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... in just one year.

It was a cold day in February. I can still remember that day.
It wasn't that busy at my job. Just another day of mostly waiting for feedback. So I took the liberty to surf around the internet for a bit. Like every day before, I checked DeviantArt. I had posted some art some while ago. I submitted it to some groups, but didn't quite get the response that I hoped for. Let alone; the feedback. It's hard to get feedback on your art. Nowadays most people just fave and run, or tell you that your work is awesome (which is sweet, of course) without any further explanation. Most of the art forums that I used to reside on, where either dead, or I'd outgrown the user-base so much that I was at the point that there weren't any more talented users that could give me feedback anymore. If I had to wrap it up in just one word: Frustrating. That's what is was.

Of course I had my idols on DeviantArt. Famous people like yuumei en sakimichan whose watchers hit those astronomical 5 numbers and never seemed short of feedback. But also smaller people like Ysa, neonoi, SeraphVenaticus (formerly SeraphLimonade), K-Koji, Suzanne-Helmigh, AishaxNekox (who later left the site), TotenVeloren (who also left), Flayu, CharlotteChambers or sionra (If some of you read this by any chance, because you're notified. Thanks a lot for the inspiration). People that probably had never seen me, or heard of me, because I mostly behaved as a silent lurker around their pages. I sometimes did reply to them. But as, over time, I never got a reply back, it just felt pointless commenting on their stuff. I couldn't say anything other than all those other people already said. And they must've heard they were amazing for over a million times already. 

Yeah, I knew some of those 'famous' artist. One them being a girl that was on the same forum as me. Her drawings didn't look that much better than mine, yet she was insanely popular on the internet. When I asked her about the secret how she did it, she told me there was no such thing as a secret. She had been on DeviantArt for years, spend a lot of time in the chatboxes, and therefore gained a lot of friends. That her art was pretty decent did help her, yet it wasn't the reason why she accumulated so many followers. At that time, I didn't spend too much time thinking about it. I just accepted the fact that my art probably sucked and I needed to get better, and I went along with my practice. I sought some groups that were aimed to giving feedback to (beginning) artists, so I could at least get some feedback on how to improve, and just went on.

The turning point was that February day. I had just accumulated my 500th watcher. As a matter of fact; the counter hit 501 when I logged off that day. When I looked at the counter the next day, it fell back to 499. 
Looking back now, the whole thing seems like a non-issue. I mean; there were people dying from hunger all over the world, the economy collapsed and left many people jobless, and I was worrying about a stupid counter. But back then, 1 watcher was one person less that could give me feedback. And I did already get so little feedback. Regardless all the effort I took in improving art, people chose to unwatch me. They weren't probably interested in my art anymore. And that was what bothered me. 

Up until then, I never thought about what would make those so-called idols so popular. I always assumed that it was their art. They were good with art, I wasn't. That was why they were popular, and I wasn't. But when I became a bit better in art myself, and took a closer look, I would learn that after a certain amount, the number of watchers had little to do with the quality of their art. Of course, there was a certain quality standard that had to be met in order to be popular. A simple stick-man wouldn't just cut it. But the quality standard wasn't that damn high. You didn't need to be the next Da Vinci in order to get noticed. Not at all.
The next few things that came to mind were either luck or fanart. But my background in marketing learned that there was no such thing as sheer luck. From a marketing standpoint even fanart was just a well aimed product at a target group that was obviously represented on DeviantArt. And all that thinking brought me back to a social media workshop I had attended for my job a few months before that. A workshop in which the teachers explicitly told there was no such thing as good product or a bad product to market. But that marketing was all about targeting the right group of people and reminding them that you were there, a lot. A whole damn lot. Social media experts said that, in order to be active on a site like Facebook, you had to post at least twice a week, to remind your followers you were there. Yeah, I can hear you thinking... that's a whole damn lot.

From that point on, I decided that it would be fun to start some kind of social media experiment. I'm curious by nature. I've always been so. And I had indeed been feeling a bit bored lately.

The medium of my choice was DeviantArt. A site that I was already pretty familiar around, but was yet known little about by social media experts. The reason for that? Probably because DeviantArt has a very specific target group and therefore isn't that interesting to many big company's. Nevertheless, it was interesting to me. I was an artist. 
The "product" was simple. It was something I had already been working on for years; my art. And more specifically, the art that revolved my project; Emion. Sure, I could've changed the subject. I could've made a lot of fanart in order to get a bigger target group (Regardless of what people say; DeviantArt is still aimed towards fanart -- all research shows that). But I wanted to stay true to myself. I never really enjoyed making fanart myself, so why would I do that now? I'd like to stay true to myself.

So I started following the "guidelines" as they were described by many social media experts all over the internet. Posting often -- not as often as 2 times a week, though. I didn't have the time, nor the inspiration, to produce 2 artworks a week while keeping quality consistent. I replied to people on forums, actively. Started posting at the right times, on which many people were online. I gave out llama's to many people. I wrote critiques and elaborate comments on artworks. I tried getting my works up and featured in journals and groups. I actively thanked every single new watcher. And gradually, I came to know many more people.

Half February, I reached 700 watchers. In just 2 weeks I had accumulated 200 more followers. More than I'd got in a year, before the whole marketing experiment. I was quite satisfied. But as curious as I was, I wanted to keep this up and see how far it would get me. Regardless of the results, something like that would be a great learning experience. And it honestly was.

Although I wasn't entirely unfamiliar with the concept of marketing already, I could not have foreseen the madness that this one-man-show brought me. 
And with madness I mean; madness. Literally. 
I learned soon enough that when you draw a lot of attention to yourself, you have to phrase your words carefully. And that not everybody can appreciate the slightly provoking way of debate that's so normal here in the Netherlands. I learned about the journal portal in a painful way. I learned about journals going viral, about 10.000 people reading such a thing in less than 24 hours, and about the buzz it brings to the community. About articles that even spread to other social media, like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. But I also learned those things are a great tool for uniting the community, for spreading love, starting discussions about important subjects, and giving unknown artists a chance to get their art out there. A chance they wouldn't have had otherwise. A chance that I would've loved to had when I was still struggling with getting feedback.

I learned that popularity isn't all fun, even though many people tell you you're awesome. That's it's hard expressing your opinion without getting massive hate. And that you shouldn't bother about every single person hating you, because the more people will know you, the more will hate you -- and some of those people will hate you for the stupidest reasons. I learned to stand up for myself and my opinion, even though my thoughts might be controversial. I learned how to have reasonable discussions in English, even though it's not my first language. But the most important thing that I learned is that those words... my very thoughts, that are so simple for me to write down, have the power to inspire many people out there.

In some way, I learned to see the other side. I can seriously imagine famous people going insane. Because the idea that you're in a glass cage and everybody is watching every step you do, is indeed quite suffocating. I'm only known for my art on the internet by a few people. I haven't got crowds of fans waiting for me everywhere I go. In real life I'm only a fairly known webdeveloper. And even I have experienced that suffocating feeling. I've gained a great deal of respect for famous people here, on DeviantArt, that are able to handle it, and are able to make their career out of it. Because I can honestly say that I wouldn't be able to do it. I don't have the same strength. 
I can see the other side now, of those people not answering their messages. When I'm away for the weekend, I have about 2000 new messages pending. I now have automatic systems running that make a selection in the messages that I need to answer, to be able to handle the inbox flooding (Yeah... I should've hired someone. But I'm broke XD). And even then I sometimes completely forget some messages (I'm sorry T__T). From experience I can tell that, when you hit the 1000+ watchers, you won't be able to recognize them anymore. I often see icons popping up in my inbox from people that say they know me, but I have no idea who they were. Not because I don't care, but because I simply cannot remember all those faces. Imagine yourself. Can you remember 20.000 people by name? Hell... I work at a company with only 90 people and even there I don't know all people by name. So for the people that wonder "That popular artist hates me, because he does not reply to my message". He probably doesn't hate you. He either doesn't know you, or simply lacks time to respond to every individual message. It's sad, but it's something that comes naturally.

What is kinda disturbing on DeviantArt, is that the number of watchers does somehow determine the amount of respect you get on this website. I can still remember being my messages either being ignored or being seen as rather unimportant. While lately, what I say seem to make so much more of an impact than it did before. I've gotten into contact with popular artists, people working for Wacom, programmers that work for DeviantArt and senior members, who surprisingly take my input seriously. People that I would never have been able to reach before. Which is... pretty much insane, if you ask me. It's not like I've become an entirely different person over the last few months. I've just gotten a bit older (and wiser, hopefully).

It's been a year since then. 

And over time, I've surpassed many of the old idols I had. It's not that I look down on them now. It's more that I came to an understanding. That being well known isn't always that fun as it seems from the outside, and that they probably had their reasons for not answering my messages. I'm nowadays getting the same "you are so awesome"-messages as I used to send to those idols, back in the days. If I have to believe those messages, then for some people I might've become the same kind of idol as those people were to me. Yet I've never been feeling more small and humble than now, because I realize the impact of the position that I'm in. And it's scaring me, sometimes.

The moral of this story?
Honestly, I don't know. I started writing this article to tell people about my experience and to thank them for sticking around with me. But it might be hopeful to many of you to know that there's no such thing as supernatural luck required to get out there. What you see here, is pure. It's a one-man-show. It's me, writing to you. I didn't spend tons of money on advertising. I didn't hire expensive marketeers to work for me and promote my project. Heck... I don't even have money for that! All the knowledge I used, whether it's about art, social media, marketing or writing software... I got it from articles on the internet. For free. 
I was never promoted by DeviantArt's staff. I'm probably one of the few reasonably known DeviantArt members out there that was never rewarded a Daily Deviation, and was not even once mentioned at their Facebook page. And concluding from the unwillingness to solve my recent login issues, even after reporting many times, I can only say that they either dislike my approach or are completely apathetic to it. I am, to some account, just like many of you. A curious artist that wants to present her ideas to the world. I'm not rich, I wasn't born with any spectacular talent, and most of my knowledge comes from the internet. With enough patience and persistence, any of you would be able to do the exact same.

What I do want to say to you is; Thank you.
Thank you for sticking around for so long. For your kind words, your support, and replies. Even though I can't respond to every one of them, I certainly read them all. And even though you may think otherwise, I always enjoy reactions on my artworks, even though you might feel you have nothing new to say. Thank you for your continuous support on the Emion project, and for the feedback on the storylines and characters. Although this whole activity-thing was just started as a simple experiment to see if more interaction really helps on social media, I honestly enjoyed the experience, and I hope you'll stick around for much longer.



Add a Comment:
 
:iconjavicandraw:
javicandraw Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
This is great! I've been trying to get noticed on deviantart but I realized that giving your best and trying to make good art just doesn't cut it!  you have to spend a lot of time here talking to everyone. Sometimes it gets hard! Sometimes I feel I have nothing to say! Is that weird? Anyway, I may start going more to the forums and see what happens!! Thanks for the advice and sharing your experience.
Reply
:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You should really try joining groups on DeviantArt and talk to people that have similar interests.
I've met many people over the forums (just chatting about art and stuff), groups for original characters and projects, and groups geared towards improving your art.

Just look for what interests you as an artist.
It could be project, it could be improvement, or just chatting with people. It's easier to connect to people over interests like that :)
Reply
:iconuranium-sea:
Uranium-Sea Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2015  New Deviant Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thank you for yet another insightful journal entry. too bad I only recently stumbled upon your profile. I might have handled things differently earlier on...Shrug 

while I appreciate your modest approach, which is very pleasant, I have to say:
don't be.

see, I think the reason for your multitude of followers and the respect people have for you is not lemming behaviour of the community (like: "my, so many watchers, she must be awesome!") and the resulting additional increase in numbers.
I do, however, firmly believe it's because you actually have things to say that teach, inspire and motivate people, which is a property a lot of artists (no matter how popular or talented) simply lack.
your followers get the feeling you honestly care about them, their work and the community and this is indeed a feature that sets you apart, because you don't find it very often anymore in the anonymous vastness that is the internet these days.
I can only imagine that this creates a lot of pressure and it sure is not always fun. but I guess this is a price a role model has to pay.  Wink/Razz

I hope I didn't sound condescending and my admiration for your inspirational work around here came across.
I'll stick around for a while longer and hope you will too
Reply
:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Keep in mind that the journal was written over a year ago, and the number of followers had risen astonishingly during that one year. More than I could grasp (and still can).
What I wanted to state is that regardless of art quality, there's still a person on the other side of the screen.. and that's something people tend to forget as soon as the numbers rise. People are people, regardless of numbers, fans or followers. I am me, regardless of who follows. 

Anyway, I'm glad you liked the journal.
Your comment kinda made my day. This is one I'll definitely save in that 'comments I like' folder in my inbox :D
Reply
:iconuranium-sea:
Uranium-Sea Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2015  New Deviant Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm glad you got something out of my rambling.  :D
thank you for taking the time to reply.

I know you wrote that journal a long time ago, still I felt it was kind of current and had to give my two cents.

yes, you are still you, regardless of the number of your followers. and this very human side is what people draws to you, I reckon.

in all the journals I browsed so far I never saw a negative feedback. was there ever one?
Reply
:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the compliment :)

And yeah... I've had my fair share of negative feedback. No matter how nice you are, there are always people that don't agree. I guess you can't change that ^^
Reply
:iconuranium-sea:
Uranium-Sea Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2015  New Deviant Hobbyist Traditional Artist

No matter how nice you are, there are always people that don't agree



True in the DA community, true in a plenar hall...  :shifty:
Reply
:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yep. It's mostly a vocal minority, though.
Most people don't even know you, let alone they dislike you :D
Reply
:iconuranium-sea:
Uranium-Sea Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2015  New Deviant Hobbyist Traditional Artist
then...why rant? just for kicks? mask one's insecurity?

you wouldn't happen to have a specific example for negative feedback at hand, would you?
Reply
:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Both, I guess.

And no, I removed most inappropriate messages or reported them to DA's staff.
Some were really inappropriate, though. Personal insults, death treats and the like, just because people didn't agree with the contents of a (free) tutorial. 
Reply
(1 Reply)
:icongeniuslygenius:
GeniuslyGenius Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Well damn...
This is really inspiring! Hmm... If only I had the time to do these ;;;; u ;;;;
I feel so small when it comes to my art //cry
Reply
:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Don't worry.
It'll come :hug:
Reply
:icongeniuslygenius:
GeniuslyGenius Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Aaah thanks ;;; u ;;;
Reply
:iconmochimario:
Mochimario Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
I find it hard to believe that english is not your first language.
Reply
:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's still true :D
Reply
:iconshuukuun:
shuukuun Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2015  Student General Artist
This article is really inspiring and helpful, thank you :)
Reply
:iconuniquestrangeawesome:
UniqueStrangeAwesome Featured By Owner May 2, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I like how you mentioned the "you are awesome" comments that many deviants get on a regular basis. I actively look at other's work and want to show that I liked it but can't find words to use other than "you are awesome." In the end, I just post it anyway, because even though I know I won't get a reply, and the deviant won't notice it in the sea of other comments, I, being not well-known in the slightest, would appreciate it. So, on the off chance that you're reading this right now

you are awesome.
Reply
:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner May 2, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have to admit; I'm terribly guilty of not answering all messages myself. Messages like "this looks cool" or "you're awesome" are hard to answer in general, because what else is there to say than just "thanks"? And replying hundreds of messages with just "thanks" is gonna wear out after a few times too ^^
Reply
:iconkaimimi:
Kaimimi Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Thank you for this journal ^^
It´s very interesting :3
Reply
:iconhimitsuuk:
HimitsuUK Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2015   Photographer
Very interesting. it certainly is a numbers game.
Reply
:iconcelesteevermoon:
CelesteEvermoon Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2015   Digital Artist
I'm bookmarking this so I can go back and read it. As I've said on your more recent journal, I feel like I'm in the same spot. You know that people have a beginning, and they somehow reach this magical amount of followers, but how did they get there? I've learned the same thing myself, that activity = followers. Though, for everyone who believes in substantial, uplifting followers, it means a lot of hard work early on. I'm glad that you've learned how to make social networks function for you. Perhaps, over time, I can learn what works for me as well.
Reply
:iconthecoolective:
TheCOOLective Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2015  Professional General Artist
This is a great Journal 
Very inspiring!
<3
Reply
:iconrebeccaalexa:
RebeccaAlexa Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015   Digital Artist
I was very interested inr eading this considering I juust passed the 500 watcher mark and am still driving to get more watchers. I feel my art is good enough, but not noticed overly yet. Thank you for sharing your story. I think I have to be more socially active on the site. Congratz on your success.
Reply
:icontormentedangel8:
TormentedAngel8 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I normally don't read/avoid long posts like these because I'm too lazy. But yours are always worth the read! ^^
Reply
:iconrodneyavo:
rodneyavo Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2015  Professional Photographer
You, my friend, are an inspiration. Just when I was about to give up on DeviantArt
Reply
:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome :)
Reply
:iconpizaru-chu:
Pizaru-Chu Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2015
It's really funny, that I might be about to start my own journey that would be really similar to this
stuffs only just starting to get rolling, but if i keep up a good pace I think i can make it work

for better or worse, haha

This journal is a definite inspiration though! Thank you for writing it..!
Reply
:iconneon-frost:
Neon-Frost Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Very wonderful article! I am about to reach 500 watchers...this is so inspirational for me
Reply
:iconguhruuu:
guhruuu Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
good article
Reply
:iconnightwind87:
NightWind87 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi Damai~ 
I know right now you are busy and on hiatus, but I hope you'll be able to read this sometime.

I am also in marketing class and now in another one. Actually, this current one I'm sort of regretting. A lot of what you say is true and since reading your journals, i wonder what it means to network and how hard it may have or has been. Reading this cleared my mind and the stark reality ahead of me.
Thank you for sticking around and being you as you have been. Also, continue writing the journals that you have so far. I hope when you do come back from a well deserve rest, we get to see more of you, your thoughts, and your art. In short, thank you very much. Thank you.
Reply
:icondrakedragon:
Drakedragon Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm not sure how I missed this journal before, but as with many of the ones you've written, I enjoyed reading it.
Reply
:iconteruaoi:
TeruAoi Featured By Owner Edited Sep 11, 2014  Hobbyist
I found you today only because I am sick. I could almost say I am happy for being sickWink/Razz  You have truly inspired me not only as an artist, but as a personClap Keep up your good work and I would love reading more and see more of your art. Thank you for your hard work:D (Big Grin) 
Reply
:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:hug:
Reply
:iconserel:
serel Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
A very interesting read about a topic that probably comes to mind to every deviant who stays longer than a few weeks. Thanks for sharing.
Reply
:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
YW :)
Reply
:iconthe10s:
the10s Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2014   Digital Artist
Well that was just great. This is probably my favourite journal I've read from you so far (I'm binge reading them right now haha). It was so informative as well as inspiring. I totally felt reality slapping me across the face with the facts you pointed out.

If I were ever to become a relatively popular artist one day I could look back at reading this. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and inspiring everyone! ^__^
Reply
:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I just wanted to point out how much marketing plays a role in everything.
In sense of pure art, you do a much better job that I do. At least when it comes to things like color and composition. But the truth is; that's only part of the story once we enter the social sphere ^^
Reply
:iconcolorgush:
ColorGush Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
I wish I had 500 watchers! Never mind 20,000 lol. But seriously, English isn't even your first language, yet you write better than half of the English-speaking people on the internet lol. I don't normally have the attention-span to read long things, but this definitely kept me interested, as well as a lot of your other journals. I hope to one day at least reach 500 watchers. I've never gotten more than 100 favs on anything before, that includes every account I've ever had (well, besides Instagram, but that's followers. Even with around 500 followers there, I get like 30 favs on average on my pics. Max was 80.) Everyday, I fav, comment, give llamas, upload often, and all this stuff, and I don't think my artwork is stickman quality, yet I rarely ever get watchers. It really does put a damper on your mood when you upload something you're proud of and very little people take the time to appreciate it.
Reply
:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You have to know that it takes a lot of interaction to get it started in the first place. I've had days in which I send as much as 400 messages to people (both new messages, forum messages and replies combined that is -- but still a lot). You can imagine with that amount of messages, people eventually do reply. Long story short; it takes effort. A lot of it :)
Reply
:iconcolorgush:
ColorGush Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
I do put a lot of effort into my interactions, that I set aside hours just to give back to people on dA lol. But yeah, you're right. Even with the interactions I do make, there is always someone out there doing more than me. So I should step up my game!

However, what bothers me is that I can search people's pages and whatnot and see that someone has been here for only a month or two and have very few deviations of 'not that spectacular' quality, yet still manage to have 500 watchers... Do you have any theories on this? Because that always baffles me. How do they do it? I even look to see if maybe they make a lot of comments, or fav a lot of works, or even give llamas and contribute to hundreds of groups to see if maybe that's the reason, but some of them simply put up a picture and do nothing more, and they get so many watchers instantly. I can understand that happening for those with top-notch art, but even those without manage such numbers. I'd just like to know how they do it.

Thanks for replying, by the way. :)
Reply
:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Do you have any examples of that?
Because I can't list you any example of non spectacular art that didn't have a good reason to become popular? Either because it's well aimed at a target group, already had a fanbase at another side, had a great concept, or the person just had something that made him/her popular (inspirational or positive people often do well in general). There are various reasons why people become popular. If you really want to know all about them, I'd advice you to look into marketing a bit more and do your research. Much of it can be explained by existing marketing principles. 
Reply
:iconcolorgush:
ColorGush Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
I can't list anyone specific off the top of my head, it's just been something I've took notice to. Of course, I'm sure they have their reasons. I've seen someone with 12 deviations in 3 months of being a deviant, who already has 600 watchers. They've made around 15 comments, and barely any favs. I was just curious as to how they maintained that in so little time and effort, though, as I said, I'm sure they have their reasons. Anyway, I was just curious of your input on that situation. Thank you.
Reply
:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, they might've already had a great fanbase on tumblr or another side.
Or just have their work featured on a big site like reddit or 9gag.
Reply
:iconcolorgush:
ColorGush Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Hm, that is possible. Very true.. I appreciate your input.
Reply
:iconkidaaisaka:
KidaAisaka Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
" i mostly behaved like a silent lurker around pages" thats me right know.. Heh :3
Reply
:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That was me for 4 years or so XD
Reply
:iconkidaaisaka:
KidaAisaka Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha
Reply
:iconuranus-seventhsun:
Uranus-seventhsun Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014  Hobbyist
I've only 193 watchers, most of them inactive. I don't watch many, either, it's all I can manage.  I don't know how you manage with your thousands!

However, I get a lot of comments (not just 'cool' or 'nice'), thanks to thumbshare and years of giving feedback, on people's favorites, group deviations, in thumbshare (only if I like the deviations or the person has asked for a crit), and those I'm watching (particularly the not so popular ones). I noticed when I go on a spree (such as on Getwatchers, which hasn't helped me much), I get little or nothing in return, so without whoring myself out on thumbshare, I'd be in a black hole.  

I, too, do my own characters, only it's not manga. 

I'm on the forums everyday, but many of the topics are infantile, so that's sporadic. Have submitted and still submit to groups, and get featured but I'm lucky to get one fave.

I don't do anime, role play, cosplay, or gaming, which seems to be the hobby of many on here. Those things bore the hell outta me. At devart meetings, there are plenty of lovely people, but I have made no friends...one, because most are too young, and two, there's nothing in common whatsoever, so no go there. Fortunately, making friends on here is not my aim, that would instead be icing on the cake.

llamas have made a difference? I don't get those. I used to give 'em since people wanted them, but gave up. What's the point? :confused:

More people online is nighttime where I live, so that's out.

I think what has helped you is that you do anime style characters, and do them well, so if people click on your icon because of a comment, your comment is justified because your art is good. That, and your awesome journals.

That said, I'm happy where I am in the most part, since I get decent feedback, which is the most important thing. Just not happy where I am art-wise, since I seem to have reached my limit. 
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:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I wouldn't say it's just the icon, though.
I've had days in which I submitted over 400 comments. With that amount, it's nearly impossible to NOT get any feedback. Just saying...
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:iconme-ah-ri:
me-ah-ri Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014
Thank you so much for posting this. I think it's really motivational for those who have the same dilemma as you once did. It was really inspiring for me to see this journal post, and I respect you for all of your hard work and dedication. :)
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January 20, 2014
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