Yesterday I profiled the comfy, cozy Innographx forum. Today I’ll introduce you to an art community on the complete opposite end of the scale: deviantART (DA), which is possibly the largest online art community on the planet. The numbers for DA are just staggering. 7 million members. 59 million art submissions. 75,000 submissions every day (that’s nearly one per second!). It can be a little overwhelming, so here’s a quick guide to deviantART.
DA has been around since August 2000. As the numbers show, it’s a very large community site. Anyone over the age of 13 can open an account, at no cost. When uploading artwork, there is no pre-submission process. There are rules against pornography, but other than that, it’s pretty much anything goes. This means the range of quality is huge. But the community itself helps the better work to rise to the top. Any type of artwork can be added to your gallery, from traditional to digital.
What strikes me most about DA is how people share elements. There is a tradition here of combining elements created by others into a unique work of art (um, I mean, deviation). In this, DA is similar to another online community I’ll be profiling soon, Renderosity. This makes for a wonderful learning tool. The artist credits the originators of the component pieces, making it easy to see what the artist began with. If you are interested in creative compositing, you will have a ball at deviantART!
Some Deviant terminology:
- Deviant – someone who has signed up for the site as either a member (free) or a subscriber (paid). Subscribing removes ads and allows you to customize the home page somewhat, among other things.
- Deviation – a work of art uploaded to the site for public consumption.
- deviantWatch, watching – DA allows you to keep track of your favorite artists. When you find an artist you like, select the “Watch this Deviant” option on their gallery page, and you’ll be notified on your page whenever they add a new Deviation.
Upon arrival at the opening home page, you see a ton of stuff vying for your attention. To get started, notice the following areas, marked with red arrows:
- click on the drop down next to your username to access things like your profile, and to upload an image (a deviation)
- There are various categories for browsing. Note the Digital Art category here.
- The resources category is a great place to find Photoshop files, stock photos, tutorials, and all sorts of useful stuff.
- Scroll to the very bottom (not shown) to see the rather large footer.
- At any time, you can return to this page by clicking on the deviantART logo in the upper left.
You will get a gallery of your very own when you sign up. You get to your gallery by clicking on your user name, right under the main deviantART logo, top left. After you begin to add art (deviations) to your gallery, people will “favorite” you. Check your profile page to see who has favorited your work.
There are many more features and options, but that’s enough to get you started. The best way to learn is to just dive right in. (deviantART mascot artwork by Mick-Mick)
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