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I just wanted to take a moment to make something of a sentimental post.
My first ever submission to newgrounds was October 31 2003. I was 14 years old and has been toying with Macromedia Flash mx and learning some neat tricks. Previously I was submitting stick figure cartoons to sticksuicide.com and stumbled across Newgrounds, a site which I had to find sneaky moments to visit because back then it had some porn ads and I had pretty conservative religious parents. Newgrounds was SO much bigger than stick suicide, and it was intimidating, but I took the plunge and submitted. It got both flamed and praised, which pushed me to work harder with every new submission.
Over the years I've gained friends and opportunities. My current house mate is a coder (Moonkey) I met here on Newgrounds with whom I've worked with for years. The first person I ever met in person who was from Newgrounds was Zeedox, someone I've also worked with for several years since as he is an incredibly talented artist. Through newgrounds I've met friends and artists like Zstriefel, David Orr, Jouste, Hania, James Lee, Lochie, and the list goes on and on. I've had the pleasure of creating all kinds of characters, games, songs, stories, and experiencing inspiration from enjoying the work of other people.
I've had the pleasure of collaborating, learning, laughing and growing with like-minded people, all in the process of finding ways to make a living out of what I would always have done for fun anyway.
So here I am 10 years later. 24 years old, mortgage, girlfriend, full time self employment drawing pictures, making videos and creating art for clients - with some great friends I met through NG. My life has been shaped in a monumental way by this website and it's open creative community. Seriously. I would not be sitting here in my home studio were it not for this website.
I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on this and share how grateful and humbled I am, for the opportunities that have come my way over the last 10 years, and for the artists who have had massive influence over my style and ambitions whether they know it or not; people like Adam Phillips, Jeff (Johnny Utah), James Farr, James Lee, and the list goes on.
Huge love goes to you all, but most of all to Tom Fulp. This dude has been the most incredible motherfucking support. He runs the site with more heart and personal investment than many people on this site understand. He's had chances to sell out or go 'mainstream' where he didn't, and kept everything tailored to the needs of content creators and collaborators, and continues to cultivate the site to meet our needs. He answered my emails when I was a 16 year old nothing, and continues to sponsor and support me as a 24 year old nothing ;)
You all rock my fucking world and I love you - Here's to the next 10 years, and many more to come.