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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!)

Literature

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:
 
:iconjust-to-look1:
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 
fav.me/d5yb28a, in which the colors looked just perfect. But then, as it went on, it came out like THIS!!! fav.me/d6wbty7 (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?
Reply
:iconitti:
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?!
Reply
:iconitti:
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 ;)
Reply
:iconminato-kushina:
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:
Reply
:iconbatmanwithbunnyears:
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:
Reply
:iconprimmly:
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.
Reply
:icontoribiohazard:
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!
Reply
:iconyenni-vu:
Yenni-Vu Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
true words!
your gallery represents you, so care about it!^^
Reply
:iconaegiandyad:
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.
Reply
:iconladykylin:
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.
Reply
:iconmirz123:
Mirz123 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
The key point I love here is about the artist notes. I know some people feel that "the piece should speak for itself", but not everyone is gonna get it--or have an idea of what you were trying to accomplish. Even a very brief sentence can help "sell" your piece.

And I agree about presentation. You need to "sell" your work. A lot of people feel the art can stand on its own. Well, don't assume that. If you're looking to get a DD, make it attractive.

Great piece.
Reply
:iconbecken95:
Becken95 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012  Student General Artist
Very nice article, I especially liked that you mentioned the deviationcomment. I often see a beautiful piece that I decide to comment on, but when I click the thumb I see that the deviationcomment just says "lolol this sucks" and I don't feel like commenting after all. Not only does it seem like a cry for attention, it also makes less talented artists feel bad about their work.
However, I don't write elaborate deviationcomments because I want a DD, I wanna present my work as good as possible to the public. :lol:
Reply
:iconhelenarothstock:
HelenaRothStock Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012  Professional Photographer
:salute: brilliant article.A little care for your work really can be the difference between getting noticed, cluttered images can instantly put people off even in the thumbnail bit without making people want to see the whole work.

Even in stock, a plain background is essential (unless its a set piece i.e in the environment) so i use a black card background or some of my white watercolour paper as a backdrop. This alone has improved my stock greatly.
Reply
:iconcakecrumbs:
cakecrumbs Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
Love this article. I think it makes a really important point. Specifically in the artisan side of dA, I often come across pieces that look stunning, but are poorly photographed. It's really saddening, because it detracts from the overall look of the piece.

That said, it doesn't need to be a photographic masterpiece. Just a clean shot. I'm not great at photography myself, so I bought a book on food photography and have been trying to learn the basics. In fact, the DD I received was from before I knew anything about photography, and when I received the DD I was a bit embarrassed about the quality of the photo! There are also a lot of tutorials around not just dA but outside as well for those who want to find out a bit more about lighting, composition, etc.
Reply
:icontalty:
Talty Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012   Artisan Crafter
oops, my bad :lol:
Reply
:iconcakecrumbs:
cakecrumbs Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
Haha, not at all! I was still extremely flattered. The same thing happened just recently when a cake of mine from a year or so ago was featured on Cake Wrecks' Sunday Sweets and I was like, "Iiiick, the photo!" It was lovely, but as soon as things of mine start getting attention like that I start getting paranoid about all the faults.
Reply
:icontalty:
Talty Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012   Artisan Crafter
Ah, I see now, you're a perfectionist :lol: that explains why your work is so awesome. But don't worry I think that your photos are great.
Reply
:iconcakecrumbs:
cakecrumbs Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012
Naaaw, thank you. I think it's half being a perfectionist and half super low self-esteem lol. But so many of us are like this with our art.
Reply
:icontalty:
Talty Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012   Artisan Crafter
Agreed, but I think your art is great so you shouldn't worry so much :huggle:
Reply
:icontalty:
Talty Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012   Artisan Crafter
Ah great article :clap: At the artisan crafts gallery we suffer a lot of poor presentation, exactly for the reasons you mentioned. I'm glad that you addressed this subject, great article :D
Reply
:iconglori305:
Glori305 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012
Photography is tricky, when you are a crafter.

Just improving my camera from one that cost in the $50 range to one that cost a little over $100 improved my pictures significantly. And much of the time, we crafters are investing our money into our crafts, so a cheap camera is the route we take. Without thinking about how it impacts our presentation.
Reply
:iconrockstarvanity:
RockstarVanity Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012  Professional Photographer
An expensive camera isn't important though. A plain background can help make a piece stand out and in decent light (bright daylight is great) even a cheap camera will producer a clearer, less fuzzy image :aww:
Reply
:iconglori305:
Glori305 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
Depends on the piece, and the camera. My cheap camera did wierd things with red, no matter the light, and did not have a macro feature, so tiny things were lost.....and I make a lot of tiny things.
Reply
:iconrockstarvanity:
RockstarVanity Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012  Professional Photographer
Ah, it's hard photographing tiny things. Could you talk a photographer friend into take some pics of your stuff for you? Bribe them with pretty handmade gifties!
Reply
:iconglori305:
Glori305 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012
Unfortunately my only photographer friend sold his equipment to pay for his IT degree.
Reply
:iconkarolusdiversion:
Karolusdiversion Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
I agree.
Incidentally to learn how to take good photographs of crafts you can see some magazine that deals with furniture, jewelery, design. With very minimal expenses, we can thus see how professional photographers work. ;)
Reply
:iconrockstarvanity:
RockstarVanity Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012  Professional Photographer
Plus there are loads of photography tutorials on dA which are relevant to people with very little photography experience and inexpensive equipment. Great idea about the magazines!
Reply
:iconkarolusdiversion:
Karolusdiversion Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
These magazines take advantage of the work of photographers extraordinarily good
(at least here in Italy, but also abroad. One for all: Oliviero Toscani ).
Sometimes you can learn more from an image rather than from a hundred pages written.
Reply
:iconladyofgaerdon:
LadyofGaerdon Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Professional Writer
:thumbsup:
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012
Yep.
One of the reasons why I spend more time deciding whether to suggest something >_>
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012
:dummy: also if you really want that feature, be willing and ready to listen to criticism.
Reply
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012
Not much :o
Reply
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012
alright, you?
Reply
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012
nothing :O
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(1 Reply)
:iconwinterkate:
winterkate Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Student Writer
I agree completely with this statement.
Reply
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:iconwinterkate:
winterkate Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012  Student Writer
Nm, u?
Reply
:iconstygma:
Stygma Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
What is wrong with borders? Is it bad to add a frame?
Reply
:iconragnaice:
ragnaice Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
"don’t write “this is crap”, sell your work!"

I encountered a painter here on dA who sold his paintings, a fantastic painter, one of the best I've seen on this site. I praised him for his work and he was all "No, it's not that good" and then I insisted he should be proud of his great work. Why else would he be selling them? How do you say to potential customer "This isn't very good but I expect you to pay for it anyway"?

Then he replied something about only selling because paint and canvas and pencils were costly and from the tone of it I really got the feeling I had insulted him. That was weird :confused:

Apparently, there is such a thing as too much humility :shrug:
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012
:lol: I knew someone who was always like noooooo everything sucks. and I could never tell if she was fishing for compliments, had low self esteem, or was being a tortured artist.
Reply
:iconcakecrumbs:
cakecrumbs Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
I am exactly like this. I have a really low self-esteem and am always putting down my own work or myself to myself. I've had to try really hard to eliminate that part of me in public because a) I don't want to be rude and throw a compliment back in someone's face, and b) I don't want to seem like I am fishing for compliments. But every time someone compliments my work, specifically if they're saying how talented they thing I am or something else about me as a person, I have to work really hard not to reply showing how much I disagree.
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
Oh god, I love your food stuff, too ;p ...shouldn't be viewed on an empty stomach

I think part of is separating out where you've gotten to vs how much further you can go. Like I'm sure you know areas where you could do a better job, but also keep in mind the effort it took to get that far?
Reply
:iconcakecrumbs:
cakecrumbs Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
:blush: Haha, oh man, if I could blush I'd be beetroot right now.

I agree. I'm starting to get to that part where I look back and say, "Wow, I've come a long way" and how supportive the community here has been has actually helped my confidence a little. But I still pick apart every fault. I'm just self-defacing by nature I suppose haha.

But yeah, I think somewhere in there was a point. :O_o: I think what I'm trying to say is that I understand how the person you described feels. I just bottle it up for the sake of everyone else. Some people can't do that.

That said, I'm sure some people do fish for compliments, and sometimes it's easy to tell.
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
:giggle:

I don't honestly take compliments that well...I try to deflect. And it's not because I don't know what I'm good at or whatever, I'm just like ARGH NO ATTENTION, and I can't always reciprocate it. At least if it's a criticism, the path is clear: fix it and move on.

Heh, I think it's important to learn. Not least if you're giving out what you've done to other people--I mean, do you really want to tell someone that the cupcakes you just made them suck? :O Focus on 'the next time I do this I will do it even bettttter', is all.

Sometimes, but not always. Which is super frustrating!
Reply
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