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Submitted on
August 18, 2012
Submitted with Writer


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Hello all! :wave:

Well we’ve had a fascinating week so far; a week which hopefully has provided some insight not only to the process of DD selection but helped you understand what we look for in DDs as CVs. As we draw to the end of this week, I bring you an article which will whet your Saturday with thoughts that don’t just apply to the DD feature, but something which should be a consideration to everything you submit to dA. I am talking about deviation presentation.

Why is Presentation important?

Art isn’t always about just being “creative”. There are techniques and skills which develop over time which contribute to the quality of the work you produce and alongside this comes a developed understanding of good presentation.

Good presentation could be anything from cropping a photograph, to spell checking your literature. These are common sense things that in the rush of wanting to show off your creativity can sometimes be forgotten. However, they could make or break a decision to feature that piece of work as a DD, which is why we’re discussing it in this PE week.

Let’s start with a true story

A few years ago a local friend of mine who is also on dA had made this beautiful corset top, which I had seen physically and knew she was planning on posting it on dA. I decided I would suggest it as a DD as it was that good (in my opinion) and therefore when she posted the picture of it on dA, I sent the suggestion to the then Artisan Crafts volunteer.

A week later I got a note back from the CV stating they couldn’t feature the piece. Looking back it was obvious why- the corset had been taken with a poor quality camera, in a cluttered room where the background distracted from the image. It didn’t reflect the quality of the artwork at all. My friend hadn’t considered the presentation of the piece whatsoever, meaning her great artwork was missed all due to one thing: poor presentation.

This is a great example as to why a little more thought on what your deviation looks like is just as important as the work itself. One of the reoccurring factors for a CV to reject a DD suggestion is purely down to presentation.

Imagine if your work was hanging in a physical gallery for every passer-by to see. Your dA gallery is exactly that and it’s your opportunity to attract and audience and make them interested in your work. You can only do that if you take the time to make that work presentable, to pull your audience in. Your dA gallery is your window to show off your work in its best light- do not miss a trick by making it messy!

Below are some pointers to consider when you are posting your work on dA. These are just a couple, and I recommend you share your own thoughts on what is and isn’t good presentation in the comments of this article (please don’t directly link pieces that’s just naughty!)


Although literature is words and “the words should speak for themselves”, writing still needs to consider the appearance of the work. It can detract someone from taking the time to read your work, before they’ve even begun.

Consider choice of font.  Is Curls MT really an appropriate font to use on a 5000 word story? Could you sit in front of a screen and pay attention to that?

 Consider the layout-- Poetry especially has a very fine line between “style” and “substance”- why are you including those line breaks? What is the meaning behind separating your text all over the page? What is the intent? Not to mention that dreaded “text wall”. The internet sadly has a TL;DR culture, which for writers means you can end up with a raw deal, so make sure you are doing what you can to even entice the lazy!

And what about background? Your beautiful emotional poem about heartbreak isn’t going to reflect with a hello kitty CSS and an uncredited preview image of a llama is it? :)

Visual art already on the computer

It may be considered the easiest to present well, but even digital art and existing visual art needs to have some final considerations before putting into your gallery.

Crop the crap! You may have a beautiful photograph of the sun setting, but do you need the 12 inches of sky above it for it to look that good? Obviously you don’t need to go insane on cropping, but ensuring the right image is captured in your frame could enhance the quality and focus of the image.

What about all those little marks that are nothing to do with the artwork? A rogue pixel in your emoticon or a smudge on the edge you haven’t removed?

Visual art created off the computer

Artisan crafts, traditional art and beyond all rely on creating the work without the aid of a computer. However to show them off on dA, a scanner or camera come in to get an image of the piece for all to admire.

Before you take a picture of that beautiful dress you made- try and think about the background of the place you have decided to take a picture of it in. Whats on the walls? Are there other people around? What will distract from the artwork? If you’ve made an amazing cake, does the dirty washing need to sit behind it?

What about the quality of your scanner or camera? Is using a mobile phone to take the picture the right device to use?

It’s not just how to take the image either- what about the edges of the page you drew on in your sketch book? If you drew on lined paper, how are you going to remove those lines? Does the artwork need a boarder to help it stand out strong?

General notes

:bulletpink: Be bothered about your work! If you don’t care what your piece looks like, why should anyone else?

:bulletpink: Make your artists comment count! I am just as bad as the rest of your on this, but the artists comment is a great space to explain a little about your work and how you feel about it. However don’t write “this is crap”, sell your work! Again if you go into a live art gallery, often there is a paragraph next to the work from the artist. This is your space to share the insight behind the work, don’t let it down.

These thoughts are just my own as to what should be considered when presenting your artwork. Your opinions on this are welcome on this journal- what examples have you seen where presentation has failed what could have been a great piece of artwork? What tips would you offer?

Presentation doesn’t make a daily deviation feature, but it does increase the opportunity of getting one!

Thank you for reading :bucktooth:

Add a Comment:
Just-To-Look1 Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
This is a great article to write on! It tells us everything about how to present your work finely so that the CVs will go, "Wow. Just. WOW." I wish this was a DD talking about DDs, but since journals can't be a DD, this is tough luck. I especially liked the scanner part, because I have this problem every time. (See below.)

For me, my scanner is a Brother MFC-J415W, in which my parents bought so that I can print my homework for, and it is an all-in-one printer, scanner, and fax machine (though my family doesn't use the fax). Whenever I scan my drawings, the colors always come out faint, well, not at first. My very first drawing uploaded to dA was, in which the colors looked just perfect. But then, as it went on, it came out like THIS!!! (I just retouched it a little.) My only solution? Recolor it until the colors were slightly darker but enough to let the color show up on the scanner program.

So, can someone suggest me a good scanner?
Itti Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Also, typo:
Does the artwork need a boarder to help it stand out strong?
I think you mean border. Boarder would be someone living in your house!

And I'm totally with you on the artist's comments bit! Not only does it improve the presentation of the art itself, but it will increase the likelihood of other people commenting back. Not everyone's main aim with uploading to dA, but the number of people I've seen who write two words and then complain they're getting no comments... If you can't be bothered to write anything about YOUR OWN work, then why the hell should I bother?!
Itti Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
If you’ve made an amazing cake, does the dirty washing need to sit behind it?
The number of times I've taken and retaken pictures when I notice specks of dirt on the windowsill or worktop or wherever I'm taking it! Not only does it make your artwork look better, it also convinces people you don't live in a hovel ;)
Minato-Kushina Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012
Great the idea of this article! :clap: A good presentation of you artwork may give you so easily a DD!

I hope many people who want to receive a DD will read this article! :heart:
BatmanWithBunnyEars Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012   General Artist
This is definitely good advice! I often add preview images to my literature to get potential readers' attention. Sometimes drawing the thumbnail takes longer than writing the piece itself, but it's worth it!

BTW, I found a couple minor errors in the phrases "Does the artwork need a border...?" and "I am just as bad as the rest of you on this."

Still a well-organized and informative article, though! :reading:
Primmly Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I try to give people tips whenever I see something that lack presentation, mostly for traditional art scanned without being cropped, where you can see the spirals of the book and everything. :D I'm glad you made an article about this, it's definitely an important thing to learn.
ToriBiohazard Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012  Student Artist
I wish people would really take presentation into consideration a lot more when posting on DA. I too often have to scroll through pages of dark images, lined paper, cell phone photos, and scribbles. Wtf? If you're proud enough to post something on your DA, make it count! And make other people want to click on it!
Yenni-Vu Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
true words!
your gallery represents you, so care about it!^^
aegiandyad Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
I sometimes find myself wanting to favour a traditional artwork and not doing so because the photo of it is 'soft', ill lit and egenerally not shoewing the work to advantage. People make work indoors and then photograph it indoors. Nearly all cameras think it's dark indoors. At least move everything close to a window! Ideally there should be little or no background. Certainly some care should be taken over what appears with or behind the work.
LadyKylin Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
There's a spelling mistake in the first bit.

As for mobile phones, considering how good some of them are I can see them working just fine, the camera in my phone is better then the camera I have.

Other then that all valid points and good points. Many a piece that has been passed by due to lacking photo or poor quality scan. Scans for pencil work is worse then a lot of other mediums I've found.
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