How can I help?You don't have to be a Gallery Moderator or have a fancy symbol next to your name to promote and support artists within your favourite gallery. The suggestions listed below are for everyone, and if you want something a little more useful than just my ideas, don't forget to pay a visit to the Help & FAQ section of dA - you'll find a link at the bottom of every single page.
Featuring artTo avoid repeating myself, I'd like to point you in the direction of a tutorial called Promoting other people's art [ http://rockstarvanity.deviantart.com/art/Promoting-Other-People-s-Art-174149972 ] which contains information about...
- Featuring art in your journal
- Featuring art in news articles
- Making sure your features are accessible to all
- Suggesting Daily Deviations
- Sharing deviations
Be a groupieUnless you've been hiding under a rock lately, you'll have heard all about Groups on dA. These are set up and maintained by Admins, from the Founder (the person who 'owns' the group) to Moderators and Contributors. These roles are different within each group, and each group has it's own set of rules for joining and submitting.
The GM who looks after your favourite gallery will also be able to point you in the direction of active groups, or at least point you in the direction of an community member who you can ask about where to find clubs to join.
Of course, you can also set up your own group if you like. One major frustration with running a group or club is that lots of people are keen to be an admin but don't really have enough time to dedicate to the 'job'. If you're going to offer to help out with a group, please give it a decent amount of thought before you apply and be completely honest about how much time you can devote to it.
There's an entire section in the ever-useful Help & FAQ area, found through a link at the bottom of every single page on dA.
Contests and collaborationsWhile dA almost always has a few official contests on the go, hosted by the CR team or run in conjunction with an outside sponsor, anyone is welcome to run their own contest. Running a contest can be great fun and is a wonderful way to inspire your fellow deviants and encourage participation in a community-wide event. Please bear in mind though, if you want to run a contest with prizes you can't rely on other people to provide these prizes.
Volunteers (people with ^ and @ symbols in front of their username) do not have a contest prize budget, so while some may volunteer to offer prizes for unofficial contests relating to the galleries they moderate it is unfair to expect this. GMs are here to help though, so they may be able to help you promote your contest through news articles journals and news articles.
#CommunityRelations and #Fella are also good places to check out if you're thinking of setting up a contest or project and would like some ideas about how to publicise it. Running a contest with big prizes isn't the only way to hold an inspirational and exciting event for your fellow artists. If you're not in a position to give big-money prizes but would still like to run your own event, here are some alternatives...
- Points as prizes! dA has recently introduced Points which can be used prizes and incentives. Get more info here >> http://help.deviantart.com/234/
- Have an art trade, where you create a piece of art dedicated to someone else and they create one dedicated to you.
- Offer gift art or ask your friends to inspire you by suggesting topics or subjects to base your next work on.
- Instead of points, prints and subs, offer journal or userpage features as prizes. On a site as big as dA, a bit of extra exposure can really make someone's day.
- Start a thread in the Thumbshare Forum asking people to link you to pieces of art that they'd like critique on, or ask for examples of work on a theme to illustrate a news article or journal entry.
- Start a collaboration project to encourage people to work together, either on small creations shared between two people or on something bigger than you create as a group.
Be a teacher or a mentorIf you have a brain packed full of useful information, share it! Anyone can submit a tutorial to the Resources gallery and whatever you write about, someone will appreciate you sharing your knowledge. If you enjoy writing tutorials, make a folder for them in your gallery and display it on your userpage so that other people can easily find all the useful things you've made. If you enjoy collecting other people's tutorials, you can feature the collection on your userpage.
If you'd like to share your knowledge in a more personal and involved way, you can offer critique on other people's art (keep it polite and constructive, please!) or volunteer your time as a mentor. I can guarantee that you'll have people jumping at the chance to receive helpful comments on their work from someone who knows what they're talking about!
Set an exampleWho inspires you more - the person who submits three dArama-filled journal entries a day, bitches about other people all the time and publicly insults everything that isn't to their taste? Or the person who writes tutorials and helpful news articles, features art in their journal and helps out with promoting other deviants' projects?
I'm not saying that everyone should censor their opinions or silently tolerate unpleasantness, but when the majority of your journal entries are based around complaining about things you hate without offering suggestions, you aren't doing anyone any good. If you've got a problem with something, try and deal with it maturely.
You get out what you put in, so if your interactions are based in positivity you'll have a much more positive experience. It sounds obvious, but it never hurts to have a reminder...do unto others, and all that.
Make yourself knownSay hi to a Gallery Moderator or group admin today! They aren't scary and unapproachable, and when you send notes or leave comments talking about the galleries or groups they look after you are NOT bothering them or annoying us. Often, group admins and GMs want to get to know you better, to be introduced to the artists who submit to and care about the galleries they care about. So don't be scared to make friends with your GM or group admin - when you dedicate time and enthusiasm to supporting us and each other, your efforts certainly don't go unnoticed. If you aren't sure who your GM is, you can find a list of the current CR team at #CommunityRelations.
If you do want to volunteer in an official capacity, #CommunityRelations is a great place to start your hunt for information.