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Advice for Artists

Journal Entry: Thu Jul 25, 2013, 3:03 PM

Not too often, but at least once a month, I spend some time in the forums. I noticed that a popular topic was 'how to become popular on dA' (no pun intended). Here are some suggestions from my end of the spectrum. More on how to become a better artist in general and promote your art more efficiently (but I guess those are the key steps in becoming popular on dA, heh).

1. Post your art in as many places as you can

After posting a deviation, dA makes it easy to post it to other sites. Make an account on pinterest, tumblr, etc. Don't worry if you can't tend to it much, the point is you want your art in as many places as possible. This heightens the chance of people seeing your art, some of these users might even be on dA, as well.

Other suggestions are instagram, artician.

2. Focus on what you're good at

While it's fun to dabble in different mediums, the more mediums you work with, the less time you are spending "mastering" any one of them. I'd say 2 mediums at most. And if you really want to try other mediums, do so just once or twice a month. If you're a master of time management or just have tons of free time, then you may be lucky enough to pull off working with multiple mediums. Of course, if you're working with 'mixed media', this probably doesn't apply to you.

3. Use References

sketch I did today of standup comic Raj Sharma

In my opinion, there's nothing to be proud about if you're not using references. You're just depriving yourself of an extremely useful resource that will make your art better. Yes, there are a lot of people that may judge you for doing it. But if you keep using references, your art skill will increase over time, much more than artist who doesn't use them. It will be evident in your drawings, improved anatomy, perspective, depth etc.

4. Keep a Small Notebook

that's my notebook with stickers from Toys r' us on it lol

The best ideas will come at times when you are not able to draw them. Keep a small notebook with you at all times to write them down and even make small thumbnails to help remind you. Writing things down also begins the creation process. For me, I am more likely to see things to completion when I begin them by sketching a thumbnail or simply writing a description. My notebook is full of these, and that just means I'm going to have thousands of artworks in the future.

5. Be Inspired by Others

I'm always looking at the art of people I admire. Lokman Lam lokmanlam, Niccolo Balce robotnicc, Derrick Chew dcwj, Jace Wallace Jace-Wallace, to name a few. Never be discouraged by how much better others are than you. Think that whatever everyone else is capable of, you are, too. We're all human, we can achieve the same things.

I'll update this if I can think of more. :)

Gift Art

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RobbieCave Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2013   Digital Artist
Thanls for the advice, taho :)
lizjowen Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for this! :D
DAREtheVegetable Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013  Hobbyist
Real nice :)
shadowyzman Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
That's insightful! :)
Belzethal Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013
Thanks a lot. The article most remotivant that it is been to me given to read.
Really thank you :)
sypish Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Great advice on art. Thank you so much. Well all 5 advices I am already using myself :D but you giving those advices made me even more proud :D
Arty022618 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Student Artist
Thanks for this advice, my friends say it's bad to use a reference because, you're just "stealing" the original artist's artwork and use it as your own.
Thank you for posting this!
HiroMorisato Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Thanks, friends were trying to make it seem like references are bad and it doesn't count as my art if I used them.
taho Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Sigh. Yeah, I've heard that a lot. Here's the thing, even if you DIDN'T use a reference, your pose will likely look like some other reference or drawing in the world. Of the millions of artworks, poses are likely to repeat themselves.
HiroMorisato Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Student Digital Artist
that's the reason I thought it was ok, it's good to get reassurance though.
ladyStyx Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013   Digital Artist
you should add: "drawing a lot from observation, nature. Plus taking photos alone for your refernces, because you will know how something works more, than you just download one." Hah, but it's imposible to make photos of everything you want to draw.
TheArtributor Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Great advice.  I happen to have a scatterbrained mind when it comes to mediums.  After reading your article, I think I should pair down to my drawing and paintings.
young920 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
thanks for the advices. :)
ChibiCelina Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Wonderful advice thank you!
Lumella Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013  Professional General Artist
I like the 4th advice the most. I always keep a small notebook wherever I go because a good idea can just happen anywhere, and it's best to have it recorded. I normally get a struck of inspiration whenever I'm riding a bus, and jotting them down really helps. I can always go back to the idea and expand it later on.
Pharan Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013  Student General Artist
From my observations, here's how to earn views and be popular on dA: 
- make sure your thumbnails look good enough to click
- make animated stuff
- make funny stuff
- fanart something popular
- naked girls

Any of these things could either reflect something genuinely admirable (solid fundamentals and a good grasp of certain skills, the ability to pay humble tribute to an inspiring thing and express a love for it) or something shameful, lazy or base (whatever cynical description you can think of a person with artists' tools, or an audience can do, I guess).

I think the matter of dA popularity is pretty separate from being a good artist and all-around thoughtful, creative (and likeable) person, and making good progress with your learning efforts.
And I advice gives pointers for the latter, which is a good thing.
Pharan Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013  Student General Artist
*And I think your advice gives pointers for the latter
taho Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I agree with the things you said, but I'm trying to be more positive. Trust me, I can think of other devious ways, too.. lol
Cookie-Splinters Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome advice indeed ^^
SpicaNardi Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the advices! They are really helpful for me! :D
zippythewildone Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I always say, "Good artists don't need references and great artists use them anyways." I was very pleased to see the references tip in your list, I completely agree.
Stormshear Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013
Thank you for this! :D
I super appreciate it. :meow:
PinPastor Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013   Artist
Concise advice. The notebook tip is the most important one IMHO. The only thing i would add is... always carry a mech-pencil (or a pen) when you're far from your usual drawing space.
JuniorToons Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks a ton for the advice. I've been reading the forums and seeing what other experienced deviants have been saying about this topic. This will help me a lot!
nerow94 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nice advices
SilentMortal Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013
Thanks for the advice. :) I'll keep all of this in mind~
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