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How to get noticed on deviantART

Journal Entry: Sun Aug 3, 2014, 12:55 PM
 photo Getbetterthumbnail.png

So I occasionally hear people talk about how they rarely get any comments or attention on deviantART which in turn can lead to them seek out other art communities or even get a bit depressed about how their art isn't getting any attention!
Being a part of deviantART for 9 years (since 2006) I might have some tips about how you can get noticed more. Hopefully it can be of help to you but remember that there is one major ingredient you'll need in any case: PATIENCE. This is not a journal about how to get better with art, but it's about how you can become a better community member.

Without further ado, here are some of the steps I can think of right now that might help you become a better deviant:

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1) Being an active member


As with pretty much any community on the internet, deviantART requires you to be an active member in order for more people to notice your existance. Simply uploading your art (even frequently) does not automatically grant you success. You need to browse around and comment on people's pictures and maybe give them some critique that will help others get better. If you are being helpful to others, people will eventually learn to appreciate you. If you gain respect, it's much easier to make people comment on your pictures as well. This is why we very often come across some amazing talented artists on here with a minimal amount of pageviews or favorites; They are not active. Of course, you can be lucky to get a big following even if you don't comment or reply to anyone, but the more you ignore people, the more they'll ignore you. Treating deviantART as a portfolio only is not the way to go. You can use DA's portfolio feature but this is first and foremost an art community.
Of course, if you're starting to get noticed more and more, which in turn leaves you with tons of messages all the time.. Then it might be difficult to reply to EVERYONE. Just do your best anyway!
Having friends and contacts is also always important, even on deviantART. If you have friends they might let you know if there are contests going on that you can join where you can get more exposure to more people.

Another great way of being active is to hit the forums of deviantART, although I personally haven't been on the forums at all so I can't vouch for that! But I'm pretty sure they might have contests and stuff there, which might be good for you!

An important thing to note though, is to NOT spam people. What I mean by that is that you should refrain from advertising your art to people who do not know you very well. It is considered to be very rude and it can put you on a lot of people's "This person is annoying"-list! 

So in short: Be active and go around giving people input on their art and even just giving compliments to art that you really like! The more places your icon is showing up, the more people will find you. But it takes time! For me it took about 2 years to get going haha


2) Don't blame your watchers


Another very terrible mistake some people do, when they notice they stop getting comments or they feel like they're not getting as much love as they think they decerve, is to make a journal telling their watchers how disappointed they are. This is pretty much you telling your watchers what they SHOULD like, which is - You guessed it - very rude. 
Now, there's a few things that might cause your watchers to be less active than before. 

1) The majority of your watchers started watching you because of a popular picture you've done. This could be a fanart of some sort, or simply an especially good picture. Now, if these watchers don't see similar art in your gallery they might not really be interested in anything but that picture they watched you for and hope to see more of it. No one is to blame for this - it just happens sometimes! This is why you sometimes get an influx of watchers but you don't really see them being active.

2) You might be trying out a new style of drawing, or simply upload something that is very different from your usual stuff. If you've been uploading art that had a similar style, then that is what your watchers are expecting.
This does not mean that you should not experiment though! It's not about what your watchers think anyway, it's about what YOU want to accomplish with your art. Well, unless you're aiming at pleasing just your watchers. Then I suppose you'll have to revert back to your old stuff... Which is kinda dumb imo! But that's not for me to decide xD
A bad habit I developed over the years was that I knew what gained popularity and what didn't and that lead to me playing it safe with my art and that's no good as Sonic would've said.

So yeah, don't blame your watchers; they're not trying to make you feel bad, they just try to find stuff they like! Which is cool yo.


3) Fanart


Now this here can be quite a double edged sword, but at the end of the day fanart is a great way to get more recognition. While you could simply do fanart of famous tv shows, games or animes... It's much more fun and rewarding to do fanart of stuff you really care about personally, even if it's of a fandom that isn't very big. Now, what fanart does to you and your page is that it creates traffic to you through, most importantly, the search engine. If you have done a fanart of Attack on Titan, it will show up for people who searches for said franchise. Not only does this happen on deviantART, but also from search engines like google! 

One might say it's like selling your soul to do fanart of famous shows... But it really is one of the absolute best ways to get watchers. When your watch count keep growing, people will eventually get used to your own original art as well and you will get your little fanbase of your own! I remember I was doing a couple of Neon Genesis Evangelion drawings back when I had recently joined the site and it gave me a healthy dose of exposure, which gave me watchers as well!


4) Collaborations


This one is short, but quick and good way of getting a couple more watchers since it will show your existance to more groups of people. If you do a collaboration with one of your art friends it will bring the attention of the friends watchers. A collaboration could be you doing lineart, while your friend colors it for example. Or maybe one of your friends are great at backgrounds - then you could be doing a character to put in one of the friends backgrounds! So not only is it great to get exposure from, but it will get you closer to your friends as well. Man, I'm such a nice guy... :iconotakuingplz:


5) Take critique and compliments like a lion 

("Like a man" wouldn't be fair to the women!)

If you are afraid of critique, you'll limit your watchers pretty badly, and even get put on that "This person is annoying"-list I mentioned earlier! To accept a fair critique is an insanely important part of becoming a better artist and a better person. Now, sometimes it's difficult to know what the difference between a critique and a "sarcastic smartass"-comment is. But do your absolute best to take the criticism to heart and always try to do better!

Compliments is also a big part of an art community, obviously. If someone compliments your art... For the love of all that is f*cking holy... SAY THANK YOU. There is no need to go all "Ehhh, it's not that good..." or "I hate it!" when people compliments your art. It makes you look like a huge tool. I mean yeah, if you dislike your art, that's your problem! Don't force your own opinions down another persons throat. If you don't like your art, then why show it? To get better? Yeah, that's great! But just don't... Stop people from giving you compliments. You should be worried if all you get is compliments though, then something might be wrong, because like I mentioned earlier - You need critique to become a better artist. You can maybe ask your watchers in the description of the picture to give their honest opinion on a piece of art. 

I have no idea if above text made any sense. 

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But yeah, that's about it! If you guys have any more points you'd like to give people about how they can become better, feel free to give your thoughts in the comments!


Random art:
Monk by MLeth   Dark Planet Saga - Mine the moon by MLeth  Caribou Trail by MLeth  Sky Reach by MLeth  Keepers of the Sun by MLeth  Nao 2015 by MLeth 

Skin by ginkgografix (modified by MLeth)
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmikaink:
MikaInk Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2015   General Artist
sooow much to do :D

but some stuff you should do anyways like...  not blaming you watchers :D

btw.. i remember you streamed once live on something like picarto.tv
are you still doing this sometimes?
Reply
:iconmygambit:
MyGambit Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2014  Student Filmographer
Also, draw ponies. Ponies will take you through the world, but thats a whole other kind of fish in the art ocean. Lol.

Yeah, this list is pretty stable and awesome and more or less what I figured. But I failed at part one more than anything so its hard to work on the steps after. Being active is a major part so I figure my few watchers had all rights to go radio silent. But at the very least they didnt unwatch so time to be appreciative and get a new batch and update more often. Needed to see this upon my return, thanks Leth. :iconsothereplz:
Reply
:iconchinchongcha:
chinchongcha Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2016  Hobbyist Filmographer
Not all pony success, depend of quality as well.
Reply
:iconlambii:
Lambii Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014
True words man! the "be more active " part and " critique and compliment" really striked me, that's what i really need to work on XD;; it was really inspiring reading this *fighto  mode*
Reply
:iconmleth:
MLeth Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's easy to forget about such basic things sometimes! Good luck! :icongoodjob-plz:
Reply
:iconshibuya4lone:
Shibuya4lone Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2014
nice
Reply
:iconsithsensui:
sithsensui Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Professional Filmographer
nice one!!
Reply
:iconnakubi:
Nakubi Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Professional General Artist
This list is so true :)
also, if you're just in it for the fame, DO NOT TRY NEW STUFF XD it kills a lot of hype. And draw a lot of cats and bubbles :,3
But people should draw for themself and not for the fame thou :, c
anyhow, great list!
Reply
:iconmleth:
MLeth Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, fame and recognition are two different things to strive for xD Recognition will give you exposure to new people and contacts which is such an important thing to have as an artist!
And doing fanart and stuff is one of the best ways to get that recognition since people don't generally search for original stuff ): 
This does not mean that you can't try new stuff though! Trying new stuff on the side and not necessarily submit it to DA could be an option if one is afraid of the reactions (or the lack of it). Kinda like sketching just to practice!

My watchers don't really like my realistic portraits for example just because they are used to my manga style and I can't really blame them for that haha XD The more you keep submitting new stuff with confidence, the more people will find you and watch you specifically for that. But those people won't find you unless they know about your existance! 
Reply
:iconnakubi:
Nakubi Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2014  Professional General Artist
Though what I've been experiencing with many different styles and mediums, is that if you got a following for your manga and start doing photos, sculptures, realistic and so on, the manga following will shrink as well. Though I suggest to everyone just do to their thing and submit whatever they want :) .
And if they want Feedback I would rather be at say Conceptart.org than here on dA.
And also, a way to get a lot of watchers is to submit, like, a drawing per day.
Reply
:iconreneeviolet:
ReneeViolet Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2014  Student Digital Artist
For a second there I thought the first step I thought it said "be an attractive member" and I thought "How the heck did MLeth get noticed in then?!" lolololololololololol
Reply
:iconmleth:
MLeth Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, you sure like playing with fire, young miss!
Reply
:iconreneeviolet:
ReneeViolet Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2014  Student Digital Artist
 Scary Jack  I keed!! I keed!!  Sharo and Chino Glomp Icon 
Reply
:iconyettyen:
Yettyen Featured By Owner Edited Aug 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nice list, I tried it once, to do fanart for watchers, like you said, its a double edged sword, probably you won't come out there without struggles.
But I have to say, there really is a true point, a few people I got to know because of fanart, still support me for my own stuff and some even like it more than fanart ^^

only doin fanart for an "attention boost", when I feel like it XD

btw: want to see more romantic-stuff - please :iconteheplz:
Reply
:icontherealjohnnycanuck:
theRealJohnnyCanuck Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014
I never worry about this as I get on average 3 -5 page views a day which is 4-6 more than anticipated.
Reply
:icontheartofsanhueza:
TheArtOfSanhueza Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Excellent advice, thank you! :)
Reply
:icondrakedragon:
Drakedragon Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I had a thought on what could help (something I've been meaning to try out myself): join an art collection group that's about a certain genre of art, like a big fantasy group. I've found a few of my recent favorite artists through such groups, and because they have so many watchers in these groups, there's a lot of people seeing them.

Of course, the downside is that these groups have so many deviations being submitted every day, your chances of exposure are being diluted. So I guess it's kind of a trade-off.
Reply
:iconyzkethrag:
yzkethrag Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, I write stuff and. . .
I got nothing.
No comeback.
No witty retort.
Nihil omnino.
:U
Reply
:iconmleth:
MLeth Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Maybe it's your awfully inviting icon that might be scaring people! 8O
Reply
:iconyzkethrag:
yzkethrag Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Maybe. . .
I need something colorful then, yes?
Reply
:icondreamerwhit:
DreamerWhit Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Student Digital Artist
yes sensei. *bow sagely*
all very valid points! This was a good idea to do :la:
Reply
:iconmleth:
MLeth Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
*bow head respectfully* 

I hope this will give people who struggle on DA some hope ;w;
Reply
:iconkaprosuchus96:
Kaprosuchus96 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Student General Artist
Wouldnt a lion take critiques within its jaws and try to snap its neck? X3 I love the phrase though. "Take critiques like a lion" I might have to use that sometime.
Reply
:iconblackkatze:
Blackkatze Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i love arttrades but i dont have "friends" here in deviantart i watch only some awesome-great-artists who have better things to do than arttrading :/
im here for 3 years now and beeing active is so important.. i lost the "connection" to the community when i went offline for near half a year because of private problems :o but there are still people out there throwing with love and this is what i love in this community :D
Reply
:iconmleth:
MLeth Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your art looks pretty good to me! I believe if you just keep being active and comment on stuff folks will eventually notice you :D Then you'll get some friends to do art trades with!
Reply
:iconblackkatze:
Blackkatze Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thanks hun :squee: :)
Reply
:icongnome64:
Gnome64 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Student Digital Artist
I rarely do fan art, but that is definitely something people love.
Reply
:iconmleth:
MLeth Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh indeed it is! One can't expect folks to love something they've never heard of before hehe
Reply
:icongnome64:
Gnome64 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Student Digital Artist
It's possible to make the 'fall in love' or so to speak, but yes....can be quite difficult.
Reply
:icongryphon-burger:
Gryphon-Burger Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow this is really helpful!
Reply
:iconmleth:
MLeth Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad to hear it! :D
Reply
:iconobliviondrgn6:
OblivionDrgn6 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for this! It's all wonderful advice and reassures that everyone who's got bookoos of watchers started somewhere.
Wonderful advice! :3
Reply
:iconmleth:
MLeth Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad I could be of help!
Reply
:iconderadevil4:
deradevil4 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thanks for the advise though i think i have to advance my art style more before i deserve any fans. By the way do you have any advise on how to advance my art level faster? I wish i could just pour skill points in the art skill but unfortunately life is not a good rpg, it's too slow to lvl up though i guess you have years to do so....
Reply
:iconmleth:
MLeth Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well I mean there are no real shortcuts when it comes to improving with your art. There is only practicing and learning from others (:
Reply
:iconderadevil4:
deradevil4 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I see, thank you sensei. I will keep trying my best! *bows and leaves the dojo*
Reply
:iconooautumnskiesoo:
oOAutumnSkiesOo Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is really great advice. :) I'll have to remind myself of these from time to time. :aww:
Reply
:iconmleth:
MLeth Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad to hear it! (:
Reply
:icondrawbba-the-hutt:
Drawbba-The-Hutt Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Good advice. Fanart is a very easy way to get one's foot in the door with potential watchers, and cheap practice to hone their skills. If it wasn't for my 40k fanart, I'd probably have no watchers. Being active is also really important, as you said. Many of the people I watch were people who commented or favorited my work, and out of curiosity I followed the links back and liked their galleries as well. I like to think many of my watchers found me the same way.
Reply
:iconmleth:
MLeth Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah that's how I find cool people as well xD I follow their interesting-looking icons and see if they got anything I like! 
I think 40k has one of the most dedicated fanbase I've ever witnessed actually haha.. They all seem so invested in the universe!
Reply
:iconjoshpoint0:
joshpoint0 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014
I want to do a collab XD the only thing is there's so many candidates to do it with! X3
Reply
:iconmleth:
MLeth Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha, well good luck with that xD
Reply
:iconjoshpoint0:
joshpoint0 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2014
Thanks XD
Reply
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