Finding Your Place on deviantArt
This is for anyone new to deviantArt, or anyone who wants to read through and find things they didn't know. Everything I'm writing here is from experience, meaning that I've had issues with it, or I had to learn it as well. And if I'm wrong about anything, please comment and let me know!
First things first:
This may be an art website, but there is a social aspect involved. Without watchers or friends, we would rely heavily on random searches and the "random deviant" button for our work to be seen. And for artists who have come here to grow, this simply isn't convenient.
But how do you get seen?
1) COMMENT! Comment on anything, from art to literature, to profiles and groups. Get your name out there! Compliment an artist on their color choice, say their cat looks like yours: anything to related to that person or that piece of artwork. The more thought-out your comments are, the more likely the person is to reply and converse with you. These people will then see your work, and if they like it, they'll Watch you.
What not to comment: "Watch me plz!" (we hate beggars here. This approach never works, for watches, points, or llamas) or anything rude or inappropriate ("you look hot" is not an acceptable comment on someone's ID, or any work for that matter. You'll be seen as creepy, and they might block you).
2) Join Groups. Groups can be found all over this site. To search for groups related to your art or interests, use the Groups button in the drop-down list or "Find More Groups" on the Today page. To join, make sure you read the group's rules (which should be obvious if you've found a good group), then use the "join" button (some groups that are just starting out may have an issue with this. That is the only time you should comment asking how to join [well unless the group is complicated ]. People find it annoying when you don't read their notices, which is why it's inappropriate).
To submit to the group, find their submission rules. Once you understand them, then go to the deviation (or piece of art) that you want to submit. Scroll down the page and look to the right column of writing. You'll see a "submit to group" button. You'll probably have to type in the group's name your first time, so keep the name ready. Select the proper folder from a dropdown box located here, then hit "submit." To see if your work was accepted, visit your Messages and look under "correspondence messages". Either a green checkmark will appear or "pending." Some groups have to manually approve your submission while others accept them automatically, which is why it will be different. If your work is rejected, this will also show here. If the administrators do not supply a comment as to why it was rejected, calmly ask them in a Note to the group. A Note button for the group should be located on the top of the page.
3) Give llamas. These fury badges haven't even been here a year yet, but they've already filled our hearts with love. Giving a llama to someone shows that you like their art, that you support them, or that you visited their page and liked what they saw.
To give a llama, visit someone's page. On the ribbon showing their activity, statistics, etc., you'll see a "give" button. Click it. In the drop-down list, you'll see "Give a llama badge". Click it. A dialogue box will come up asking for your password. This is a confidential area, meaning only you will be able to see your password, so don't worry about security (or cost. Llama badges are free). Once you've gotten your password in, hit "give", and a fury llama badge will be given to the person. (Did you notice that some of them looked a little different? The badges change as you get more, so depending on how many a person has, their llama will look different).
4) Submit art. Submitting art is what this site is about. When you submit, people will be able to see it from your profile page, but also in the galleries you submit it to. Also, using keywords to describe your deviation (see the box under "description" and follow the directions listed below it) will help your work get found. Keywords can be the genre, the main topics, characters included (for fan art), etc.
Finding Your Place
That seems like a lot, I know, but soon you'll have a name for yourself. You'll find friends and fans all over this site, and your work will get the attention it deserves. But sometimes you find yourself in the wrong place. People may harass you for "trolling" or "spamming". Let me explain this to you.
Trolling: This means that you're a nuisance. You continuously make appearances in conversations, in chat rooms, or other places, and people don't want you there. If you're not doing this on purpose, try the following:
If you come across a conversation between two deviants that seems private (they're discussing personal life, emotions, etc), keep going. Your input probably isn't wanted there, and commenting could anger them.
If you come across a person's profile page and you scroll through their comments area and keep posting your own replies, you're going to annoy both the person whose page you are on and the people you are replying to (yes, they can see where the comments were, so they'll know it's not from the intended person). It's okay to look through these (some pages can be a little entertaining), but don't say anything.
If you've tried this and are still unsuccessful, then I'm sorry that I can't help you further. If you feel it is too much to handle, talk to a staff member, or just deactivate your account and start over (notice I said "start over," not run away. There are a lot of good people people here, but you have to find them. Go for it, and start browsing!)
Spamming: Spam is like junk mail; it's something people never want to receive. A spam message here would be a chain message (to the wrong people. Your friends might like to see a chain message about friendship, while others strike them down. If you're unsure about how someone feels, ask before posting), messages asking for Watches, Points, or Llamas (I think I mentioned this before, but yes, people hate it), or messages that are offensive to the receiver. Also intentional repeated messages are considered spam (I understand that slower computers trick you into thinking nothing's being done, so that's not what I mean here) The fix?
Ask before posting chain mail.
Be nice. Only call a person by the names they ask to be called, or just don't use their name. Truly, it's a bit creepy for someone to out of nowhere use your name like they're your BFF.
If someone doesn't reply, don't bother them. There are a lot of open accounts here that people no longer use. Artists move on, and we have to respect that. Or they just haven't replied (either because they don't know what to say or because they'd rather not. Sometimes it's better to break a conversation off than keep it going with emoticons).
If people are harassing you for other reasons, such as because of who you are, you can block them. Go into your settings (look above where you log out). Under Private, you'll see General. Click it and scroll down. You'll see box and you'll have instructions on what to do. [Note, this is permanent. This person should not be able to contact you through that account. Also, you can't block everyone just because they have a different opinion than you. Learning to respect others and how to deal with others will help you figure out who to block and who not to block]
Having a Snazzy Page
Snazzy pages can be made without premium memberships. You just have to know how to organize things to make it flow. To organize your "widgets" (that's what they call the different boxes here), or to add or remove them, hit "Edit Page" at the top right corner of the page. From there, you'll see a box with smaller rectangles inside. Inside the rectangles are rectangles with words in them (the widgets). To change their order, click and drag them around. To experiment with placement, move them into other bigger rectangles. To see how it looks with everything in them, hit okay and scroll around your page.
The snazzing up comes from editing the widgets to suit your needs. Here's how that works: Each widget has an edit button (hover over the top right corner of the box, then click "Edit Widget" or the pencil). Most widgets have changeable settings (for your friends, watchers, or groups how many you want to display. For your deviantID, what picture displays [if any]). Using these settings to even up the columns, add descriptions, and add a personal touch will give you a snazzy page.
And remember, you can change the settings at any time.
That about covers it. If you have any questions, please comment here or Note me, ~ApocalypticAngel4792. I'll be happy to help you as much as I can. [Note: If I get a lot of messages from this asking other questions, I may do a second article. I want to try to help as many people as I can, and I'm aware that this is far from "everything," but I didn't want this to be too long.]
Looking for help on your own? Look here:
Help & FAQ
You can search by keyword or subject, so have a look. I go here about once a week checking things out, and it's really helpful.
Thanks for reading!