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.
✿ 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
✿ 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
✿ 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
✿ 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.
✿ 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.
Instagram, that is rather a phone app but also an excellent way to instantly share your artwork and visual news.
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
Credits > Thanks to im-not-sana for the article edit and great suggestions
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