At ten features into my tenure as Community Volunteer for Abstract & Surreal Photography I am noticing a certain trend in response to abstract and surreal Daily Deviations. I shall address some of the recurring themes here, and hopefully answer some questions along the way. At this point I would like to mention that I am talking about a small and vocal minority, and I sincerely thank the overwhelming majority for supporting the featured artists and their work. You're what makes this site such a great community.
With that said, let's get to the troublesome themes I am coming across.
The "This is crap!" Argument
As an observer and a critic, you're entitled to think that something isn't very good. However, exclaiming as such on the comments of a piece of work that an artist has spent time and energy creating is not only counter-productive, but rude and insulting, especially if it's not followed up with some advice about how you think they could make their work better. Let's try some role reversal: if someone came along and rubbished your hard work, how would it make you feel?
The "I could do this myself!" Argument
As an artist, I find this comment perplexing. If you can create similar art yourself, go for it! If you're using it as a disparaging remark, surely you're doing little more than rubbishing your own abilities as an artist! While less directly hateful than the first argument, it is still nowhere near a constructive statement and it is disrespectful to leave such comments on the works of others.
The "I don't get it, it shouldn't be a DD" Argument
DeviantART is a huge website that caters for an even larger audience, who all have different interests and areas of expertise. Suggesting that something shouldn't be featured as a Daily Deviation because you personally don't understand the image is a curious statement to make. Unless you've a particular interest in abstract and surreal art, it is likely that you won't get it. That's okay! However, using it as a basis to voice your disapproval is a weak argument.
The "I don't understand why this stuff keeps getting featured" Argument
All categories of art that are represented by a Community Volunteer are also represented on the Daily Deviations page. As the CV for abstract and surreal photography
, it is both an honour and pleasure to feature abstract and surreal work. If you don't have an interest in abstract and surreal work, that's fine; that's why all represented categories receive DD features. If you feel strongly enough about this that you think that abstract and surreal photography shouldn't have a Community Volunteer at all, then you're welcome to take that up with Moonbeam13
The "Why don't you deal with issues on features yourself!" Argument
We CVs are a tight-knit team, and we help each other out in this sort of situation. We're all in different time zones and have different amounts of free time, so it's inevitable that other CVs are going to step in to try to diffuse a situation that may arise. At that point it would be fruitless for me to get involved too; it would belittle the efforts of my fellow CVs, and could come across as overkill from the perspective of the community. We are here for you, not against you.
A Closing Statement
"A Daily Deviation is intended to give an artist a chance to be seen by a large portion of the community and as not everyone has the same tastes, it is obvious that you may not appreciate every piece that is selected as a daily deviation.
If you have a problem with a particular Daily Deviation feature, do NOT leave your disapproval among the other comments on the piece. It is disrespectful to the artist featured, the person who chose it and/or the person that suggested it.
If you absolutely must voice your disapproval of a selected feature, feel free to note Moonbeam13 however, unless the image violates policy in some way, it is highly unlikely it will be removed."
These words are taken straight from FAQ #873: What do I do when I disapprove of a Daily Deviation feature?
In closing, I would like to point out that Daily Deviations are not magical fame-passes to those who receive them. In my genre of abstract and surreal especially, they are daily art features that appeal, usually, to an abstract/surreal audience. With this in mind, your focus should be on the work, not on the fact that it is a Daily Deviation; all thoughts regarding that are irrelevant to the piece itself, and should be brought up with us staff members. Anything else is a poor show of basic decency. If you feel that strongly against a feature, I have but one final thought: send in your own DD suggestions. It's easy to be an armchair critic.
Thank-you for your time.