how to be successful as an insta/deviantart artist

4 min read

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fumstix's avatar
Hi, here's a little list I've compiled for myself - hopefully it helps someone else! I know I'm not a popular artist yet, but soon :D

  • Have at least 2-3 platforms. Use social media like Instagram, and Deviantart. I suggest you start out on Deviantart, and when you get better, you could take to Instagram - maybe use it as a portfolio? YouTube is a great choice as well, many people like watching speedpaints and art tips there.
  • Interact with the community. 
    • Take advantage of the forums, where you can really get to know deviants here! You can answer questions and help people out in the General forums. You can promote your art in the Thumbshare forums. If you're lucky enough to be a core member, you have your own special section of the forums too! A fun section of the forums is the Muro community, those who draw in Deviantart Muro!
      • Remember to look for interesting forum posts, (not just thumbshares) so you can answer/ask questions and interact with the community)
    • Comment under people's journals and artwork, giving helpful feedback too! Participate in polls as well, those are fun!
    • Promote yourself! You have to be careful with this one, because self-advertising is frowned upon. However, it is important to put yourself out there as an artist - it's a big world, how else will people find you? There are groups which you can advertise in. Keep in mind that there are people who are looking for commissions, so keep an eye out for them. Also, on your page you can show links to your commissions, links to your other platforms, and other important journals, so visitors to your page know where to go and what to look for.
      • look for journals and forum threads that offer free promos, features, etc
  • If you see a new deviant, feel free to welcome them to the site, and offer them your help. I remember, when back in 2016, I was a new deviant, and I got my first welcome comments from ChiharusMoon, apriciity, burningdiotoir and RedRingDoctor. I had so many questions for them! ^^; But it was really nice to feel welcomed by the community! So imagine how you could make someone else's day ;)
  • Draw art often!
    • It's good to draw for free too! Of course you want to have commissions and make money, but taking requests and drawing free art is a good way to get yourself out there! (Terms of Service are very important when drawing art for others!)
    • Participate in contests, that will give you new drawing inspiration. Also consider drawing for the trendy 'monthly art challenges.' For example, Mermay (just passed) and Inktober. Here's a list online. Posting drawings based on these challenges will drive traffic to your art, because those are popular. 
    • Draw new things! If you often draw sketches, or digital art, you can spice things up with some watercolor paintings. If you only draw animals, try to draw humans too. If you only draw in a realistic style, you could consider a different artstyle too! Draw ref sheets, icons and logos too! This will benefit you and your gallery, because there will be some variation in your drawings!
  • Be positive always!! Just because you don't have hundreds of thousands of subscribers, that is no reason to give up! Keep going, you can do it! Just have some patience, it will take time. Don't stress yourself about these trivial things~
Best of luck everybody! Let's remember to support each other :hug:
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cham98's avatar

This is such a huge help! especially for a small artist like me who just started digital art last July and now seeking for commissions but only got 1 loyal client :D in my 1 month of opening my commissions. I'll definitely try and consider some of the tips here which i didn't think of and tried yet! THANK YOU SO MUCH <3<3

NightfallFazbear's avatar

Tmw you do actually do most of that stuff but youre still not getting recognized and you highkey wanna make a living outta being an artist and you just wanna make money

McogART's avatar

excellent tips, thanks for the help!

AsapTenebrae's avatar

Thank you for those advices,I will apply them asap. Besides,how do you link your DA account to other social media? I tried to to do so but I dont find where I should do it.

fumstix's avatar

You are very welcome! I'm using DA eclipse, so on my profile page, in my account section, there is a widget to add social media

God bless you

AsapTenebrae's avatar

Ha Ok,well,in the meantime I found how to do it. Thx for your reply and have a nice day!

fumstix's avatar

ah okay awesome! thanks, and same to you <3

vaniapaiva's avatar
Ótimas dicas, obrigada por compartilhar. :hug:
derlustigewolf's avatar

Bro, thanks for these tips, but they don't help me much. It's hard when you don't receive support from absolutely anyone, not even your family.

fumstix's avatar



you can have God's support! (dt 31:6)

what's funny is that I haven't been o n DA recently, and now my drive for drawing has kicked off again hurray

God bless you love!

Ryuukei8569's avatar
Unfortunately it doesnt seem like its helping me much. And it's frustrating as hell because it seems like my art is in a straight up decline, despite posting every day and I have no idea what's causing it. Especially my anthro based works have had absolutely abysmal showings compared to posts made weeks and months ago.
fumstix's avatar


Well consider posting art for the joy of it, with the mindset of improvement

That way your talent won't be a chore

epicmansquad46's avatar
u thot me allot about art thx :)
MrRemoraman's avatar
This is actually REALLY good advice!  MOst of it is stuff I've found to be true.  
CarlD07's avatar

Thank you this is helpful I have been wanting to learn how to grow on social media as well to but thank you for sharing your tips.

fumstix's avatar

yay that's nice to hear! good luck <3

Hoopie-Sprout's avatar
another helpful tip is to try to find your aesthetic! it's really important to figure out what kind of stuff you like first, then try to draw things that revolve around it. if you don't happen to, it may make your gallery look like a clutter and a bit unbalanced! i know this from experience, and i also tend to feel a lot more energized and motivated when i draw stuff i enjoy,,,
it's also always nice to be inspired by others as long as you're not copying their works!
fumstix's avatar
I agree! I really need to work on my aesthetic, my gallery is a mess ^^;

any more tips about making art look visually appealing?
Hoopie-Sprout's avatar
other than practice, (which is super important!) i'd say try looking through color pallets and mood boards for inspiration, so colors don't clash! (make sure to look for a specific-ish theme for the mood boards though,, like pastel, galaxy, ocean, exc.) coloring your lineart multiple colors is really cool too!

other than that, good luck! i hope i could be of some help haha
fumstix's avatar
<3 okay! yes that's super helpful, tysm :hug:
ShinoriChian's avatar

helpful advice. thanks a lot!

fumstix's avatar
:huggle: you are very welcome! <3
AffinityDinaur's avatar
Good advice :) (Smile) 

I kinda got bit mixed reaction because surely killing the artist with kindness is common these days 
and some I suggest would be assured on your watchers even your into different platform like updating your status update what you have felt
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