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What's this all about?


DeviantArt is a HUGE website and it's easy to feel invisible, especially if you're new. The aim of this guide is to help you start connecting with other artists and their work as well as sharing your own art and encouraging feedback and interaction. It would be impossible to cover absolutely everything in one journal, so consider it a starting point and get ready to go exploring! I've included a few helpful links under each section, so you can use these as springboards to help you bounce around and find out more.



:bulletred: Check out welcome for an introduction to DA
:bulletred: Introduce yourself in the Welcome Center forum

Cinnamon smells by Asprika

Get in the right mindset


The first thing to do is stop thinking simply in terms of what you want to get. DA, like a lot of places on the web, is a social experience. If you've been here for more than 5 minutes, you've probably read about our community. This is what sets DA apart from places where people simply post art then sit back and wait for something to happen.

Instead of thinking "How can I get more people to look at my art?", try thinking "How can I share my art with other people and enjoy their creations too?". Instead of "How can I get more people to watch me?", try "How can I broaden my circle of friends and get to know people better?". In terms of feedback, instead of thinking "How can I get more comments?", try thinking "How can I form connections with people so we can offer feedback and encouragement to each other?". You get what you give. You hit what you head for. Reciprocity is key!



:bulletred: FAQ #56: How can I get noticed on this site?
:bulletred: FAQ #26: What is the watch and how do I manage my watch listing?
:bulletred: FAQ #1: What is the Message Centre and how do I use it?

Trasparente come aria, fragile come vetro by SenhArt

Introduce yourself, not just your art


Your profile page on DA offers all sorts of opportunities for you to share your personality as well as your art. This is your chance to allow people to get you know you as the fabulous being you are. Make sure you fill in your DeviantID. Post journals about your life, your opinions, your creative process or whatever you'd like to share with your watchers or people who stumble across your profile. You can even use your journals to shine a spotlight on art you love. Post polls to ask your friends questions. Let people see the individual behind the art. And what about when you run into someone who you find interesting as a human as well as an artist? Add them to your watch, talk to them and get to know them! That's how connections happen.



:bulletred: FAQ #90: How do I customize my profile page?
:bulletred: FAQ #4: Which options can I control under the Edit Settings page?
:bulletred: FAQ #100: How do I add, edit or delete journal entries?
:bulletred: FAQ #66: What journal features do I have access to?
:bulletred: FAQ #101: How do I customize my journal page?

Walking in my dreams by Batsceba

Submit your work with extra thought


When you submit art to DA, it's important to place it in the appropriate gallery. This means that people looking for architectural photography (for example) can go to Photography > Architecture and find photos of architecture. It sounds obvious, but sometimes people put work in what they perceive to be a popular category or a place where lots of people will look, even if it's not the appropriate category for what they're submitting. There's no point in doing this, so please don't be tempted.

As you're going through the submission process, you'll notice that you have a space to write something about what you're submitting. Use this opportunity to share some information about your art - what inspired you to create it, details of the equipment you used or even what kind of feedback you're looking for. It helps people to engage with your art and also gives them a prompt if they'd like to leave a comment.



:bulletred: FAQ #163: Where can I find the description to a Gallery that I want to submit to?
:bulletred: FAQ #867: Is it possible to move deviations from one page to another in my gallery?

Convergent by marjarah

Share your work


"If you build it, they will come" doesn't really work on DA, what with it being the aforementioned HUGE website. There are millions of people here with even more millions of pieces of art. Sitting back and waiting for people to see your work, or relying on the possibility of receiving a Daily Deviation or some other front-page-ish appearance, isn't a productive use of your time. Luckily, there are other ways to share your work with a wider audience.

First of all, join some Groups. If you haven't encountered these before, they're areas of the site built around a common interest or theme and you'll be able to find one for just about anything artistic that you're into. You can search by focus, media, location, type (Basic or Super), number of watchers and how recently a Group was formed at Groups. Another great way to locate Groups is to find one you like then check out its Affiliates (lots of groups display Affiliates on their page). You might also want to check out what Groups artists you know are members of. If you're looking to do more than simply post your art and move on (which you should be!), make sure you look for groups with lots of recent activity and opportunities to engage with things like challenges and contests.

There are also forums and chat rooms specially for sharing your art. If you decide to use these, it's important to make an effort to look at and comment on other people's work as well as just posting your own (see the pattern developing here?).



:bulletred: Search for Groups to join at Groups
:bulletred: Don't forget to watch or join communityrelations and CRPhotography 
:bulletred: Deviation Thumbshare forum
:bulletred: Core Thumbshare forum
:bulletred: ThumbHub chat room

Home by Igor-Demidov

Engage with commenting and critiquing


Almost everyone loves getting feedback on their art and whether you're looking for specific advice to help you improve or you just want to hear what emotions your creations inspire, DA is a great place to do that. It doesn't happen magically by itself though. If you submit wonderful art to your gallery and post it in a few groups you might get a comment or two. If you dedicate time and energy to getting to know other artists and leaving constructive, detailed comments on their work, you're a lot more likely to find people commenting on your work too.

Nothing is guaranteed though and indiscriminately leaving a bunch of Nice pic :) comments probably won't get you anywhere. This isn't about keeping score. This is about building relationships. It's about giving without expecting something in return. Basically, it's about being someone who people want to connect with and then cherishing that connection.

Chances are you're already watching a few people who have been on DA for years, who seem to have lots of friends, whose art and journals usually have lots of comments. Take a closer look at their activity and you'll see that they consistently engage in positive community-minded behaviour. They probably also have a comment count reaching into thousands per year.

I don't want to give the impression that it's all about numbers (because it really isn't) but there's a huge difference between the experience of someone with a genuine interest in others, who spends time encouraging and helping, offering feedback and critique and generally dedicating energy to giving, and someone who does little beyond posting their own art, submitting it to a couple of groups, writing 5 short comments a week and complaining that no-one is giving them the attention they're hoping to receive.



:bulletred: FAQ #661: How do I post a comment?
:bulletred: FAQ #95: What is the Critique Feature and how do I use it?
:bulletred: ProjectComment is a friendly group built around constructive, detailed comments as a reciprocal experience. Go and join in!

inside of the winter dream by VesnaSvesna

In conclusion


If you've read this far and you're feeling a bit cheated cause you were expecting to find out how to get but you've actually just found out a lot about how to give, how to do and how to be, then my work here is done. This wasn't supposed to be a trick. It's straight-up honest advice. Not everyone has hours every week (or every day) to spend giving, doing and being on DA but the one thing I'm willing to say with the certainty of experience is that if you focus on upping the quality and frequency of your interactions and being an active part of our community, you'll have a much better time here.



All the photographs in this journal were found by browsing the Undiscovered section. Don't forget to check it out!


Update: 4th December 2016

In the time since I posted this, it's been shared a whole heap of times in "welcome to DA" posts. So, if you're new to the site and you've found your way here, welcome! I hope you find the information and suggestions useful and that you have a wonderful time and meet lots of awesome artists :heart:

TanyaSimoneSimpson.com
Add a Comment:
 
:iconky-th:
Ky-th Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2017  New Deviant Student Digital Artist
oh I really needed this, I didn't even think of the forum aha!
thank you for taking the time to land a hand to us newbs Tanya Hug 
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2017
No worries! Glad you found it useful. And welcome to DA :hug:
Reply
:iconkocorn:
Kocorn Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2017  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
this was very very helpful onee-sama
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2017
Aww, I just Googled "onee-sama" and being referred to in that way put a big smile on my face :heart:
Reply
:iconthe-gloved-artist:
The-Gloved-Artist Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2017  New Deviant Student General Artist
Thank you so much! I was so lost... Don't know what I could've done without it, keep up the good work! :happybounce: 
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2017
I'm glad it was helpful :)
Reply
:iconlisaawsome:
LisaAwsome Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2016  New Deviant Student Digital Artist
This helps a lot thanks
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2016
You're welcome :aww: I'm glad it was useful.
Reply
:iconsilverkiller909:
SilverKiller909 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
Thank you for writing this this it helps a lot
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2016
Glad it was useful :)
Reply
:iconcaprikrn:
caprikrn Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2016  Student General Artist
Thank you for writing this! I love that DA has such strong values.
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2016
That's part of the reason I love this place :)
Reply
:iconheartcrocher:
Heartcrocher Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Great reading thank you!
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2016
You're very welcome :hug:
Reply
:iconmaddelinevanpaire:
MaddelineVanPaire Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much, this is very helpful!! <3
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2016
Glad it was helpful :aww:
Reply
:iconangelala711:
angelala711 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
This is super helpful thanks😄😉😊😁😎☺
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2016
Thanks for the feedback. Glad it was useful :aww:
Reply
:icondasalisk:
Dasalisk Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
This helped me SO much! Thank you RockstarVanity for making it :D
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2016
Glad you found it helpful :hug:
Reply
:iconmlplover845:
mlplover845 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Thx!!
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2016
You're welcome :aww:
Reply
:iconnnt41:
nnt41 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2016
Thank you very much. Your article is very helpful for an absolute newbie on DA like me :)
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2016
I'm glad it's useful. And welcome to DA! :hug:
Reply
:iconisograph60xyz:
IsoGraph60XYZ Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2016
Thank's-that's some good advice .The Wide Depth of Subjects covered -and being able to see the reply's from someone you've commented on Is great,another level of connection with that subject.
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2016
Glad you found it useful :aww:
Reply
:iconrummypassion:
RummyPassion Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2016  Professional Artist
Very Nice.
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2016
Thank you :aww:
Reply
:iconmakessami:
Makessami Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Now that I've read it I feel pretty short-sighted and egoistic :'(
But I guess that now I'll try to improve my behaviour. I'll be a better Deviant, I promise ;)
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2016
Don't feel bad! Just enjoy connecting with other people and you'll have so much more fun :hug:
Reply
:iconeddyandjoey:
EddyAndJoey Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
This is extremely helpful. I've had a DA before, but I remade mine to make a spotlight account on my comic series. Thank you <3
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2016
I'm glad you found it useful. Hope you're having fun sharing your comics :aww:
Reply
:iconmecha-crobat:
mecha-crobat Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
this has been immensely helpful-- thank you! i wish to be part of a giving community, and whilst that may take time, i know many people will gain benefit from your generosity with graciously gifting (gods.. alliteration) us these wonderful tips!
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2016
Thanks so much :hug: I'm glad it was helpful!
Reply
:iconrektmachine:
RektMachine Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2016
I don't want to catch STDs. 
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2016
Does anyone want to catch STDs?
Reply
:iconrektmachine:
RektMachine Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2016
STD collectors.
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2016
Wow...I wish I hadn't Googled that!
Reply
:iconfleezo:
Fleezo Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2016
I like trains
Reply
:icontheredhairedneko:
theredhairedneko Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2016
Don't get offended by this its from MLG asdf movie

*Kid*I like trains

Dad* haha I don't give a fuck
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2016
I'm sure trains like you too ;)
Reply
:iconmikeru-archpro:
Mikeru-Archpro Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2016
choo choo
Reply
:iconfleezo:
Fleezo Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2016
I like trains
\
Reply
:iconcatscratch809:
Catscratch809 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
i like potatoes
Reply
:icontrablamonron:
TrablaMonRon Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2016  Hobbyist Photographer
And I like tomato ketchup :P 
Reply
:iconcatscratch809:
Catscratch809 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
well this is random Llama Emoji-66 (Orly) [V3] 
Reply
:iconmikeru-archpro:
Mikeru-Archpro Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2016
I prefer Snorlaxes cuz I cant sleep on them RANDOM haha
welcome to dA!
Reply
:iconkittykattdragon:
KittyKattDragon Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks!😸😸😸😸😸😸😸😸
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2016
You're welcome :)
Reply
:iconicekaworld:
IcekaWorld Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks for the very helpful tips :)
Reply
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