Hello! My name is Brenda.
I'm an artist living in AZ specializing in digital art and illustration. I love a lot of things, mostly anime, video games, and animated kids shows that give me all the feels. Thanks for visiting!
I do not normally accept requests unless I specifically ask for them. If you want me to draw something, I would appreciate if you review my commission prices. Thanks!
Well this is certainly the most lengthy conversation I've had here in a while XD So thanks for that. I do still have a love for this site and acknowledge that Eclipse has some really good features. Just wish they would make some quality of life changes like mentioned before. Would love to see birthday notifs come back too. 😩
All of this is very true. I came off strong in my comment, but that's mostly from disappointment over how the site has progressed over the years. The fact that it is still primarily art focused is honestly one of the only reasons I'm still here, along with the fact that it's hard to let go after over a decade. I've also come to realize that, despite Twitter not being great for artists, I'm getting more satisfactory interactions on there, probably because I have friends there. All of my friends from dA have moved out of my life over the years, perhaps also contributing to the site being less fun. However, I also haven't left yet because I'm still hanging onto a little hope that things can be improved from here. I honestly think subs are a good step, but one that needs to be more polished, along with the rest of the site.
Anyway, I agree with a lot of your points, especially about instating a real world currency donation button/pool. This would absolutely help compete with Ko-fi, which offers the same thing. Btw I did not realize DDs were still around! I tried looking earlier and couldn't tell, plus I don't see them easily in notifs. They used to be part of the notifs page, which practically guaranteed everyone on the site would see it. Would love to see something like that done again.
I would love to have those back. Birthday messages were great for engagement and made it fun to wish your fave artists a happy birthday, maybe even give them gifts like site currency or make special art for them. Really gives a sense of community.
Hardly ever comment on these honestly, but I am a long time DeviantART user (since 2008) and have seen this site go through many changes over the years. I'm sad to say that I am a hair's breadth away from leaving, or at the very least giving up my Core membership, because it doesn't feel worth it to stay. The subscriptions sounded interesting, but I'm afraid that it is simply not as good of a deal as Patreon or Ko-fi at this point. Both websites have better reputations and better services, and neither of them require a paid membership of their own to use (except Ko-fi Gold, but it isn't necessary to use the site just as a tip jar). I'll also agree with what others have been commenting that 15% is way too steep, considering you require people to pay to use tiers to begin with, along with credit card fees. Engagement on this site has plummeted so much that it just isn't worth using tiers that just won't be subscribed to. I'd much rather use Ko-fi's tiers, especially since they are optional, meaning people can still donate without committing to a monthly payment. They also charge half the amount of a Core membership to use features like the shop and commissions, and take a much smaller cut. Overall, from a business standpoint, it's much more efficient and user/buyer friendly. Meanwhile, DeviantART already takes a large cut from everything, from commissions, to prints, to downloads. To be frank, DeviantART has lost its identity while desperately trying to compete with other social media sites.
The new UI is terrible and bogged down with useless features, but instead of streamlining them and getting rid of antiquated features like journals you shove them into a corner. When checking Watch notifications I have to manually click on ALL to see anything like journals or status updates, which means most will likely not even see those posts from me, let alone engage with them. I hardly ever see polls used anymore either, but they could be useful with these new tiers if they were well integrated (ie subs get access to participate in polls). However, it's just not fun to engage with art anymore. I'm only still here so I can still see art from people I follow, but I can still find them on other platforms too, so leaving dA wouldn't have much of an impact there. I have a hard time justifying uploading because I have no idea if anyone even sees my art without submitting it to a fan group. Forget original art, that gets even less engagement.
Fact is, dA needs more than a new coat of paint. It needs to be completely rearranged and given the Konmarie method. The focus of the site should always be about making sharing art, with the ability to make money on the side if the artist wants to. Here's some ideas off the top of my head on a few changes:
Combine journals/status updates/polls into a kind of blog post, give an option when posting to send it to all watchers or only subs (ala Ko-fi)
Lump premium galleries in with sub tiers. Doesn't make sense to have them separate when premium galleries could easily be an incentive to subscribe.
Improve visibility! Whatever happened to Daily Deviations? They were great for bringing visibility to otherwise unknown artists
Submitting literature is abysmally bare bones. There isn't even a way to proofread or format anything! Why can't it be like submitting a comment or journal/status? We used to be able to write on the site itself and save it to sta.sh. I can't even submit a lit document to sta.sh anymore?
There are definitely more that others have noted on this post, but I can't spend all night on this.
TL;DR: I think sub tiers are a great idea to compete with Ko-fi and Patreon, but these feel like a first draft and yet another feature on top of all the others that overcomplicate the site. Add that to the not great percentage cuts and the fact that you have to pay to use them, sub tiers do not feel worth the effort unless you already have high enough engagement. And let's be honest, if you do you probably already have either a Ko-fi or a Patreon.