This is the introduction thread on how to show your own artwork in this forum. There are several ways to show your artwork on this site, depending a bit on what you want to show and how accomplished you are as an artist.
Covered in this post:
- Online Sketchbooks and the Sketchbooks forum
- The Critique Center and W.I.P. Showcase forum
- The It's Finally Finished!! forum
- Other forums: Fine arts, 3D, Sculpture & Toys, Motion graphics and Animation, Photography Mob
- Uploading images and managing attachments
- Resolution, sizes and other good tips
Online Sketchbooks and the Sketchbooks forum
As an artist, first of all, you might want to make an online sketchbook (we often refer to them as SB threads) and you can find and make them in the Sketchbook forum.
This is a great place to show your progress, get some feedback and look around for inspiration and find out how others work. How this works is simply by clicking the "New Thread" button, starting a thread, and off you go. The first image you upload (more on uploading further down in the post) is the one that will show up as a thumbnail next to your thread name on the forum page. (You can see how that works just by looking at the forum - notice the images to the left of the thread title?) A lot of people therefore make the first post as a kind of introduction of themselves, so they can change the image in the first post whenever they want to change the thumbnail for the thread without having to delete and upload images anew. Then a good idea will be to put in a few images in the next post to show what you've recently been doing.
The best way to get comments, crits and feedback is then to just keep posting whenever you have something new to show. Since it's a sketchbook thread, you can post everything you do: Your studies, your initial sketches, your work halfway or a third through, and even finished pictures as you progress on them. All mediums are represented in these threads, traditional and digital - 2D and 3D. Some people post what they've done every day to show their progress, others post with a few days between, some more rarely.
The purpose of an SB thread is not to get as many "oohs" and "aahs" as possible, the purpose is to show your work and get constructive criticism, feedback and general help, tips and a fresh eye. Someone telling you that something is off, that you should rethink your composition or check the anatomy is not being mean or rude, they're trying to help. This is what this site is for, helping each others as artists to progress.
Some tips to generate some traffic back into your own SB:
- Look in other people's SB's and comment on their work. They might go check your SB after you posted and give you some feedback on yours.
- If you find someone that comes back to post in your SB after you've posted in theirs, you might want to keep give them feedback whenever they post something new, and maybe you're ending up with giving each other feedback regularily.
- Join a Sketchbook Support Group (shortened to SSB). This was started a bit back by the users themselves, and you might notice people having links to several people in their signatures. There is no "official" help on this, just take a look at this post and see if you can start one or join one. If you don't think you'll be updating every day or every second day, start or join one with rarer updates among the memebers, just make sure you're getting a group that follows your own speed so you don't end up not commenting often enough or updating often enough.
- Put a link to your SB in your signature. You can't have any images in your signature, but you can have text, links and emoticons from the site. Generally speaking, huge flashing signatures can annoy people - which is why there are restrictions on them, so keep it "normal". You might want to update your signature whenever you "hit a new page" in your SB thread or make sure it goes to the last post. (To test out your signature go to the Official Test Random Stuff thread.)
The Critique Center and W.I.P. Showcase forum
If there are any particular images you would want some feedback on, this is the place for you. Uploading several images into one thread is what the SB threads are for, with general feedback, but if there's one image that you're having trouble with, want to get better, one that you'd really like to take to the next level or similar, people will help you to do just that in here.
Start a thread with your image, it might be a good idea to tell a bit about what you're trying to achieve with it, if there's anything particular you'd like help with and the general idea behind it, and then you'll hopefully get some feedback soon.
A few notes on what to do and not to do in here though, this forum is not a sketchbook forum, so there really is no need to take half assed sketches or things that you have no idea what you're trying to do with in here. Work on things a bit more than just jotting down some lines before submitting it. If you're already having trouble with your composition, there's a great thread HERE that discusses that, but also keep in mind that there's a lot of things you can read up on before even starting images. (There will soon be a thread up here in this forum telling you where to find some of it.) First and foremost it might be a good idea to read the threads that's stickied (put on top in the forum above the line) before you post.
Also, all feedback are given with helping you as an artist in mind, and excuses like "It's my style" or alike when people are trying to tell you that your anatomy is off or something might have to be redone, will not be appreciated. If you post in this forum it is because you want help to get better, and when people are trying to do just that, they are less likely to help you again if you don't listen to them. Mind though, not every crit you get will be earthshattering or maybe even apply to your image - you are allowed to say that something is not quite how you want to do things, but in general people in here are extremely helpful - so read it properly first and above all: be civil.
The forum is also where you can post your images when they're done, but not necessarily good enough to be posted in the "It's Finally Finished!!" forum. Then you can post them and get some feedback on things you might want to look out for the next time you're doing an image. It might be a good idea to state in your thread that you're somewhat done with it but would like some crits and comments on it.
Sometimes threads posted in the "It's Finally Finished!!" forum will be moved here, if the moderators of the forum thinks that it could do with some more work, isn't finished enough or that you should get a bit better before posting in Finally Finished forum. Here's a great post by N D Hill explaining why and how this is to help you as an artist.
Last, but not least, the CC and WIP forum are solely run by the users of this place, so if you don't get any feedback right away, you might want to keep working on the image while waiting for some feedback and post a newer version later. If you think you yourself can see something on other people's images that might improve it, feel free to post yourself. Nobody is "hired" to comment on all these images, it's all up to the users themselves.
The It's Finally Finished!! forum
The It's Finally Finished!! forum (most referred to as the FF forum) is for intermediate and professional level work. If you are in doubt if you should post, the CC and WIP forum is probably where you should post instead. If the moderators think you're good enough to post in the FF forum they'll move your thread there. Also, the "New here?" thread by Carnifex is a great help, look at the two images at the top, if your level is good enough to be side by side with the examples in the first images you should post in the FF forum, if you're more along the lines of the second image you should post in the CC and WIP forum.
The FF forum is a place to show off your hard work and also to get some feedback. This also not an "ooh and aah" forum only, it's not how CA works, so don't get surprised if you get some constructive feedback beetween the "great!" posts. This is the place to browse for awsome images and works, however, and if you think you fit in, you're welcome to post and open our eyes to a new artist. Or an old. It doesn't matter if you've been a member a long time or joined today, if you're in the business or not, or any other things - what matters is that you have some nice work you'd like to show the rest of us and let us enjoy.
The artwork in the FF forum ranges from concept art, standalone images, fine art, illustrations, comic art, etc, as long as it's good - be it traditional or digital, it's welcome.
Sometimes a thread will be moved from the FF forum and to the Critique Center and W.I.P. Showcase forum. This will most likely be because of the level of your work, and instead of trying to explain this I'll just point you to this thread by N D Hill which sums up nicely why it is done and how this is to help the artist.
Some people are afraid to post in this forum, but don't be if you're on the level with the other people that posts in there, we love getting new art to let our eyes feast on.
Other forums: Fine arts, 3D, Sculpture & Toys, Motion graphics and Animation, Photography Mob
These forums are pretty self explainatory, if you want feedback, comment and crits on photography, sculpturing, etc, go into the right forum and post a thread. The Photography Mob is an own forum site while the rest works as all the other forums in here. Take a look around, see what's stickied and how others have done it, and it should be pretty easy from there.
The Fine Arts forum is for those pursuing the more traditional way of becoming a fine artist, but everything said and done in here applies to art in general, so don't stay out just because you mainly work with digital. If this isn't the forum for you to post in it is still a forum for you get some great information that is needed no matter work method.
Uploading images and managing attachments
To show your images in these threads and forums as earlier mentioned, you need to upload them using our forum attachment manager. When you make a post you can look underneath the window where you write your post and you'll find an own square that has a black button saying "manage attachments". Clicking on this will make a small window pop uo with the manager, if you run a browser that doesn't allow popups or a popup stopper you might have to allow it to appear.
The first field that has the "browse" button after it is where you find the image on your computer to upload it. Click browse and find the folder where your image is, click the image you want there, and it's ready. If you want to change the name on your image before posting it, you have to do that beforehanded - before you upload it through the attachment manager.
The next field is the copyright owner field. If this is an image you yourself has made it's easy enough, put your forum name or your real name there. If you put your real name there, that is what will show up in the art register as copyright owner. If you're trying to show an image made by someone else, put their name in the field. After you've put the copyright owner in once, later on your earlier inputs will show up if you just type in the first letter in most browsers. The field underneath it is the date, if it's something you've recently done you don't need to change that, but if it's earlier works you might want to change it.
The next are the image categories. They're easy enough, just click the arrow to look at the dropdown menu, and find what suits that particular image. There's also options like "other" if you can find a proper match of what the image is.
These fields all have to be filled out. The reason that the manager needs all this information before you upload is because of CA's Art Registry. You can read more about why we have that in this post by Jason Manley in the Art Registry & Portefolio forum.
If you want to upload more than just one image to your post, wait until the manager has uploaded the first. You will see when that's happened by the fields blanking out, and the image will appear on the image list both in the popup window and in the box underneath the "manage attachments" button. Then you find the next one you want to put in with the browse button.
If you upload the images you want and leave it at that, the images will come at the end of your post gathered together in the order you uploaded them with the first one you uploaded first and then the second, etc until the last, within a box with white edges. If you'd like to have them in another way or want to type text between the images, etc, you simply write what you want to write before you want the first image, then you find the little box with a paperclip above the box where you type out your post. It's right between the smileyface and the two arrows, on the first line after the fonts and size options. Click on the dropdown menu, find the image you want, and click to get a line that will put your image in the right place. Then you can write some more, put in more pictures, etc. If you're unsure if you got it right, click the preview post button first to see how it'll end up when submitting the post or the thread.
For a more visual guide of how to do this, look at the images that Carnifex posted at the top of this thread, they should be easy enough to follow.
For those that doesn't want to use our attachment manager and upload pictures, you can link your images from another site. This is done by clicking the image that looks like a postcard above the box where you type out your post to add your url or using image tags. NOTE: Do remember that some sites does not allow hotlinking (linking the image directly), that includes sites like deviantart and blogger. Some free hosting sites like photobucket might chose to remove your image if they find it offensive, including but not limited to things like life drawings with naked people, etc.
Resolution, sizes and other good tips
The standard image showed on the web will not exceed 72 dpi, therefore there is no reason to upload images with 300 dpi. Not only does it take more space on the servers than it needs to take, it might make people move on from your SB or alike if an image heavy thread also needs to dl a lot more than strictly needed. Also, keep an eye on the size pixelwise, there's no need for 2000x3000 pixel images, it makes it hard to get an overview, it takes more space than needed on the servers, and you'll have people telling you to resize your image. Saving for web if that's an option with the software you're using is a good way to not go overboard when it comes to size. The most common used file size for the images is .jpg
If you have been working on something digital or your scanning/photo options are limited you might find that your image becomes very small, blurred out or getting digital artifacts when trying to change sizes and dpi. One trick to do it simple and painless is just simply to take a screenshot of your monitor (as in pressing the button on your keyboard that says prt scr or alike), make a new image in your image program and paste it. Then just cut whatever is around your image, and you're ready to go with a somewhat ok size, the right amount of dpi, and actually a lot of times you might see that your colours holds better when doing it this way.
When it comes to taking photos of traditionally made art, this post by Dave Palumbo has some good pointers when it comes to his own experiences.
And of course, if you're wondering about something when it comes to posting, how this forum works, etc, The Forum FAQ is the best place to start
I'm leaving this thread open for replies so people can add things they might think be a good idea to include or if you have any particular questions. The post will be updated if there's changes done, information that should be included or left out.