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The ‘Not-Cleverly Named Character Meme’ or DeviantArt Age Meme is an exploitable fad created by DeviantArt member Amber Neely on May 25, 2009 in the vein of Nyu’s Art Meme.
Amber made the template because she wanted there to be a DeviantArt meme that didn’t take long to do and that everyone would be able to do.
It caught on at DeviantArt immediately, with the first derivative of it being made the next day, accumulating over a thousand comments on the picture and over 225,000 page views, with many of them being DeviantArt links to other user’s responses, and it has since become the first response when Character Meme is searched on DeviantArt.
When someone fills out the template, what they do is draw either themselves or one (or multiple) of their characters at various ages in their lives, those being 5 years old, 13 years old, 17 years old, and 25 years old.
This has caught on because those ages not only allow for great variation in the characters in the different stages of their lives, but it is really easily imitatable and easy to make.
Although it was titled “Character Meme” before there was even traffic for it, which turns some people off of participation because of the feeling of forcing, the template has garnered hundreds of responses, all of which had a lot of hard work put into them.
The easily imitated template has both brought out many comments and picture responses and variations on the original template. Searches for Age Meme on DeviantArt brings up derivitives of the Not-Cleverly Named Character meme, be it with the same template or a template based on the original and searches for DeviantArt Age Meme brings the original template to the forefront.
Variations on the template change a whole spectrum of things; colors, ages, titles, whether it is the artist or their character, width, number of panels, position of panels, and even added summaries of the characters. The original template has mutated to be whatever the artist had need for.
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