The Pros And Cons of Using DeviantART

2014 Artwork DeviantART review sketch

If you’ve never heard of DeviantART before, it’s a fairly old and fairly well-known website which was designed to allow artists to share their art with both the general public and with other artists.

I really love DeviantART (in fact, I’ve been on there since 2009 – here’s my very first picture on there), but it certainly isn’t perfect. So, I thought that I’d list some of the pros and cons of posting your art there in case it’s useful to any of you.

The Pros of Posting Your Art On DeviantART:

1) The site is dedicated to art: This one is pretty self-explanatory really, but DeviantART is pretty much designed for showing off art.

Seriously, I can’t think of that many other places on the internet which are set up specifically for artists of all skill levels to quickly and easily upload their work to the public.

2) Good free membership: Yes, you get a few fancy extra things if you buy “premium” membership, but the basic free membership is surprisingly good nonetheless.

Yes, you don’t get a cool symbol next to your username, you can’t schedule art in advance and you can’t make your profile page look quite as cool. But, apart from that, the free version of the site has most of the same functionality as the premium version.

3) Little to no censorship: One of the other great things about DeviantART is that there’s little to no censorship on there, so you don’t have to worry too much about whether your art is “too shocking” for the site.

Yes, there are rules on DeviantART – but provided that you classify your art in the right way then you can pretty much post anything from nude art to some types of erotic art (provided that it is suggestive rather than explicit, I think) to horror art to fan art on there with very few, if any, worries about censorship.

4) Community: Because DeviantART is a dedicated art site, most of the people on there will be artists. What this means is that if you ever need advice about your work or just want to talk about art online, then there are probably going to be people there who you can talk with.

The Cons of Posting Your Art On DeviantART:

1) It’s harder to stand out: Don’t expect DeviantART to be a quick path to fame and recognition. I’ve been on there for about five years and it’s still something of a special occasion for me when one of my paintings gets more than about ten views.

You see, although the site is set up for publishing art – there’s a lot of other art on there too. What this means is that it can be very easy for your pictures to get lost in the millions of pictures already on the site and not be noticed by most people.

Likewise, even a badly-drawn piece of fan art can often get far more views than a really exquisitely-made piece of original art. So, although it’s cool that DeviantART allows fan art (as long as you categorise it properly and don’t try to sell it) – it can sometimes be at the expense of original artwork.

Unlike posting your art on a personal blog, where visitors can only see the stuff you’ve made, your art will be frequently shown alongside lots of art by other artists on DeviantART – and, unless you’ve made something really outstanding, then it’s a lot harder to get a decent number of views.

2) Weird stuff: As I mentioned earlier, it’s great that there’s virtually no censorship on DeviantART. But what this can also mean is that if you’re the kind of person who is easily shocked or offended by strange, disturbing and/or explicit art, then you might not like DeviantART.

Yes, you can use the site’s content filter to block out most disturbing and/or explicit art if you don’t want to see it, but you’ll still probably end up seeing some of this type of art anyway.

3) Changes: Occasionally, the people who run DeviantART will make shocking and controversial changes to the site – such as changing the image upload page drastically about two years ago or the more recent removal of symbols from free members’ usernames.

Usually, they’ll set up a comment thread for people to give their views on these changes – but, in my five years on the site, I can’t think of a single drastic change that has been reversed due to it’s unpopularity with DA’s user base. At most, these comments just help them to refine the existing changes.

If you’re only posting on the site occasionally, then most of this stuff probably won’t be a major issue for you. But if you’re a regular on there, expect to care way too much about all of this stuff.

4) Ponies, Wolves etc..: This is probably just a passing trend on DeviantART at the moment, but expect to see at least one picture of a “My Little Pony” character and/or a cartoon wolf on the front page of the site whenever you look at it.

DeviantART kind of has it’s own strange trends and you’ll either love them (and join in with them) or find them slightly annoying (and ignore them).

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

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