I know everyone is complaining about the new 'core membership' and the drastic change in prices...and I'm a bit angry about that myself, of course, but that's not what I want to talk about.
Instead, I want to talk about the general lack of communication on DeviantArt. Not between the staff and the members, this actually has nothing to do with the recent changes...Anyway, perhaps it's been this way for a while and I'm only noticing it now, but I want to talk about it none the less.
I'm going to start by looking at this from my perspective, but I mean to go on to write about others as well, so please bear with me if, and when it sounds like I'm having a diva moment, that's not my intention! xD
I've never really cared that much about the numbers involved with being on DeviantArt, I'm talking about page views, favorites, the number of comments being accumulated etcetera etcetera. I appreciate that my art is not professional, I have a long way to go, the pictures I draw won't appeal to everyone...all that stuff. The fact is, I've been on this website for 8 years, and the interest I've received has naturally fluctuated over the years, depending on the quality of my art, the popularity of what I was drawing, how active I was...this is understandable! But as I've said, I've been here for eight years, and I don't feel like I'm in a better position now than I was five years ago. I believe in working hard, doing your best to improve, putting yourself out there...no one deserves to get anything overnight, but sometimes I just get really bored with what I'm doing here. Not the artwork, I don't do art specifically FOR DeviantArt, I draw because I love it, and even if I was banned from DA for whatever reason, I would carry on drawing whether I was able to share my work or not. I can't help but think, why bothering sharing your work if you aren't going to get any feedback?
When I was younger, I didn't really care about the type of comments I was receiving, it was just cool to receive anything! I still appreciate every comment I get, I honestly do, because I know that someone has taken time out of their day to tell me how they feel about my work...but if you've spent days on a piece, worked and reworked it, studied a plethora of references and you receive a...'lol' or 'nice' response...well, it just doesn't really give you...anything. Let me just stress that I don't see a 'lol' or 'nice' comment and think 'Couldn't they have made a detailed comment on the themes I included in this? Or lecture me on my use of techniques?' I'm ALWAYS excited and happy to see that someone likes my work! "So what's your point then?" you may ask...well I'm getting to the stage now where I'd like a little more. I don't care about fame, about having a million watchers, and a thousand comments and favorites per piece, I just want to have some more stimulating feedback or discussions. This doesn't just apply to me. I hold my hands up! I myself am guilty of just writing a quick 'Nice!' or 'Pretty!' in the comments section because I can't be bothered, or I don't have a lot of time, or I'm worried that the artist will think I'm trying too hard to sound professional when their work IS professional and I'm doing stick figures in comparison...but lately I've been trying to practise what I intend to preach by leaving more detailed comments. I don't want to go into TOO much depth, I'm not a professional, and as such, I wouldn't want to sound pretentious, or use the wrong terminology or anything like that...but lately when I've been going through the work in my notifications, if I've decided that I'm going to add something to my favorites, I'll take a moment to look at the piece again and try to think of something a bit more in depth to say. I'm not talking about paragraphs, I couldn't write paragraphs
. I'll just think to myself 'what is it about this piece that I like?' sometimes I don't know exactly what to say, not because I don't like the piece, just because I'm not used to sitting back and analysing art like that. I'm not talking constructive criticism, I don't give that unless someone has asked for it, but I'll usually say something like 'I really like the shading on the hair, it looks really realistic!' or, 'You did a really good job on their expressions.' or something like that. It's not as detailed as I might like...but the thing is, I'm not sure HOW to be detailed yet. I'm hoping that by starting off this way that I can give artists some very basic feedback to let them know I really appreciate what they're doing in certain aspects of their work.
My main problem with DA is the lack of communication! I don't necessarily even WANT to talk technical when it comes to art, I just want to start up conversations, make artists feel appreciated! Favorites are a great way to do this quickly, but at the same time...I feel like they almost deter people from actually stopping to make contact with the artist, so to speak. I don't know...I'm probably getting too in depth with this x'D, maybe it's just me getting older and wanting more from something that doesn't actually need to give more x'D...I know in the past I've gone through phases where I haven't even felt like answering comments because I've been feeling down or overwhelmed or something, but I feel like it's an area DA is lacking in :/.
On the back of this...I'd really like to start up again on some new art websites. I LOVE the layout of DeviantArt, of being able to sort artwork into folders and easily comment on work, things like that...but maybe what I'm looking for isn't here on DA. I'm not talking about deactivating or anything, I'd just like to expand my horizons so to speak
. I actually started out my online art life on Fanart Central. I wouldn't go back there because it was even quieter on there than it is on here x'D...but does anyone have any suggestions? I'm not fond of Tumblr because I don't like the way that people can only share or like things, if they want to make a comment they either have to go through your inbox or find another way. I know Sheezyart is down now, and to be honest, there always seemed to be people criticising for the sake of criticising on there.
Are there any websites you use to share your art?
I have a Facebook account, but again, I'm not a big fan of using Facebook :').
Sorry for the slightly negative journal. I'm not writing it to look for attention, I'd just like to make people think a bit more about the way they use DA. Myself included!