In my experience from using the Internet, my philosophy is "Do not register for any websites unless they come highly recommended by an outside opinion." I've learned the hard way that on some sites, once you register and you don't like what you've gotten yourself into, sometimes you can't delete yourself from the site as if you never registered in the first place. This is most common among sites with a vBulliten Message Forum. Thus, I treated every website I visited with extreme caution.
When my sister told me about DeviantArt a couple years ago, I didn't really think much of it. I already had places to upload my artwork and photos like Facebook and Twitter, except for that one time where I posted a Mickey Mouse Meets Pac-Man comic story and got warned by one of my friends who knew somebody who knew somebody in Disney that was ready to slap me with the White Glove of Copyright Infringement, but each site that I posted my work to didn't really gain a grand audience. Upon the "outside opinion" given by my sister, I decided to take a chance.
These were my very first, and in my opinion, my very best pieces that I uploaded to the site. The latter was a sort-of semi-realistic style pencil sketch from a previous request long ago, and it showed that I could do more than the animated cartoon style that I was influenced by when I was growing up. Later on, I began to upload some older pieces, just for the purposes of building up my gallery. I was still cautious about uploading fan art, but seeing as how most deviants here were sharing Pony, Sonic, and random anime/manga fan art, I started getting more comfortable.
As I continued my journey here, I discovered some really neat people who are either well-known, approachable artists like Christopher-Hart , and users who seek to help other artists either with tutorials or stock pose reference ( SenshiStock ), and those who create positive motivation ( SantosPhillipCarlo ). The information and interactions I've had with them were invaluable to my growth as both an artist and a human being.
Perhaps the greatest influence is the groups that have included my artwork within their ranks. My favorite ones would have to be Princess-JasmineÂ and Animated-DisneyÂ only because the original Disney studio has had such a great influence on young artists like myself. Another great influence would be the many interpretations of the most iconic comic book superheroes in history that inspire me to continue to practice and improve on those areas that I need major improvement on.
In conclusion, I feel that DeviantArt is responsible for helping me discover my greatest talent, and that it will help me put it to good use, especially if I wish to make money out of it. Out of all the things I love to do, being creative would have to be at the top.