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Wed, 3 Apr ’13

Art in Action: deviantART CEO Angelo Sotira

The online art community enters the digital comics arena.

Since its humble beginnings as a computer skinning community in 2000, deviantART has evolved into one of the biggest online enclaves of artists, designers, cosplayers and illustrators in the world with over 25 million members, 246 million submissions and nearly 140,000 new pieces each day. Over the last 13 years, CEO and co-founder Angelo Sotira has helped guide and shape the website into the thriving community it is today. Now with a brand new digital comics publishing partnership with Madefire under their belt, deviantART looks poised to take over the artistic world with its open source aesthetic. And with that much raw talent in one place it was certainly inevitable.

With nearly 16,000 new users every day, deviantART is one of the premiere venues for aspiring artists to get their work out there into the world. Most creative types are used to working on spec – creating their works for free in the hopes that one day they might be paid for them – but deviantART eliminates the middle man by putting the power in the user’s hands. With their Premium Content Platform, deviantART users cannot only sell their wares in a massive digital marketplace, but they pocket 80% of the profits, which is one of the best profit margins one could hope to ask for in today’s self-publishing marketplace. Think of that other 20% like putting money back in the suggested donation box to help keep your digital domain well oiled and in ship shape.

Now comics creators have even more reason to take their skill set to deviantART’s ever-deepening talent pool. Thanks to a partnership with Madefire, aspiring artists can transform their stories into Motion Books, an interactive motion comic that allows readers to experience their story on multiple levels – visual, aural and even tactile to a certain degree. To get the inside scoop on the company’s latest initiative and the house that art built, we caught up with Angelo Sotira (and Madefire co-founder Ben Wolstenholme) over at Nerdist.com where they filled us in on how they plan to conquer the world of indie publishing one tale at a time. Considering they’ve already got luminaries like Dave Gibbons, Liam Sharp and Bill Sienkiewicz on board, you know that you’re in good company. Now, quit reading and go create the next Watchmen already!