Do you really want to...? [of DDs and feedback]

9 min read

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kuschelirmel's avatar

Lately, the amount of DD suggestions that say something along the lines of
"I just started photomanipulation/I know my work is not perfect/I know it's not really what you're looking for in a DD, BUT I still would like to get one for [link] so I can get more feedback!"
have been increasing daily. So I thought it was time I said a thing or two about getting a DD and about feedback, too:

Do you really want to put yourself in this position?!

Daily Deviations here on dA have a long tradition of featuring art that is outstanding on some level, be it technical or emotional. A DD is generally thought to be a feature that points the masses towards art they should see so they can be "wowed". And it is the community that thinks so, not just gallery mods like me who want to push some invisible standards or some such thing.  Plus, it seems to be the case that the community feels that a DD should be on a level where nothing major can be critiqued any more.

Think about that for a second: if the community expects an outstanding piece of art that blows them away and you already say that "I know I'm not quite DD material yet" what could happen is this: While you want feedback, the community (or a large portion of it) expects a piece where no feedback in that sense is needed any more. So, how valuable will this feedback be for you if they were expecting something very different to begin with? There may even be those who start to shout at you for not keeping to whatever DD standards they think you should be held to and this kind of feedback can definitely ruin your day.

The notes in my inbox...

So, if you know that you're looking for feedback, then ask for feedback, not for a DD. I always try to answer notes with requests for critiques, but personally, I feel hard-pressed to say something to someone who has asked for a DD with the wish for feedback thrown in. For one, they seem to want feedback from the community and maybe not from me directly, so is it my place to tell them "the lighting here is off, the blending isn't quite right,..."? Even if I always try to tell them what they can try to make it better, I still feel like I'm intruding. Plus (and this is point two), if someone asks for a DD and gets in return a longish list of things to do better, it may come across as "not only is your image not quite what I'm looking for, it actually is miles off and really bad!" and I do not EVER want to say this to anyone! Not literally, not implied. Not ever.

So, if you want my help/feedback, just note me! If you want feedback from more people, find a group where they will give you feedback (some have "critique requested" folders). Set your deviation to "critique desired" either using the tool you get when you're subscribed or by asking in the artist's comment! You can also try the dA chatrooms and find one where manipulators hang out and you'll soon find that live feedback can be invaluable. To get the most out of a request for feedback, you can ask for feedback on specific aspects, like lighting, blending etc.

Once you feel secure in your work, send me a note and suggest yourself for DD [click for more info].

Everyone starts somewhere

Have you looked at my first manips (those I left in the gallery anyway)? The oldest still available is

Zauberland by kuschelirmel

Oh boy was I proud of this one :D The list of flaws is long though: the cutting of objects wasn't very precise, some stuff blurs together while others has too sharp edges; the colours don't blend at all, the lighting is pretty much non-existant. Shadows are missing all over the place and the brushes are used randomly at best. And I could go on ^^;

But the point here is that I still have it in my gallery because I still like it despite all of the above! I like it because I like the idea behind it, I like to remember the time when I created it and how it came to be. I like that it's not polished perfect and that it shows my progress when compared to newer work.

And I guess the real point here is: Not every deviation has to be DD material, it just has to be something you like. And there's always the next image and the next, always progress, never giving up.


EDIT: If you want feedback on your manips (and are willing to return the favour!), check out my group the FeedbackHub :heart:

:iconfeedbackhub: :iconfeedbackhub: :iconfeedbackhub:

© 2011 - 2021 kuschelirmel
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catlickfever's avatar
Honestly? No.

While I'd love the honor of a DD I don't know that I want that much attention. I can barely keep up with things on DA as it is. :/ Not that I don't ever want to receive one.. lol But I also don't want one if my work isn't up to par for that. I really don't care to be flamed to death. :giggle:

So.. mixed. lol If it happens then it does. If it doesn't then it doesn't. :shrug: I make my art for myself and at the end of the day it matters if it meant something to me. :)
kuschelirmel's avatar
:huggle: I hear you loud and clear on that one :#1:
phoenixleo's avatar
I try to visit a GM's page to see if they have updated any requirements or anything that I may forget when I suggest.
As for feedback, I got quite some when there were those feedback/critique events in chatrooms or groups. Even contests. They are a great way to improve. :nod:
WicasaWakan's avatar
I agree. That's what Critiques are for and DA Groups/contests. DD's are for the best of the best or something that, like you said, "Wow's" or inspires. I got a DD on my Mountain Tracks pic loooong ago and it's still my most used stock pic. I have my own fav's that I think are better but I would never go asking people to DD them. DD's are for other people to suggest.
With you as always. :nod:
I would most likely, politely suggest them joining groups and entering contests. I've suggested a few DD's when I feel they deserve one and it was in groups that I saw the pics.
kuschelirmel's avatar
my next "task" is going to be a list of manip groups that may come in handy for showing people "see, here's help/feedback -- if you want it!". So if you can think of any usefuul manip groups (that go beyond accepting submissions of manips), I'd love to hear about them!
WicasaWakan's avatar
The groups I belong to are:
:iconwhen-darkness-comes: and this one really tries to keep their group clean of art theft and other violations.
:iconmarvelousmanips: seems to be good to go as well. Sometimes I have found art theft there and reported it and the group mods were cool about removing them.
:iconwaterscapesclub: is an excellent group run very well.

Now these 2...Are huge violators.
:icondemotivational-club: (says he/she is trying but...)
They both just allow mass uploading and they don't screen the submissions at all. Much of their group galleries are anime, tv/movie screenshots and more that are copyright violations. I have sent notes to their mods and they basically say they are too busy to screen the submissions or don't answer.
I have no problem with people making these posters as long as they use their own images or get permission from the copyright owner. :nod:
We at :icondoombringers: just report what we can.
RebeccaFrank's avatar
People actually do this? O_o Have they not seen the community outrage that happens when a featured piece is deemed "unworthy" of a DD?
kuschelirmel's avatar
I don't think they have ^^; but they'd get the shock of their life times if it happened to them (hence the journal)
rustymermaid's avatar
As has been said already joining manip competitions is a good way to get feedback about your art :iconmanipulatethis:
is great at this.
Plus I didn't know you could suggest yourself for a DD I always thought it had to be somebody else.
kuschelirmel's avatar
thanks for the pointer! I'll need to make a news article or journal or something with those groups! do you know more?

it used to be so that it needed to be someone else - with the reasoning going along the lines of DDs being such a special feature... but they are not an award, they're here to showcase art that wows us and it doesn't really matter how it is brought to our attention if it comes to that. Personally, I think it's good to let people suggest themselves. If you are going to make a living on something (and a rather great number here have that ambition with their art) they should be able to promote themselves as best they can. And I'd rather they openly suggest their own work (including the promo bit that I feel is kinda obligatory) than have their friends sing their praise in note after note (which is usually rather pathetic because it's so obvious)... ah, but I'm rambling ^^;
rustymermaid's avatar
Groups like :iconmanipulatethis: :iconmanip-contest: and :icondigital-whisperii: provide challenges for different levels of expertize. they can be competitive or not, but critique and suggestions for improvement are given if needed.
I think anyone starting on photomanipulation would get a lot of help here.
kuschelirmel's avatar
Casperium's avatar
Well said on all points!!!!!!!!!!
BlizzR's avatar
I just can't wait for the next version of DA to come, where I'll be able to fave journals (like this one) as if they were deviations. I've said this before and I'm going to repeat myself once more: Your journals are excellent and very inspirational! :D

I got to say that I "suffered" the same thing you did xD I was REALLY proud about my first drawings as if they were masterpieces, years later, I found that whole lot of mistakes I did and what I needed to correct haha. But well, I still have them with me (even the very first ones I did 6 years ago, when I started to draw), because I have feelings about them and they remind me how all this love for art began, how it all started. :)

Thanks again for sharing such inspiring words to us :) I hope it helps people as well as they did to me.

Have an amazing day! :D
kuschelirmel's avatar
thank you so much!!! :love:
GinkgoWerkstatt's avatar
Ich frag mich gerade was die Leute wohl tun würden, wenn du ihnen wirklich ne DD gibts und sie dann entsprechende Kritik kriegen. Jeder der schon länger bei dA ist sollte wissen, dass du entweder Lob kriegst(wenns Bild gut ist) oder eher zerfleischt wirst wenn es "naja eigentlich verdient es noch keine DD, aber ich will trotzdem eine" ist :B
kuschelirmel's avatar
yup, genau. und dann ist das geschrei groß -- "bis eins heult!" lol
ldymech's avatar
I found that joining a manip contest group is a great way to get exposure and crtiques. I've been doing this for years, but I'm still learning blending, lighting and shadows. Getting critiques is the best way to learn. Suggest a few groups to these people if that's why they want a DD.
kuschelirmel's avatar
that is a great way to get feedback and be challenged indeed! Is there a particular dA group that you can recommend? Or maybe more than one?
ldymech's avatar
I am a member of :iconmanipchallenges: which has one contest a month and :iconmanip-contest: which has two contest a month. Both groups have a list of affiliate groups which could lead to even more groups. Look for groups that have a beginner category and that offer critiques. We even learn how to critique works so that we can better critique our own before submissinon. In between contest, another way to learn is to try some of the many tutorials [link] here on dA.
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