The mysterious ways of the daily deviation...

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KanteForce's avatar
I usually enjoy the daily deviations (dds) no matter what category of art they are.

Most they are pieces of high technical and creative standards.

Sometimes I disagree with the selection of the dds, but always of pure subjective reasons like taste and likes - And that give me no right to challenge or complain about the specific selections.

My only general complaint about the dds is, that if you ever have doubts about what is the trend and mainstream right now... well, then check out the dds!
Put in other words: The dds to often represent the conservative middel of the road pushing away originality in terms of the innovative, the edgy, and the new.

And this is said by an artist who is not on dA to revolutionaise art industry, but humble to seek inspiration and develop my photo skills!
But exactly the inspiration-seeking-part sometimes make my look on new dds very fast... More and more often I feel that - after only two years on dA - I've "seen it all" when it comes to dds.

Personally I think dA should introduce a cross-genre dds' category devoted to innovative, exploratory and challenging art, since I honestly think the existing dds' categories to much seek a popular consensus within the different categories of art...

And... NO!... When talking of this new category of dds I don't mean a de facto category for small or uknown artists!
Popular and wellknown dA-artists and the pretty big pool of X0.000 pageviews artists' also make pieces of art falling outside the road of dds mainstream, but still worthy of generel recognition.

And... NO!... This is not bashing or trashing of existing giver and receiver of dds!
I fully recognise the artistic quality and vision of the pieces and also the craftmanship needed to create them, but seen from a community point of view I think a category operating due to the described criterias could increase artistic originality and development on dA.

A specfic incident nailed my opinion in this case.
A newly granted dd was a photo taken on a place in my home city. Again, I have no reason to criticize the specific selection of this dd - But because I always often have searched dA for new pieces related to my city, I could not help feeling that I had seen this dd dozen of times before.

I did a little research and I was quite right - The exact same motive came up several times. There were small variations in shooting angles, cutting of the pic, exposure, color grading etc., but basicly the same picture.

I couldn't help feeling a little "... no, not again...".

On dA we are so many artists exploring and using the same techniques, tips & tricks, sources of inspiration, "golden rules", do's and don'ts and "basic rules" related to the specific category of art we are occupied with, that many pieces will end up look alike without us having any intention of being copy cats.
And the tendency of popular mainstream in the selection of the dd (sorry, that I repeat myself again - dual irony :) ) is a part of it.

But the sum of this is inertia and creative repition slowing down the artistic development of the community as a whole... I truly think that a dd category featuring and celebrating the truly unique and original, stepping aside the common perseption of good and bad, can be a help to promote development.

Last, I will bring you the pics from the incident I mentioned above to bring out my point.
I will not reveal which is what - I'll just let you know that;

1 pic was upload more than 6 years ago.
1 pic recently got a dd in the category "Wallpaper"
1 pic have just above 1.000 views
1 pic was post-processed intensively
1 pic was taken using a fisheye-lens
1 pic was shot just after a Coldplay concert
and 1 pic was uploaded just the other day

Go explore yourselves!

All the fine lines II by Kvikken Subway by Stilfoto
Parallelism 1 by welder streamline by ladyrapid
Metro Series D2 by bossydk
© 2010 - 2021 KanteForce
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sar-the-scare's avatar
:woohoo: I agree on the whole concept, really.

Sometimes an idea is just so good that about forty million people all have to have it. Or, people become ingrained with the trends and just automatically conform to them without truly meaning to. And sometimes people are just plain-old copycats.

I am an avid supporter of art that makes me go:


So I think this is a great idea. :D
KanteForce's avatar
Sorry for the late reply!

All agree - especially the thing about trends.


Three of my all time favs of favs:
[link] - Asteroide B612
[link] - To make inner travels.
[link] - dirty young people1
sar-the-scare's avatar
The trends. They are everywhere! There's no escaping them.

They are needed, though. They let you know how to not conform with your art, how to think outside of the box. They set the standard for what is usual, even though the trends themselves were once unusual, so that you can put out truly original art. And then what is born from trying to avoid the trends turns into a trend, and the cycle repeats. It's pretty beautiful.
welder's avatar
Thoughtful article :)

Of course from a photography standpoint, pictures of escalators have always been a popular motif. And moreover, there are always certain types of photographs and certain locations that are popular. Now, I do think there is something to be said for execution and subtlety...just because the subject matter is the same doesn't mean the the photos are the same (for example, compare some of Ansel Adam's photos of Yosemite with thousands of other photos of Yosemite). But still I think that in this context you are essentially correct, in that truly original work on DA is not usually recognized at a significant level as much as the popular and trendy stuff is.

There are exceptions, of course. I have seen some really remarkable DDs that I thought were extremely original. But in the end there are certain subjects and stylistic tendencies that will simply be more popular. And, even on those occasions of more original DDs, they still may be recognized with fewer favs than the popular stuff.

As an example from personal experience, I received a DD for this image: [link] which I really liked and thought was one of my more original shots. Then there was this image: [link] which in my opinion is a rather poor photograph of a cliche subject, and for that reason I submitted it as stock. And then it was given a DD, and has about 8 times as many favs as the other! The unavoidable fact is that innovative stuff is less popular. And this just isn't true of DeviantArt, but of life in general (another example: indie music vs. pop rock).

Anyways, in the end it's good to bring a call for more innovative and original work, and I applaud you for bringing up the point. Just realize that the innovative stuff will always be on the fringes and so that's where most of the time you have to look for it!

Cheers :)
KanteForce's avatar
I say originality includes all: Object, location, execution, subtlety, ect.
I also think that the specific example I give demonstrates that very well. Apart from one of the pics, I find it truly difficult to pinpoint the dd in the pool... Especially when it comes to originality - including all "originality" may contain. Should it not at least be like when Columbus hit the egg down the table and said "Yes, you could all have done it - BUT I DID IT!"?

The dd was granted in the category of wallpapers, and to be fair I of course have to say and make it clear, that the dd IS THE ONLY wallpaper of the 7 pieces.
Seen from that pov it is an Egg of Columbus.

I think that also explains the story of the 2 dds of yours. The one uploaded to the stock account may only be a mediocre photo - judged as a piece of photo-art. But that does not mean that it can't be a great stock photo and worthy of a dd as being so.

When it comes to numbers of favs, we should not start to talk about the mysterious ways of dA... I think science faster will discover how univers was before the Big Bang than they will find out how favs are distributed on dA!

I think it's thoughtful when you say:
[There are exceptions, of course. I have seen some really remarkable DDs that I thought were extremely original]
I pay attention to your combination of "DDs", "exceptions" and "extremely original".
It is kind a sad that you can say so - and by doing so hits spot on.

I'm very much aware that the popular is popular because it is... popular.
And that's how it is in culture, media, real life and dA - but like music magazines also have pages devoted to indie, I think dA could 1) recognise the "problem", 2) take a stand, and 3) do something about it by e.g. devote a dd category to "indie art".

Thx for your POV


welder's avatar
Well, I think we need to be careful to distinguish between originality and aesthetics. While the two qualities sometimes do overlap, they are quite separate things in art. The situation is further complicated by the fact that different people have different preferences of aesthetics. And for some people, something is aesthetically appealing if it is original and doesn't follow the "traditional rules" of aesthetics. And, some art is meant not to be aesthetically appealing at all! (For example, Piero Manzoni put poop in a can and called it art....and it got displayed in galleries around the world and the cans sold for thousands of dollars).

But I do think you have hit on another point, and that is the context of the work. Ok, sure, maybe that stock photo deserves to be a DD in the context of stock photography even it is a poor photo taken in a "fine art" context. But moreover, I think the issue is that DA is not primarily a fine art site and it is hard to expect it to behave in that context. There certainly is some great art on the site and I agree with you that it would be nice if there was a system that called attention to some of the more creative and thought-provoking work. But I think that in the meantime, it's up to us as individuals to do the best we can in following the groups and artists that post great work, recognize them for it, and spread the word :)

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