Gaining Exposure To Art

15 min read

Deviation Actions


Gaining Exposure For Your Own Art:

Being active on the site is probably the best and most effective way to get yourself and your art seen.  Leaving thoughtful comments on others art will often result in them coming to your page to find out more about you and see your art.  Being involved and making friends will promt people to focus on you and your art giving you a bit more exposure.  Leaving critiques, helping to moderate groups, posting in the forums, or simply chatting it up in the chatrooms.  These can all be beneficial in getting you more exposure.  Below I'd like to outline some of the wonderful ways, I believe, you can gain extra exposure to your art.  


Joining groups which are relevant to your interests and the art which you make can be very helpful in getting your art out there and seen by like minded individuals.  The introduction of groups by dA has made it very easy for members to get their art seen by target audiences.  In order to find groups that match your interests you can simply browse Groups or use the search bar in the Groups section.  
There is no limit as to how many groups you may submit your deviations to, though keep in mind that each group has different submission guidelines which should be followed.  I highly suggest double checking the guidelines before submitting if you are ever unsure if your piece is acceptable for the group or not.
Joining groups based on member sizes: In my experience the exposure is fairly equal from both the larger groups as well as the smaller groups.  I believe this is because in the smaller groups often less art is being submitted and the members are more likely to continue allowing the art to come into their message centers where they get to see each piece, where many of the larger groups get so many submissions that it can often be overwhelming to keep up with in ones message center so I imagine many members simply turn deviations off from those groups so while the numbers may be high, I don't believe it reaches nearly as many people as one would think.  In short, I suggest joining groups based on what they are about and how they are ran etc and don't worry about the numbers.  You will get exposure, even from small groups.    

Thumbshare Forum:

The Deviation ThumbShare Forum is a wonderful place to show off your art as well.   Often you can find people looking for art to feature in the ThumbShare Forum but aside from that you can also post your own threads showing off your own art and allowing others to show you theirs in return for viewing yours.  Be sure to read the ThumbShare Forum Posting Guidelines before posting your own thread however so you know what is or isn't allowed.  Aside from that I do suggest just browsing the ThumbShare forum for interesting threads which you may be able to show some of your work off in, or just browsing to get a good feel for the forum.  Either way, this is yet another good place to help get your art seen.  


GetWatchers is an absolutely wonderful way to gain a bit more exposure to your art.  They have developed a neat system that lets you submit some of your art to it so you get to chose what others get to see of yours.  But in order for your art to be seen you have to look at others art in return.  Kind of a get what you give type of deal.  You earn credits from viewing and voting on art.  Leaving comments and favorites can help give you more credits, giving you a bit more exposure than if you simply just view artwork, so there is incentive for people to actually comment on the art they view through GetWatchers.  Another wonderful perk is that you can have people sign up under you and if they actively comment and view art, you get credits for that as well.  GetWatchers is certainly a great way to get seen by real people, everyone should be using their system in their spare time.  

Requesting Critique:

If you are a premium member you can enable critiquing on your artwork.  What does critique have to do with getting extra exposure you ask?  Well, if someone critiques your piece that critique they left along with a thumbnail of your art is sent to their watchers who have critiques enabled in their watch list.  This can give you some added exposure as well as some extra pointers on how to improve your work.   FAQ #95: What is the Critique Feature and how do I use it?

Some groups to check out: Critique-It Critique-Exchange CritiqueCommunity

Gaining Exposure For Others Art:

personal journal features:

A simple way to get other artists or art seen is to do small features in your personal journals.  Often your watchers tend to like a lot of the things you do as well so if you are featuring recent favorites or a new artist you found and liked they may get some extra exposure that way.  It's quick and simple to add a few thumbnails to the bottom of your journal.  If you are unsure how to add a thumbnail to your journal this should help explain:

"Thumbnails can be added to your journal by using either the thumbcode or shop notation (for prints). To display a thumbnail, you need to use the :thumb#: notation, where # is the number of the deviation in which you wish to display. For print thumbnails you would do :shop#: and replace # with the number of the print.

You can access these numbers by viewing the deviation or print which you wish to display in your journal. So for example, if you viewed the following deviation… , you will note the url ends with the number 49326740. So to display this deviation in thumb form you would simply type :thumb49326740:

You can also access a thumbcode directly via a deviation, by visiting the deviation you wish to display. Once there you will note a box entitled "Thumb" located, on the right hand side of the artist description area."

Art Feature Journals:

Art feature journals are a wonderful way to help other artists gain a bit more exposure.  Making use of them is easy and anyone can do it.  
So you want to feature some art?  Well that's great!  Using the journal system is a wonderful way to help gain more exposure for art and artists, how about we make the best of it and try to get positive exposure for the art/artists you choose to feature, yes?

First we want to start off with a subject to feature, be it a theme, particular artists, or anything else your heart may desire. After deciding the subject I like to work in notepad.  I start collecting information like artists name, and thumbnails, and copy paste them into a notepad file, to keep things organized, and to prevent losing information.  

So you have all the thumbnails and artists you want to feature.  What now?  Simple, this is where you start to refine things. Here are some things to consider before posting your article:

-Less is more!
Articles with tons of thumbnails, as pretty as the thumbnails may be, are not a good way to go.  Not only does it make it difficult to load them all for some people (yes, it's true, there are still people on dial up), but people are not very inclined to look at all of the thumbnails individually, thus readers are automatically turned off, and those who still look at the feature generally only 'see' very few of the thumbnails featured.  A good number of thumbnails to keep in mind in a feature is 20.  That is more than enough to showcase some wonderful work/stick with a theme, and it's not too overwhelming for people to view.

-Popular vs Under exposed!
Are the pieces you are featuring popular already? Do they really need the added exposure?  Pieces with 1000+ favorites already get a decent amount of exposure on a daily basis, adding them to a journal feature, while probably a great piece, will more than likely continue the vicious cycle of the popular becoming more popular, while the under exposed struggle to get noticed at all.  deviantART is full of incredible art work in all areas that are under exposed, you just have to dig a little.  You can search by keywords or categories (or even keywords in categories) to find some very amazing work to feature.

Keep in mind that writing a little something about the artist or art you are featuring can go a long way.  It's helpful to the reader to know what exactly they are looking at, or what can be found in the artists gallery (this can help them decide to visit the gallery or not).  Articles with nothing but thumbnails look slapped together, with little effort or care, and are often overlooked as a result.  

-Scheduled vs Unscheduled!
Having a basic time frame in which you put your features out is a pretty good idea.  It lets your readers have an idea as to when they can expect the next issue, and keep an eye out for it.  Keep in mind that putting out too many journals can be annoying to your watchers, so the less is more rule applies here as well.  I suggest no more than once or twice a week for scheduled articles.

-Mature Deviations!
While featuring mature deviations is perfectly okay, it helps to keep in mind that many of the younger deviants can not view them.  So if you want to appeal to a wider audience with your features it is beneficial to keep mature deviations to a minimum, so the younger deviants don't have to look at an article full of deviations that tell them they are restricted from viewing them.  

Okay, so at this point you should have refined your article including or excluding things as you see fit.  Your article should be ready to be copied and pasted to make it a journal correct?  But wait.. take a moment to spell check it.  No really, while it's normal for people to make typos it can be quite bothersome to read a journal full of typing or spelling errors.  Spell check only takes a few minutes and is well worth it.

All done with the spell check?  Okay, let's continue and get your article posted!

I suggest submitting through writer so that your art journal feature appears as a news item in your watchers message centers.  So simple go to and click on writer in the upper right corner.   Then you will copy your text from notepad into writer and hit continue in the top right corner.  Next look over your journal to be sure you don't have duplicate thumbs etc and everything looks the way you want it to.  

Now you can add the title and select the category you want to place your Art Journal Feature in. I suggest putting it in Culture> Art Features.  

Next, if you wish to add it to any of the groups you admin (and you have permission to do so) you can not only send the journal to your watchers but also to the groups you admin.  On the right hand side you will see a list of groups you admin and you can check the box to send your Journal Art Feature to those as well to be posted.  

Suggesting Daily Deviations:

Suggesting artists for daily deviations is yet another great way to help them gain some extra exposure.  FAQ #61: What is a Daily Deviation?  

If you feel an artist is deserving of a Daily Deviation suggesting them for one is quite simple.  There are however a few guidelines to keep in mind before suggesting them:

-The deviant in mind may not have received a Daily Deviation within the past 6 months  FAQ #313: How can I find out if someone already has a Daily Deviation?
-You must submit your suggestion to only one CV or admin who is allowed to DD pieces in the gallery the piece you wish to suggest is in.
You can find the full list of who you can send suggestions to and who presides over which gallery here: FAQ #18: Who selects Daily Deviations and how are they chosen?

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AlexHTz's avatar

thanks for the advice, it was very helpful

EvePapakosma's avatar
Hai, thanks mate <3
rusipanov's avatar
Great article! Guess I've made several mistakes concerning my art's exposure...but it's never too late to get it right:)
Astralseed's avatar
I'm not sure there is a right or a wrong way to expose your art in most cases, perhaps more something to build on and expand to get more exposure in the proper channels :)
rusipanov's avatar
well, I think that the answer is actually as simple as this - luck and fate:)
FaeHorsley's avatar
how do i thumbnail a group? because im doing a feature on a particular group and i dont know how to get their avatar up.
Astralseed's avatar
Do you mean the group icon?
FaeHorsley's avatar
dw about it i figured it out myself :D
Astralseed's avatar
3Dogz's avatar
Interesting...I'm going to follow your advice, thank you! :)
Astralseed's avatar
You're very welcome :)
Hardrockangel's avatar
I'm going to start linking to this article from now one whenever I see a thread in the forum with complaints about getting no exposure. :clap:
warmaq's avatar
Lots of help.

Astralseed's avatar
moonlight-fox's avatar
well the community can see art but its feedback that is lacking...people usually just fave and run.....or sometimes just look without faving or commenting on what needs to be improved XD

or maybe the community thus comment but its on those deviations that already has tons of comments to the point that the deviant can't even reply anymore ahahahah XD

basically one must also be really good in what they do in order to receive feedbacks i guess so i need to work harder D:
Astralseed's avatar
Very true, though in order to get feedback you must first be seen ;)
Though from my experience if you are involved and make friends they will give you feedback rather than just doing a fav and run. Activity and involvement can go very far but is quite time consuming so I guess it all depends on how much time and effort you can and are willing to put in to get back out what you need and or want for feedback.
H-e-n-r-i's avatar
Thanks for this journal. I'm glad I thought to check the front page today!
I never thought about the group sizes being that way! That makes a lot of sense. o 0o;;

In the past I have found a reeeeeally good way to get exposure is to do fan-art of whatever is current. Even when you don't submit it to a group, as long as you tag it properly. XD;
Someone could do something MLP or Homestuck related, submit it to a few dozen of the hundreds of available groups, and voila!
Unfortunately it's easier typed than done... At least... for me it is. u nu;
Astralseed's avatar
Yes, doing fan art can help too, but I purposely didn't want to cover that because I wanted to give people options of being seen which lets them stay true to their art.
H-e-n-r-i's avatar
I almost presumed that.
Then I thought that someone could still do fan-art and be themselves, whether they like the subject or not (either is likely to show through).
No-one has to portray a character exactly as they are seen in shows/comics.
They could put themselves into the design, have it look rather unique, and still be able to tag and group it appropriately. :')
Plus there are a ton of popularized fairy tales which are perfect for being yourself with... but still popular enough to attract attention.
Of course... I'm referring to those who really do their own thing instead of copy the styles of what's popular exactly. XD;

I'm not saying, "fan-art all the time" or anything either. Just an image of something you really like, or a protest of something you really don't like could in turn attract like-minded people who take a gander at your entire gallery. I mean, there are designers who will have one image of Spock, or one image of Doctor Who, and the rest will be their own. People find them through the popularized stuff, see the rest of their works, and become watchers. I mean, it's happened to me loads of times. It's how I've found most my favourite artists. So I can't see anything wrong or untrue about it. :'X
Astralseed's avatar
Oh certainly, I meant more along the lines of, drawing things you want to draw rather than having to draw things that will get others to pay attention to your art. I know quite a few deviants who gained a fan base for certain things they drew and when they would randomly draw something else many of their fans would throw absolute fits, sometimes even telling them they were not allowed to draw anything other than what they were originally watching them for. Based on that alone I think it is wise to stick to drawing what you enjoy (and if it happens to be fan art that's great) but not just drawing something for the attention of others because that can backfire on you.
H-e-n-r-i's avatar
Ahh. I see. I understand that completely. :') ♥
ande-art's avatar
Yea I'm sexy and I know it.
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