|This stuff is the hot cash.|
I’ve been thinking about online gallery sites, especially after a thread on a certain image board a couple of weeks ago about it. They were mostly discussing whether or not DeviantArt was still relevant or not, and as expected, the answers were all across the board (figuratively of course), and no one general consensus could be reached. Everyone had their own opinions ("There's too much softcore porn/Not enough deviant stuff/Too much [insert FOTM fandom] art/No one does requests anymore, etc), and so, I started to think of my own, as 2015 marks my 13 years of being on DA, albeit over 2 accounts.
Personally, I think DA is both irrelevant and relevant still. Having used the site for the better part of a decade, I can safely say that most of the stuff that people say about it -both positive, but mostly negative- are true. Thing is, it’s pretty much the ONLY major art site that’s still around, probably due in part to them having the financial resources/backing to funnel at site extras that are pretty much useless half the time, while still never giving us features that would actually be helpful. It's well established, and it's pretty much the first step to getting your foot in the online art networking door, for better or for worse.
Comments/Critique are a total joke, but others have articulated their frustration with that aspect far better than I could. I won’t get into the Fan Art v. Original art debate, because I’ve always been on the “fringe” of things. At most, two of my GOTG drawings -both with Rocket and Groot- got a fair amount of attention, but even then it was paltry compared to other artists on this site. Otherwise, I've NEVER gotten popular solely for my fan art, probably because I stick to series and/or characters that are overlooked by the pop culture-consuming masses. Maybe I just lucked out, or I suck that much, haha. It's also why I've never really felt comfortable doing the "bait and switch" with my personal/non-fandom/original artwork or gotten upset b/c that stuff doesn't get as much attention, because I've always been appreciative of people enjoying at least something I put out (even if I eventually distance myself from it, like Green Lantern or Mass Effect). I digress.
Unless you’re a pretty established/well-known artist, the community aspect is kind of a joke. Or maybe that’s just me being cranky from having to deal with people who don’t read the artist’s comments, I dunno. I pretty much gave up on trying to interact much with the DA community about 2-3 years ago for the sake of my temper/blood pressure, haha. To be fair, comments on this site have always sucked, even back on the early days. I still to this day remember this from my first account: this one guy left a simply stated remark that said "Nice highlights on the tits" on a picture of an old OC of mine. Should have known right there that my time on this site would be something else, ughhh.
(I do have to say, in my 13-odd years of being on the site, my all-time “favorite” comment was from some F!Shepard/Thane stan, who said on a Thane/Samara piece of mine that Samara was a “frigid wombat”. After my friends and I had at least forty keks, I called her out on making rude comments on pics related to ships one doesn’t like, and the backpedaling from her was absolutely glorious)
These days, I find its good for finding resources, like brushes and textures, but that’s about it. I don’t even look at the main page or main galleries anymore, unless there’s a plugin out there that will allow you to filter out pictures, Blacklist-style (which I’m surprised no one’s even attempted to do now that they’ve since implemented keywords). I occasionally look through the favorites of people who favorite my work, but even that's starting to yield little results. Or maybe my tastes are just changing. Eh. Not that Tumblr isn’t any better, and in a majority of ways, it’s even worse for sharing art, primarily since people can delete the artist’s comments/captions, which has happened to me on a few occasions and, no, I do not like that at all.
At this point, I just use DA out of force of habit, and I probably will for the next 5-10 years, hah.