The dA commUNIty and You
When first stumbling upon deviantArt, whether 5 months or 5 years ago, we decided to join because we wanted to share our art. We wanted our work to be seen, to be appreciated, to be understood. However, it can be a long and difficult journey from obscurity into the spotlight. Many newcomers and even long-time deviants are sometimes overwhelmed and discouraged by a seeming lack of interest and/or exposure for their work. After all, that's what dA is for, right? Not necessarily - the answer to that question is a bit more involved than a simple "yes" or "no".
Society in general has become used to instant gratification. Want the new album by your favorite artist? With the click of a mouse, you've got it! Need to get in touch with your cousin who's moved to Italy? It's easy -- just Skype! The college you want to attend is across the country? No problem, they offer online courses!
You may be wondering how this is relevant to dA. Well, we've become so accustomed to having what we want, when we want it, that we expect the same with our art. We upload a new work and wait for comments and faves to roll in. Then, when that fails to happen, we don't understand why. It may even cause us to experience self-doubt in our abilities as an artist. Nobody likes my work. I suck. I don't even know why I bother, nobody will see my work anyway. But this simply isn't true. What many of us fail to realize is that while dA is an outlet to gain exposure for our work, unless you've been on dA for a while and already have an established audience or fan-base, it's unreasonable to expect to be able to upload a piece and have faves and comments bombard your inbox. It takes a little more effort on your part. You have to give in order to receive, and that's where the dA Community comes in to the picture.
Just as there is no community without "U-n-I", the dA community requires all of us, you and I, in order to be truly successful. There are a variety of ways in which you can get involved in the community and your involvement will result in increased exposure for your art. Here are just a few ideas on how you can become more involved:
Volunteer as an admin at one of your favorite groups! If you're not a member of any groups, join a few! There are groups for everything and everyone - just find one that interests you!
Interact with other deviants! See a work you love? Comment! Have a question about a technique an artist used? Ask! An article caught your attention? Comment, whether you agree or disagree with what was written!
Feature other artists! This a great way to show appreciation for fantastic work and great efforts by friends, watchers, and artists you admire!
Offer feedback if an artist has requested it! Just remember: "Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots."Frank A. Clark
Write articles, host interviews, or create tutorials! This is a great way to give back to the community and help other deviants get the recognition they deserve and/or any help they may need.
Be friendly! Remember, behind every work of art, behind each name, is a real person with real feelings, hopes, and dreams -- just like you!
Reader suggestions: Additional ways to become involved
SingingFlames suggests perusing comments, and offering advice on questions (assuming, of course, you know what you're talking about ). I'm sure we've all seen someone say, "Hi, I'm new on dA and was wondering how you did _______."
Katjalore-Creatures recommends suggesting DD's (see the list of current CVs to figure out who you need to contact to suggest a DD for each gallery)
You can also watch active members in the community for ideas and ways you may be able to contribute. A good starting point is to watch projecteducate and communityrelations - this way you'll aways know what's going on in the community and how you may be able to help. If you're still not quite sure where to begin, keep an eye on the CV(s) and other active members within your chosen genre(s) or even ask them if they can suggest ways for you to get more involved. Here are few active deviants from a few categories on dA; this is by no means a complete list and is not meant to exclude anyone or any genre or art. I'm most active in the photomanipulation community and so that's where I'm most knowledgeable.
You can find a list of current Community Volunteers and openings here communityrelations.deviantart.…;
Artgerm runs an excellent and very informative group and chat room dealing with digital painting.
3wyl is very friendly and goes above and beyond her duties as a Photography CV to help other deviants any way she can.
jane-beata is active in the Traditional Art community in a variety of ways.
lintu47 is an inspiring, kind figure on dA, she always posts features, amazing interviews, and inspiring articles on her profile and in the groups she manages. Thanks thefloatingcigare and NaTuReBOYisHEre for the suggestion!
Arichy is active in helping in chat rooms, groups, and many more. She is also willing to support people offline, such as orphans. Thanks SongOfLives for the suggestion!
If you know of any active members in your community, feel free to send me(ScatteredAshe) a note with their name(s) and how they're active and I'll be happy to add them to the list!
I hope this has helped you understand why it's important to be involved in the dA community!