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Old 07-26-2004, 04:35 PM   #1
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The following text is the property of Ashley Quenan, from Pandora's Box

You Can't Expect Something for Nothing
The essence of an art community is interaction. Many artists from all over the world come to share their art and look at the art of others, but the community won't grow if the members don't interact with each other.
Interaction in various communities will naturally come in various ways, but no matter what, commenting on another person's work will always be one of the best ways to bring more people to your art. However, you can't expect to just leave little two word comments like “nice work� or “you suck� and then start getting a swarm of comments on your works. The best way to get people's attention is to leave good sized comments (at least a sentence or two) and make yourself seem pretty knowledgeable by using decent grammar. Constructive criticism is almost always a good way to get someone to check out your page, but if you're not sure how to give a helpful critique, you may find yourself getting negative publicity.

Many communities, such as deviantART and Side 7, also have forums that you can visit and talk with other members of the website; this is also a good way to get your name out there and potentially increase your gallery hits. A few forums also include certain areas that are meant specifically to share your work with other and exchange comments – Browse around a bit to see if your community has one.

In addition to the forums, many places, such as Elfwood and Epilogue, carry various ICQ chats, which can be another good way to talk with people that share the same interests and exchange comments with each other.

Spamming with Style
After a good amount of community interaction comes advertising your work. As mentioned before, a few forums in certain communities offer a place meant to specifically advertise your work; using these message boards is often a very successful way to get comments.

In addition to community forums, you may find yourself needing to expand your horizons and advertise in other places. If that's the case, many message board communities, such as those hosted by ezBoard, also create forums where you can place an ad for your artwork. When doing this, it's usually best to find boards that will match your art – Like a fantasy artist posting in a fantasy board. Also, visiting various chats of your interest may present yourself the opportunity to advertise your work.

However, when taking the route of advertising, it's very important that you're polite and post things in the proper forums. Many moderators will find it incredibly annoying if you post something in the wrong message board, which will either result in no publicity or very bad publicity. It's also important that when you leave an ad, you make it very clear what you're doing and be sure to leave links to your galleries. Otherwise, no one is going to know where to go. Some chat rooms have some strict rules regarding advertising, so make sure you know them before you start plastering your link all over the place.

Presenting Your Work
This seems to be something that's overlooked very often, but it's something I'm going to heavily stress. The way your pictures are cropped, cleaned-up, edited for darkness/contrast, sized, and just generally edited are very important when posting your works on the Internet. If you find your artwork looking very light and hard to see, try editing the lighting/contrast through the use of a scanner program or some image editing program, such as Microsoft Picture It! Photo or Adobe Photoshop. If there's a lot of pencil smudges around your picture, first try erasing them in the actual image, and if that doesn't work, try cleaning it up in an image program.

Sizing is something incredibly important, especially when posting on the ‘Net. Many artists try to keep the picture as big as possible so the details are viewable, but this often takes a long time to load, and people will get bored with it and move on to something else. I generally recommend not making the picture's height any bigger than 800 pixels (about 8.33 inches or 21.2 centimeters). If you'd really like your viewers to have the option of viewing a full-size image of your work, keeping a personal website with links to your drawings will often come in hand.

Cropping is something else that people seem to neglect. It's best to avoid as much white or blank space as possible, as that can often lead to an unfinished look and really take away from the drawing itself. Also, if you use a digital camera or web camera, make sure you crop out any background “noise� that isn't a part of the picture.

This is something more for the writers, but I thought I'd include this anyway. Writing is easily far more difficult to get comments than visual art, especially since they can't get a thumbnail that has a decent view of what their story is about. However, when this option exists, try to make your own thumbnail that is nicely edited and has something to do with your story. You may find that you'll get more page views at least, which can often lead to more comments.

Presenting Your Gallery
This is something that applies more to people who have the option of writing a biography on their gallery, or can alter the colors of certain features on their web page. Try to keep the colors soft and make sure you're aware of the background they'll be on – Having a bright magenta color on a dark gray background will more than likely hurt your viewers' eyes and send them off to another page.

If you do have the opportunity to write your own biography, be careful about the length and what you include in it. Try to keep it at a reasonable size, especially if the biography comes before your art, like it does in Elfwood. People are lazy, and if they have to wait for a lot of text to load, they may move on to something else.

Final Advice
I'm almost done – I swear!

One of the most basic yet overlooked tips is to put somewhere in the description that you want comments or critiques. People don't always pay attention to the descriptions, but when they do read it, letting them know that you are looking for some sort of response will make them feel a little more comfortable about making a comment.

The last thing I'd like to mention is actually something doesn't have to do with how to get comments, but I think it's important to mention. Be patient. Even if you go through all these steps, the comments still might not come rolling in, especially if you're new to a community or you're a younger artist whose skills may not be quite up to par with some of the elders. Remember that these communities are big and on even bigger Internet, and in due time, you'll get your deserved recognition.
My Wargame

Be excellent to each other.
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Old 07-27-2004, 02:37 PM   #2
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- Relax and be cool -
Dont post a new thread of a skin and then 10 minutes later post in it "No Comments? come on ppl PLZ!!" things like that annoy others and will get you less comments, also dont keep posting after every post writing something making excuses of why you werent able to do what the person above you posted. Wait and reply in time, Keep your cool, relaz and dont get annoyed when people say they dont like something and strike back.
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