For the past 12 years, deviantART has been providing a launchpad for artists whose work speaks to the world, an outlet to display creativity, and a forum to give and receive feedback. It is a place of constant output and input, a site which offers numerous advantages to the artist looking to gain a little exposure.
Producer and Director of the deviantART Network Ron Martino says this is something unique to the site, as well as the pro-arts mentality one finds there.
"On deviantART, when an artist publishes their work of art — whether it's a visual piece, or in the form of a story, poem, comic, or something else — they're sharing it with millions of people from all over the globe who have an interest in, and appreciation for, art. We receive close to 200,000 daily uploads across hundreds of genres, and 1.5 million daily comments on average. That sort of exposure, and the ability to receive genuine, immediate feedback about your creation, is something that is unique to deviantART," he told WebProNews. "And even beyond that, the deviantART community doesn’t just provide technical and educational tools to artists and art lovers, but real life support in a way that’s becoming ever more vital in an ever more chaotic world. A genuinely unique sort of pro-arts, pro-people, pro-world society has manifested itself as the core DNA of the deviantART community and I think this is what sets it so apart from all imitators. There is a real shared “soul” that has been created and that is palpably experienced by community members. This situation is a kind of one-in-a-million, lightning-in-a-bottle capture that isn’t ever again going to be replicated, even with the most tricked-out, nano-algorithmic business plan."
As an artist and a member of dA, I have enjoyed the interaction with other artists the site provides for the past five years and have seen firsthand how much influence it can have on not only getting your work seen by many, but getting it into the right hands. With over 22 million members, deviantART has the power to drive traffic to one's website in enormous numbers, thereby making it an invaluable tool for the artist who is making a living doing what they love.
"Yummei is a perfect example of an artist who enjoys an unprecedented level of connection to her worldwide audience of millions of engaged fans who create fan art, fan fiction and discussion groups around her books and her art art, as well as participate in contests initiated by Yummei. Her profile has over 47 million views, making her one of the most prolific artists on deviantART," Martino says.
Martino stresses that while helping artists network and share their creative voice is of highest priority, the site does much more than that; they currently have a commissioning system called DreamUp in the works, which they call the most sophisticated on the market today, and have been working on a globally-sourced graphic novel which was created by users and is unlike anything most of us have ever seen before.
"In addition to the artist profile I write for dA, I've been experimenting with new forms of artistic collaboration," Martino said. "One example of this is the, “Odyssey Into 2012” project, a globally sourced graphic novel, with artists submitting chapters and artwork to create a fully collaborative story through the deviantART platform. Through a beginning Prologue and subsequent writing prompts Deviant artists and writers were called upon to complete each of the story's eight chapters, and those selections were revealed each week over the course of one month serving as the foundation for others to create the succeeding chapter. The response to this collective endeavor was utterly amazing, receiving thousands of submissions each week. As a result we will be publishing the project as an e-book titled 'Tokyo Zephyr' and the proceeds from each sale will benefit UNICEF."
Aside from the obvious advantages to having your work seen by millions, Martino says there is also a wonderful support group to be found on dA.
"I’m continuously blown away by the magnitude of talent that I come across on deviantART every day, and even further impressed by the level of support happening within the conversation that takes place between community members," he said.
Lead image: the writer's own