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We're running an art challenge to flex those creative concepting muscles. The topic is ⏰ Time

What do I get for participating?

🔥 You'll gain 150 XP! Learn more about what XP are for. You'll also be practicing your art which will only help you get better.


About the theme

Create a work of art based around the theme of Time. This can be interpreted in may different ways. Here are a few thought starters:


  • Imagine how a favorite place of yours will look 300 years from now. For example your favorite coffee shop, hang out spot, vacation place, etc.
  • Imagine how you may look if you were 20 years older
  • Imagine how your home town might have looked 100 years ago
  • Take it literally and do something with objects that represent time like clock towers, watches, sundials, hourglasses

Still need help coming up with a concept? Bounce ideas around with others in the PaperDemon discord chat (link at the top will appear if you're logged in).


How to participate


  1. Create a work of art that fits the theme (see below)
  2. Post it to PaperDemon during the month of July.
  3. In the tags section of your art submission, put the tag: pdac-time



  • Research images on Google Image Search or Pinterest searching for keywords related to time to help you generate ideas and find reference material
  • Do a set of 10-20 thumbnail sketches of your ideas before committing to a concept


View "Time" submissions


Special thanks to LottieVixen for helping come up with this topic and SchwarzerAlptraum for suggesting we bring back the art challenges. I look forward to seeing what you come up with!


Posted on

A few days ago the Art section was completely overhauled. The new interface allows us much more flexibilty to create interactive rich experiences, particularly the game features I announced earlier. We also have a lot of old poorly maintained code lying around and the new shiny code is slimmer and easier for us to maintain.

It's still a little rough around the edges in places so if you run into any bugs, be sure to report them in our discord (there's a link from the forums page) or here in this post and we'll try to get them fixed straight away.

Over time, the rest of the site will also get migrated to a new interface. We'll be handling it piece by piece as this is more managable for us.

As always, I'd love to hear what you think so please let me know!

Posted on

Yesterday the PaperDemon community had our first online meetup  🔥. Community members were very excited to talk about an open source/creative commons/public domain fictional universe that others can use as a base for their creative stories and characters. This idea was spawned by PaperDemon member Woozle who's written about it in her blog. The community is still in the early stages of forming this open fictional universe, dubbed Paperverse for now, but plans to meet again in a month's time to continue its creation.

Our next community meetup is scheduled for 

⌚ Saturday June 16, 8PM UTC. Use the world clock site to see the meetup time in your local timezone.


We're not sure what the topics will be but we'll post them for voting in the discord #meetup channel soon. If you have a topic, please suggest it in the #suggestion-box channel.

Not already on the PaperDemon Discord chat? Join our discord server by logging in and getting the Discord link from the top of the forums page.

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Hi PaperDemon members!

You may have noticed your rank drop down to Pawn with 0 points. Never fear. Your points aren't gone. They've been converted to Experience Points in the new game UI which you can preview in the new art section.

Soon your XP will also appear in the old UI. Just give it a few weeks. Sorry for the delay and confusion!

More details about this are explained in the previous news post about the new game features coming.


I went ahead and updated the old UI to show your level and XP points in the upper right bar. However it doesn't yet appear in other parts of the site (like the forums and when hovering over other user's usernames). Expect that update to come in the next few weeks.

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Topic: Hello there!

Welcome to the community John! It's great to have another new face around here! Just a reminder we also have a Discord server setup. Here's the link if you want to join. It's much more active than the PD Forums are.

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Yep you've hit on the same pain point for me too.

Yes it will become the default ui after I finish reaching feature completion with the old gallery interface. it will be a few weeks before i'm there. Thanks for raising the issue! I'll get that fixed soon.

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We all know how difficult it can be to motivate ourselves to practice art in the way we need to to get better, whether that be practicing anatomy, studying new techniques, or just doing any art at all. I struggle with this daily with my own art. I know what to do, I have the time to do it, but I just can't get myself to sit down and practice my art.

I've been talking to many artists both online and in person and it turns out this is a common struggle for many of us creatives, especially those of us with ADHD. I want to solve this problem not just for myself but for others.

My vision is to evolve PaperDemon into an app that gamifies learning art to help us motivate each other so that we can all become more awesome while having fun.

Introducing Experience Points

I'm introducing a new feature, an XP (experience) bar, which appears starting today in the new art gallery UI. As you comment on artwork from other members, you'll gain XP. Gain enough points and you'll gain a level!

For now, commenting on art is the only way to gain XP and is limited to 10 per day. This is to help us encourage one another with our artwork. When we see comments from our fellow artists this helps motivate us to create more art. And it's also a great way to give each other feedback to know what ways we can improve. More ways to gain XP will be introduced later this year.

What do the points mean?

Well it's a lot like Who's Line is it Anyway. The points don't matter… yet, anyway. In the coming months I'll be introducing more game mechanics where gaining levels will afford your character various in-game benefits. Today's feature announcement is one small step toward a grander vision.

Coming soon

A couple of years ago we introduced a similar feature called ranks to encourage commenting on PaperDemon. The ranks are still visible in our old UI but it will soon be replaced by XP. But don't worry, your hard work to date won't go to waste! Your rank points are safe and all of your rank points that you've accumulated will get converted to XP points within the next month or so.

Later in the year I'll be introducing things like community events, quests, and art challenges which will give you more opportunities to earn XP.

I've also got additional game play mechanics that I'm still working out to make learning and practicing art even more fun.

This is all rather experimental so also expect changes along the way. Features we introduce might end up changing or being removed if they are getting in the way.

Want more?

There's a bunch more coming.

Imagine going on "quests" with other members of the community to help you improve your drawing or painting skills! Join the product launch email list to hear about all the goodies coming first before anyone else. The nicer game features will require paying for a subscription but we plan to offer these at a huge discount to our early adopters. Join the list so you can get notified first when we offer these early bird specials.

Thank you all for being part of this community and offering your feedback and thoughts. It means a lot to me to see everyone being positive and cheering one another on with their art. This community is so different from the more toxic ones out there and it wouldn't be possible without all of you lovely folks making it so fantastic.

Let's continue helping each other to become more awesome and now let's have even more fun doing it. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Join the list for early access

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Topic: We're hiring!

Hi PaperDemon members!

If you're a Web developer with some coding skills and are interested in a part time freelance coding gig, please reach out!

I'm looking to hire a freelancer part time to do some bug fixes and feature improvements to PaperDemon.

Job details


Posted on

What security issues did you have with Dropbox? That's my backup tool of choice. It works so well.

I had issues with Google drive's synching app. After years and years it never worked right and was super slow when you were trying to choose folders for selective sync. I have it at work and I think they recently fixed it for mac but I'm not sure if it's still awful for windows.

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On Mar 15, 2018, hushicho said:

It is indeed so important to connect to other creative people, and this site is honestly the only one I've ever felt connected to! Most other sites don't have much of a real mind to community, or even worse, some of them encourage (or have done in past) outright antipathy and play creators against each other. I think the most important thing to do is to foster a sense of trust and comfort between creators.

Thank you for the kind words Hushicho. Yes it's true a lot of communities both offline and online are competitive. One of the great things about the university I studied art at is how different the community was there. Everyone was supporting each other rather than competing.

It's also important that your fellow creators understand what you're setting out to do, and that neatly segues into the one part of the article I wanted to just add my two bits to: I don't think you should ever feel like, or be made to feel like, it is necessary or even okay for others to "tear apart" your work. Some creators work well with that, certainly. But most people are really not very good at constructive criticism, or much any criticism or critique at all, and there's a strange attitude in this day that encourages people just to complain, often brutally. "Criticism" has a negative connotation, and oftentimes people feel like asking for feedback is asking for complaints, asking them to point out problems. There's a toxic trend in academia, too, of students being expected to accept or even embrace fundamentally useless feedback from people who neither know them and their work, nor understand their intent in their art (or any expression) or individual works.

You know, I hadn't thought about it until you pointed that out. At my university the teachers were pretty critical and students were encouraged to be overly critical of each others work. And later when I went back to recruit soon-to-be graduates, many of them had little to no confidence in themselves. Being confident is essential when doing interviewing and leads to more opportunities. The overly critical critique culture breaks down our confidence and we end up suffering for that in lost opportunities. It can take years to regain it back again.

When giving feedback, I always encourage people to think primarily of the things they liked about something, because it tends to make them have to think in greater depth about the work. It is easier for most people to find something they don't like than it is to find something they do. It's also something I've always said, that if someone keeps getting rid of things people dislike about something -- which is what they'll readily tell you if you ask -- there won't be much, if anything, left that belongs to the artist. It can be much more helpful for an artist to concentrate on the things that someone likes and cultivate them, develop them in a constructive way towards flourishing.

I think hearing the good things is important as well. It helps you to know what things you're doing right so you can keep doing them. But I think it's also important to know what areas need improvement but only when the artist is ready to hear that type of feedback. Which is why I think it's important to have an opt-in critique system and for artists to take the time to specify in the description what type of critique they're requesting. That way they can get targeted feedback of what they're working on.

There's also nothing wrong, I feel it's important to point out, with not accepting critique that isn't useful to you. You aren't required to accept any of it, and you should never just blindly accept it, or else even potentially useful critique can be utterly wasted. It's important that you be able to use it, and that takes thought and examination. If you don't know how to use it but you suspect it may be useful, file it away for a later date; if you are sure it won't be, or you simply can't see the person's point, or even just don't like their approach, you aren't required by any means to just accept it.

I agree. In fact I think it would be useful for us to have an article somewhere explaining how to give AND receive critique that helps people to understand that. Sometimes we need permission from others to disregard some of the feedback.

But to bring it back closer to your original topic, cultivating a sense of trust and community can help so much for artists to get to know each other and to become more familiar with each other, leading to a more constructive environment in general. In a good art community, creators can engage each other and the admirers of art can do the same, and they are far more likely to give useful, helpful critique.

I hope very much that this and your wonderful article will help to encourage the already lovely community here to even greater heights of friendliness and understanding!


Thanks for your comments on the article. Very insightful!