it's not only the quality of DD's that seems to have gone down, but the quality of art in general here. the age group getting "popularity" seems to have gotten younger and i've seen a lot of them using DA as more of a sharing site like tumbr than actually about art. in the past few months i have seen far too many "inspirational" or amusing images that have been around facebook and tumbr for ages but there is no way to report this. personally i don't think it's a coincidence that the age group has dropped along with the quality of work. i don't even bother going to the main page anymore because all i seem to see is more my little pony fan art than you can shake a stick at and badly written poetry and prose. i don't argue that everyone deserves the chance to get recognition for their work, but i do think there are much better candidates here than what does seem to be getting it just lately. if DA had DD's and front page stuff as a randomly selected collection it would be much fairer than going off "popularity". that way everyone would be in with a good chance of getting some extra coverage.
I've been pretty frustrated with the DDs for a while. There were days that I saw the same artists featured EVERY day. I can understand that they probably worked hard, but who doesn't work hard everyday? Do they really need a feature for that? I used to hope that someday I'd become good enough to get a feature, now, I don't even care since everything seems to be either the same artists, or the same kind of work.
It feels more like a popularity contest than an amazing work that deserves to be seen.
I know what you mean, when I 1st got to the site I was blown away by the art and artist digital and traditional etc. and I saw the DDs and I was like wow they deserve the feature but that was 2 years ago. I started drawing like few months after I got into DA and I am not sure if it is because I started to do art or if it is because I am on the site to much but DDs don't seem what they used to be. I look every day and only fav one or two, and I suggest them in my group from the artist there, and their works are amazing and the staff never features them! I always thought they choose DDs by the standard of originality,creativity and skill which how I choose the work that goes into my feature gallery in my group but after I see the artwork lately I don't really think that is the case. They claim they want to see amazing pieces to feature and I suggest it and they ignore it, I am confused.
I admit I am not a great artist and I am happy for artist that get a DDs but I don't see it as such an amazing honor, many make a big deal of it but after I see some of the artworks that being feature and some look the same and others look like the person did not take their time and pretty much did a line art with color, I don't see as a huge honor like I did when I came to the site. I just assume it is admin taste and they want to feature artist who haven't got one or a lot? I honestly don't know. But I guess it is just all taste.
I agree there is a discrepancy but there is in comparison to the older times an exponential growth in user base. I joined dA 10 years ago and the whole digital atmosphere in fads and communities has shifted, sped up. places I used to hang around have collapsed. I kinda miss those times, but in effect I feel with ever shifting mods and tastes so to does volume and appreciation for different media..
Am proud of my 4 DD's however, I cherish the acknowledgement.