furry1337otaku (furry1337otaku) wrote in artists_beware,

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Asking Advice: Online Gallery Social Networking sites (DA,FA etc)

I'm sorry if this isn't the right place for this, and I'm cross posting (spamming) to a few communities to see what the general consensus is, especially for those lucky few whom are considered successful.

Now, I'm sure we're all familiar with and many of us do business using at least a couple of these websites. Deviantart, Furaffinity, Inkbunny, Sheezyart, Concept Art, and Nabyn to name a few examples. The latter is why I decided to ask advice as I already have an account on most of the others. While some make sense as many of them specialize to certain interests or offer different types of feedback, I'm beginning to realize that it is becoming overwhelming for me to keep up with them all (for awhile now I've been in a constant state of reorganizing watchees deciding what notifications I want to keep, and who I need to ditch, which is rough when you have a good friend but they aren't what you're looking for in artistic inspiration or a fabulous artist who won't stop babbling about memes). Obviously, I should probably cut down to just a few, or so I think.

So this is my real question, is it better to specialize in one or two of these sites, or is it advisable to join near all of them for further promotion to a wider audience? Also, curious what sites people have used and how they find them compared with other sites.

Here's my experience with them.

Deviantart. I've been with Deviant Art the longest. It is not necessarily my favorite, although I enjoy many of their features (it has been very pleasing watching various premium features become standard over time). Some report serious issues with this site, including but not limited to malicious ads and plagerism (art theft for the layman). I feel like this site is most popular with those whom have an Anime type style or very strong photorealism. It is probably the largest of all the sites and offers the most opportunities, especially if you don't mind paying for a premium account. However, it is also hard to make a real following or get very big on your art alone, like most of these sites, it requires a lot of hard work, networking, self promoting and pandering to popular media. As is often bemused, a five minute fanart will get several times more views than the masterpiece you bled your soul out producing. The Job Offers and other forums are pretty diverse and the competition is terse. There are real job offers, but mostly is a matter of one party or another looking for an artist and mostly artists looking for work.

FurAffinity. My current favorite despite the overall poor site integration, lack of features and questionable content. Not surprisingly, this art website is mostly home to furries; artists and fans of all sorts. While the furry fandom is many things and often undeserving of the less than favorable reputation it has earned, there is no denying the expansive collection of erotica and outright explicit fetishes that are present on FA. That being said, there is a very open and friendly community, for all that there is a bit of drama to be found. Its smaller size means it is easier to stand out, but even still it is fairly crowded and networking is important. Toony and expressive styles seem to be more popular here, although there is a strong body of psuedorealistic styles. The forums are fairly reliable for work, and especially for basic feedback and critique. It can be a little rough though if you are sensitive to critique.

Concept Art. Generally regarded as the place you go when you need real critique and seek to vastly improve your art. This is a place where professionals work on self-improvement and occassionally help out freelancers looking to transition to full time jobs. This is not a place for those who are dependent upon their personalized style and require positive feedback. This is a place where all or at least most have been professionally schooled and survived the harsh critiques of professors. If you have ever been hurt or offended by an honest critique I would not suggest this place. And this is considering that you are even noted. A lot of people join Concept Art thinking they can just pop in for a quick critique, but Networking is even more important than in larger communities. Until you have gained a name for yourself, most people will not bother to look. The site itself consists only of a forum and it is generally considered that you should start a single thread to update your work as you produce it.

Inkbunny is very similar to a hybrid between the ease of use and clean site design of Deviantart paired with the material of Fur Affinity. If your sensibilities are offended by the likes of FA, IB is worse. While the filters and tag systems offer more browsing freedom, I feel that the sheer volume and proportion of pornography deters from the otherwise pleasant browsing experience. I have not used it very long, and I'm not certain I will use it for more than updating information or using its broadcast on twitter feature for streaming and announcing new art. I have not used its forums, if it has them. There seems to be a stronger preference towards cartoony styles.
Tags: advice for artists, discussion

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