Andrea Hartmann's farewell message

I'm not going to be writing any teary goodbye here. Despite that being not my style, it just doesn't seem appropriate. Nor do I feel a need to give a detailed personal history with the site, really; that's not important. Suffice to say I was the first non-founder on staff, and thus have been watching the site grow and evolve nearly since its conception.

It's been a great ride, and I'd have loved to see it go on for a much longer time, but I'm not going to agonize over this. Though the GIA has turned some of the darkest days of my life into something much brighter, given me opportunities and exciting moments I'd never even have dreamed of, and in general provided me with reasons to keep going when it seemed pointless to even get up in the morning, it wasn't really the site that did that at all. It was the people associated with the site - my coworkers and the readers and especially the artists.

Regardless of what the site name is, or where it can be found on the web, the people who made the GIA into something memorable are still around - they're not magically vanishing into the void. I'll be working with many current and past GIA associates and friends on the new site, so that part of the GIA isn't going to disappear. I've been in touch by way of blogs and email and IRC with many readers and artists, some of whom I've gotten to know quite well in the past few years, and so that aspect of the GIA won't disappear. I hope there will be a good portion of the "regulars" here at GIA and Sketch Artist who will also stay with us as we undergo this change, because I appreciate all of you. Yes. Every single one, whether you donated money during the server trouble, contributed to or browsed the fan art section, or have no idea who I am because you came to GIA for the news and nothing else.

Yes, I consider this a change rather than a finale. Instead of the obvious old song to have going through my head at the moment, "This is the end, beautiful friend," I'm stuck just as much on another old song: "So much of life ahead; we'll find a place where there's room to grow - and yes, we've just begun."

--Andrea Hartmann

(Oh, and one last thing. I thought I might as well give my own two cents on the debate that has been raging in the Sketch Artist section for some time now - here you go. I love you crazy people, I really do.)

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