There are tons of articles out there that describe what you should do to get noticed on dA. The advice contained pretty much comes down to "if you are active, people will notice you":
- fave other people's art - they might fave yours back
- comment on other people's art - they might return the favour
- use your comments to actually talk to the other artist; don't just say "wow", but tell them why you liked their art; give critiques
- use the chats & forums
- use your own journal to its full advantage (tell people about yourself / art features / ...)
- take care to make your userpage nice-looking and informative
- give out llama badges
- find some groups to submit your art to
- and don't forget to actually post something to your gallery regularly
While all of this is certainly true (seeing as when you don't put your name - with the attached link to your page - out there, no one will have a chance to find you to begin with), the question that remains for me is:
Why do you want to get noticed?
What about you should others be noticing?
Why are you here?
Are you here for your art? Do you think it could use some improvement? Yes? Then you probably want to get noticed to get some help and encouragement or simply some feedback which doesn't necessarily need to be novel-length comments with tons of useful critique - sometimes a "great work" comment can make your day, too.
Or maybe you are here to find some likeminded people; friends at best, or "just" some acquaintances to share your hobby. Maybe you are someone who likes to help others with their art or with the site or by providing resources.
I'll go out on a limb here and say that most of us are here for a combination of art feedback and friendships.
But of course there are also those of us who have made art their profession (or plan to at least) and for whom dA is more than a "I show you mine, you show me yours" platform. They are here to promote their art on a completely different level. They use dA as a portfolio, as calling card and digital mark. And sometimes as a sandbox for new ideas to test if they work for a broader audience (or if they just work in their heads). Some focus more on their art while others also put a big emphasis on interacting with their watchers and viewers.
All of the above is what has shaped this site into what you see today. That is why you can get into conversations over giving llama badges or share muro doodles or have the ability to give critiques through a special feature. It's why you can customize your journals to suit your personality and it's the reason there are so many different sub-groups on dA that each have their own unique communities. It's why we have the Commission feature or the possibility to upload Premium Content. The reason we have a Stock & Resources section on this site and so much more.
Not just one aspect, but all. However, the individual deviant will always choose the aspects of the site that are most important to him or her:
- If you are here to admire art and support others, you probably will not upload a whole lot of art yourself or the kind of art you upload shifts toward resources and deviantArt related items.
- If you are here because you want to improve your art, you will probably want to concentrate on creating art and sharing it with a more select group of people so you can get the feedback you are looking for (think beginner groups with challenges or a focus on tutorials / resources).
- If you are the type who loves chat rooms (and have the free time), then of course you will jump at the chance to use the dAmn network to find others to interact with (art, friendship, laughs - whatever topic, there's something for everyone).
- And if you have something to sell, then you will surely put great emphasis on a neat looking userpage and concise journals with information on how to contact you, what you have to offer etc.
I could go on endlessly, my point is this:
Everyone comes here with something in mind and the part where you try to get into contact with the rest of the
community often is not so much about getting yourself noticed than about finding your place on this large
site. A place where your very personal needs are fulfilled and not some generic
"ideal" of "getting noticed" just for the heck of it.
I am talking about all of this, because I have the feeling that more often than not, people on here forget why they came here in the first place. And suddenly, we have users wandering about the site with only one big goal: becoming more popular. To them, popularity is the be-all and end-all. They do everything they do just to get more watchers / faves / comments / pageviews, but why they want that so badly, they couldn't say.
So the question remains:
Why are you here?
I know this article is does not deal with every last aspect of why people can be here, what they (may) seek here and why they might think "becoming popular" (whatever that may mean) is the biggest goal. It does touch the main aspects as far as I can see at this point though and I would very much love to discuss your view on this in the comments, but before you jump in, please finish reading.
Some more explanation on why I am picking this topic up
(please read if you are interested in joining the discussion):
My personal view is that I cannot be happy in this community unless I find out what I personally want from it. For me, it has always been a mix between
- showing others my art (which in real life, no one is interested in as much as the people here are - that's not to say my friends and family don't care, they do, but they have a different approach to this and I am very glad I have people here who share my hobby),
- helping those new to manips (because that is what dA has done for me and I want to give it back) and
- trying to keep a circle of friends here who appreciate my critiques / feedback / comments as much as I appreciate theirs (because giving random critiques is unbelievably frustrating when you try to give one to a deviant who can't deal with them, no matter how sensible you are -- I found I do not need the drama).
Those interests can also change with time, for example when I first got here (and had more time for dA) I loved the chat rooms - today, I don't recognize the names of those sitting in my favourite ones (provided they still exist). But it is okay: my life has changed and so has what I want/need from this site.
What I have never been able to understand (and maybe someone wants to enlighten me) is why "being noticed" for the heck of it is so important. I'm not talking about seeing a piece receive many faves and enjoying the feeling - I'm talking about those groups people can join where you can swap or even buy watchers / faves / comments (using points). If you are only doing something because you either want the points or because you also want another watcher / fave / comment, then what does the fact that you just got a watcher / fave / comment mean when you get down to it? To me that could never be as flattering as getting any of the above just because the other person saw my art and spontaneously felt the need to watch / fave / comment, but it seems to me to others this matters a great deal more. But why?
I have the feeling that those who do feel so strongly about "getting noticed" by any means necessary are not as many as it sometimes feels like. I think some people have just never asked themselves what they want from this site - why they are here - and kinda just "go with the flow". This being a very large site with countless sub-communities it is easy to get lost and think that once you become popular, you will stop being lost. But in my opinion, unless you find out where you want to be, this feeling might always sneek up on you, no matter how "visible" you are on the outside.
I hope I'm making sense here and I'm very much looking forward to your comments!
What are your thoughts on this topic?
Why are you here?
PS: I'm a bit behind on answering your comments, but I will get to every single one - promise!
an article about what photomanipulation is and what you need to try it - and on the ever so important issue of "where do I get pictures to play with?"
--> read article <--
Of Copyright & Premades
is an article that strives to explain what copyright means, who it protects and that simply putting work into something will not make using something without permission okay.
A series of articles that try to explain some basics in art that you may or may not have heard of before but didn't know what to do with them. All of them are written especially for photo- manipulators, but the principles should hold true in any genre.
--> Know your basics - Colour Theory <--
--> Know your basics - Composition <--
--> Know your basics - Perspective <--
--> Know your basics - Textures <--
--> 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 <--
dA is a place that handles many categories.
Thank you for discussing this and clearing some clouds from people's heads!
Myself I joined this site just to share my work and see what happens.
Though I found myself getting frustrated over my lack of popularity and becomming a great artist who often shows up on what's hot and can live off freelancing seemed like it had so much importance. Of course I didn't buy watchers or throw out llamas to try to get there. But my frustration over never getting as acknowledged as I wished to be grew until I started asking myself if I would really be happier if I got all of that.
It's still a goal to me to get a big ammount of watchers and maybe show up on the what's hot front page sometime but now it's not really important anymore.
Now I'm on this site to build my project, share my comic and make friends and I find that deviantART makes me happy when I use the site for that. At least once I let go of my greed.
It makes me happy to see people enjoying my comic no matter the ammount of readers, it makes me happy when I go write something silly on someones front page and they reply with something sillier and it makes me happy to help other artists by giving them positive and fair critique.
And since it makes me happy, it's way more important than giving up my soul to be popular.
This drawing is called "Depression". It features Homestuck character Terezi Pyrope who in turn also was going through depression at the same time that I was and thus inspired me to draw her. During the time that I drew this, I had to take tons of medications just to get by -> It wasn't pleasant at all. But I managed to express myself and the way I felt artistically because that was honestly the only way that I could tell how I was feeling...the words would not come...
My point is, it does not matter whether you get noticed or not. We are not here for popularity. We are here to have fun and express ourselves and to meet other aspiring artists. I love all forms of art and love to give support to fellow artists. I mostly favorite but will sometimes comment because I'm not much of a talker. So yeah, that's why I am here.
I think the focus she be more on creativity and inspiration than popularity. That's my opinion atleast.
Sometimes, I am here just to kill time.
Now I use it a bit more to connect with others in an organic way, still to appreciate art, and it's an archive of my works in a way that showcases the ones I deem of good quality. I don't have many friends, I'm not good at marketing (I feel very frustrated with the whole "you have to market, market to be popular/known" vibe), but I enjoy the site and the little places I am welcome. I love helping the CRPhotography group even if I feel I'm not really good at photography, but I love being part of it and fulfilling my tiny "job" there.
I don't think I'll ever be "popular" or well known, but I don't really mind. I'm not even sure I could deal with it, since I'm very shy.
Nice article by the wait :3
Excellent - a great collection of important points. But I think the most important is perhaps buried a little too well: certainly we get the most out of being on dA when we interact, but this needs to be thoughtful interaction, a considered response to the art. It seems to me that too many people on this forum are only interested in forming mutual fan-clubs, which will somehow validate their existence (and particularly their existence as "artists").
I suspect that most teenagers want to become something famous "when they grow up" - certainly I did! - and eventually they will grow out of that. It seems that the remarkably welcoming and user-friendly nature of dA appeals to this mind-set, so the question you pose at the start is a very important reminder to us all to think carefully about our motivations.
I didn't know there were groups where you could 'buy' comments...that just seems stupid to me. I feel like the people being paid for comments won't be genuine and won't give critiques, which is okay for some people, but I personally wouldn't be able to stand it.
This is my second account now, and probably my permanent one. I suppose things just change as I got my older my ideals began to shift from when I was a kid. I think a lot of the times the reason people want to be "popular" is because they crave attention, even if it means stirring up drama. Heck, I'll admit when I first started using other forums and websites I used to be a bit of a troll myself. As I got older though I realized maybe my antics were attracting a lot of attention, but even with that it didn't make me happy.
DA was the only one site where I felt like I could go and be genuine. I never have gotten a lot of comments on my art, and I still rarely do, but I'm ok with that. See at first it really upset me, the lack of attention, but after a while I realized who cares?
I usually always get really frustrated when people gain popularity by drawing fan-art or furries, and I think, why would you limit yourself only to what's mainstream? Then I realize, jeez I could have all the same fans, but is that even what I want? What's the point of having thousands of watchers who don't really genuinely care about you? I've never been a particularly social person in real life and so I think it makes sense. Quality over quantity. I do not have tons of friends, but the friends I do have I really like a lot; I've met some really nice pen pals through DA.
Yet, at the same time I often get frustrated wondering why people crave so much attention. I think part of it is maybe due to the fact, while there are a lot of really nice and mature people on DA, I'm sure they are greatly outweighed by the amount immature tweens who flood DA with their spam and begging (and furries). This is not to say that all tweens are immature, but I went through the same phase myself and so I'm sure others do to. I think it's like when you reach a certain age you need social acceptance, and if for some reason you can't obtain it in real life due to social issues you can make up what you lack by joining a community online. That is why, though these types of people frustrate me, I try to not be mean to them. I can't say I sympathize, but I try to fight the annoyance but simply being kind, because I know just yelling at them won't make them change xD
So why am I still on DA? Well mainly because through DA I have made friends with people from other parts of the world, who are really cool, and I may otherwise never have a chance to meet IRL. I like to post my art, and once in a great while I'll get some feedback. I like to talk to people, give people advice, sometimes share my opinions via journal. It's just a place where I can relax, like a hangout. I don't like overly crowded places anyways, so a lesser crowded account works for me too! (I mean really, who wants to sort through thousands of feedback messages anyway? )
Sorry for the really long comment xD I felt this deserved the thought though (:
And I know what you mean. Of course the more people come around and leave a (constructive) comment, the better for your own improvement. One should never forget though that too much attention at the wrong time may result in a bucket load of nasty / unfavourable comments that one could've easily done without (I'm thinking of people trying to get DDs for art they know is not quite there yet for example and not on getting just a little more traffic on your page and art of course)
I'm the kind of person who is never completely pleased with my work because I always know I can do better (not to say I'm down on myself. I do know when I've done good. Thats when I post things here! ) So I really dont want to be constantly barmbarded with nasty comments, that would SO not help!
But I also enjoy some of the very good art makers and the like. This is why I like DeviantART so much - It has good apples and bad apples in the same tree.
I met some deviants I thought I'd never get the chance to when I finally got the money together to travel to Canada and the States, so never say never