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August 10
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I seriously don't. 
Like... "here's an original superhero character club! Come join and be original with us!"
And then it's a bunch of teen titan fan characters. The entire folder that's supposed to be full of original universe superhero characters is just empty. Like the Marvel and DC folders sucked all the life out of it, screaming "give us all your characters that will never be a part of story canon! And make every single one of them have a crush on a canon character! Like... whenever you get a crush on a new character, make your own character to smex them up! Bwahahaha!" Every week I glance at that folder and think "yeah! I'm gonna fill that poor empty folder! And it won't be as pathetic anymore!" (in the sense that it won't be empty anymore, not so much in the sense that my characters will be filling it because let's be honest that's not exactly a step up from 'pathetic'). Then a new fan character is posted and I just slump in my chair and throw my hands up in defeat. I remember making a collective--oh what was it? Three? Four?--some small number of fan characters when I started on this site and then I quickly realized "wow. trying to stay within the confines of a pre-determined universe is boring. Let's see what else I can do." Bam. No more fan characters. I so don't get the appeal anymore. 

Plus, what is even the deal with memberships and DA points, or whatever they're called?
The only benefit I've ever gleamed from memberships is the ability to further sort your gallery folders into more specific groups within those folders. Folder-ception if you will. DA gave us a day where everyone got to be a member for a day, I splurged on making new folders and sortin' my stuff, and then I was done. And I was sitting there like "well now what do I do?" 

People do DA point-centric commissions. Like... why? 
The DeviantArt page describing what points are for figuratively says "they're for sharing and buying stuff". Seriously, they list sharing points with your friends, asking for points and getting stuff with points as the list of what you can do with them.
Okay, first of all, sharing points with friends is dumb. "Oh! It's your birthday? Here's some DA points!" To do... I don't even know what with. Why is that even a thing? I could understand if maybe they wanted a print off of DeviantArt or something for their birthday, but if that were the case then why not just buy them the print? Even more puzzling is why not just send them the money for the print? Why spend it on DA points in the first place? It's a useless middle step that amounts to the exact same thing.
Asking for points is also kinda dumb. Actually, no, it's pretty all around stupid and useless. If you want points but haven't got them then buy them yourself. If you haven't got the money for that then open up commissions and earn actual money. DA points are only useful on DA. Money is useful *gasp!* everywhere~! If you still want points when you've gotten some money then fine, do what you want with your own money, but I feel the need to point out that a good chuck of what you can do with DA points you can still do with actual money so it is, still, an unnecessary middle step.
Buying stuff with DA points seems like the most sensible of the three options, and even then I say 'sensible' with a grueling level of cynicism. Apparently what you can buy is stuff in the DA Marketplace, Premium Memberships, Digital Resources, commissions and prints. Correct me if I'm wrong but can't you get every single one of these things with just a monetary transaction? Granted, the list also specifies that "Coming soon, deviantART will release all kinds of things, big and small, only available by using Points!" but I have no idea when this was decided because with how long points have been around now I would have figured those special items would be a thing already. 
Seriously, unless those 'special items' come out and happen to be the bee's knees, there is no use for points on DeviantArt. Frankly, I don't like people messaging me and asking me if I'll "do a point commission." If it's not listed as something I do then what the hell do you think? Points are freaking useless. The only instance in which I can currently see points as being useful is collecting them from various people in order to save up for a membership (since you're less likely to spend points on frivolous things than maybe you are money). However, that brings me to my next thing.

Memberships are dumb.
Okay, maybe not in such a broad definition of the term, but I've looked over the list of benefits given to members and very few of them pop out to me as something worthwhile or even remotely useful.
The benefits are as follows:
"browse more content, more quickly"---"no ad browsing *does not exclude promotional messages from DeviantArt*"---"Schedule and submit multiple deviantions at once"---"change your username"---"unlock your Sta.sh with 10 GB of storage"---"save 10% off print purchases (can be stacked with most other special events and sales!"---"cruise through 400% more devinations per page"---"Get exclusive access to archived content"---"Give your journal more pop with custom
skins"---"Engage and track your visitors with extra widgets and stats"---"Give and get meaningful feedback on your art with Critique"---"Gain instant community privileges"---"Administrate more than three Groups"---"Access exclusive weekly giveaways"---"Beta-test new site features"---"Earn more with exclusive commercial tools"---"Buy your own work at a discount - up to 50% - for gifting or reselling"---"Make more money on each sale by setting your own print prices"---"Promote yourself with Portfolio - your own personalized website and art showcase without any dA branding."

For one thing I don't understand how "no ad browsing" would be appealing when adblocker exists. Secondly how does getting a membership mean that you browse more quickly? Doesn't that generally depend on how quickly the person browsing tends to go about it? Does that tie into the 400% more devinations per page thing? Because that's not exactly a huge thing, if I'm going to be honest. I feel as though people with a bad internet connection would actually be more hurt by that than benefited, since they'd have to wait for more content to load on the pages. 
The only benefits listed here that I could understand are changing you name, saving 10% on purchases (that's assuming you even buy DeviantArt stuff in the first place), getting the discount on your own work, setting print prices and maybe administrating more than three groups.
Here's the thing; changing your name isn't a big deal. Maybe if you made your account when you were 14 and now you're well into your twenties and you can't go around advertising yourself as "Orochimaruprincess87," otherwise you could also just make a new account, bring over your followers and repost your work. If you buy prints off DeviantArt then I can see the discount being useful....... provided you buy enough stuff on a regular basis to make use of the discount and having to pay the membership on top of the print prices. In the discount on your own prints that really depends on whether it's cheaper to get them shipped to you from DA or if it's cheaper to go to a print shop closer to where you live. Even with administrating more groups--1.) you could still make another account to do that. 2.) why on earth would you need over three groups to admin for?
Everything else is just... meh. Beta-testing new site features? Only useful if your input on the feature goes into altering it. What the hell are these "community privileges" you gain? Exclusive weekly giveaways? Whatever. Archived content? What archived content? You mean the hidden stuff that artists don't want people to see anymore? Because I'm pretty sure that was hidden for a reason. Tracking visitors? Why? Them just coming to your page isn't exactly a huge thing, shocking as I know that is. I've clicked on plenty of DA user pages, only to take a glimpse at their stuff and immediately hightail it out of there. Visiting you doesn't mean they like what you have to offer. The journal thing is just dumb. A lot of what I tend to notice people using when they get a membership is the customization tools and I just think it's a waste of time. It's like myspace. I hated myspace. 
They don't even expand on a good chunk of these benefits. They're annoyingly vague.
By far the absolute dumbest thing on that list is "give and get meaningful feedback on your art with critique." Really? Really? For one thing, you could just ask for it in the description of the piece. A novel concept I know, but hey it works! Furthermore, the lack of specifying that "oh I want critique" doesn't mean that you're not going to get it. If I have something to critique about a piece then I'm bloody well going to critique it! It's actually kinda sad that people feel the need to specify that they want critique on a freaking art site. 
TL;DR? Memberships don't seem like something worth spending money on. 

There's such a slew of people that post things that baffle me. Those people who post images and explicitly tell everyone, in the description, not to favorite it.... yeah, guess about how many seconds it takes most people to disobey that command. People who post vent artwork, disable the comments and then berate anyone for asking them that's wrong in a PM or something. People who post up commissioned work that they bought from someone else--aren't there specific commission sites for doing that? I mean, I know you own it at that point but DeviantArt is sort of riddled with people on the look out for art thieves so you'd think it would be more of a nuisance. People who just... ugh... I'm trying to think of a way to describe their galleries but I can't seem to think of anything better than "facebook-esque".
That's not even going into the slew of oddly specific accounts that I dare not even badmouth because good lord I've seen how reactive their followers can be. I will say that a lot of them involve fan characters. Those that post comics with their fan characters often have the worst fans. 

Don't get me wrong. I love using this site and I'm not planning to stop using it anytime soon. But it's reasons like these that I tend to stay in a very small part of it. I hear tales of how horrible DA has become and what sorts of awful, fetishistic, disgusting lurkers purvey its servers, and I'm just sitting here like ".....I think points are dumb."
  • Mood: Stumped
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:icontobi-the-good-boy:
Tobi-the-good-boy Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014
Oh boy. 'Original' anything on this website seems to be hard to come by. I'm one of the worst people to talk, seeing as my gallery is practically all fanart, but that's mainly because that's what draws he population of Deviantart to someones gallery in the first place. A lot of my other website accounts are barren to Fanart. I remember when I started out on this website, I avoided Fanart and Fan-characters like the plague. Unfortunately, that meant I didn't have anyone interested in my stuff so I had to get myself out there somehow and hope people enjoyed my Original Universe Characters mixed into the bunch.

As for Original Superheroes. I've tried many times to get people interested in my personal Original Universe Superheroes and put way more time into them than I probably should have, and all I've received from everyone is a resounding 'meh'. I've met other people who have encountered the same problem and it usually boils down to discouragement and eventual abandoning of otherwise wonderful characters. I know a lot of people, on this website in particular, create characters for Roleplay purposes and it's much easier to find roleplaying partners for a Superhero fan-character than it is to find someone willing to learn and understand a new universe. Which is a shame, really, because seeing Original Content universes for Super-Beings is wonderful!
I'd love to see more people expand into things like:

'What would a government look like with Super-Beings running around?' 'How far back in history did Super-Beings start showing up?' 'Are there any mythologies about Super Beings?' 

Just to see someone's take on it without heavy Marvel or DC influences, or any of the restrictions those universes present. 
(Shameless promo of my Original Superheroes: [link])

All-in-all, I'd just like to see a lot more Original Content from everyone that wasn't based in any kind of fandom character-wise. Show me them universes people!
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:iconempty-brooke:
Empty-Brooke Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist
I know exactly what you mean. I'd actually had a conversation about the necessity to balance enough fanart in order to garner attention for original content earlier in the summer. (Now that I think about it, an interesting experiment would be a DeviantArt account where every other piece was fanart, and those in between was all original art...)
Even apart from superhero characters, seeing an entire world fleshed out through original characters is a really interesting process, alongside watching as the artist changes and develops the character over time. One of the biggest problems, I think, is probably that a lot of people go on DA with the explicit purpose to showing off their characters rather than focusing on telling the stories around these characters, between which there is a huge difference. When it comes to showing the character off, if an artist doesn't receive enough recognition then they begin to abandon the character because they feel as though no one is interested in them. Focusing on telling stories, however, which is a category I am desperately trying to move myself into, means that recognition or no, the artist is driven to create and entire world and develop the characters within it. I happen to think that this is a much better way to garner interest in a character and, sadly, it happens to be a method that I rarely see people use. In the instances it IS used the characters tend to receive a lot more praise and love because there has been so much effort put into developing them. 
Understandably, there is something of a necessity for fan characters for artists just starting out, since a lot of them might not fully know how to create a character of their own. I happened to have a mix of fan and original characters when I started out and as I developed my ability to further those original characters, the crutch of pre-established canon was no longer needed for me. However, I find it a pity when people cling to that crutch and do not further their own individual creativity. I happen to live by the belief that every person on the planet has something uniquely them to offer, that no one else in the world can provide, and seeing that potential be buried by things that rip off of the intentions or creativity of another person is kind of a shame in my opinion. 
When it comes to universes too, I'd love to see really involved or elaborate universes. A lot of the time someone will have an original character and then just plop them into regular, every day life. They'll give vague hints about the world the character comes from, but it's a rarity that the audience gets to see that, which really is a shame. I happen to think that people use this method because in creating a character that is so apart from humanity they have an excuse for them to stand out, but were that character to be living in a universe they were native to, they would no longer be the fish out of water that makes them such a contrast to everyday life. What people seem to not realize is that, provided this other universe is not simply a carbon copy of our own but with the inhabitants having blue skin, the contrast is still there.
I understand where you're coming from with the original superheros thing. I tried to get a few of mine off the ground about 4 years ago and then quickly realized that I had not put nearly enough effort into creating or developing them, and a lot of them were greatly suffering for that fact. I am hoping that now that I'm moving back into drawing comics I'll be able to bring to life the ones I've been developing, though I'm aware the process of bringing them to other people who might find them interesting, as I do, will be a long and arduous process. My youngest brother has actually suggested that I try showcasing my non-verbal, sequential art storytelling capabilities first to attract a larger audience, and then from there move into more character and verbally-driven comics. 
Even without superheroes, a slew of brand new and unique universes would be an interesting sight to see, especially on DeviantArt. Sadly, most people are instantly drawn to fanart because it applies to what they already know. People can't go looking for what they don't know exists after all, they can only stumble across it. 
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:icontobi-the-good-boy:
Tobi-the-good-boy Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014
I aspire to one day get some of my head-worlds out in a format that isn't just character pages, or doodles of characters, with little bits of information here or there. I like to think that I'm close to being able to do that! I've been trying my hand at animation and attempting to figure out how to create a paneled comic-page that draws the eye properly from frame to frame. I think it would greatly assist in trying to convey a better overview of the world than just... showing characters off, ahaha.

I know a couple artists who have managed to do that and are fairly well renowned because of it! Bringing original content to a website like this is always challenging, especially with the fear of people stealing or copying /because/ they've taken a liking to ones universe and characters. I think that may be another reason as to why people tend to build off of pre-established universes rather than expand on Original Content, which I mean.. I understand. Art and Idea theft is rampant on this site, unfortunately.

Ohhh yes. Bringing a wonderful, original character concept and dropping them into Everyday Life is something I've noticed a lot. A character can be interesting within their former, magical or unusual universe as long as you can tell the story right. Even if it isn't the character themselves that are the main focus, or the most interesting thing about the universe, you can still tell a wonderfully exciting and enthralling story about the /universe/ as a character, rather than one being out of said universe. The straight-over swap of Our Universe into an Original Universe is something I've seen a lot, too, where (just as you've said) people have just one or two visually different traits but are still undeniably us and mundane. 

I'll be waiting to see them, then! That sounds exciting! Seeing how differently everyone tackles the 'Super-Being' universes is a thrill and I look forward to it! Non-verbal, sequential art con sometimes be more impacting than having speech bubbles or written storytelling so I would also recommend it just to try and express using more body-language and action scenes to get the points driven home. I wish you the best of luck on it because it's something I really wish I could do ahaha


Personally, I think fanart should be used as a bridge to get people interested in ones gallery, but not a main feature if that makes sense. A sort of 'Come for the Fanart, stay for the Original Content' kind of deal ahaha.
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:iconnovanplz:
Novanplz Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014
Agreed.
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:iconkitkatsart:
KitKatsArt Featured By Owner Edited Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
At the beginning when you think about a "original superhero character club" art you talking about my club. :iconsuperhero-oc-club: If so I explain a few things. If not then skip this comment.

The reason I use "OC" and not "FC" is because at the time I called all my c
haracters "OC". If you could change the club's name to "OC And FC". I would but I don't  thing I can, without deleting the club. The reason there are so many Teen Titans characters is because I find a lot of good one. And ask then to join.

But I would like to say thank you for critiquing my club. You could have just left the club and never looked back. But you took the time to tell me whats wrong. I will try to fix it as best I can. But next time I will prefer you come to me. Not talk behind my back. :hug:
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:iconempty-brooke:
Empty-Brooke Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist
And I actually have, in the past, in a comment on the club's main page, pointed out how empty the "Origin Universe" folder is. 
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:iconempty-brooke:
Empty-Brooke Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist
I was only referring to the club for about half of that section actually. I've been invited to other clubs before based on my proficiency for original characters and have looked into the clubs only to find that pretty much everything contained within them are fan characters. This hasn't happened only with superhero clubs, but because of the amount of supers I draw, I tend to attract to them more. Yours is the only club I've accepted the offer to join, because you guys aren't total dick bags about everything like a lot of the others were and you know how to separate folders based on the characters, rather than the art.
The only time in which I was directly referencing :iconsuperhero-oc-club: was when I was talking about the lack of original characters in the section specifically designated for them, in favor of filling up all other folders. And how I plan to fill the fuck out of that folder.
Most of the other clubs I'd seen didn't have sections for Marvel, DC, DarkHorse, Original, whatever characters. They lopped everything together into "Digital art, Traditional Art, Photo Art, Fan Art" blah blah blah, claim the characters are original and then it's just.... I dunno. Lobo's girlfriend or something XP
I was not intending to talk about this behind your back--I'm perfectly aware you'll see my DA journals, so that doesn't really make sense--I was more just rambling about random things on DA and I had just happened to be browsing the club galleries an hour prior, so it was fresh in my mind. Still staring at that folder and wondering why the hell I haven't been drawing any of my superhero characters XP
I will admit though. Teen Titans is a huge thing. In pretty much all original superhero clubs. That and whatever movie is popular at the moment. 
(Actually, while I've got your attention, how on earth do you submit work? I've never submitted work to a club before so I'm unaware of the process.)
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:iconkitkatsart:
KitKatsArt Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
OMG, I didn't know the submit button was missing. I will try to get that back as soon as I can. I am so sorry.
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:iconempty-brooke:
Empty-Brooke Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist
No worries. I wasn't even aware there was supposed to be one. 
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:iconkitkatsart:
KitKatsArt Featured By Owner Edited Aug 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well thanks for telling me anyway. :hug:
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