As you likely know, I’ve been struggling with this site for quite some time now. The constant trolling and harassment for years on end have pushed me to the breaking point. I’ve tried disabling comments to ease up on the hatred of me, but sadly DA is still too broken in too many ways that make it easy for nasty people to continually abuse me here. I’ve tried ignoring it. I’ve tried leaving temporarily and coming back after a hiatus... nothing works. My block list is so full I can’t add anyone else now, so the harassment continues unhindered despite all my best efforts. I continually receive death threats over incredibly petty and stupid things, and trolls seem to relish in lurking in my DA frontpage comment sections (which DA will not let me remove).
The straw that broke the camels back though was a thread on my recent Patreon Plug journal: tompreston.deviantart.com/jour… where I learned just how fucked up the people who harass me are. To make a long story short, I engaged in a conversation with someone who didn’t like my Patreon because they felt I don’t post enough for them to support it. “Enough,” as it turned out to be, was insanely more work than any sane person would be capable to handle (around 30-70 works of fully completed illustration/comics a week), and the amount they expected me to do it for was worse than the minimum amount I was asking for ($1 per month).
I think I have, at long last, outgrown this website. DA is a great place if you want to post art for free and make a start creating... but the second you want to try and actually make money for your hard work, this place turns into “artists should make art for art’s sake and not for money” backlash. And unfortunately I can’t live like that. I need money and support if I’m going to continue to make work. Twitter, Facebook, and Patreon all are doing a lot better at giving me that support (and offer a lot of tools to help curb harassment) than DA does right now.
So yeah... I think at long last I am going to leave DA permanently.
What happens next?
Now into the nitty gritty details of how this is all gonna work...
1. For starters I am NOT QUITTING ART. I want to make that clear. I am going to continue to make SYAC, Alex Ze Pirate, Skyrim, my own illustrations, etc... they just won’t be posted here on DA anymore.
2. I am not going to delete this account. I will leave it up so links to my art and gallery can continue (and to prevent further drama and parody accounts of course).
3. Art has been scheduled to be posted here from Patreon up until August 24th. So while I will no longer be here on DA as of today, for a couple months after you will still see some work from me posted here.
4. The art scheduled to be posted is automated by DA. I have already set it to post, but I am not the one posting anymore.
Places you will still be able to find me at
Like I’ve already said, I am NOT QUITTING ART. You can still find me on a number of different places on the internet. One of the best places to find me is Twitter, since that’s where I primarily interact with fans, and anything I post to twitter gets automatically copied over to Facebook as well. For your reference are are links to all the sites I’ll still be active on:
SYAC Website: www.syacartoonist.com/
Society 6: society6.com/adobson
Currently both Alex Ze Pirate and my own personal website AndysArtworks are down for construction. Patreon support is what has been helping rebuild those websites and eventually they will be back up... but sadly it takes both time and money to do so, so they might be down for quite a while longer still.
The Long Goodbye
I’ve been toying with leaving for quite some time. I’ve been hesitant to because I know a lot of you really do appreciate my work and DO support me and my art. I have around 56 thousand watchers, and that’s a lot of people I don’t want to let down. I also know that it’s the vocal minority that are the haters... but unfortunately their voices drown everything else out. DA, as a website, seem to care little about fixing many of the issues that would make continued existence here bearable, and overall I have grown weary of a lot of the toxic DA culture that has started to fester lately. On top of all that, I’ve been dealing with my own issues of anxiety, PTSD, and depression... which has not made living here on DA any easier.
In the end, I think this will be the healthiest option for me, though it will undoubtedly depress a lot of my fans. There are some people who only follow me on DA and it’s unfortunate that I have to leave them behind to take care of myself.
Thank you to everyone who has been kind to me here. I have made a lot of good friends on this site over the 11 years I’ve been active here. I hope still to someday meet some of you at conventions in the future too! I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in that time, and it most definitely has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride, hasn’t it? Thank you all for your support. Even if you’ve never spoken up before, I could still see you supported my work through favorites and reblogs.
Who knows, maybe someday down the road if DA decides to change some of their policies and the toxicity levels decrease, maybe I’ll return? It’s doubtful, but I do try to look on the positive side.
Anyway... Thank you everyone for supporting me, for helping make SYAC into a thing, for enjoying my Alex Ze Pirate comics, and for just being awesome and amazing fans over the years.
-Andrew Dobson (aka: Tom Preston)