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Art And MoneyI received a great question from a deviant recently regarding an important and not visible enough topic; art & money. With their permission, I'm sharing it and my answer here in the hopes it's of value.Hi ekud! My name is *****. I see you are an experienced freelance Illustrator and Art Director also from Australia, and I am working towards a career similar to yours. As an aspiring full-time digital illustrator I hope you don't mind if I kindly ask your advice on a work offer I have recently received...? With my experience lying almost exclusively in single piece commission works I am unsure of whether to accept or decline and unfortunately live in a location with no access to experienced artists to ask their opinion. Someone I trust has offered 50% of profits made from a project they would write (and I would Illustrate) for them for 'free'. I'd love to work on it for experience and practise but don't know if one would suggest against working before payment, or suggest spending time on my own project I hope to release in the future. My question is, is this a common work situation in the industry? Or do artists only charge by the hour without collecting any profit made after the project is released? Thank you again!--Hey *****, So this is tricky territory. To answer it properly we need to take a deeper dive into the financial aspects of a creative career. In general practice, my advice is to always get your money up front. You never want your earnings to be decided by how good someone else is in business unless they have a proven, documented track record of success, and you trust them to be completely honest and transparent with their accounting. This situation almost never arises because it's difficult for individuals to demonstrate this level of trustworthiness, and companies with the required level of infrastructure and accountability don't try to hire people without paying them. Regarding whether this situation is common, or if artists only charge by the hour the answer is that when it comes to paying for art nothing is common or uncommon, especially when it's an individual doing the paying. Companies and industry tend to have a stronger semblance of structure in place, but money varies wildly from client to client and project to project, and when it's a person doing the hiring all bets are off. A better approach as an artist looking to move ahead in freelance is to decide what system YOU are comfortable with, own that, and then set it up as your base expectation. Whether thats charging per piece of art, per project or per hour, work out what you need to charge to make a living and stick with it. Situations will arise where the chance to be affiliated with an event / person / brand and the exposure that will result seem to be worth more than your creative fee. I encourage you to be discerning in this situation; sometimes it's true - the exposure will generate leads, relationships or long term money far in excess of what a single piece of art will cost. Offers to display existing pieces in arenas you otherwise would not have access to (assuming full credit and linkage) can thus be entertained on their merit. Unfortunately, especially when it comes to creating new custom work. often it's as simple as your time and skill not being properly valued, Setting money aside for a second to focus on this specific instance, you need to examine the situation from an objective and realistic net gain perspective; yes, creating a lot of art is is good practice. Of course it is. But it sounds like you have your own project requiring more or less the exact same amount of work and effort that you will own, control and benefit from exclusively. Stated like that, to me it's obvious that putting this effort towards someone else's project with a very uncertain monetary gain in the name of "practice" is an extremely poor trade off. TL;DR - you wouldn't be asking this if you didn't know in your gut something is off about it. Trust your gut!...
So You Want to Get Published: Navigating MagazinesI'm going to talk about my experiences with the publishing process (yes, that's plural! I have a sample set larger than N=1). For me, this has been predominantly SF/F, but this should generalize to most prose and even some poetry.For starters, I think that most of us should go through this process at least once. Whether you're looking to self-publish, get into novels, indie or Big 5, start your own zine...you have to have some understanding of the current industry and terminology. Between writing Twitter and the random blogs that come up on Google, if you don't have an existing starting point, you're going to end up with like 50 different ideas on how the process works. Why not try a more hands-on approach instead?Anyway, getting from a story on your computer to in a print (or online!) magazine is a process. There's a lot of magazines out there, and there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach, but here's how I do it. It's worked so far.1. Write something.Duh? Well, not exactly. I do this for fun, so I'm all about writing first and then finding a magazine that works for me. Since I enjoy writing science fiction between 2,000-5,000 words that isn't on whatever popular trend, this is easy.But what if you're heavily inspired by your D&D character? Or everything you write is 38,000 words? Or there's an open contest?2. Figure out where you want to send it.Technically, you can do this first. Some zines have specific interests, others are more vague or provide a list of things they don't prefer. (Note the bit about contest/antho submissions!) If I'm short on ideas, or struggling to bring a story together, those specific requirements can be the perfect kick in the pants to get across the finish line.Of course, none of this is useful if you don't know where stuff is in the first place. So here's a short list of resources, biased towards what I find useful:Duotrope: has a small subscription fee, still the gold standard.NewPages: more for literary/indie presses.Ralan: speculative markets listing. I've used this for yeeeears.The Submission Grinder: I more check this for average response time, but they also list markets in general.I learned about a number of the top markets (a word I'll continue using instead of maga/zine) via word of mouth, but the Absolute Write Water Cooler has a great Writers Beware section. On the positive end, professional organizations like SFWA list qualifying markets, which would be the gold standard for science fiction. And you can look up which markets have the most authors nominated for awards.The thing about sending to markets, especially if they're top tier, is they don't have time for bullshit. Read and follow the directions! I don't care if you read literally nothing else (although real talk, you're waaay less likely to get printed because you have no idea what's out there), read the damn directions. And follow them. Standard Manuscript Format is your friend - as is reading at least a few pieces. I'm all for erring on the side of trying a market when you're not sure, but don't submit something that's obviously off base.3. Edit.If you've already polished, go back and make sure you're not in conflict with anything from #2.4. Feedback(?)There are times when trusting my own opinion has succeeded, and times when it's gone nowhere. So honestly, I could go either way on this, although it's good to have the infrastructure in place when you need it. My go-to for feedback used to be DA - even if most people aren't going to read something longer, let alone comment on it, I have relationships with writers here I can leverage (again, with expectations that it's a two-way street).Many markets consider work that's already posted online to be published! Since they're paying for first publication rights, this is a problem.You can use the members-only option here, or upload things in Stash, since those websites aren't scraped. But it's standard practice to store something when you prepare to submit it (and don't upload the final draft at all). Definitely keep it private as long as the rights are in the publisher's hands.5. SubmitThis is pretty well covered under #2, but because people somehow still fuck this up: READ THE RULES BEFORE SUBMITTING! If you have had your story on the Internet at some point, Google the text. (This is how I learned that those neat scrolling thumbnails are scrapeable. Poets in particular, might want to put an authorial note at the beginning of your submission.)Most submissions nowadays are through a portal like Submittable, but some still take email. For email, if they don't explicitly request a subject line, I default to "Submission: TITLE OF STORY".Cover letters: it's ok not to have prior publishing credits, I doubt this has ever stopped anyone from printing something they liked. Relevant expertise/experience is also good to mention; intent doesn't hurt if they don't explicitly tell you not to include it. And, of course, thank the editors for their time. (I don't go so far as to look up people's names. In my experience, cover letters for magazine submissions are relatively informal. There's a reason they're often optional.)6. WaitNo, seriously. If they tell you when to follow up, do so. Before then, do not. Some submissions portals enable more neuroticism than others. This is a thing I've learned.7. Get a ResponseMost of the time, this will be a rejection. For sites that have tiered rejections, Rejection Wiki can tell you how personal it is. I once burst someone's bubble - gently - on Reddit. Sorry, having the editor-in-chief's name at the bottom of the email doesn't mean they read it. (The term is "slush pile" for a reason.) Said editor-in-chief actually responded to that thread to say he didn't mind when people respond to a rejection with a "thank you for your time," but not everyone sees or likes those.So let's talk about good responses....Personal rejection - yes, this is a good sign! Although frustrating, cause usually you don't get detailed feedback to go with it.Request for on spec revisions - basically, they ask you to make changes without a commitment to buy, but depending on who it is, it could be worth your time. It was worth mine.Acceptance - woo!8. Read and Sign the ContractPro(fessional) markets didn't get where they were by drafting shitty contracts, but some presses may have clauses that beg askance. Nothing bad came of it, but I once signed something that technically allowed them to publish changes without my permission. I found out this was an issue because I read a blog on a publisher who abused this, so yeah, I was lucky there.Anyway, here's a model contract. Note that they need the name of the story in order to send it to you. Don't submit a) stories without titles or b) stories with very bad titles. It worked out in the end, but I'm an idiot.9. ReviseThe editing process, in my experience, is gentle. First off, they wouldn't have accepted your story if they didn't like it (see note about on spec revisions). There's a lot of variation - my friend had a different experience with the same editor - so not much to say, except at "publishers are going to destroy everything I love!!!"10. Get Paid/Get MadeThis can be slow in the publishing world. If I recall correctly I've waited as much as 3 months, and this was a place with an excellent reputation. (They told me beforehand.) At any rate, I can't imagine going into short story publishing thinking this could be a full-time job. If you get an award nomination or whatever, it seems to be a stepping stone to novel publication. I'm speculating, though....
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Literature
dA Guide: Text Formatting
This is just a quick text formatting guide for dA. My goal was to make a simple html guide for easy reference.  Please PAY ATTENTION to where the codes WILL and WILL NOT work!  (Certain codes won't work in comments and deviation descriptions, no matter how hard you try.)  :'D
 
I provided "working examples," which might make the codes easier to understand because you can see them in action. (Keep in mind that when you type html tags, the effects won't be visible until AFTER you hit "Preview" on your comment, journal, etc. I only made them visible for the purpose of demonstration.) Enjoy!!!
 

The following codes can be used in
comments, deviation descriptions, journals, and profile page widgets.


This will make bold text.
This will also make bold text.
This will make italicized text.
<
:iconSweetDuke:SweetDuke
:iconsweetduke:SweetDuke 17,721 3,280
Literature
Playing With Text in dA [Semi-Tutorial] UPDATED
FONTS ON DEVIANTART
There are several things you can do with dA's text. You can use Italics, Bold, Underline, Strikethrough, and even change font face or font type. However, there aren't many directions on how to do these things. So, I'm going to give you a quick semi-tutorial on how to work these.
These features are easy enough to use once you know what you're doing. You just have to learn tags. You can visit this link to learn about some other common HTML tags.
The Simpleist Tags to Use Are:
< i > to begin italics and < /i > to end the italics
< strong > to begin bold and < /strong > to end the bold
< b > to begin bold and < /b > to end the bold
< u > to begin underline and < /u > to end the underline
< strike > to begin strike and < /strike > to end the strike
< s > to begin strike and < /s > to end the strike
< sup >
:iconNoxSatuKeir:NoxSatuKeir
:iconnoxsatukeir:NoxSatuKeir 2,413 1,137
Journal
deviantART Customisation FAQ
Your deviantART Identity
FAQ01 - How do I change my username?
FAQ02 - How do I change my username symbol?
FAQ03 - How do I change my avatar?
FAQ04 - How do I change my profile information?
FAQ05 - How do I change my signature?
Profile Customisation
FAQ06 - How do I add widgets?
FAQ07 - How do I remove widgets?
FAQ08 - How do I change the order of my widgets?
FAQ09 - How do I edit widgets?
FAQ10 - How do I add a custom background?
FAQ11 - How do I repeat my custom background?
FAQ12 -
:iconGasara:Gasara
:icongasara:Gasara 950 68
How To: Profile Directory Tutorial by SimplySilent How To: Profile Directory Tutorial :iconsimplysilent:SimplySilent 2,112 92 The Watcher by MilleCuirs The Watcher :iconmillecuirs:MilleCuirs 158 12
Journal
Journal Skin Commissions (CLOSED)
My backlog of commissions has reached a new level of terrifying, so commissions are going to have to close. :P I'll still be working on the commissions of those I've contacted already. :)
I may be up for taking commissions again in August.
Journal Skins
All journal skins come with some essential basics:
Backgrounds: colors, patterns, or textures
Custom fonts and styled headers
Header/footer images
You can then commission specific custom features that you would like included in your journal. Some popular features that I can code are:
Menus/LinksColumns/SidebarsScroll barsStyled Lit and Image Thumbs
Author avatar (great for group skins)
Buttons/Social Media IconsCustom BoxesSpecial cursorsBlockquotes
All skins will also now come with CSS3 transitions (try hovering over the prices below for an example).
$10
1000 pts
Simple Journal Skin
A basic journal skin that is simple and very easy to use.  Includes ~1 custom feature.
:thumb35
:iconSimplySilent:SimplySilent
:iconsimplysilent:SimplySilent 224 189
Journal Skins for Dummies Part 1 by SimplySilent Journal Skins for Dummies Part 1 :iconsimplysilent:SimplySilent 1,915 251 Tropical Fruit CSS by SimplySilent Tropical Fruit CSS :iconsimplysilent:SimplySilent 1,797 158 Make a Profile Directory v.4 (Updated!) by SimplySilent Make a Profile Directory v.4 (Updated!) :iconsimplysilent:SimplySilent 2,801 501 Make a Gallery Directory v.2 by SimplySilent Make a Gallery Directory v.2 :iconsimplysilent:SimplySilent 982 166 Vivacious Gallery CSS by SimplySilent Vivacious Gallery CSS :iconsimplysilent:SimplySilent 827 196 Surreal Journal CSS v3 by SimplySilent Surreal Journal CSS v3 :iconsimplysilent:SimplySilent 779 143 Simple + Clean v1.2 CSS Layout by ClaireJones Simple + Clean v1.2 CSS Layout :iconclairejones:ClaireJones 1,857 856 CuteVioletPlz by SimplySilent CuteVioletPlz :iconsimplysilent:SimplySilent 567 87 dA Compliments CSS by SimplySilent dA Compliments CSS :iconsimplysilent:SimplySilent 471 73
Journal
PE: Profile Designing with CSS
[deviantART related]
Want to learn how to make your page not just nice or pretty, but spectacular, unique, and all-around awesome? :la: This article covers the newest stage in the evolution of profile design: Profile CSS.
Please keep in mind that this article is only for Premium Members who are not beginners to profile design. If this is your first time trying your hand at customizing your profile page, you'll probably find the following articles more helpful than this one.

Why use CSS?
Although setting up and learning to code CSS for your profile can be a hassle, there are a great deal of benefits to using CSS instead of only HTML:
Fonts: CSS allows for almost complete control over font styles, colors, and sizes (only limitation is that fonts must be Web Safe fonts or Google Fonts). HTML on DA is limited to only a certain n
:iconSimplySilent:SimplySilent
:iconsimplysilent:SimplySilent 381 111
Simply Blue Journal CSS by SimplySilent Simply Blue Journal CSS :iconsimplysilent:SimplySilent 969 125 Journal 'Skin'|Ocean (For Non Core Users) (P2U) by Nynayla Journal 'Skin'|Ocean (For Non Core Users) (P2U) :iconnynayla:Nynayla 321 80 Minimalist Blue Journal Skin by gracelessnight Minimalist Blue Journal Skin :icongracelessnight:gracelessnight 354 21 GIF Gravity Falls - AAAH THE JOURNALS!!!! by ChrisRainicorn GIF Gravity Falls - AAAH THE JOURNALS!!!! :iconchrisrainicorn:ChrisRainicorn 407 94