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 Nobody, Nobody, Nobody and Nobody. 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