Angelo Sotira has never been to college, but thanks to his innate business instincts, he has played a key role in building the largest online art community in the world. As CEO and co-founder of deviantART, Sotira wanted to create “the deepest, most vertically integrated network that ever existed”.
Launched in 2000, deviantART is now home to 180 million submissions or “deviations” that range from traditional art to photography to digital art to animation, and everything in between. In addition to uploading art pieces and posting comments, the site’s more than 18 million members or “deviants” can also sell their work and earn royalties. Additionally, each deviant gets their own personal subdomain and profile page, which are just two of the features that deviantART introduced way before other social networks did.
Sotira’s foremost goal is to help people experience art in a more appealing environment and discover their inner artist.
“There was a time when every single one of us was drawing or coloring,” he says. “But we just stopped, and that part was never developed. deviantART can be a bridge back to the art world.”