Journal Entry: Sun Feb 10, 2013, 2:25 AM
Few small hints for all who want to be recognized on DA and wish for more watchers/favs etc. (From own experience)
1. For starters - fanart.
Starting with posting your OC's won't do much, unless they're made in high quality, but also with that much of quality it might be not enough sometimes. Sadly, most of people browse fanart pieces more than OC's so why don't you give it a try and draw a pic from your fav fandom.
Eventually thanks to this people will notice your original works as an effect of chain reaction (browsing your gallery for more fanart)
Artists experience: My account was empty for a year and a half, even though I posted stuff. Then oneday I played Soul Reaver and liked it so much I drew a fanart of Raziel. Surprised suddenly favs started to rise and I met friends from that fandom. Later I drew works with Guilty Gear and now most of my friends found their way to me just because of fanart.
2. Join Groups
Give it a try. Find a group of your interest and put the works there. (Auto accepting groups are better) Don't hesitate to browse for groups that gather OC's if you have some. Also there are also groups that accept all art and support artists to get more favs. I saw groups that write critiques for all submitted art that asks for critiques. Don't feel scared or 'not worthy'. Just do it
The group system is really nice since your art goes to inboxes of people that don't watch you, but might love your art style, they just didn't had the chance to see it. Remember there are over 16 million artists registered on DA. Some groups have over 4000 members.
But REMEMBER to read the rules and put art in correct folders. Ask admins why your work got declined if no explanation is given.
Artists experience: I think it's pretty self explanatory. Also if you're afraid of groups spamming your deviation section, just unwatch the incoming messages, you'll still be a member (if you joined) but you won't be flooded by stuff.
3. Be active yourself
Fav others works and comment on them yourself. You can start a conversation that might end with a great friendship later. Avoid bitching though, spare yourself bad jokes and pointing out mistakes. Better avoid commenting on art if you don't really get the term of "constructive critique" (some might mistake it for offending, constructive critique is a delicate matter that needs good usage of words). Also it's nice if you write more than "looks good" or "nice work". Ask questions like "amazing, what program did you use?", "can you tell me how you blend the colors?" etc. IMPORTANT part is to read the artist comments! Or else you'll end asking dumb questions.
Remember, not only you wait for positive feedback. Be active while waiting, encourage people and they will get interested in you.
Artists experience: I rarely comment on works, but I fav mostly. Most of people will come to you to thank for the fav and by that might stop by your gallery and get interested in it. It's good if you design your front page with your gallery's best works.
4. Offer art trades and free sketches.
Use that option when you gathered some watchers by now. Ask friends to feature your offer info in their journals as well. Remember to be true to your promises. If you get a customer, do draw the art for them. Don't procrastinate or else it'll end bad. Also don't go all out with infinite slots. Start with one art at a time, or 5 slots max. As long as you don't get demotivated along the way. And really use that option when you really feel like it. It won't do good if you're not sure about it force yourself. It needs a lot of patience as well.
Artists experience: If no one asks for a long time, it may backfire on you and be demotivating. Use only when you feel confident.
5. Don't be a burrito...
...and hide yourself and cry in the corner if your inbox still feels empty. Patience. You'll need it. The phenomenon of getting 100 favs in few minutes after posting stuff is reserved for the most popular artists... sadly. Well after all, they have 1 Million pageviews and thousands of devoted fans. So, don't compare yourself to them. Also, they all started from the point zero just like you. Just keep optimistic. Practice everyday. Keep posting. Take part in someones contests. Donate points if you have some. Just remember, don't compare yourself. You're unique in your own way, and that's a good thing. Just be proud of who you are.
Artists experience: But don't lie to yourself. I know people that they said they are so proud of themselves and a week later they fret and cry depressed... being proud means being strong and don't give in to people's critique... or the lack of it.
6. Don't act desperate...
Some might mistake you for the so called "attention whore". Don't attack people with "no one loves me, I'm gonna kill myself" or "please fav my art pleeeeze". It's kind of... really awkward and unpleasant to others. Granted some will rush and try to help, but that won't last long. It's the "there I faved, you happy now? good. *leaves*" Don't cry-force people. Really don't. It can be dangerously addicting...
It's better if you ask for opinions.
Put a work you think deserves some attention in your journal. Tell how you feel about it and how hard you worked on it. Ask if it needs improvement, if you should change styles or work on it more. It's a subtle hint for the people to look at the piece that matters to you the most. Sometimes it's so that the work you really wish to be popular ends up forgotten and a simple "crappy chibi doodle" get's all the spotlight... well, happens, can't help it.
Artists experience: It will make people around you feel bad for what they achieved themselves. Or feel offended that even though they stick to you, you don't feel like it's enough. Treasure the relationships even if it's just only one atm. People will get tired if you repeat the desperado act every week and leave.
7. Make meme's
They're fun and fandoms are interested in them. It's also manifestation of your interests. Maybe someone loves the same things as you and that would be wonderful, don't you think?
8. Wrong expectations
Ask yourself, why did you join Deviantart. Is it for sharing and browsing art? Or is it for the community? If it's for meeting new people and chat... please don't get me wrong but that's a wrong place for you then.
DA concentrates on art, mostly. Don't spam people with messages what you ate for breakfast today or who ditched you... or doodles about nothing, or photos about your cousins wedding... Join Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr instead for that, really. Because sorry but honestly, people want your art, not your private life.
However, there are things like chats and forums, questionary memes, so why don't use these instead of your journal. Don't make DA to a dating sim. Don't use it as suicidal help hotline... please. Talk about art and what you're working on now. If you have feelings that bother you to tell, make a poem. Write a story about you as alegory. Make a rant journal, but a long one and let it all out at once and don't repeat at least for a month. Write a note to a good friend that is ready to hear you out.
Granted it says "DA community". But don't abuse that fact, to later feel ashamed for your acting.
Artists experience: I know I bother people with these sometimes myself. My apologies.
You're searching for role play partners but you can't find anyone? Look around. Some people have the RP sign in their signature. It's usually the large RP letters, so meaning, they're ready to role play with you, so send them a note. Yes, reach out to them. Search for RPing groups, put the same sign in your own signature. Make your own RPing group, and don't be mean if something goes wrong between your partner. You need to be a good sport yourself. Also if the response takes too long, send a message if your partner got your last RP-reply, unfortunately DA is not bug free and some notes won't make it to the destination (eaten by void XD)
BUT please be tactful and don't, I repeat DON'T spam with infinite note flow asking if it arrived. It's essential you ask your partner what time it is at their place. Time zones mean that someone is in the middle of the night while you slurp your afternoon tea, and reverse.
Also don't make RP's onesided, meaning that people have to change their replies because you wanted something else in the plot. DON'T force romance or gore when your partner is against it. Talk it out before the RP, really. Make a basic plot and then start. It's no good if you just write whatever and in the end it leads to nowhere. I'd suggest to use notes as chats often end up with failed timing.
10. Deleting accounts/Multiple accounts
Do it as a last resort. And at least mention your leave. Finish all the promised works for others. It's best if you wait till the people recieve it, after all deleting means that ALL the data goes LOST FOREVER. I had a situation where a friend promised me a chibi and after she finished all others chibies (aside mine) she deactivated the account without a word... Well that's just not right at all. Also if you manage multiple accounts, remember that they will develop not regularly. After all you start from scratch. It's also good to keep them organized.
Artists experience: I made 3 accounts just so that I won't overload my main one, also not to force stuff on people they don't like or not to offend them.
I hope that helped you in a way.
Feel free to add your experience in the comments.