A Writer’s Guide to deviantArt Community Features

Continuing on from our previous discussion, deviantArt is not just for showing off what you can do. It’s also a great place to share what you know and connect with other artists from all over. Again, where appropriate, I’ll be linking to the relevant section of my own deviantArt account so anyone interested can poke around.

deviantArt offers a couple of familiar spaces to just say what’s on your mind. If you’re of a blogging mindset, deviantArt offers a Journal. It lacks some of the basic blog features (like categories and tags), but it offers some fun add-ons. (I like to share the strange things I watch and read through the advanced features.) Your journal entries count as deviations in the stats widget, even though they’re a different type of post.

If you’re more of a social media type, deviantArt now offers a status update (listed on the profile page under “Activity”) where you can post quick thoughts, project and event updates, and share links to interesting things you’ve found and want to share with people. While status posts don’t count toward your deviations, your followers are notified of both journal posts and status updates.

If you’re in love with Pinterest, deviantArt offers the ability to Favorite deviations you love, and just in the last year or so deviants have been given the ability to organize their Favorites into collections, much the same way you organize your Pins into boards. (I actually tend to Pin deviations that I’ve favorited to try to get the artists more exposure. There are some talented people hiding out on deviantArt who deserve to be seen. And deviantArt has a Pin button that includes the deviation’s name, the deviant’s name, and a link back to the original deviation. It’s quite nice.)

deviantArt also offers a variety of ways to connect with other deviants. (I no longer engage in either of these, so this is going to be based on observation and limited experience.) There are forums where you can discuss things with other deviants. There are Groups, which are basically artists banded together and sharing art on a related theme, be it topic, property, etc. Some of theses groups are excellent; some are really poorly run. But you can check out a group before you join.

The other way to connect is through Communities, which are deviants brought together by a common interest. While there are tons of these communities on the site, there aren’t many aimed at deviants who write. There is the official community, but they have never proven to be the friendliest people on the planet, often mistaking the group for the halls of the high school where they weren’t popular. (One of their leadership actually got a site award for this behavior a few years ago.) Just keep searching; hopefully, you’ll have better luck than I have.

All right. I think that covers all of deviantArt. It really is a very robust site with a lot of potential for the intrepid writer who wants to explore using it.

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