the yerf archive. Omg, I remember wanting in yerf so bad and never feeling good enough. I dont feel so bad now >.> also not as impressive as I remember.

ugg
reaperfox
Nov. 25th, 2011 12:11 pm (UTC)
Hahahah I know right, I'm the same! The people on Yerf were like these Gods and while some of them are still more technically brilliant than I ever will be, it's SO weird looking at it through older glasses! I wish I'd improved as much as some of them have, though.

And mannnn I got into Yerf like months before it all blew up. ;_;
nambroth
Nov. 25th, 2011 02:54 am (UTC)
Jenna is in fact a she (she's quite pretty) and is possibly most active on LJ... she takes commissions semi-regularly here. I have one of her original pencil sketches from BACK IN YE OLDEN DAYES and I have it framed, I love it.

Cara, as noted above, is most active on FA. She is 'back' after life sort of kicked her around for a few years, so to speak.

I regret I don't know about the rest. :(
reaperfox
Nov. 25th, 2011 12:10 pm (UTC)
I didn't even know she HAD a LJ until now. I'm obviously not on her flist but I'm so happy she's still around and still presumibly creating art. From the commission examples she posted, she's improved so much, I love it.

Sad how names just disappear and one day you just randomly remember them or their art.
justblieve
Nov. 26th, 2011 01:05 am (UTC)
Whisper updates a lot :) Assuming we're talking about the same Whisper.

Do you mean this one? http://whisperpntr.deviantart.com/
justblieve
Nov. 26th, 2011 01:08 am (UTC)
The only other awesome cat comic I know of is Akeli's, who has a similar style- http://akeli.deviantart.com/
frenchpresser
Nov. 26th, 2011 08:29 pm (UTC)
Gryllus is still around, though I don't know if she's still drawing. Cara Mitten, as already noted, has come back and is quite awesomely active again. Not sure about Kestrel though. She had kind of a weird freak out on Yerf during a forum art critique and "left forever". To be fair, the critique mentality on Yerf got really stupid and petty in its final years so there might be some backstory to this I'm not aware of. But from what I saw on the forum, Kestral was given some fairly mellow critique and got all hostile at people, and then vanished.

She's probably playing WoW like half the other vanished artists.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )