I’m sure more than a few of my blog readers have browsed or even participated in DrawingBoard.org.
The link in the previous sentence may not work because the site is down, which is why I’m writing this post. DrawingBoard.org is in trouble.
For those who don’t know, for years DrawingBoard.org has been a fun hangout spot for hundreds (maybe thousands) of animation and comic book artists of all skill levels. Before art blogs burst on the scene it was one of the few places where artists could post their sketches and and illustrations online and immediately get feedback and encouragement from other artists. Folks also chatted about hot topics in the industry, shared fun and helpful links, and joked/complained about the latest in movies and pop culture. There were also contests and themed drawing sessions (i.e. “Everyone post a sketch of a Batman villain”). It was a fun place for artists to just hang out with other artist who shared a love for sketching, animation, and comics. Artists got to know each other through DrawingBoard.org and for those who participated regularly the site became the closest thing you could find online to a true community.
In recent years social networking sites like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. have taken over some of the territory previously dominated by message boards like Drawingboard.org. I know I haven’t visited the site nearly as frequently as I used to. But when I do visit it seems like discussions are still very active, and I’m glad.
Which is why it’s a shame to hear that the site is in danger of shutting down permanently. As I understand it the sites founder has been personally paying the lions share of the costs to keep the board running all these years. My guess is he has invested hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars over the years to keep everything humming. I don’t know the specifics but it appears he is no longer able to foot hte bill.
The site will soon be back up with a Paypal button prominently displayed, and will now be run by donations. If you’ve participated in the site and have enjoyed the experience, I encourage you to make a donation as soon as you can. With so many members, my guess is that if everyone just chipped in $5 the site could stay active for a long time. (If the link isn’t live when you read this, please check back. It’s supposed to be up and running again very soon.)