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The Dark Arts: A History

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#1 Violet


    Grumpy Old Violet

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 06:54 PM

In 2004, the graphics division of harrypotterfanfiction.com was a small section of the HPFF forums in which an equally small number of graphic artists offered banners and forum graphics to site users. Due to the increasing popularity and bandwidth of this area, two HPFF staff members - BitterEpiphany and TomFoolery - created an invisionfree board exclusively for offering graphics to the members of HPFF.

The s7 forum allowed artists to also create tutorials and a critique area in order to improve. The section for requests was divided by artist name, as with fewer than 10 artists, there wasn't much to choose from. Apart from BitterEpiphany and TomFoolery, some of these artists included melihobbit, Finicky, Chicablue, and TomRiddle.

TDA was moved to the s13 boards in 2005, and was quickly growing into a much larger graphics site. Although it maintained the same requesting process, this was becoming increasingly difficult to use due to the steadily increasing number of artists. The founders decided to instead create a Requesting Arena and separate Artist Galleries to handle this boom in both artists and requests. Artists were now ranked according to level of activity - how long they had been on the site, how many challenges they had entered (and won), as well as how many posts they had made.

Constant server issues with invisionfree kept TDA down often for long periods of time, and so it was decided to purchase a domain: the-dark-arts.net and move onto an Invision Power Boards service that could better take on the site's large bandwidth and give users a more reliable forum. The new forum opened in January 2006 and was followed a few months later by a complete reconstruction of the site's administration: TomFoolery left, and BitterEpiphany ran the site alongside FairyQueen and UMBlueMusic.

This new system took some time to get used to, but soon proved to be far more efficient and beneficial to all members, especially those requesting graphics. The "bar" of graphic quality standards rose quickly. With the new system, most of the site, including the requesting area and artist rankings, were completely revamped. Instead of Intern, Senior Intern, and Staff, we now had Junior, Senior, and Staff. Other changes slowly made their way onto the forums, including a more intense promotion system that was no longer based on activity, but technique and style. This quickly raised the standards of the site and the work it produced, hearkening a new era for the site.

Since 2006, TDA has been, for the most part, as you see it now. There have, of course, been additions over time, such as the Graduate and Member ranks, new opportunities for graphics challenges, and more resources for making graphics. Through two major server crashes, numerous changes in admins and moderators (more information on that found here), and the turnover of thousands of members who have kept this site in business for more than 6 years, TDA remains to provide the best we can for both its artists and requestors.


Some artists from TDA's early days still have galleries posted here:

Edited by violet ephemera, 13 July 2012 - 08:58 PM.

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