Daily Deviations, or DDs . . . for some deviants, receiving one is the epitome of awesomesauce in the deviantART world. For others, they are a nice way to show off the work of lesser-known artists. Still others treat them as a special way to bring attention to great art that exemplifies works being done by a particular gallery or community.
Perhaps because there are so many different ways of conceptualizing DDs, there are also many myths and misconceptions. I would like to address some of those myths by responding to the ones most frequently heard. Please note that these opinions are mine and reflect my experiences with the photomanipulation community, but perhaps they will be informative nevertheless.
Myth 1: DDs should always be perfect.
To many of us, the ideal Daily Deviation goes to an artist with amazing talent whose work draws you in and makes you think, "Wow, everyone needs to see this!" A DD should move you, inspire you, and provoke you to think, but there are many ways to do that. Something doesn't need to be technically perfect to be interesting and provocative. There are many different standards of what constitutes good art, and sometimes our opinions will differ. For example, sometimes, I want to show the world what is new and fresh in the photomanipulation community from talented, up-and-coming artists. These pieces may or may not meet your standard of "flawlessness," but they are creative, demonstrative of very solid technical skill, and worthy of attention. If you ever have a question about why a CV has featured something, feel free to note us, and we'll be pleased to tell you what attracted us to that particular deviation. But, please do not harass the artist. More about this topic later this week.
Myth 2: Getting a DD is about who you know.
Yes and no. Being a friend of a CV or staff member (yes, we do have friends!) does not make you a favorite for a DD. In fact, we are very careful when giving DDs to our friends because we know that people will cry favoritism if we are not! So, being our friends, or even simply being on our watch lists, may bring your art to our attention, but it does not increase your chances of receiving a DD.
People often wonder whether they need to be a CV's friend in order to suggest a DD, too. It's not the case. There is no such thing as having "the right person" suggest your deviation for a DD. To be honest, we don't even give any weight to who the suggester is, what their user symbol is, etc. Speaking for myself, I've even declined suggestions from other CVs before, and I've had mine declined.
Anyone can suggest a DD; in fact, you can suggest your own work as a DD! We even encourage self-suggestions! It is neither arrogant nor in poor taste to suggest yourself, and no one has to know. When you suggest yourself, we do not list you as the suggester, so you will not look like you are egotistical.
We very much enjoy and even prefer to give DDs to unknown artists. The truth is, it is PARTIALLY about who you know simply with respect to the fact that if we never see your work, we cannot DD it. Speaking for myself, I watch more than 200 groups and 900 individuals, and I plow through our galleries at least twice a day. But, it is impossible for any of us to see everything. Please, if you feel your work is worthy of a Daily Deviation, suggest yourself, or have someone you know and trust (ONE PERSON, not your entire watch list) suggest it for you.
Myth 3: If I complain loudly enough about not having a DD, I'll get one.
NO. We do not condone trying to pressure or guilt us into giving you a DD. If you want to know why you do not have a DD, ask us for a critique. We will be happy to point out where your strengths are and where you can improve. Who knows, maybe we'll see something in your gallery that we feel deserves a DD! Don't write a journal or a poll to cause drama over something that easily can be resolved without it. Doing so spreads negativity and does no one any good. Moreover, making a fuss about not having or getting a DD may make us less likely to give you one, assuming your work deserves it. If all anyone had to do to get a DD was write an upset journal about not having one, and if we gave in to those who did so, then dA would be full of negative journals. And we'd like to keep the place warm and cozy and conducive to artistic growth. Stick to the art; think llama, not drama!
Myth 4: I'm afraid to suggest. CVs are scary people.
Pssh. We're cuddly and loving and warm. Give us a chance. We were regular members, too, and we will be regular members again very soon. We are not here to police you, judge you, or harass you. We are your cheerleaders and supporters. We want to promote you, and our main role is to serve as liaisons between you and the $taff of dA. Have YOU talked to a CV today?
Myth 5: CVs just ignore my notes.
We're not ignoring. Promise! If you don't get a response, it's for one of a few reasons: (1) We have 20+ pages of notes, and we just haven't had a chance to reply to yours yet. (2) We don't have time to reply. Would you rather us spend time replying to your suggestion note or doing something positive for the community? (3) A lot of times, when we reply, people expect us to give them an answer about whether the suggestion will be featured. Sometimes we aren't ready to do that just yet, or we want to keep it a surprise. So, we don't answer.
Myth 6: Some things (e.g. stock, icons, pixel art, nudity) are not "art" and should not get DDs.
Seriously? Who are we to say what is and is not art? Moreover, have you looked at the the galleries you are criticizing lately and taken the time to explore the work that goes into creating those deviations? Do you know the details, the intricacies . . . the techniques? We will have a series of articles on this issue very soon, so I won't belabor it now. Suffice it to say that it's wonderful to live in a world in which we all have differing opinions, tastes, and preferences and to have an art site that embraces our diversity.
Myth 7: If I get all my friends to suggest my latest deviation for a DD, or if I send suggestion notes to more than 1 CV, my chances of getting a DD will improve.
That's just not true. Also, intentional multiple suggestions will likely frustrate us and decrease your chances of getting a DD. Really. One is enough, and we DO look at every suggestion we get. If we aren't going to feature it on the first suggestion, we are definitely not going to feature it on the fifty-first.
Myth 8: The 6-month rule [i.e. one DD per six months] doesn't apply to me.
Uh, yes it does.
Myth 9: Those who suggest lots of DDs get their names known among the CVs and get more DDs themselves.
This is kind-of true. Sort-of. Speaking for myself personally, I frequently visit the galleries of people who suggest DDs to me. That's because I am a "give-and-take" kind of person; if you are willing to give someone else a shot at a DD, I'm willing to consider your work as well. But, I think what it boils down to is that, if you are "putting yourself out there" and being a part of the community, you are more likely to be seen and recognized. That doesn't mean that you can't be unknown and still get a DD. It just goes back to what I said above: If we don't see your work, we can't give you a DD. And even though we search and watch and wait and check our messages, looking for unknown artists, there are some things that slip by us. Visibility is important, though it is certainly not everything. Oh, and I will also say that we prefer quality over quantity in DD suggestions. We prefer 1 good suggestion over 10 mediocre suggestions any day, so please don't start tossing every deviation our way just to try to gain visibility; you might end up frustrating us.
Myth 10: DDs are just a popularity contest.
See the point, above, about it not mattering how many people suggest your deviations, or who suggests it, or whether you are friends with a given CV. It doesn't matter how many page views or watchers you have. What matters is the art. I can name 5 people off the top of my head who get less than 100 faves on most of their deviations but have multiple DDs to their name. You don't have to be known, but you DO have to be VISIBLE. Again, we search and search, but no one can find everything. So, I would recommend you post in groups, make some friends by supporting their art, and of course suggest your own work if you really feel that you don't have enough "popularity" to receive a DD. Oh, and I should also note that getting a DD does not make you popular. In fact, it can have the opposite effect.
Myth 11: You have to have a DD before you can be a CV.
Nope, not true. There are several of us on the team who have never had a DD. And furthermore, we don't have to all be immaculate artists, either. We just have to care, have some time to share with dA, be motivated and knowledgeable, and love this community.
Myth 12: DDs are a prize you need to "win."
Wrong. It is a one-day feature designed to expose your work to a wider audience.
Myth 13: DDs are a great way to get feedback on your work.
Oh goodness no! No, no, no! We try to DD things that are clearly finished, not works in progress. Why? Because receiving a DD unfortunately makes you a magnet for people who just want to criticize your work. You WILL receive feedback--wanted or unwanted. But, we've seen people get torn apart for receiving DDs as well as people get praised and boosted in popularity. Feedback is important to helping you improve, but this may not be the type of feedback you are looking for, nor is it the purpose of the DD.
Myth 14: Only people who have a ton of views get DDs.
This goes back to what we were saying above. It has nothing whatsoever to do with their popularity. It has to do with their exposure. So, get involved in dA! Join groups! Come to a critique event! Talk to your CVs and your fellow deviants! Join contests, and participate in critique groups! If nothing else, write journals and display others' work, and make sure to tell them about it! Do something, anything, to get involved. When you are involved and have exposure, people start to take more notice of your art. Regardless, please note that "unseen" artists with very few faves and DDs get featured as well. In fact, we enjoy featuring them.
Myth 15: Suggesting DDs helps improve your chances of getting senior status.
I'm not equipped to talk about seniority with any sense of authority, except to refer you to the FAQs about it: FAQ #29: How do I become a Senior Member?
Many thanks to the deviants who brought these myths to my attention!
We hope this clears up at least the major misconceptions about Daily Deviations. Above all, we hope it will help you feel more confident in suggesting yourself or others! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or any of the other CVs: FAQ #18: Who selects Daily Deviations and how are they chosen?
Thanks, and enjoy DD Week!