I too was once were you are - a n00b to the site, hoping for people to see my art, getting excited when a deviation of mine would get more than 10 views and ~gasp
~ maybe even a fav!
Through much trial and error, I have found some handy tips that might help you out as well.~ Groups ~
"But rockett, I'm already in groups!" you might be saying. Most likely you have joined maybe 5 or 7 groups with names like "ALL ART ACCEPTED" or "Kawaii World" with over 10,000. Big group do have a lot of people, but more often than not, your art will get buried under all the other submissions. When people have too many messages in their inbox, they tend to mass delete without looking at everything. Find some specialized groups for what you draw. Do you draw cute little chibis? Find some chibi groups. Do you do watercolor landscapes? Find groups for watercolor artists and
other groups for landscapes. Groups can be a great way to get noticed if you join enough of the right ones. Sometimes when you're just starting out, it can be necessary to join more than 10 - you have a 5,000 limit of groups/people you can watch, so don't feel like you're joining too many. You can always leave the group later if you feel like not many people are active in it. Sub-Topic, Submitting to Groups
Let's say you've joined a dozen groups. You're all ready to submit your art to each one. But wait! Don't just put them in every group all at once! If you're submitting the same deviation to several different specialized groups, I've found it's best to wait a day or two in between submitting it to each group. Sometimes the same people are watching both groups you're submitting it to. People are more likely to look at your art - and fav it - when they see it more than once. If the same piece gets submitted to all the groups they watch on the same day, they're more likely to pass it up. If they see the same piece one day, then two days later, they will be more likely to click on it. (I've done this a lot myself. What's this piece? Why do I keep seeing it? Maybe I should give it a chance.)~ Fan Art ~
A common complaint I see is that no one cares about OCs or "original art". This is partly true - most people are more likely to search for a favorite character then randomly type in words that may or may not lead to some great original art. Fan art is a great way to get noticed. Very often I watch someone because for their great fan art, only to become interested in their original characters and pieces. If you're looking to get more views to your page, draw some fan art. But not just any fan art - draw characters you really love and things you enjoy. Not only will you have fun doing it, all practice helps you get better, and you can find people with similar interests who will likely become good watchers - if you both love the same show or book, you already have something in common that you can talk about. Sub-Topic, "Selling Out"
Some people might think that making fan art is "selling out". Just because you make fan art, though, does not mean your entire gallery has to be fan art. One fan piece for every three original pieces is a good ratio, I think. It's just another way for you as an artist to advertise yourself and reach a different audience that you otherwise wouldn't be able to reach. The idea that "fan art isn't art" is a crummy one to have, because when you think about it, Botticelli's The Birth of Venus
was fan art, too.
~ Llama Badges ~
Llamas. Need I say more? Yes, yes I do. It's most likely that you have come across these little 25x25 pixels that people proudly display on their pages. They might seem worthless and silly, but they're actually a powerful tool in bringing people to your page. "Llama for Llama" has brought me quite a few watchers, and I've found quite a few people to watch from this. Put a stamp on your profile that says "llama for llama". Join groups that are made just for trading llamas. Make sure that follow the rules of each group, and most importantly, *return all the llamas sent to you*. With each llama someone sends back to you, they have to click on your profile and spend at least five seconds there. In those five seconds, they might see a deviation of yours that catches their eye. This is more exposure that you wouldn't have gotten otherwise. Sub-Topic, People who Trade Llamas vs People Who Don't
Not everyone trades llamas, and some will be annoyed by that pesky creature showing up in their message center. This is why it's very important to send llamas to the people who actually want to trade them with you - the people you find in llama trading groups. Sending out 5,000 llamas will not do you any good if those 5,000 people you sent them out to do not come back to give you one as well. Randomly giving them out to deviants can be nice, but make sure the majority of your llama giving is to people who actually trade them. ~ The Forum ~
Posting in the Forum can be a good way to be noticed by active members of dA. when done correctly, you might make friends and get more traffic to you page. When done incorrectly, you might be trolled and ridiculed, which is why it is of the utmost importance to know what you're doing in there. Before just barreling in and creating threads, **read the rules for each sub-fourm**. I would also recommend lurking for a while to get an idea of how each sub-forum behaves, and what kind of topic goes where. Before creating your own threads, try commenting on other people's. I cannot stress how important it is to know the rules for the forums, and to listen to the mods if they lock one of your threads. By commenting regularly in the forum, people will start to recognize you. What they recognize you for is entirely up to you - so don't let yourself be known as the one who bullies people, fights with mods, and whines about not getting enough attention. Instead of posting a thread about "no one notices my art" or "please look at my gallery", try making a "comment for comment" or "critique for critique" thread in the Thumbshare Forum.Sub-Topic, Wandering into the Den of Complaints
A popular sub-forum is the Complaints board. Please, be kind to yourself and LURK in Complaints for at least a month before even commenting there. Complaints has a very unique atmosphere, and it can take a while to get used to it. Don't take the things said there too personally. Remember, Complaints is not for everyone, so make sure you know what you're getting into should you ever post a thread there.
~ Decorating Your Profile ~
Now that you have some traffic to your page, how to get them interested? Decorate your profile! Make it reflect your personality. You don't need a premium membership to do this, either. Take advantage of the free stamps and borders to spice up your ID box and show your personality. When I'm on someone's profile giving them a llama, if I see stamps that reflect my own interests, I'll give there gallery a peek - because if I like the same shows and causes, there's a good chance I'll like what they draw, too.
This has been rockettreverie's tips for n00bs.
The following links will help you on your quest for being noticed and achieving a non-n00b status. Remember all great things take time, and so will your quest.
Groups on dA: Groups
The Forum: forum
Help & FAQ: help
Another helpful Journal with advice I didn't go over: How To Get Noticed on deviantART V2.0