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Showing your art to other people.

I have some questions about the display of your artwork, specifically, on websites/galleries online dedicated to it. I hope these questions are allowed here, but if not it'd be cool if I could be directed to a place that could help and get rid of this post. :)

I've just recently decided to get truly serious with my art (I've always wanted to make some kind of career out of it, but I had a sort of "click" in my head that I need to get going on it because my art is getting better now), and so I've finally decided to set up a website for it. I got a domain name--it's not my name, but it's a word I like. Even if it's an uncommon word, it has meaning to me--is that okay? I personally hate my name and wouldn't want a domain of it. But that's not really my question.

I draw a wide range of things, including adult artwork, and sometimes get commissioned for that type of stuff. I don't have any issues with it or drawing adult artwork in general, but what does make me feel strange is that... well, I have a lot of people who want to see my artwork that aren't exactly "in" on things like the furry fandom (where a lot of the art is focused) much less adult artwork in general, and I've already had one instance where a teacher in high school got weird on me after I gave him a link to my deviantART gallery. It didn't even have adult artwork, but i suppose some of the content weirded him out, and thus he didn't like me anymore.

So what do you do when you want to show off your artwork, but it's not something a particular individual would understand/approve of? I don't want to have to censor myself too much, but there are a number of things I draw that might offend people... and I don't want to hide. I want to be able to showcase all my artwork; the general/adult thing isn't an issue to me personally, but I worry constantly about scaring off people I know, or even potential employers who think I am "weird" because of what I draw...

One more question in passing: how do you promote yourself on the internet? My deviantART gallery never got many views, and while I realize the whole world isn't deviantART, I was under the impression it's a pretty big and important place and good for promotion. I also try to promote myself on LJ but I'm not sure if I'm doing it right. I was tempted to even buy some adspace or something, but I don't know if that is desperate or not. I'm really lost on how to get myself out there.
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Comments

spiffystuff
Jun. 19th, 2007 07:06 am (UTC)
As someone else said, first off figure out what you want to do with your art!
I get the vibe you're wondering how to made a decent amount of money off it? I'm not entirely sure what "getting serious" means to you, but in the comments you seem to be thinking of making at least a partial living off it.

There's four major ways of making money off art: prints, originals, commissions, and donations. I mention that last because a few webcomics people do actually manage to live entirely off donations and merch, but it's really rare. You could even come up with your own way; there's always something new to try, but those are the major ones.

As far as promoting yourself... Ok, this sounds so corporate but figure out your "target audience".
... to say it in a less soul-sucking way, what art do you enjoy making? What do you forsee yourself doing? In my case, it's comics and monsters. And comics about monsters. I'll try anything once (art-wise), but that's what I enjoy doing most of the time. So, I try to do link exchanges with other people who make dark comics, I go to horror cons, do panels on serial killers, yadda yadda yadda. I have other interests, like feminism in the media (yes, it's fine to eyeroll at that ;D ), but those panels/forums/etc don't get me *any* new readers, that I know of :P
So, figure out your niche. Don't, like, adapt so well to that niche you'll die if it disappears, don't be afraid to move to other niches if you like, but try to find what you want to do, and do it well!

Heh, okay, in one of the more drama-laden posts you asked for a crit ^-^ I shall give you a brief one! My heart to anyone who likes crits -- moreover, that's a good sign you're shaping up to be a great artist :)
So... did you ever hang out on Yerf? ... that link's kinda dead now, which is tragic because that was a creat critique site. And if you've been there, my critique is going to sound obnoxiously familiar.
You've got an attractive style and, I would guess, a good eye. You've got a decent amount of skill, although still some work needed, that I can see. For example, a lot of the muzzles come off your animals awkwardly, it looks like. Very geometric, not very organic. That's one that caught my eye, there may be others if I study things but crit communities are better for that!
But, my superharsh critique is: there sure are a lot of character shots there.
Why is this a critique? Because that's the easiest kind of picture there is. It's what almost *everyone* draws. Some people manage to make a living at it, true, but you have to be *Really fricking amazing*, because lots and lots and lots of people are doing it, many with talent as well. And quite a few with a boatload of talent and years of skill and training.
Where are the backgrounds? I don't see anything more complex than some gradients and waves. There aren't many complex character interaction pictures, either.
... so, that's my superharsh critique. You're looking good, on the easy stuff. (actually, that's the main reason I like taking commissions; normally I don't indulge in finished character shots)
If you're wondering what I do, my webcomic Anthem is probably my biggest ongoing project, but it may be worth noting that the style is as simple as fast as I can stand making. The gallery shows more stuff (and, yes, numerous character shots; a lot of these were covers! But there are a few with finished backgrounds, and half are composed pictures, if simple ones). And... uhg, there's lots of other random stuff, but at the moment it's scattered all over everywhere XP

... hope that helps, and wasn't harsher than you wanted!

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