Portfolio Platform Review – Part IV: DeviantArt

This is a guest post by Tara Hornor, if you want to guest post on this blog, please contact us.

Here in the Portfolio Platform Review Series is Part 4 focusing on DeviantArt. To begin with, DeviantArt is not for everyone. The name of this platform should be the first clue, but even if you do not create edgy art, you can’t dismiss DeviantArt. It is one of the largest communities of art on the Internet with nearly 200 million graphics including photographs, sculptures, design layouts for posters and postcard printing, crafts, clothing, and more.

You have to balance the pros and cons of putting your work on a site like DeviantArt simply because your clients will likely be exposed to adult and mature themes. So long as you are comfortable with this reality, DeviantArt can be a wonderful place to set up your portfolio, especially if you have selected pieces that fit the general community of this site. You may find that DeviantArt gives you a place for your more expressive, edgy pieces you might have kept off your primary website or other portfolios such as Flickr. In fact, DeviantArt is a great secondary portfolio to have in addition to your other, more tame portfolios.

Portfolio Platform Review DeviantArt

Ease of Use

DeviantArt makes it very easy to upload and organize your content. Using a standard upload form, you manage the image, title/category, description, keywords, and advanced options. The downside of this approach is that you have to do one image at a time. The upside is that you get detailed control on an image-by-image basis.

Some of the advanced options include setting mature content warnings, creative commons licenses management, and whether other registered users can comment. Again, lots to manage, but the extra control is nice. This is definitely not the place for quickly uploading your portfolio and moving on.

Image Protection

No built in features for watermarking are available, but you can limit who can see your work by using the mature content controls. Otherwise, you have the option of making a high-resolution version of the image available. If you want to protect images, you should only upload low-resolution images and even watermark them prior to uploading.

Professionalism/Quality of Presentation

DeviantArt gives you everything you need to show off your portfolio. You can make high-resolution images available and include exhaustive descriptions. In fact, many artists include lengthy fictional pieces in their descriptions – to the tune of 2,000+ words! So you really do have the flexibility of adding extensive information to each graphic.

Community/Environmental Considerations

DeviantArt is well-known for being a community that encourages and embraces edgy concepts. This extends to the outer-reaches of artistic taste: erotic nudes, fetishes, and violent graphics are very common on the site. Furthermore, other artists are happy to comment on each others’ work. You do have the ability to control what comments appear in your feed per image, though.

DeviantArt also places similar artists and advertisements throughout the site, and this includes on your page where you have your content. You risk losing clients to other designers who might catch the eye of the reviewer or click off to an advertiser’s website.

Customization Options

You can upgrade your free subscription to include more options for customization. Unfortunetly, you still are not able to fully customize the site. You will always be stuck with the DeviantArt logos, color scheme, and layouts. But the upgrades do include the ability to use Flash-based featured galleries that your viewers can use to see multiple images right from the main page.

Contact Options

You can include as much information as you want in your profile. The bio page is easy to update and you can include a linkable email address. When clients click on your website from your bio page, DeviantArt warns them they are leaving the site.


For those designers who need an outlet for mature themes, DeviantArt is your ideal spot on the web. While you can include your entire portfolio, you may want to consider limiting the work you put on DeviantArt to the pieces you think may not fit on other, commercial galleries or portfolios. Overall, it’s an excellent portfolio website, but the content and community around which DeviantArt focuses is not ideal for business clients looking for straight-laced designs.

About the Author!

Tara Hornor has a degree in English and has found her niche writing about marketing, advertising, branding, graphic design, and desktop publishing. She writes for PrintPlace.com, an online printing company that offers business cards, posters, brochure printing, postcard printing, and more printed marketing media. In addition to her writing career, Tara also enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.

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  1. Paul Murray says

    There is an option in the submission settings for adding a watermark to images, though you can’t specify a custom one.

    I’ve had a deviantArt account for a number of years but rarely use it now. Personally I’ve found it a let-down for getting feedback or networking a sI haven’t found many professional designers using it.

    It seems to be a favourite with amateurs and students. There’s a wealth of great work on there but you really need to search through to find it.

  2. Tara Hornor says

    @Paul – There are a lot of amateurs and students on deviantArt. However, I have found a number of professional artists that like to use deviantArt for their more mature or eccentric pieces. I agree with you, though, that professionals should have their own, separate website.

    Thanks for pointing out the watermark feature! 🙂

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