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deviantART beef

oh, deviantART, i know you so well. that’s because i know you since you were born. you were so little, so innocent.
and now look at you, all messed up and don’t know where to go.

yeah, i know dA since it was still a Winamp skin collection database thing, and i watched it evolving over time into something that only vaguely resembles what it was once meant to be. today dA is the biggest art community in the world wide web.
but still, i have one or the other complaints. because nobody is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. and hell, dA, do you have made a lot of stupid mistakes…

i mean, don’t get me wrong. i LOVE deviantART for what it is, and what it offers me and what it has done for me. so keep that in mind before you read any further – my toplist of stupid things about deviantART.

a) where are all the artists??

seriously, it’s like at least 95% of dA users are… well… only human – without any hint of artistic skills. but they still upload their stupid crap, like Dragon Ball sketches, family pictures and things that slightly resemble poems. and from the other 5% most are only at the very bottom of being an ‘artist’. i can safely say that the actual rate of at least avarage good artists are below 1% of their usership.
still, this is the least mentionable complaint i have, for one reason: i don’t really think that this is too bad, because it may let dA look like a children’s sketchbook collection, but on the other hand it gives us REAL artists an easy counterweight that keeps the value of our own work up. (and yes, i am counting myself into the 1% minority. deal with it.)

b) Llamas?? really?? what were you smoking?

wait, what? where did those things come from, again?
oh yeah, right, it began as some sort of april’s fools joke, but it was so ehm… ‘popular’ that they kept the system. but it’s pointless!! (beside the obvious reason: it makes money. for the dA staff.)
we already have half a dozen other statistics that we can read each other’s popularity from, like profile views, comment count, fav count, and so on. we really did not need another one, especially since a collection of llamas doesn’t say ANYTHING about the artists abilities about an artist. it’s more the other way around: most of the top llama hunters are shitty as hell. that is because this stupid llama system spawned a new kind of spamming. some people somehow weighted it important enough to browse through random artists, commenting them and sending them llamas, just in order to get llamas for themself. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ART OR DEVIANTART AT ALL. not the slightest. even though i have to admit it is kinda cute, it just serves no purpose that is in any way connected to what this community is all about.
the llama system is for attention whores. full stop.

c) i don’t care about when you were born

dA added, at some point, a reminder for birthdays – real life birthdays AND deviantART membership ‘birthdays’ – which were putted right into the feedback activity stream. now, why is that?
see, i really don’t care about people’s birthday. even in real life, but even more in cyberspace, were i barely know any people in person. plus, yet again the birthday of dA users does not have anything to do with them as artists. the activity stream is meant to inform you about the artists you choose to follow, because you like what they are doing. seeing new uploads is a must, new sketches are optional, that is good. as are new journal entries, critic requests and polls. see how everything of this at least a BIT something to do with the artists art? and most of them are even only OPTIONAL.
so, WHY the fuck did dA decide it to be necessary to inform you about birthdays? why is it in the activity stream? and WHY THE FUCK CAN’T I TURN IT OFF??
i follow like a few hundred artists, it is already way too confusing to keep track of all this. i can’t use this birthday reminder feature, and i know i have a lot of friends who think the same of it.

d) muro, muro, muro…. wtf?

the dA muro. a shamelessly stolen oakaki tool, seen a dozens of times before.
yes, it is a nice feature and fun to work with. but don’t you think it’s a bit too… “outworn”? seriously. dA were probably the LAST to find out about this kind of drawing. and in the end it’s only a collection of cool looking brush stamps.
dA did not have an oekaki board before, so why add this specific tool out of the blue? because it was fucking POPULAR? like with the llamas?? because it was such a good idea to listen to your stupid community’s opinions the first time?
if i have learned anything in life, than that a mass of people is not consisting of its SUM of intelligence, but of its intersection. and as most random people are idiots, the vaster a specific demographic, the dumber their decisions. that is why democracy does not work, people in general can not manage anything right, and the popular demand of things is not necessarily a good idea. as with the dA muro.
because it only contributes to dA’s already way too high amount of BAD ART. even the few  GOOD muros do look kinda lame, because the whole thing it not an innovative idea, and it’s already outdated as hell.

e) feature this! *punches people in the face*

eh… i know i will get a lot of bad comments for this one, but at least you could give me the chance to explain why feature journals SUCK.
first of all let us define what we need the journals for. the dA journals are a sort of blog system with which the artist can do… well, pretty much anything he wants. commonly they are about the artists art, which is what you are probably interested in. and if some journals are about something else, the chance is good that it interests you, as it still informs you about the person you like to follow, hence know more about important things. BUT features don’t serve that purpose.
i guess they are still pretty good, because you probably want to find out about new art and artists you can follow. and even though i have my reasons not to want that (that’s another topic…) i try to tell you why they’re still annoying to me: features are nothing personal, they do not fit into the concept of a journal. well, a bit maybe (stuff you like always is part of you…). but it’s kinda like with the birthday reminder, that does not really fit into the activity stream. features should be a separated function, separated from the journals, so people can option it.
i like to read all the journals of the persons i follow, but i don’t care for the features. it is a pain in the ass for me to sort them out every fucking day. HALF of the journals are feature journals. worst are the few people who basically do ONLY feature journals – i will simply uncheck the watch for their journals then, and presumably the person DOES do a real journal at some day, i will not notice it. maybe i am alone with this problem…

f) are you confused, or just blind?

multiple accounts, deleting old artwork, deleting accounts… why do you do this?? are you stupid or what? do you have any idea how dA works and what features it offers you? i guess people are just too confused about their options, otherwise i can’t explain specific behaviors.
for example, it is soooo confusing to keep track of users with multiple accounts. i know of some users who have up to five accounts (no kidding!!) – to keep their “art apart from each”. instead of using the gallery folder feature to manage your uploads… see, you not only tear apart your body of work, but also your viewers acivity! instead of having one account with a shitload of viewer activity, you rather have dozens of small accounts, that barely have any visitor (in comparison to their actual potential)?! that is stupid. and let me tell you what: new ‘fans’ of yours won’t be able to keep track of your multiple accounts. they either get confused first and angry then, or they don’ t recognize it at all.
or what do so many people do when they at some point decide to dislike their old works (which is a point every artist gets to at some point)? they DELETE work! wtf?! seriously, just UNFEATURE them from your gallery, if you don’t want others to see them! the worst part of it is that you thereby force others your opinion on your own work upon. maybe others would like to have their OWN opinion on your stuff, you ignorant prick?! maybe others don’t find the stuff you dislike so dislikable? PLUS, you keep fucking up others favorites. some pay a lot of effort in organizing their faves, and when sometimes random artwork vanishes from their orderly managed favorites, you MAY piss them off.
even worse is when artist decide they don’t like dA anymore and DELETE their account. i have experienced this a few times already, and afterward it ALWAYS went like this: “why did you delete your account, dude?” – “i don’t want to use deviantART anymore.” – “okay, i understand that. but why did you delete your account?” – “… …”
no answer. why should there be an answer for? if an artist decides to dislike dA in general, he usually still wants people to see their art (that is why they were on dA in the first place), so deleting your account accomplishes… nothing. nothing but to piss off ALL of the people who followed you. they might even hate you now, good work. seriously, if you dislike the thing in general, just LEAVE IT BE. go away, never come back, but let your stuff as it is. it does not have any negative outcome for you and does neither cost money, nor time.

g) why not tattoo your own name in your face, so nobody wants to take photos of you?

watermarks. i fucking hate them.
for some reason people see some sort of weird copyright protection in them. but they are not. watermarks are the worthlest (<- see what i did there?) thing ever when it comes to protect your work.
first of all, when you seriously want to try to avoid that your art comes around and is seen by the world, you are stupid anyway. second, when you actually THINK that watermarks are bulletproof, you are even more stupid. i can re-touch your every watermarked picture in like 5 minutes and the watermark is gone and the picture ready to be pirated. and third, and that’s the most important point here, you are stupid for DESTROYING your own work. apparently you not only want you work to be seen when someone else is publishing it, you also don’t want people to see it on your own webpage! like, i have seen watermarks so big and opaque, you could not see SHIT. you are deconstructing the style, the layout the colors – basically you are deconstructing everything about your artwork. and just for the sake of fake protection? wow, that is dumb.
IF you are so eager to stamp your ego onto your works, make it a signature. small, unrecognizable, in a corner or something.  so it does not destroy the actual piece of work. and trust me, your pictures are more likely to be copied AND credited to you, than with an ugly watermark. and this is what you want, right? right.
if you put watermarks on your pictures, i will not fav them, even if they are good. and if you do this with all your works, i won’t even put you on watch. simple as that.

[ i will keep an open end for this post, for possible addition ; ) please comment your opinion on the topic(s)! ]

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last modified: 2010-Dec-11, 1:50:45
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comments (5)

  1. Marina Loop | 2010-Dec-11, 18:23:23 |

    I must confess that your review is all in all pretty good and in most of your arguments I can easily agree. But there are a few points I’d like to say about the different aspects:
    a) where are all the artists??
    I remember in time I was a greenhorn in doing drawings. By using google I found nice artists on DA very often, but I also recognized that I’m not good enough to match with these people. So I waited, year by year to become better. Then, the day I signed in, I was damn proud to be part of the whole thing,… oh, wait, WHAT IS THAT***? Where are all the artists go?!
    I guess there can’t be anyone who is more disappointed of the change. So you got totally right of it all.
    b) Llamas?? really?? what were you smoking?
    Same opinion – DA is gone mad. There must be a reason for this, like DA got so many users that all the servers become too expensive. I hope so, or else they really gone…. Mad.
    c) muro, muro, muro…. wtf?
    Haha, I had no idea about this thing. Funny, and sad. ; ) – But it’s part of the whole dumm system at all.
    d) feature this! *punches people in the face*
    Hm… nah, I disagree. Sure, people who feature everyday are kind of nasty, but if they got nothing to say about themselfes it’s not our problem. It’s a pity, but no problem. I enjoyed a lot of features and I become featured very often. I helped me to become more interesting. If there are annoying users who feature shit, I just ignore them. Easy, huh?
    e) are you confused, or just blind?
    You know I got two different DA accounts – one for photography, one for drawings – and I’m not regretting this decision. I want to be part of especial communities and people. Users should love my photos because they are interested in photography, not because they’re interesting in ‘everything’. Once I had this unique account for everything drawing loving people asked for drawings and other wanted photos – it was the decision of the users, not mine.
    f) why not tattoo your own name in your face, so nobody wants to take photos of you?
    Well, all in all you got right, but pirate copying is a fact. And great artist are allowed to use them, I think. Because that’s how they earn moneys.

    • Seth | 2010-Dec-11, 22:56:01 |

      d) the reason why i ignore features is that i already have too much to look at at a daily basis. i know there are still hundreds and thousands of cool artists to watch, but that is exactly my problem, philosophically speacking: i accepted i can’t watch them all and i try to keep my watch in order. i don’t want to end up like davespertine ; )

      e) you at least separated two completely different kinds of art, but most of the splitting accounts don’t even do that. for example i know one guy who keeps a normal account, an account for his sketches only, an account for his best works, a stock account, and an account for watching other people – but all his works are the same kind of drawing comics. THAT is insane. you have at least a good point. but still, even you forget that you make it totally complicated for people who like to watch your drawings AND photos. (event hough splitting accounts is a better options for you.)

      f) i don’t deny that there is piracy. i just deny its supposed bad outcome on the artists. see, it is THE SAME with music and film: they get “stolen”, but the artists don’t LOOSE anything from that. especially not money (<- that is your example). as you cannot see every illegal download as an POTENTIAL buy, it is the same with picture art: assumed somebody stole a picture from you and sold it, this is NOT money you would have earned if he did not do that. i do not say it's okay, no no no, stealing art is evil - but you as an artist should not complain, as you lost NOTHING, but at least somebody did what you apparently could not, which is selling your stuff. BUT this has NOTHING to with watermarks lol. because like i said, it does NOT prevent your art from being stolen. it's useless as that. and even if somebody steals it, don't you at least want your art to look as best as possible? ^^

  2. masterstryke | 2010-Dec-11, 22:45:23 |

    a) agree

    b) agree

    c) agree

    d) disagree =) It’s funny to troll people with silly fuckhead-muros

    e) wtf? I think you are the only one.. I hardly see feature-journals :D you watch the wrong people dude

    f) luckily I don’t watch such dumbasses.. and I watch more than 1200 people :D :D

    g) watermarkfags.. I hate them too.. I CANT ENJOY YOUR ART so GTFO.
    but since there are a lot of arthefts on the internet.. you should take care if you are wellknown..
    but seriously.. why adding a watermark to a picture that get’s viewed 143 times. blaaaah

    • Seth | 2010-Dec-11, 23:01:34 |

      d) haha lol. classic.

      e) mh, i guess it’s only usual in specific fields. in experimental photography, as well in lo-fi photography, features are widely spread. i don’t watch the wrong people – the artists do AMAZING stuff. but yeah, i just realized myself, thanks to you, that features are not a common thing in, for example, comic art or illustration or so.

      f) yeah, you’re right. you SHOULD protect your art somehow. i can stress out enough how important it is for artists nowadays to be informed about publishing rights and licences.
      and still, watermarks are NOT protecting anything.

  3. masterstryke | 2010-Dec-11, 23:05:45 |

    f) well.. actually the picture is definitely unusable for art thefts… but it stays an ugly thing..

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