Jumping into the deviantART Community!
deviantART is quite a large place! It's easy to get lost, or to go unnoticed. Many people have trouble with "getting into the community" and the fifty-sixth FAQ is but a stubble. Here's a compendium of ways to get started being an active community member.
What is deviantART all about anyway? It's an ART website! Even if you're not a professional (or fairly good, for that manner), submitting art is your first step to gaining traction. If your art is mediocre or poor quality, practice, practice, practice! Within a year, you'll be able to see the progress you've made if you keep at it!
The submit page has an intuitive fluid design with everything you'll need to start submitting.
Downloads: Your watchers (or general viewers) can download your work to their computer with this option. This is especially useful for free journal skins or tutorials that are too large for a thumbnail!
Premium Content: With this new feature, you can sell your work as a download for points. (which can be converted to money) This is (again) useful for those who want to sell things like journal/gallery skins, tutorials, or even some literature for a small (or large) amount of points. For traditional, digital, or photographic works, perhaps prints are a better option!
Sell Prints: Here you can set up your work to be sold as a print. Anyone can buy a specific form of your artwork (anything from mugs to puzzles to canvases etc.) that you set in the Prints menu.
Keywords: Use relevant words so that other deviants can find your work! If you have a photo of a swan bathing in a lake, put keywords like "swan, lake, bathing, water" etc.
This section is a conglomeration of all works you have....well....favorite'd. When clicking the magical button with a star on it to the right of any other artist's deviation, it sends the work right to your Favorites section.
You can make sure to organize works by genre, name, or otherwise (it's up to you! ) and keep it nice and toasty for fond memories. Looking to find some great works to favorite? Check out the Thumbshare forum for artwork relevant to your interests. And there's still the good old-fashioned Search to find more.
Writing journals opens yourself up to a whole new set of possibilities. Depending on the type of journals you write, you may attract different groups of people. Maybe you're the first one to report the newest spoiler for the next episode of a popular anime, maybe you're able to pull off fantastic features like =lieveheersbeestje that almost automatically get to the front page of the Journal Portal! In any case, make sure that your grammar's correct, you aren't complaining about school, and generally aren't a jerk.
For the full list of different types of journals to write and some examples for you to check out, see the Journal Portal. Trending journals lie on the left section of the footer.
Running your own group - whichever type it may be - is a great way to connect with the community. If you collect art with your group, you'll likely attract a following of art appreciators, or some people who just want to submit their own art there! If you start a regional group, you can connect to nearby deviants too. This section will be a tad short because I've written a whole article on the subject below.
PE: Groups: From Birth and So On...
Groups: From Birth and So On
Table Of Contents
2. Making a Group
3. Types of Groups
4. Designing the Group
5. Advertising Your Group
6. Hiring of Admins, Upkeep, and Voting
7. End of the Road: Leaving the Group Behind
8. A Final Word
So you want to start up a group, eh? Maybe to get together with your friends, maybe to collect art of a specific genre, maybe to start an informative article series, or maybe for other reasons I can't think to list. In any case, making a group is a short process. From start to finish (where fin
DeviantART is not quite a comment machine, don't expect people to randomly comment and like your work if you don't get out and do more for others first! Check out the Newest works on deviantART, and specify which category of art you'd like to look at. Comment on some works you like or don't like. If you don't like the work, don't write a rude comment! Instead, you can write a short critique there. Luckily for you, the next section is about this very thing.
A few groups exist that will give you feedback on your own work, if that's what you're looking for. Make sure to follow their rules If you want feedback, you'll likely have to give it to. Maybe you'll eventually learn to love giving feedback, and maybe even prefer to spend your time commenting on various works, too!
Groups I referenced:
DeviantART has enabled all users able to write critiques for others using the "Critique" widget, going along with the normal way - commenting. Works that are able to be critiqued using the widget can be found on the "Critiquable" page (found here)
Once again, I've already written on this topic extensively for Project Educate already. A link can be found below.
PE: Critiquing: A PrimerCritiquing: A Primer
First Things First
Even though critiquing is fun and useful, the artist may not actually appreciate the critique. Make sure to always check if the artist is open to critiques.
Note the artistCheck in the description of the piece you're viewing if there's a request for critiquesCheck for stamps on their profile that are clear that they want critiques
Stamps like this or definitely indicate the artist would like some!
deviantART also has the "Critique" feature. You can directly critique a work through the widget! More info about the Critique widget can be found here. You can browse through the "Critiquable" section to find the newest pieces of art that have th
Chats & Forums
Of course, the deviantART chatrooms provide close encounters with other deviants instantly. Meet some new deviants and make networks and connections. You'll usually see regulars in chatrooms, and it's good to talk to them, considering if you ever return, it's likely they'll be there! A full list of all the chatrooms can be found here. Some popular chatrooms are #devart, #CommunityRelations, #iPhotograph, #Bronies, #Botdom, and more. (Go scout them yourself! ) You may even find you'd like to create your own chatroom for your friends.
Forums allow you to chat with other deviants on topics of almost anything, from video games, to TV shows, to general complaints or praise, politics, religion, devMEETs, thumbshare and MUCH more. The Deviants forum has random topics that most people can talk about. The Thumbshare forum can also help promote your work. (make sure to promote your relevant work in the comments, don't post your work as a forum post. Please make sure to read the rules before posting. This applies to all forums) The Welcome Center forum is good if you're new. You can meet new people, and establish friendships quickly! Make sure to check out all the forums to see what you can bring to the table.
If you're frustrated that you've gone "unnoticed" as an artist on deviantART, try a lot of these things. With the right combinations, the right amount of work, and a small bit of luck, you won't be worrying anymore. And remember, like the 56th FAQ says:
"... try to remember that deviantART is a community, not a comment machine. You don't get anything out of it if you don't put something into it. In other words, you reap what you sow."
Don't expect people to favorite or comment on your work, you have to go out and do that for others first and foremost! Being a part of the community means being an active member. You can give feedback to more than just art and journals. Comment on the site updates and official blogs as well, join the many contests going on around dA, do art trades, suggest awesome art for Daily Deviations and more.
Hope this helps you to become a more active community member! Remember that the ultimate goal is not a popularity contest, but to make friends, showcase your work, and have a good time.
Links from this article:
- FAQ #56: How can I get noticed on this site?
- Thumbshare forum
- Journal Portal
- Project Educate: Groups - From Birth and So on
- Compendium of badges available (or unavailable) to the general public
- Critiquable Page
- Project Educate: Critiquing: A Primer
- All deviantART chatrooms
- All deviantART forums
James is one of %projecteducate's columnist and author of no books. He has published four interviews and five editorials for %projecteducate. You can find more of his writings here.