harkinsFeatured By OwnerDec 3, 2012Professional Digital Artist
You have to realize that there are like 5 deviations uploaded every second. I noticed if I submit something, by the time I click back to the main page it's already halfway down lol. It's so saturated that the only people really getting tons of views and favorites are people who have a name for themselves already or are of extreme talent. That's just the way it works on massive sites like these, look at Youtube. Established channels get most of the views but theres always the occasional viral upload. Sometimes a piece of art I upload gets more favorites than I expect, just like how I assume the people behind Epic Meal Time didn't expect for that to blow up.
It's important to not let this stuff discourage you, DA is a huge stage. I personally have come to accept that I'm a mediocre artist. Sure everyone I know personally says I'm the best artist they know, but that's in a circle of maybe 20-40 people. Here your work is along side thousands of other artists. It's not that all the work that gets uploaded is bad, it's that there are some that is just so damn good. I feel like I said this in 3 other threads but you can either let that motivate you to be as good as those elite few or discourage you and make you give up.
What I've done is join a lot of groups to post art in, be more active on the forum, comment a lot on artwork here, and join getwatchers.com. On getwatchers, you have to comment on other people's artwork to get more watchers/comments/views on your own art. Or if you have the money, you can pay for 4,000+ page views on your DA page or artwork that you link to with getwatchers.
I also seem to receive more pageviews/comments/watches when I post fan art of a certain show or cartoon/anime.
"I'm pretty sure that it's not because my art sucks. Most people I know tell me I should go and get a degree to start working professionaly in this industry. Although I'd like to, For reasons unavoidable, that is not going to happen untill a year from now."
That's a rather high ego you've got. In all honesty, your art doesn't "suck" (as in, child-like scribbles), but it is currently just another in the vast sea of mediocrity.
For example, - The composition is okay. There are however a bunch of awkward tangents (What are tangents? [link]) - Lighting is dull. Looking at the picture, there seems to be a bunch of neutral light source from many different directions, none of them being the dominant one. However, you have a orange-ish sky behind the armored dude. If you utilized this and made it a dominant light source, you would have some very epic lighting. You also didn't take advantage of the blue crystals. With some blue reflecting light from the crystals, there would be a very nice contrast between that and the orange light. *I saw some of your later artworks. Pretty much all of them suffers from this. The darks should be much darker than the grey you're using now. - The way you colored the weapons and armor didn't really suggest what they're made of. Right now, to me, everything looks like it's made of wood, even the knight's gold thingy, sword, shield, and the orc's axes. - Color is off balance. Perhaps this is intentional, perhaps it is not. If you want to suggest a heated battle between the knight and the orc, then you should choose a color other than grey for the paladin. Right now he is blended into the background, while the uniquely green orc stands out too much.
tl;dr: There's still an apparent lack of basic knowledge in your works.
And finally, I do not mean to offend or demean you. It's just a critique.
I did actually take a look at your later art while writing that. These are from June 17 and August 2 respectively, so they're pretty new I believe?
The biggest problems with those are still lighting and composition. In those 2 pictures, there is only a single visible light source (2 in the first one), however everything is so light as if the entire room/dungeon is illuminated. Also, for the Sneak Attack artwork, the lighting is in the wrong color (fire gives off an orange light). I suggest you stand in a room during a sunny day, with a single window and lights off, and observe how high the light/dark contrast is.
One common compositional annoyance I saw in those 2 pictures is the big dividing vertical line. For the second picture, the position of the heater-thing against that vertical wooden line makes a huge tangent. It feels as though the heater is a flat sticker just slapped onto the wall. The vertical line in the first picture makes the viewer feel like they're reading a comic with panels. It feels weird and uncomfortable.
Those are still only two of my works, and i'll admit i didn't plan the composition in them. Instead i just drew the figures and then added the background which is a bad thing i learned.
I believe that my quality, although still requiring refinement, is good and therefor not the main problem. I know this because amongst the few people that do get to see me, there were some who wanted to commission me.
I just need to find a way to increase my audience. I do think i found it though.
"Those are still only two of my works" The lighting problem is present in almost all of your works, including the more recent ones.
"I believe that my quality, although still requiring refinement, is good and therefor not the main problem" It's good that you are confident, but don't get blinded.
"I know this because amongst the few people that do get to see me, there were some who wanted to commission me." It's not how many people want to commission you that matters, but how much are they willing to pay.
I sincerely recommend you to re-learn the basics, as this lighting problem is a basic mistake (not to mention the other fundamental problems such as basic composition, anatomy, color harmony). Start by doing still life. You can learn some stuff from this forum [link]
Most artist that I read about seems like they have to do it the hard by checking out art magazine such as imaginefx and showing your portfolio to magazine companies, P.R.ing with idealouges from other people(having to read their book/literature). Doing with DA alone, is really like putting all your eggs in one basket, not good. The only website that truly serious about professional is Imagine FX and CGHub, of course they are others too but it feel like they lean more academic. Deviantart is only about stats, how much image uploads, how many artist account, who can upload/update the fastest, who can be the most active, the quality effort is only 18%, deviantart doesn't really care about enhancing content they just flop everything images together, don't give a them trying to organize it to enchance it. They only leave only ONE interest at time right now is My Little Pony, and not branching out other interest like what pixiv does by using 'enchance' tag system. Deviantart has only ONE popular branch, while Pixiv by using the tag branches out more than one interest making be popular and get views more than one way not only that increases exposure to that interest. And I still suggest deviantart should use the star system like pixiv does commenting isn't enough, you should boost artists by giving star/rating too further boost their art in the tag system increasing exposure. Having high views and comments is too shallow and not deep enough it needs a star rating system.
Getting exposure has a lot to do finding a niche you belong to, and appealing to the niche.
Poking around in your gallery, I found a painting of a human fighting an orc that I thought is a bit interesting: [link]
Think about what sort of people would wanna see that. Looking at the groups you submitted that to, you submitted them to groups that accepts whatever cartoony art and whatever art that happens to be made from somebody from Israel. Ever thought of finding whatever groups there are that's full of medieval fantasy fans? Like this group I found through a quick search: #Realm-of-Fantasy.
There are probably the sort of people most interested in this, not necessarily cartoonists and other Israelis. If you want exposure, you gotta find people who is interested in your stuff.
...But I DO watch "digital space-artists", "digital artists who make extremely detailed paintings of Pokemon", "fantasy landscape digital artists", "digital artists who make funny comics about Skyrim", "digital artists who paint cats and whimsical bubbles" etc.
What kind of digital artist are you?
(You might get more watchers if you make the answer to that question really clear on your profile page. )
As someone who likes getting watchers, and as someone who knows how watchers think, I encourage you to find at least something to unify your art. Sure, some artists I watch ONLY draw Pokemon, but others chose the broader categories of "space art", "fantasy landscapes", or "really colorful, expressive painting style" (). There are millions of digital artists on DeviantArt, which is why people usually won't just seek out generic digital artists to watch. I'm not telling you to cater to what's popular, but if you ever find yourself painting a certain subject or style more often, you'll find yourself picking up watchers who like your individual style and want to see more of it. Once you recognize what that is and really play it up, you'll find yourself picking up watchers even more easily.
Most professional artists find some kind of niche. (Commissioned portraits, nature landscapes, fanart paintings on velvet, etc.)