Last week I had a special jubilee –
my 10,000th pageview at DeviantArt 😀
I’m at DeviantArt for 8 years. It’s one of a certain amount of platforms I tried out for spreading my manga illustrations, manga pages and art in general. There were a lot of platforms that looked cumbersome for me. Maybe there were a lot of conditions what you should upload and what you shouldn’t (data file formats), maybe no security certificates (! this shouldn’t be a problem nowadays !), no chances to communicate with other users through private messages or it was too difficult to show other users your illustrations. No chances to contribute to anything.
To be honest I paused uploading to DeviantArt for some years, too. But only because of the last point: no chances to make your illustration known.
From the start on DeviantArt offered a huge amount of functionality. You can easily display what users are allowed to do with your work and what they shouldn’t do thanks to Creative Commons. Which is really a help on the internet.
Furthermore you are able to communicate in bulletin boards, directly through private messages, profile messages or comments. Moreover you can subscribe to the user you want to get news of immediately. You can search for illustrations, photographies, … and browse through the enormous amount of deviations. You possibly have access to free ressources, tutorials and for me it is always really inspiring to see so many different works. Just to mention some points.
When I started uploading to DeviantArt (DA), there were no things like groups. So when you uploaded your artwork, it was only displayed to the community as long it was labeled „new“ or if someone was searching for some fitting tags and stumbled across your work. If you have a lot of subscribers it would be easy to get a lot of pageviews as well. But at that time, 8 years ago, I was still a beginner and had a lot of shortfalls. So I looked at the pageview counter and saw that there isn’t happening anything even after uploading illustration after illustration. It was so depressing that I stopped. My mistake was that I didn’t used the bulletin boards and in general was communicating too less. I was too fixed on uploading and seeing if something happens from close to scratch.
Today there are so many possibilities to spread your art. For example groups – they helped me. This and all the features that were added to DA in the last years enriched the platform. Now DeviantArt is for me the Number 1 platform and I’m really happy that my counter finally displays more than a myriad pageviews. Maybe you can guess from my GIF above how happy I am. 😉 It was a long way that tells stories of giving up and starting again and finally the story of critics, improvement, watchers (=subsribers) and friends. Sometimes I ask myself which number my pageview counter would show me if I never paused uploading for several years. But forget about it. Today DeviantArt is for me the platform that I use as a portfolio and as a calling card (or business card) to show who I am and what my heart beats for.
I’m no expert and 10,000 pageviews doesn’t automatically allow me to call me an expert. But there are some things I learned, therefore: some simple advices I want to share.
How to survive
- Be patient! When it comes to pageviews, comments and requests – it just takes time. Especially when you’re new.
- Learn the DA-vocabulary. A deviation is the ulpoaded work, a deviant is a user, a watcher is someone who subscribed to your art … the bulletin board helps!
- Choose groups that represent your art style, technqiue or personal interests and become a member or make a request so that your illustration is added to the group galleries. Always be aware of the group rules and look twice if you are submitting to the fitting folder of the groups gallery. Other group members are possible subscribers of this gallery and may have a look at your work. You may earn pageviews, favs, watchers!
- Keep cool even if things are not working well. When your work was declined (not added to a group gallery) just make a comment and ask why. A group admin that really is willing to care for the members will answer and explain you why the work wasn’t chosen. Some group admins are overloaded with work and requests and may not answer.
- Request critic and take critic seriously. But never personally. People don’t know you and sure don’t want to insult or hurt you. Keep in mind that critic is supposed to help you. If something written is formulated in a strange manner, don’t worry and don’t be upset. It’s an international platform. Fact. Maybe it’s not the formulation of the other one that sounds strange, maybe it’s just your interpretation or translation that’s strange. But …
- …if something is really offensive you sure should do something against it. First try it with forgeting about it or if it’s really insulting – delete it. We all are artist in our special ways but there is a tiny amount of users who can call themselves experts – someone who is offensive is sure no expert.
- Be aware of plagiarism and talk to the person who copied directly. A serious discussion possibly supports understanding. If it wasn’t helpful – complain and don’t stop to, because plagiarism is poison for all of us.
- Be friendly. Wie es in den Wald hineinschallt… or in english What goes around comes around
- Say thanks! To users that added your work to their favourites as well as users that commented. If you don’t get a response don’t be worried. Persons with 1873896245 pageviews would have a lot of work if they would reply every comment. It’s sure no offense.
- Aim high! Rise – try to go to the next level. Set yourself goals/aims you want to reach. „I want to make an illustration that is good enough so that the high-quality-serious-group XYZ accepts it.“
- And finally – if you wish soooo deeply to get more pageviews, you should be (nearly) omnipresent (or just check your account often) and upload continuously.