On Saturday, June 14, 2009, deviantART held a deviantMEET at the Albert Memorial in Hyde Park. Over 350 deviants showed up to celebrate all things deviantART, setting a record for the highest attended deviantMEET in history in the process... until now.
Almost exactly three years later -- on Saturday, June 30, 2012 -- at the same location in Hyde Park, London deviants once again turned up in droves. Smashing the previous record, our London deviantMEET 2012 saw over 550 deviants throughout the day.
Most deviantMEETs include a group photo, usually taken towards the end of the event's festivities. However, we wasted no time taking our group shot in front of the Albert Memorial, as we wanted to ensure we were complying with Hyde Park's rules and regulations for large gatherings. With a group this massive -- and awesome -- it's hard not to draw attention!
After taking the group photo, we headed into the park, about 300 yards behind Albert Memorial, to allow deviants to split into groups based on their hobbies and interests -- photography, literature, digital art, traditional art, and community fun. DeviantART offers the ability for deviants to find others who share common bonds, and deviantMEETs provide the same ability in real life form. Once situated, the topic-based groups drew in sketchbooks, took photos, played games, and enjoyed both meeting new deviants and recognizing familiar usernames.
In hosting this deviantMEET, deviantART staff members teamed up with britain
-- the main deviantMEET group for area. The britain
group is known for its successful organization of picnic-themed deviantMEETs two years running, so in an effort to absolutely blow the lid off awesome for the third year, we joined forces to create one of the most successful deviantMEETs in history!
And because nothing brings people together like food, deviants were encouraged to bring lunches for themselves or even snacks to share. DeviantART admins even did our part, providing 400 mini-cupcakes -- complete with green frosting. (Heidi
is still annoyed that the frosting wasn't "deviantART green" -- even after providing proper Pantone identification.) Deviant attendees also received a deviantART lanyard, stress ball, deviantART Sharpie, username tag, and stickers!
With bellies full of delicious treats, the deviousness truly began. Deviants started by creating incredible works of art, trading their creations with one another, and collaborating to make something bigger than themselves. erinequestrian
and her friends even brought a giant banner which all attendees were encouraged to sign.
The infamously unpredictable London weather had a number of us concerned, especially since the forecast predicted a high likelihood of rain. However, to our surprise and delight, the day turned out to be gorgeous -- complete with abundantly sunny skies! So much so that many of our fair-skinned British friends walked away with sunburns. We did our best, though, to stay protected by finding shade under a tree, umbrella, or by sheltering each other through a huge group hug.
As the picnic concluded and the day began to wind down, those who wanted to stay for extra fun separated into two groups -- one that went to a nearby pub for adult beverages, and another that headed to an all-ages restaurant for food and arcade games.
London, you never fail to impress. There's nothing quite like getting together to meet online friends for the first time, introducing ourselves to some new pals, and getting reaquainted with all the friendly faces we've met with before. We always feel so welcome in England, and we simply can't wait to come back. Special thanks to Beccalicious
who were instrumental in making this deviantMEET a success. We couldn't have pulled everything off without their organizational efforts!
For those who are available, we're ending our London Tour with a showcase of what our community does best. If you're in the neighborhood, please stop by our London Gallery Show
at Blackall Studios on Tuesday, July 3rd at 4:00 PM. Featuring the works of deviant artists from the United Kingdom, this show is not to be missed. Read about all the details here
, and support your fellow local deviants!
Would you like to get involved in future United Kingdom deviantMEET?
Be sure to watch/join britain
to receive updates on all the latest get-togethers. britain
regularly holds events across Great Britain, including this annual picnic-themed deviantMEET!
Does this wonder-filled day seem too good to be true? Don't take our word for it! Check out the following journals from deviants who attended and see what they had to say.
Your friendly deviantART staff members,