DevMeets are a chance for Deviants all around the country and even the world, to meet other like minded artists. It's can be scary meeting new people and the idea put you off, which is why I asked some deviants what their first experience of a DevMeet was like to encourage new people.
"When I got there, they did a register and I found out some people I'd already known a little on dA were there! Like ~kafine who I'd spoken to before but never met, despite having both lived in Cardiff forever. We had a picnicy lunch on the grass by the castle and then went off for bowling and quasar at Megabowl, which now no longer exists.
I also met `cei- there, who was the meet's initial organiser and had been to a number in the past, less than a year later he became my first boyfriend and we're still together now.."
"You have never had such a feeling as a massive group hug from 15 or so people who you only just met for the first time that day but seem genuinley sad that you have to leave the party."
"Since I live in Korea, I have a snowball's chance in hell of ever meeting anybody, so trucking to England for my hols was an excellent deal! Alomie organised it, and she's such a hoot, made me feel immediately welcome. It's nice to chat to youngsters who aren't my students, and older dudes serious about photography, a field I know little about."
"First experiences? I was a bit nervous like anyone meeting a stranger or twelve from the internet, but I organised it in a place that was familiar to me and with some people I had been chatting to for years. I also had a fellow deviant who lived near me and I already knew travel down with me too which I think helped.
"My first devMeet ever was the 21st of August 2010. It was the most hilarious thing I've ever been to. From flying plastic toads to drawing beards on people and from to frisbee games to the awesome food, it's not something I'm in a hurry to forget, and definitely an experience I'd recommend to others."
"The people there are nothing but awesome (yes, 'awesome' is a word I use far too much, i realize that), and all so nice and make amazing cupcakes and bring too many packets of crisps, and they're 'my kind' of people (the ones who not only dont care when I suddenly become about 6 years old and go mental, but will also join in - although the conga line into Hyde Park did kinda fall apart...)
All in all it was incredible - and i've made a whole load of friends that i'm still talking to - although I have now been tagged in a couple of journals to do stupid quizzes.... which is annoying, but i'll do em anyway"
"My previous experiences of community meets left me thinking this would be a half dozen socially inept loosers trying to act like normal people...I WAS WRONG!!! The DA'ers that assembled were a mixture of some of the best people I have ever met and it completely changed the way I feel about the whole meaning of DA."
"I quite enjoyed it and the people i met were lovely and people also understood me more when meeting in reality than online.. where they never did and just dismissed me as some mad thing including my work.."
"I was really nervous about it because I'd never gone to a park just to meet a bunch of strangers before.
But to be honest it was immese, everyone was really nice and one of the photos I took that day happens to be the most faved in my gallery."
"I knew one guy when arriving there, and came away with the usernames of several new people I'm proud to call friends.
Everybody is a friendly face there, and it's honestly the most fun time I've had from an internet-related meetup that I've had in a long time."
"It gave me a chance to mix with a whole new range of people and deviants from different galleries which i had yet to explore through the website. It was great to be able to meet other deviants in my area and be able to discuss both dA and non-dA related topics between them."
"I was kinda nervous before I got there, but once we were all grouped up and getting to know each other, it was really fun And the best part? Everyone there is insane. But in a good, "let's-go-round-and-scare-people-with-this-emoticon-mask" kinda way, not a creepy "I'mma-stalk-you-now" kinda way lol"
"I was a nervous about attending my first ever dA meet, I didn't know who I was supposed to be looking out for, but after finally managing to meet some of the other dA members I found it amazing at how easy I got on with them and how I suddenly felt so comfortable."
"It was an incredible day also because I suddenly found myself with the confidence to talk to people I didn't know, and make friends, which has always been difficult for me as I'm shy and introverted. At a meet, you're surrounded by like-minded people so it's so much easier."
"My first meet was on dA's 10th Birthday. I didn't know anyone who was going and was really worried that everyone there going to know each other already and I wasn't going to fit in, especially as I'm usually really shy. But everyone there was so lovely and welcoming. I didn't talk much, but I felt still involved and I'd jump at the chance to go to another Meet now, despite the uncertainty that I'd feel once again, but now I know it's worth it"
So it can be daunting idea meeting a group of total strangers, but understand that everyone either was or is just like you, scared and shy. Therefore net chance you get, go to one near you because you will meet some of the most interesting, funny and kind hearted people around.