Hello, artists! This is your friendly co-founder, with a few helpful hints on getting more exposure for your art.
Here at Prismacolor-Artists, we believe that artists at every stage of their development deserve the praise, feedback and development that comes along with sharing their artwork to a wide audience. It's all part of the process of becoming a good, even great, artist. That's why we have a very broad acceptance policy for our galleries. We can bring a thumbnail of your work to hundreds of other artists. But it's up to you to make sure they want to view the full image.
Here are a few simple, free, and not very time-consuming tips on how to make your picture more appealing:
Take a good digital image of it.
If you're photographing you work, make sure you have your camera's resolution settings turned up to a high quality setting. Find a well-lit space, without random shadows falling on your work. Use daylight rather than a flash, so there is no glare bouncing off the picture.
If you're scanning your work, don't be afraid to tweak the settings. Again, high resolution is ideal.
I cannot emphasize this one enough. Nothing looks as unprofessional as a badly cropped image. If your photo left you with an edge of tabletop, or your scan had a dark grey gradient along one side, chop it off. For those of you using Windows, you can open your image in Paint and simply resize it using the indicators on the bottom and right-centre edges. Then rotate it 180' and crop the other two edges. It's that simple, takes only a few minutes, and means your art will be accepted by many more groups, and look nicer.
This is mainly a tip for graphite artists. I know it's very, very hard to make a scanner or camera see your paper as white when you've left large white areas. This is because they assume the most abundant light value in the image is going to be a midtone. You don't need to know all of the details of how it works to correct it. The main point is that there is (free!) photo editing software out there which can correct it in minutes. Your scanner may have come with software like this, in which case you can edit it while you're making your scan. Otherwise, you might try to use something like Picasa, which has easy-to-use contrast correction tools. Don't overdo it, but do make sure that we can see what your picture is of when it's still in thumbnail size!
Make it easy for groups to sort your work.
If you give a few details of your work, you will make it much easier for group moderators (like me) to approve and sort your work quickly. Quick approval = more exposure. Quick folder sorting = your work will have less to compete with as it's not in an overflowing miscellanea folder = more exposure. Enabling moderators to know that your work meets their groups criteria = your work will be accepted by more groups = more exposure!
So what should you include? General rule of thumb is year+size+medium/media, in a separate line from the rest of your description; like this:
“I drew this with Prismacolor markers on A4 card stock back in 2009.”
This info is great for you, as well. It will tell you how you have developed over time; and remind you of what you used to achieve a certain look, in case you ever want to do it again.
I do apologize for being so long-winded. Remember, these aren't rules. Just suggestions. But I have found from both experience with my own work, and as a moderator, that these few simple tweaks help enormously.
Speaking of which, we are still working to sort out the archives into medium-based folders, so people can browse your work more easily. If you see your art filed as miscellaneous or unknown, or see it in the wrong folder, or still lurking un-filed in the Featured folder, please feel free to leave a message here with the name of your work, which folder its in, and where it should be. We're still doing a lot of guesswork at the moment. Thank you for your patience!
And happy drawing!