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Submitted on
August 7, 2013
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PE: Presentation matters

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 11:23 AM

It's not just the artwork that tells you something about it's creator - on the internet, the way you present it is at least equally as important. Your painting can be a masterpiece, hanged in a local gallery, but as long as you post a blurry, badly cropped picture named "1564873" along with "..." in an artist's description, nobody will ever bother visiting your gallery. Creating a nice, representative profile page and setting a certain visual quality standard takes extra time and effort, but if you really care for your work (even if it's just a hobby), you should treat it with some respect.

I've already written a related article called The power of context that tried to explain how to place your work in a context in order to better connect with your audience, this one is focused on the visual aspect of your presentation (particularly on DeviantArt) and brings a few tips regarding Your Deviation, ✿ Your Gallery, ✿ Your Profile Page and finally bringing to your attention a few Other Websites you should consider using.

Presentation by LokiMuje

✿    1. Your Deviation

✿ always publish the best quality photographs/scans of your work possible, properly cropped and executed. While it's understandable that not everyone owns a proper equipment or knowledge of how to do this the right way, in most cases solution can be found if it's searched for - try asking a friend or a colleague for help with pictures or see if they would borrow you a camera, search advices of how to photograph artworks online or within DA experienced photographers. Here is two helpful tutorials you can check out: Art Tutorial: How to photograph artwork by Xadrea, How to Photograph Art by Jon-Snow. Those of you that don't have a scanner but have a smartphone, there's usually a good app that will turn your snapshot into a proper scan, for example Genius Scan.

✿ your logo or signature shouldn't be missing on any of your published artworks. It should be recognizable, comprehensible, visually attractive and at appropriate size. Regarding watermarking, it's certainly a solution to potential art theft, but you should carefully consider how you use them, watermarks often obstruct the image inadequately, it can discourage groups from accepting the artwork or viewers from faving it. Instead of DA watermarks, try creating your own, tasteful yet useful. Related tutorials > Protection from Art Theft by Xadrea

✿ give your deviation a fitting and appropriate name. After all, it's a piece of your work and it deserves it.

✿ even if it's not a prerequisite to proceed with the submission process, add keywords to optimize your deviation, this will help people to find it in a search. Type accurate and your deviation-related keywords into the "keywords" tab. Keywords Tutorial by UnicornReality, How to get the most out of your keywords by Thunderstatement

Keywords Stamp by LumiResources

✿ use the artist's description window - besides describing your work process or thoughts regarding the subject, don't forget to list techniques (many groups will accept your submission faster if you list your techniques in a comprehensive way) and references / credits. Less text is better than 10 paragraphs but no text whatsoever is very discouraging. How about motivating viewers to go see the rest of your gallery? Simply add thumbnails of your other works into this window (up to 6 thumbnails allowed).

✿   2.Your Gallery

stamp - i :heart: my gallery by Daeg-Niht

Featured folder in your gallery is probably the most important of all - it's the first one anyone would see when clicking on your "Gallery" icon and the first impression will most likely to decide whether the viewer goes further to explore the rest of your folders / pages of your gallery, adds you to their watch or leaves. Every once in a while, make sure to check the look of your Featured folder, always display your best works in there and overall, try to make it as much representative as you can.

Gallery folders also hold an important role, some use them to split their work into categories (which I personally see as a good idea), some keep all of their deviation in the Featured. If you decide to create gallery folders, establish a comprehensive order amongst them and it's better not to create too many.

Customizing the look of your entire gallery - you can change the gallery background as well as set your custom icons to each gallery folder. Tutorials that might come in handy > Custom Gallery Folder Icon Tutorial by Gasara, Custom Box Tutorial by TaNa-Jo (Premium Membership required to install custom boxes). Keep in mind that a loud, visually severe and/or blinking background is probably going to scare visitors off or freeze their browser than work in your favor. Related Tutorials > How to pimp your gallery by Salix-Sericea, A Guide to Gallery CSS by SimplySilent

Vivacious Gallery CSS by SimplySilent

✿   3. Your User Profile

✿ Choice of your deviant ID should be representative as well - many visitors will be curious about your ID and it's connection to the type or artwork you do. Your avatar is probably even more important, visual memory often works better than remembering your username - try not to change it too often.

Customizing your user profile - premium members have access to much better customization and widgets than non-premium members, but that doesn't mean you cannot have an orderly and nice profile page. As with everything, less is often more and crowded page rather confuses than helps. There is no need to expose your entire gallery there, offer one or two representative works and let viewers come for the rest. Need more tips on how to handle this? Check out CustomizeYourProfile group!


✿ Don't forget about your journal - premium members can install many wonderful journal skins or create their own (Tutorial: Making Journal Skins from scratch by X-P-T-Z, Do-It-Yourself Journal Skin by miontre).

✿ Related Tutorials > Decorating Your Profile by SimplySilent, Pretty Up Your Profile and Pretty Up Your Profile 2.0 (Beginner) by Gasara

✿   4. Other websites

✿ If you're a Facebook user, you might want to create a page to share your artworks. It is a good way to connect your real life friends and family with your hobby/work but also reach different people. Sharing snapshots and WIP's on FB is faster and more casual than on DA and if you have an online store (ETSY, Bigcartel, etc.), you will be able to install an app straight to your page that will allow visiting FB users to enter your shop straight from the page.

Society6 is a platform that sells prints of your artworks. You provide a digital file, they ship products to customers - very similar to DA prints. Creating a profile & taking care of it (updating new artworks & products) takes very little of your time.

Free shipping on society6! by TheQueenSerena

Twitter also takes little of your time and is perfect for sharing short & quick messages or snapshots from your studio or anything you wish to share. I love twitter widget that premium members can install to their user profile to have their tweets visible and easily accessible to their DA visitors.

Twitter by Light-Schizophrenia

✿ Could I forget to mention Instagram, that is rather a phone app but also an excellent way to instantly share your artwork and visual news.

Instagram by xloveneverfails

Do you pay attention to the way you present yourself on the internet? How much time on average does it take you to submit a deviation?

Do you read artist's description when looking at a deviation that interests you?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below :heart:


Credits > Thanks to im-not-sana for the article edit and great suggestions :heart:

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zuzoll Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
And I so miss the times when artists weren't forced to play with this mad social machine. I still believe art will defend itself. I don't do fb, twitter, I don't do self-promotion because it is not my nature. I don't think my art is so damn great that people will buy it even if I hang it in my garage and sit and wait until they come but I focus on art, not selling myself. We made it crazy - art, treated like something pure, something that could make our souls go higher - became a product soon to be sold on toilet paper. I am starving artist and of course I wish to sell my works but not for the price of my freedom. Not for the price of my own personality. Does that make me worthless artist? After seeing all this madness with artists whoring themselves - yes. But I prefer to stay away from the noise and be appreciated by few people who actually want to see my work than worshipped by those who only joined the bandwagon. I do have my works put in various online galleries for sale but I don't force people to look at them, don't scream "hey, look, this is my work, c'mon buy it!" I don't advertise my books - they are available in real bookstores so everyone able to read can find them. I don't put WIPs, don't do videos (used to but it was too exhausting mentally), I don't "share" - this sharing made us empty, gave us false feeling of being one big family while in fact we know nothing about the person sitting along us. Popularity based on social networking is overrated and leaves little place to think of what the artist wants to really do. It makes art shallow and art shouldn't be shallow. I understand the need to show paintings but there needs to be balance. That is why there are art magazines and if they request my work for show off I do accept it because it is extremely nice feeling. I prefer to create and be appreciated for creation, not for my social skills (which I do not have, as you can see).
Current trend of artists selling themselves everywhere made a niche for those who don't agree with this. I'm afraid this niche soon will be filled with artists tired of this noise and so it will not be as quiet as it used to be but that is an acceptable change in times, we have to survive this social madness to get back to our human roots.
Myllady Featured By Owner May 27, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hi !!!

  Thanks a lot for this article ! I'm new as a 'sharer' on DA and i'm still trying to enthurstand everything. This article is REALLY helpful to me, as are the links you gave. I really appreciate you taking the time to write it :)

Have a wonderful day !!!!
jane-beata Featured By Owner May 27, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
And you too - thanks for stopping by :)
Goodnight-Melbourne Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014   Traditional Artist
This is a pretty helpful article. But at just one point I'm doubting, you can say confused.
You talked about keywords or tags (but missed the point which I'm going to talk about) and listed How to get the most out of your keywords by Thunderstatement where it says to add as many keywords as possible.
Earlier I have read many articles that say entering more than 10 tags can make the search engines bots take the post as spam. They take the excess tags as spam index, and they mostly use the words as keywords that are used in the actual post in written form, i.e. Description.
As a similar effect, if one posts a blog or anything with too many tags, this is most possible that it will get less viewers. This is the thumbrule of blogging.
These two things make me confused.
Now if deviantart's search engine is any different than this or if keywords and tags are not same, then my point is invalid. 

Thank you.

jane-beata Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Your concern is reasonable, but it should be posted at the article about keywords instead of this one - my article about presentation touches this subject only briefly, it's why I linked resources for further reading. Perhaps your question could be answered there :)
Goodnight-Melbourne Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014   Traditional Artist
I understand.  I will ask  Thunderstatement too. Just wrote here because you should know as you are referring to that article. Also I think  Thunderstatement already got a notification that I mentioned.

Thank you for replying !
lintu47 Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
    You make some great points in there :nod:
jane-beata Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for reading, dear :)
lintu47 Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
    I always do, but lately i'm so slow and behind with reading the journals that it takes me up to 4 hours to get rid of the stack. So sorry for being a little late. By the way, that tick is really looking nice to your username, it feels like it's been there for a long time already :heart:
jane-beata Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm late with replying as well :( Thank you, I like the tick very much  but it will take at least one more week to get used to it :giggle:
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