The reason I changed my plans of using DeviantART to post my online portfolio, and, instead, build my own site.
On my teens, I had been a huge fan of DeviantART, it was a great site to post my artwork (mostly fanart) and receive feedback about it (it wasn’t really good, because I had no training). Before the “boom” of Social Media, starting with the success of Facebook, internet communities were really different, so DeviantART was one of the few sites where you could showcase your artwork.
Those days, I just posted random drawings just for fun, but then I started studying graphic design and animation, so I started needing a “real portfolio”. Then I found my account full with useless stuff, mostly filled at the “DeviantFun section” (that’s where DeviantART staff say that screenshots and other random stuff that is not really a piece of art should go). Also, I had been “watching” too much people, including certain artists that I just favourited because they were my friends, but not because their art was really good.
Then I decided to make a cleansing on my account, deleting most of my drawings. Then I created a full new account, that would suit better with the new screename, that I had been using everywhere by now (because on DeviantART, you can’t change your name unless you have the paid account). But then I found that it was DeviantART what didn’t really suit my needs now.
Here are some of the reasons I decided to make my own portfolio and to post on separate blogs (like this one, or my Twitter and Tumblr accounts), instead of using my DeviantART:
1. They basically own everything you post.
DeviantART may seem different from sites like Facebook, that are infamous of invading the privacy of their users, because it encourages denouncing “art theft” and stating the creative commons of your art.
But the Terms of Service of the site it’s much like every other social media site:
“For the sole purpose of enabling us to make your Content available through the Service, you grant to deviantART a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, distribute, re-format, store, prepare derivative works based on, and publicly display and perform Your Content. Please note that when you upload Content, you allow third parties to copy, distribute and display your Content” -DeviantART’s “Terms of Service” section 16. Copyright in Your Content.
2. They Hypocrisy regarding Daily Deviations.
“Daily Deviations” are works of art featured daily on the first page. They are chosen by the staff and moderators. The users can suggest art that they think it deserves the award, including self-suggesting.
This feature has always been an issue on DeviantART, because users often disagree with the choosing. At first I tought it was just a matter of different tastes, and even jealousy, because the users wanted an award for themselves or their friends.
But then I got into college, and I started learning art as a profession, I was taught how to appreciate art. Now I look at some of those so-called masterpieces, and they look empty and uninspired, even sometimes really lazy. Also, I noticed repetitive names on them, some artists getting the award again and again. I found that some of the most popular artists got multiple Daily Deviations, while other, less popular, but more talented ones, got none.
3. They Hypocrisy regarding Censoring and Deleting content.
I actually think some sort of censorship is good, I think is good if you are warned if some content has some kind of sensitive material (especially if there are children arround). It may mostly be because I hate porn.
But then there’s the issue of DeviantART flagging content that has nothing really sexual or violent, and then promoting actual porn (like photography of masturbating girls or random close-shots of breasts, open vaginas and penises) as “artistic nudes”, some even getting a “Daily Deviation”. Most of the times, it’s clear what everything is really about, when they keep banning certain styles, like anthropomorphic creatures.
And try to tell the mods that there is a “Deviation” that is violating the rules of the site, most of the times, you don’t even get a response (but they don’t flag the art in question, either). Sometimes, they give angry responses like stating that the work was not porn because there was no penetration or actually mocking you basically saying you are a prude. You can even get banned if you flag too much stuff, even if the art in question was really NSFW.
In part two I will be talking about the user interface and the paid subscription. See you next time!