By Danica Davidson
For the 20 million members of deviantART, dA is the Internet’s go-to place to showcase your artwork and to see what other people are doing. There are 2.5 billion monthly page views, and now deviantART has a new product to share: deviantART muro Redraw.
deviantART muro is the company’s digital drawing device, and while it’s been around for a couple years now, an updated version just debuted that included its Redraw feature.
“We launched deviantART muro in 2010,” explained CEO Angelo Sotira. “It was the first real HTML5 product, the darling of HTML5. This week we created the new version of it. In broad strokes, you have a new interface for it, the icons are nicer, you have a new brush. The most important upgrade is a feature called Redraw. From the moment you open the deviantART muro canvas, every brush stroke is being synced and saved. Once you’re finished with your drawing, you’re able to publish that drawing and people can watch it get remade or redrawn.”
“Redraw unlocks the creative process for artists,” he continued. “A drawing can be viewed in entertainment mode or in Artist View, which is much more of an ‘education mode,’ where viewers can watch a digital drawing literally unfold in front of their eyes. This new technology has profound impacts for people who want to learn from the artists they admire.”
“I live to do art,” said Art Director Forest Stearns, who showed how deviantART muro worked by drawing an octopus with a paintbrush for me during the interview. When he was done, the steps to creating the octopus played right back and I could pick how quickly or slowly I wanted to watch the process. “This isn’t like setting up a camera over my shoulder and taking a 24-hour screenshot of my painting and trying to make that into a video and shrinking that down. You’d see me painting, but you’d see a lot more of me sleeping or going to get coffee and that’d be really boring. But the technology created here [dA muro] records my mark-to-mark; it’s not recording the stuff in-between. You’re getting a very specific, direct connection to the art itself. You’re not seeing me. It’s 100% art, 100% of the time, and I’m totally stoked on that idea.”
“This has enormous implications in education,” said Sotira. “Artists can share their progress in a very rich way.”
Redraw launched on May 8, and within days there were more than 5,000-7,000 Redraws per day, with Sotira predicting that number will continue to rise. “Some of the most popular categories on the site are essentially manga and comic book art,” he said. “I think that the opportunity to watch comic book artists unleash their process on you and show you how they draw what they draw is inspiring.”