In my darkest hours

Written by Carnifex

Roughly a gazillion years ago, God decreed, "Let there be Light!" And it was so... and it was good.

In early 1993, Black Widow proclaimed, "Let there be Dark!" And, well, it wasn't great to begin with... but it was a start. (Don't all groups begin this way? It's kind of funny how these things happen.)

Now Dark Illustrated is recognized not only as Canada's foremost art group, but also as one of the underground art scene's oldest and most respected. There are a number of reasons why we have stayed together, continuing today to produce outstanding artwork of the highest quality. But you won't find them here in this article. Instead, I would like to share with you what I found so engaging about this group; what I found in my Darkest hours.

I joined Dark as an ANSI artist in the summer of 1993. What I think first attracted me to the group was the thought of working with other talented ANSI artists and improving my own skill in the ANSI medium. At this time, I had only just started drawing ANSI's in TheDraw and was eager to find others with this mutual interest. Conveniently enough, I lived in the 416/905 area code comprising Toronto, Ontario -- Dark's base of operations -- and quickly found myself immersed in the shadowy depths of Illusion Island, the Dark World Headquarters BBS. While our numbers were still small -- with no more than 10 artists in the fold -- we relied on the abundance of raw talent, devotion, loyalty, and camaraderie in our ranks. With each bi-monthly release of our Dark Collections, we would demonstrate boldly our hybrid result of fun and digital art. Foot-loose and care-free, this crew was bound together by an abiding passion for capturing reality and translating our visions into the glowing phosphors on the screen. And we had one helluva time doing so.

It was exactly 5 years ago today that I first joined Dark, and I look back at my early experiences with pride, and just a touch of wistfulness. A number of the users I met on Illusion Island are very good friends of mine even today, and several still remain highly active members of Dark.

While the group has obviously come a long way since its birth, the creative spirit which drives the organization remains unchanged. Dark is still very much a forward-thinking, innovative team with artists in all digital mediums. Our members' ideas and contributions are appreciated, and inevitably shape the group's direction. There is never a shortage of compelling ideas or fascinating projects to work on.

The Dark community has, in fact, grown tremendously over the years, and I invite you to find out for yourself just what Dark Illustrated is all about. Are you an artist with a passion for excellence? A coder with a penchance to dream? Drop by our usual stomping grounds in #DARK, on EFNet. Ask for any of Dark's Senior Staffers -- Corinthian, Oxygene, or Xypher Matryx.

Come see what I found in my Darkest hours.

Carnifex / Dark Illustrated