Artisits Of MeFi What Is Your Deviant Art Experience?
May 8, 2016 7:53 AM   Subscribe

You are an artist, you have or have had a profile/galleries on Deviant Art. Was/is it a good thing?

I have had a profile on Deviant art for years. I've never used the site or uploaded anything to it. I am considering posting some work now, because I'm pretty isolated these days, and I'd like to get some critique. I'd also like to be in contact with other artists more than I am, and recharge my creative batteries by looking at work that others have done. I'm concerned by the the agreement DA makes you sign. It seems ambiguous, like DA can grant random others the rights to publish your work with out compensating you.

Has anyone had problems with Deviant Art? Does anyone have pointers or tips for getting the most out of the site?

posted by WalkerWestridge to Media & Arts (2 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I hope you'll get lots of helpful advice, but in my opinion for this type of site, sustained activity is your best bet. I have a long inactive account there now, but my most luck connecting with people was when I joined a couple groups with active members (and made an effort to participate weekly), and also spent time commenting on other folks' work.

I do think DA skews a bit younger/toward students (or maybe it's changed in the last few years)? I just decided at some point I didn't really have the time to make using the site worthwhile. Of course, if you don't have your own site, it's a nice place to post a gallery of your work.
posted by Glinn at 9:01 AM on May 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

DeviantArt isn't really the best for critique unless you find and join one of the critique groups. Mostly it's an art positive rah-rah experience. Depending on the kind of work you do, you might have more luck at something like WetCanvas. But if your work is digital, WetCanvas would not be a good option. You can find more focused digital art critique at places like CGTalk and ConceptArt, but be prepared for people to be less than gentle. It's not "kill yourself" critique, but they will find all of your weaknesses. For instance, you might see something like, "Your color palette is interesting but all of your structural fundamentals are wrong. Go to a figure drawing workshop with live models and come back in six months."

DeviantArt is also huge, so joining groups is the best way to get your work seen. You can also tick a box that expressly asks for deeper critique, but hardly anyone does it. Because the audience skews so young there, I don't find it to be a "valuable" experience for progression in art, but it's a great ego boost. You can post stick figures to some groups and get warm encouragement. But you have to wade through some angsty community drama, too.

Lots of people don't understand the DA agreement. IANAL, but it's a pretty standard type of agreement for gallery sites. Basically, uploading to DA gives them to right to use your work to promote their web site in magazines, online, at trade shows and conventions, that sort of thing. However, they will not sell your work and do not retain any ownership of it. If your work is good, people will steal it and sell it anyway, and DA does not assume any liability for that.
posted by xyzzy at 12:50 PM on May 8, 2016 [5 favorites]

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