, aka Light, is special because she a leader. Leading is an art- so let's talk about Light's finest and most artistic creation: the Aposhack. [link]
How does the aposhack work? The aposhack is a community of fractal artists. Communities get together because it's members have something to offer eachother. Let's see what the aposhack has to offer.
What does the shack have to offer new artists? A friendly atmosphere and help. When a brand new artist enters the aposhack for the first time, they are immediately greeted- usually by Light. They are usually looking for fractal information, so accross the top of the chat a bar of the best fractal resources are displayed, and light, or someone else if light isn't here, will link them to the right tutorials to get started. Occasionally, the newbies stick around and become regular shackers.
What does the shack offer regular Shackers? Three things: A friendly atmosphere, help, and fun. First, a friendly atmosphere. The conversation is uniformly positive. It might be silly or completely off-topic, but it contributes to the Aposhack's tradition of being friendly. Second, help. When the shack is talking about fractals, Aposhack has evolved several traditions for solving art problems. If someone complains about being frustrated or uninspired, an artist will donate parameters to the other artist. Usually this inspires the artist and a new fractal will appear in their gallery. Through this tradition, many fractal artists have grown leaps and bounds faster than if they were left to struggle on their own. If someone complains about having a specific problem with a fractal, they will post parameters and the artists in the shack will do their best to help solve it. Third, there is fun, in the form of apopong. Apopong begins spontaneously when someone is in the mood to create fractals. They post parameters, and other fractal artists in the room will take them and tweak them. Apopong sessions usually only last about 20 minutes (that's about how long most people can hold their concentration on one thing) and it results in, once again, new art.
There is another class of people that comes regularly to the shack: wizards. The aposhack offers wizards two things: Access to other wizards, and a save environment. First, access to other wizards. Wizards are generally people who come to fractals by way of math and computer science. Wizards are the people who make the programs shackers use to create beautiful art. By the time they make it to the shack, they've usually devoted years of study to learning fractal math and computer science. When you have spent years studying a subject that only, maybe, a few hundred people on earth understand, very, very rarely will you run into someone else with an interest in fractal math, and when you do, it's generally love at first sight. There are at least 5 wizards that hang out in the shack on a regular basis, and another 10 that occasionally drop in. Talk usually turns absurdly technical as wizards discuss the chaos game, affine linear transformations, spline animation, or whatever mathematical formula strikes their fancy, and the result is usually new or improved software. Second, a safe environment. The aposhack offers a safe environment for wizards. Due to how wizards are created, (usually by working alone on stuff nobody else understands for long stretches of time) they are not the most sociable people. Anyone who has hung around with computer scientists for awhile learns to have a thick skin as they are told to stop wasting the wizard's time or to RTFM or gets insulted and kicked for asking a simple (but uneducated) question. That does not happen in the aposhack, and as a result the aposhack wizards spend more time wizarding and none of their time fighting.
Shackers and wizards also have a lot to offer eachother. Wizards who are testing new software get access to artists who give them instant feedback on their programs. Artists get new and better programs to play with. Wizards get practice trying to explain math to artists. Artists get a glimpse of how the program works on the inside. And everyone supports everyone else- with encouragement, critiques, and sometimes just with friendly conversation. The aposhack has created for free the sort of interdiciplinary collaboration universities spend billions of dollars trying to foster. In short, the aposhack offeres a lot to every single one of its members, and because of that, they offer their time, friendship, and expertise right back to the aposhack.
Fractal art is the art of feedback loops. The Aposhack is one big positive feedback loop,that with every iteration creates exponentially more and better fractal artwork and fractal artists. It is the best example of fractal art on deviantart. And who is the artist who created it? N8tiveattitude1.
How does she do it? I asked her, once. "The chat has to be comfortable for me." She said. "If there is tension and dArama then it's not comfortable."
Light keeps the chat comfortable in two ways. First, she ruthlessly removes all negative influences- anyone from drive-by trolls to respected fractal artists who do not play well with others. She does not tolerate swearing or insults, or even negative feedback, because negative feedback will cause a negative feedback loop that will cause dArama and make the chat uncomfortable. She witnessed the destruction of several other fractal chats due to dArama, and she learned from what they did wrong- hence the rules. Finally, she is fair: she enforces these rules upon everyone- even herself. She has been known to kick herself for accidentally swearing- and as a result, all other members follow her example. Second, she promotes positive infulences. She is friendly to everyone, from the newest newbie to the greatest of the fractal greats. Every day she shows her enthusiasm for fractal artists and fractal art by sharing parameters, complimenting spectacular pieces, and all in all demonstrating through word and action what being a positive force in the world looks like.
Through simple rules, artists can make spectacular fractals. Through simple actions, n8tiveattitude01 created a safe, positive, growing fractal community unmatched anywhere on deviantart and perhaps in the world. I would say n8tiveattitude is the most important fractal artist today, because by her leadership and her example she created a fractal community poised to take the world by storm- she created artists that work together, that share and share alike, that communicate and collaborate and have the potential to take fractal art to higher heights ever before- and more importantly, make us all a little bit happier.
And here's the most heartening thing: n8tiveattitude is not unique. Anyone can learn to do what she does. In fact, she'll eagerly teach you. Learn from her. Imitate her. Do what she does. Follow simple rules, and simple actions, and repeat them over and over, because they will allow you to create communities just as vibrant. Come to the Aposhack and learn from a true fractal artist how to make your corner of the world a better place.