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Maybe...possibly...maybe back?

Journal Entry: Mon Apr 9, 2018, 7:18 PM


I'm rethinking how I use social media and, at the end of the day, deviantART is still the only place that offers everything I want in one spot. And, despite there not being any major updates to the site in years, it's still a pretty stable platform. So I'm gonna give this another, tentative, go. Gonna upload a few test pieces and see what sort of response I get, and then go from there.

I'd also love to connect with any of my old followers who are still hanging around! Who's here? How y'all been? What're you working on?

Not Back, but...

Journal Entry: Sat Dec 31, 2016, 11:24 AM


Not coming back to deviantART but I've still got over 600 watchers here (...why? lol). So I figured I'd drop back in and post a little update for anyone still interested in seeing my work. I've got a lot planned for 2017, including the launch of my book "Bound by Kin" (why aren't italics working when I click the button...) in June. If you subscribe to my newsletter on my website you can read the first two chapters of the book for free! I've also launched a Patreon recently, and I'll be posting one chapter a week of "Bound by Kin" every Friday until June for my $5 subscribers, so you can also read the book early that way. (Lots of other goodies on my Patreon as well.)

I'm also launching my new blog in 2017, and that will be through my website. There will be lots of short stories, stuff related to art, writing, and reading, a series on modern fandom, and other little things. Should be fun.

You can also find me on twitter and tumblr, and a few other places that are linked through my website.

Off to 2017 we go!

Calling It

Journal Entry: Tue Nov 17, 2015, 8:50 PM


I'm just gonna call it on dA at this point. I've been coming on less and less as of late because it just isn't a fun nor useful place for me like it used to be. I don't hate it here or anything, I'm just board. I'll probably still poke my head in on occasion, but I really won't be around anymore. If you still want to follow me, my most active site is Katy-L-Wood.tumblr.com 

Thanks for all the good times, guys. It was a fun nearly 9 years. :heart:

The newish tag system

Journal Entry: Mon Apr 6, 2015, 10:18 AM


Yes, yes, I'm talking about this again. It has come up again a couple times recently when I was talking to various staff members on their journals or mine, so I figured I'd put together a better breakdown of why exactly I don't like this new system, because it's a bit much for a single comment.

Alright, so, in this new system the tags don't use spaces. I've yet to hear a decent reason for this, and that bugs me, because the lack of spaces just doesn't work. Plenty of sites do have tags with spaces (tumblr and youtube, to name just a couple) so it is totally possible, however I do understand that the framework of some sites can make it incredibly difficult to add a tags-with-spaces system in. None the less, I think it would be worth the effort and here's why:

For the purposes of this example we're going to use the search term "Kith and Kin" because it is a small tag no matter how you input it, which makes it easier to see exactly what is going on. (Also it's a tag I use frequently, so it's easier for me to see what's going on related to one specific artist or artwork.) So lets say a random user comes across the site and wants to search for stuff related to my book project "Kith and Kin." Logically, they'll type in "Kith and Kin" into the search field. Not "KithAndKin." But here's the thing, when I submit my work, I can't tag "Kith and Kin," only "KithAndKin." And guess what? Even though they're sort of the same thing (and the new tag system seems to want you to think they're the exact same thing) they bring up two TOTALLY different sets of results. Here's a screenshot of the first few lines of results for each of those search terms:

Kith and Kin search screenshot by Katy-L-Wood

KithandKin search screenshot by Katy-L-Wood

Both are set to "Popular All Time" in all categories. Both have no changes in the tags EXCEPT the lack of spaces. And yet, each one brings up something almost TOTALLY different. "KithAndKin" brings up only 38 results, while "Kith And Kin" brings up 234. Any deviations that are repeated across each are at completely different areas of the page. All those "______Lockwood" pieces are mine. Notice how differently they're ranked across each version of the tag? They're more popular on the tag I have to use because of this system; the "KithAndKin" tag. But in the more logical version of the tag, the one the average person will use when searching the site, "Kith and Kin," my pieces are lower on the page and buried among other stuff. But, because of this system I CAN'T use that more logical tag to better place my pieces in the path of the people who are looking for them. I instead have to use the tag without spaces and hope people find my work anyways.

Obviously this is going to be true for all artists across the site, and to me that's not okay. This is our artwork and we need to be able to make it as easy as possible for people to find it, especially those of us who hope to someday make a living off of our artwork. I just can't get behind a tag system that doesn't let us do that.






Sorry I couldn't get these up on Instagram like I promised, guys! My phone decided it no longer wants to function up there.



But anyways, here's some pictures of the area around where my character Vivian's house is. The location is the setting for around half of at least one book in the series that I have created Vivian for. It is the Williams Fork Valley area of Colorado which played host to Ute Indians along with a few other tribes and there was at least one large battle there. The battle ground is now under the Williams Fork Reservoir though. There were also frequent Ute horse races in the area, though the track can no longer be seen.

The first couple days of Memorial Day weekend were solid rain. I have been going up there since I was born and I've never seen such constant, heavy rain. I thought I wasn't going to get a chance to take photos, but I managed to bribe my sister into coming out with me despite the rain and got my first round of photos despite the horrid lighting and constant rain. Then, the next day, it cleared up into beautiful 70 degree weather and I was able to go out for about four hours and got some good shots.

My family has lived up in this area for four generations now. We helped settle the area and still own quite a bit of land up there. There is one big family farm left, and one smaller one that technically isn't active anymore but the part of the family who owns the big farm still uses the small farm's land for grazing and such. We've owned several cabins in the area over the years, but they one we're at now we've had for about 20 years. It is the only place that I have had for my whole life due to how often my parents each moved around, so this place is more home to me than anywhere else. I grew up here playing in the mountains and the creeks, learning to hunt and camp and so much more. The whole family uses the cabin, though some more than others, and it's a HUGE family. Grandparents had ten kids who pretty much all married and had kids. There can be twenty or more people up there some nights, especially during hunting season. Some of my fondest memories are everyone piling into the "garage" (which is more of another livingroom/kitchen) and sitting at the mismatched tables and having huge, home cooked meals from fresh meet and vegetables and berries and everyone trades stories and talks and it's just amazing. I'm so excited to be able to write a story that takes place here and draws from those stories.

Vivian's Mansion 1 by Katy-L-Wood


A view from the road that goes by Vivian's house.

Vivian's Mansion 2 by Katy-L-Wood


A road up to the top of the mountain behind Vivian's House.

Vivian's Mansion 4 by Katy-L-Wood
A little ways down the road from the location of Vivian's house.

Vivian's Mansion 5 by Katy-L-Wood
The view from Vivian's front door.

Vivian's Mansion 7 by Katy-L-Wood
Driving down towards the reservoir.

Vivian's Mansion 9 by Katy-L-Wood
The reservoir.

Vivian's Mansion 10 by Katy-L-Wood
The reservoir and a bit of the family land over on the right.

Vivian's Mansion 12 by Katy-L-Wood
One of the other farms in the area. Can you see the face in the snow capped mountain? There's actually
three faces in the mountains up there, and they're all facing the same direction. Makes me want to
write a story about giants.

Vivian's Mansion 13 by Katy-L-Wood
On the way to Vivian's house. And the ATV my little sis was nice enough to cart me around on
so I could take these pictures. Such a good little sis.

Vivian's Mansion 14 by Katy-L-Wood
Closer shot of that old barn. It has been there my entire life, collapsing more and more every year.

Vivian's Mansion 15 by Katy-L-Wood
Can't get closer to the barn though, since it's in someone's field. Might go ask for permission
some time though.

Vivian's Mansion 16 by Katy-L-Wood
Sadly there is a ton of beetle kill in the area, but it's still super beautiful.

Vivian's Mansion 18 by Katy-L-Wood
The road to Vivian's house and the mountain it sits in front of.

Vivian's Mansion 17 by Katy-L-Wood
Last but not least, we've got this creepy thing. There's a few different abandoned trailers in the
area, but this one is the weirdest. We are SURE that this one is abandoned. However, every time we visit
it there are different bones hanging out front. Nothing else changes except the bones. No one
goes in the trailer, no one uses the wood in the shed, no one does anything except move/take/add
bones to that railing.


So once again we have a brand new feature that has been released to everyone, and a lot of people are up in arms about it. This is more than understandable, the system is buggy and it doesn't work quite right for everyone. But for many people it does work well, and many people do like it. They don't speak up though, because they are happy with it so they don't have as much reason to speak up as the people who are having problems.

Think about the last ten products you bought that you liked and worked well, did you contact the company that made it or leave a review on their website or something of that sort? Now think about the last ten products you bought that you didn't like or were broken or whatever, what did you do? My guess is you complained, either through a review or a return or something of that sort. My point is, unless something is wrong people don't generally speak up. This makes it seem like many more people dislike a new feature than do, because the people that do just aren't speaking up.

That's not to say your points aren't valid if you're having issues, they totally are, but there are better ways to discuss your issues than leaving rage comments on update articles. There's really nothing the staff can do with a rage comment, it doesn't tell them anything. But if you leave a good, constructive comment, there's much more the staff can do with that. A constructive comment allows them to know exactly what your issue is and discuss it. But how do you leave a constructive comment on a new feature? It's much the same as leaving a critique on a piece of artwork.

Bugs
First off, lets talk about bugs a little bit. There will always be bugs with new releases, no matter how long they've been in beta-testing. When things get released new bugs come up because suddenly there's a ton more people using the feature and they all have different browser/computer/internet/browser extension combinations. The staff gets rid of as many bugs as possible during beta testing, but some slip through the cracks. The staff are only human (as far as we know, anyhow ;) ) and things can slip through the cracks.

You also have to realize that there is no magic button that fixes bugs, if there was there wouldn't be bugs. They take time and skill to fix, it doesn't happen overnight. The bugs have to 1)be found, 2)be figured out, 3)be fixed. Some bugs will also take priority over others, for example a bug causing a broken submit button is generally going to be looked into quicker than a bug causing the submit button to be slightly off center. Just because a bug isn't fixed immediately doesn't mean the staff aren't working on it.

If you experience a bug the best thing you can do is report it to the help desk. When you select "Bug Report" from the drop-down you'll be met with a list of instructions on how to try and figure out the bug. If you do these before submitting your ticket you may be able to figure out what's causing your issue and better explain it in your report. It is better to submit a bug to the help desk than just leaving a comment on the update article. A comment about a bug on the new feature article is easily missed and your bug may not be addressed as quickly. A bug report ensures that the staff will see your issue.

When submitting a ticket on a bug please be sure it is actually a bug and not just something you don't understand, or feedback that isn't related to a bug at all! Incorrect reports slow the help desk down and make it harder to get to the real issues. If you're ever unsure if something is a bug or not, I advise visiting the help chat and talking with someone in there about it. They'll be able to help you figure out if what you're experiencing is a bug and what to do about it. You can post your non-bug related feedback on the journal about the feature, your journal, deviations, etc.

"My ticket was marked as resolved but the issue is still there!" Just because a ticket is marked as resolved doesn't mean the issue is fixed, this is usually stated with the ticket but I'm going to put it in this article as well.

Please note that if this ticket is set to resolved this does not  necessarily mean that your issue is fixed, but that there is no further  reason for the ticket to remain open as we have collected all the  necessary information we need in order to look into the situation.


Leaving constructive feedback.
Leaving constructive feedback is a lot like critiquing a piece of artwork, but not everyone knows how to do that, so here's a quick breakdown of how to leave good feedback.
:bulletpink: Start by actually using the feature. I really don't think I should need to say this, but I do. I have seen lots of comments from people who rage about a new feature and then come back a few minutes later and sheepishly admit they actually really like it but hadn't tried it, they were just complaining because everyone else was. I've also seen people who refuse to try a new feature just because everyone else is complaining about it, but they still feel the need to complain as well even though they haven't tried it themselves.
:bulletpink: Report any bugs and report them as discussed in the previous section. Bugs are not part of a feature, they're bugs. They have no reflection on the actual intent of the feature.
:bulletpink: Figure out what you like and don't like. Figure out why. If you can tell the staff WHY you don't like something it will make your comment much more helpful to them then just complaining about the feature.
:bulletpink: Tell them. Leave your comment about what you like, don't like, and why on the journal about the new feature, write your own journal, make a poll, etc.
:bulletpink: Leave suggestions about how you think those parts you don't like could be made better.

Let's take a look at some constructive comments from the newest feature release, the new submit page, to get an idea of what a good comment looks like.
"I didn't have the new submission page until now, so today was my first  time using it. I don't have any complaints. It works just fine for me  and there are a few options that make things easier (like being able to  submit to multiple folders at the same time). The only annoying thing  about it is the color, it would be nice if it could be changed to  deviantart green."-X-Spread-Wings-X (View the comment here.)


"Quicker? No. Its not x.x if anything it takes twice as long...maybe even  triple that time! Its laggy and I'm still waiting for the screen to  change to give me the rest of my options! Mind you, I started trying to  submit my work at 11:39-11:40 and its now 11:48!!! Its not my internet  because every other page I'm loading is snapping right up! Its not even  the rest of deviantart! I'm browsing through art, chatting, faving and  commenting with ease! I had read all the comments before about this when  it was being beta tested and heard testimonials from my friends who had  it and I knew the majority of it was negative! I was willing to give it  the benefit of the doubt cause some days I do like to submit with  stash...mainly cause the preview for the image is bigger...but looking  at it now, experiencing it...they were right so far! Unless these issues  are cleared up I feel this new addition is just going to keep sinking  in the list of failures deviantart has produced

...
I do like that the image is larger when previewing. Big help and I can  actually see if I've grabbed the wrong file (such as a corrected file  opposed to a flawed one). If by some miracle you revamp this and improve  upon it...please keep that.

Submitting to all those folders 8D I  LOVE THAT. I do not have to go back into my gallery and  reorganize...THAT IS JUST BRILLIANT! Keep that."-AllegedStitches ( I have shortened this because of how long it is. You can view the whole comment here.)


"I will start by commending dA on a few features of the new submit  page (which to me is about three months old and has improved since the  initial release). The ability to submit to multiple folders is an improvement  over the old form, the categories are searchable and give a decently  better idea of what is expected per each category, the enlarged  thumbnail is considerably more useful than the... nail-sized thumbnail  of the original page... and most importantly, to me, you can now  retroactively make deviations group-exclusive as well as easily submit  group-exclusive scraps (I love you guys so much for this you have no  idea).

That all said... the page is painfully slow. I imagine by  "quick and easy" you mean "to fill out", which also isn't necessarily  true in practice because it takes some time for it to register that you  uploaded a goddamn image. I am consistently finding, particularly on  slower networks, that the auto-save feature shared between the submit  form and sta.sh delays the submission (and editing) process  considerably. You could probably save so much time (and necessity to  re-upload things) by making that particular feature optional.

Yes.  I want an off button for auto-save. I really really really want an off  button for auto-save. Believe it or not, Firefox has this ingenius  add-on called Lazarus which remembers all the text I type for me.  Amazing, I know. And would you also believe that it doesn't lag?  Absolutely astounding. And by golly, it works on multiple websites.  Imagine that.

Snark aside. Auto-save. I don't want it, I don't need it, and it gets in my way; let me turn it off.

Aside  from that, I will put forth the same complaint you have been receiving  since day one-- change the color of the layout. We all want the  deviantART standard green, give us the deviantART standard green. It's a  color change. How difficult can that honestly be? Or at the very least  do me a favor and change the color behind the thumbnail. You kinda  defeat the purpose of that preview if I can check the transparency at  that stage because your background is white."-Yoriden (View the comment here.)


Those are all good examples of constructive feedback. The first one also shows that you don't need to write a ten paragraph essay to leave constructive feedback, which is an important thing to realize. As long as you are coherent and give constructive feedback the length doesn't really matter. These deviants used the feature, decided what they did and didn't like, explained it in a well organized manner, and told the staff about this in a format the staff can actually use to look over and make decisions about what direction to go.

But the staff don't respond to my comments, so why does it matter?
I'm going to throw in a little personal experience here to try and explain this one. This morning I woke up with around thirty comments and replies about the new submit page in my inbox, only thirty. It took me about half an hour to read through all of them, since I like to read through all my comments/replies before I respond so I can address the urgent ones first. When I actually started replying to all the comments/replies it took me nearly two hours to get through just those thirty. Can you imagine what it's like for the staff who get hundreds at a time? There's no way they can answer every single comment, many of them saying nearly the exact same thing. They have more important things to do, like actually fixing the issues that are occurring. Would you rather they didn't fix the issues quickly, and instead spent hours responding to every single comment? The staff do read over every comment, but they don't have the time to respond to every single one. This doesn't mean your issues aren't being addressed, in fact it means they have a better chance of getting addressed because the staff are delegating their time towards actually fixing them, rather then just telling you they're going to fix them.

Be patient.
Features will be buggy when they come out, they will have rough edges. These aren't things that can be fixed overnight. Give the staff some time to iron things out before you start jumping down their throats with death threats. Not that you should ever do that anyways, but the point is that things need time. The staff didn't intentionally release a system with bugs just so they could sit back and laugh at everyone else who was having issues, they're doing everything they can to find and fix the bugs as fast as they can. You just need to give them a little time. The best thing you can do is leave constructive feedback, file well explained bug reports, and not clog the help desk with feedback that belongs elsewhere.

Volunteer related stuff!

Journal Entry: Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:45 AM


Journal



Journal


Okay, time for some specifics! Here's some things I can help you guys with as a CV:

As a community volunteer for the chats and forums, there's lots of things I can help you with around the site, so here's a quick breakdown of them.

:bulletblack: Need a thread locked or moved? See a thread that you think breaks the rules? Send me a note about it and I will take care of it!
:bulletblack: Need help running or promoting a contest? Shoot me a note! I'll be happy to help you run the contest, donate a few prizes, or just help you promote it.
:bulletblack: Need help promoting your group? Note me!
:bulletblack: Need help promoting anything else? Note me!
:bulletblack: Need help figuring out a feature on the site, or just site help in general? Feel free to note me and I'll direct you to the best way to resolve your issue or show you how to use the feature.

When you note me, please put what kind of help you need in the subject line. If you need a thread locked or moved, say so, need help promoting a group, say so. For contests, please fill out this form as well:
Link to any contest info:
Theme of contest:
Contest start date:
Contest end date:


All this info can be found on my page as well, for easy access.

Groups You Guys Should Check Out


:iconcommunityrelations: Is the the home of everything community related. It's the main group me and the other volunteers use to keep everyone updated on the different projects we're working on. There's lots of cool articles published through here, so I highly recommend watching the group!
:icondevbug: Is the home of the beta-testers and beta-testing related projects. It will keep you up to date on any beta projects that are occurring.
:iconhq: HQ is another big community group that publishes lots of helpful articles, including the weekly site updates. Every deviant needs them on their watchlist!

Current Projects Going on Around the Community


The holiday season is always a big time for community projects, so here's just a few of the ones going on right now that you should check out!

ginkgografix is hosting her calender project again! fav.me/d5mpqci Be sure to check it out for daily challenges, cool journal skins, and awesome prizes!

Arichy is collecting points to help give lots of awesome presents to lots of awesome deviants, but they need donations to reach their goal! Check here for more info: arichy.deviantart.com/journal/…

bradleysays is hosting this year's "(RED)" contest in support of the fight against aids. There are three categories: deviant stamps, journal and gallery skins, and deviant IDs. The deadline for entries is December 31st. Check here for more info: ladygagz.deviantart.com/journa…

lilvdzwan is hosting a vector/vexel contest and an extraterrestrial contest. Info on both can be found here: vexelove.deviantart.com/journa…

Endorell-Taelos is hosting a winter themed contest. You have all the way to February 28th to create your entries! You can find more info here: fav.me/d5gnv71

TiaVon is hosting a contest to draw your OC with their OC Anouk. The deadline is March 1st, and you can find more info here: fav.me/d5aozyw

TheLastHuzzah is also hosting a winter themed contest! You must draw one of your OC's with one of TheLastHuzzah's. The deadline is February 28th. Check here for more info: fav.me/d5d5qqm

Muro-For-Membership is hosting there next muro for membership contest on December 15th! Be sure to go check out the group for more info.

Lintu47 is hosting a contest with the theme "Let it Snow" with a ton of amazing prizes to be won. The deadline is March 1st, and you can get more info here: lintu47.deviantart.com/art/Let…

AzizrianDaoXrak is hosting a "Pay it Forward" project. They're looking for point donations to help gift premium memberships to other deviants as well as nominations for people to receive them! Check here for more info: azizriandaoxrak.deviantart.com…

Current Personal Projects


Digital Painting Tutorials Collection


I have run two premium membership giveaways in the past few months and my rules are always the same: Fave the article about the contest, you must not have a current membership, and you must give me a reason as to why you want the membership. In each contest the most common reason has been wanting to receive critique. This somewhat baffles me, because it's so easy to receive critique without the fancy platform. You don't need that to get critique, and trust me, it doesn't guarantee you're going to get it. I have a ton of my pieces critique enabled and I'm lucky to get one good critique every couple months. But despite that it is still the most common reason I hear when it comes to wanting a membership. So I've decided to put together a little guide as to other ways to get critiques to help people get the feedback they want to see.

Groups for receiving feedback and critique.
:iconprojectcomment:  is a Group of many projects centered around comments, but, more importantly, constructive comments. They have a lot of different ways set up for you to revive feedback from multiple people, and the feedback you get is very helpful.

:icongetwatchers: is a group created to help artists increase their audience, get more feedback and watchers by getting more exposure. If you're willing to put in a little work, this group can really help you bring in new viewers.

:iconcritique-it: believe's constructive feedback is one of the mainstays of deviantART's thriving community of artists and writers. They feel that the exchange of information and knowledge is just as important as amassing :+fav:s and :+devwatch:s. And, they feel that every deviant, regardless of symbols, can and should participate in that exchange.

There are a huge amount of groups that are set up to help you recive feedback of all sorts. One of the best ways to find them is to search from them here: groups.deviantart.com/?qh=&sec… or look through the affiliates of other feedback based groups.

Ways to let people know you want critique without having access to the critique platform.
One of the best ways to show people you want critique is through the use of plz account versions of stamps asking for critiques. Put them in your artist comments to let people know that you're open to receiving constructive feedback. Here's one good example:
:iconcritiquemeplz1::iconcritiquemeplz2::iconcritiquemeplz3: The code for this one is :iconcritiquemeplz1::iconcritiquemeplz2::iconcritiquemeplz3:

Other Critiquing resources.
Still wishing you could get a critique on the platform to have those nice star ratings and a gauruntee of at least 100 words? Try linking to this guy in your artists comments and asking people to use it to leave you critiques. hellsplumber.deviantart.com/ar…

The thumbshare forum is a good place to go as well. There's always at least one or two threads there offering critique for non-premium members. Check in there every few days to see what new threads pop up. forum.deviantart.com/showcase/…



I hope this helps some non-premium members realize that there are other ways to get critique without having a membership. The critique platform really doesn't add that much with so many other resources for giving and getting better feedback.

:iconhappywaveplz: Hello everyone! This document will break down several things related to creating visual and written suggestions on deviantART! The topics we will cover are:
  • What is a deviantART related suggestion?
  • What types of suggestions are there?
  • Where can I make a suggestion?
  • What should I consider when making a suggestion?
  • How do I make a visual suggestion?
  • How do I make a written suggestion?
  • What are some examples of good suggestions?
  • How can I get recognition for my suggestions?

What is a suggestion?

A deviantART related suggestion is a visual or written representation of an idea that you believe would improve the functioning of deviantART in any way. You can design a whole new feature you would like to see, or you can design a change to an old feature.

What types of suggestions are there?

There are two types of suggestions: visual and written. Visual suggestions are visual representations of ideas on how to improve the site. They are a clear, concise representation of how you believe a new feature could look and function, or how an old feature could be improved. There are several methods to create them, which we will go into in a bit. Written suggestions are written ideas of how to improve a feature or create a new one. They are clear, in depth explanations of how you believe a new feature could look and function, or how an old feature could be improved. We will go over the best way to put together both types of suggestions in a bit.

Where can I make a suggestion?

There's lots of places where you can make suggestions!
  • You can submit visual representations of suggestions to this gallery.
  • You can submit written suggestions to this gallery.
  • You can post suggestions to the suggestions forum.**
  • You can post suggestions on the weekly site updates posted at hq
  • If you would like to suggest changes to the category structure such as new categories or new subcategories, you can do so here.
  • If you would like to suggest changes and improvements to the forums, you can do so here.
  • :new:You can now suggest ideas for how the site gathers and collects feedback from all suggestions in this shiny new thread from haldron!
**If you submit to the suggestions forum, please be sure to read the common suggestions sticky at the top of the forum!**

What should I consider when making a suggestion?

There are several important things to consider when making a suggestion. If you take the time to consider all of them, it will help you create a better suggestion!
  1. Is this something I personally would find useful? It's much easier to back up your idea if it is something you personally believe in, and would really like to see.
  2. Is this something that I believe other people would use and enjoy? Have I talked to these people about it? Talking to other people about your ideas can help you flesh them out and figure out potential issues as well as ways to deal with them.
  3. What are some of the possible issues with this idea? Can I come up with something that covers these possible issues? Know what people might say straight from the beginning so you can have those issues already addressed before you even make your suggestion.
  4. Would it actually improve the site for a majority of users? There's a lot of cool things that could be done on deviantART, but some of them would benefit so few users it wouldn't be worth the time it takes to make them. Don't be discouraged though! You'll be surprised what people may find useful. 

How do I make a visual suggestion?

There are several ways to make a visual suggestion. One method is to use a program such as Firebug for Firefox or Chrome's developer tools. If you aren't experienced in using something like that though, since it does require some HTML and CSS knowledge, you can use an image editing program to build your suggestion! Programs with layers work best for this, I would recommend one of the Photoshop programs or GIMP, which is free. You can, however, use a program as simple as MS paint! The example of a visual suggestion given later is one of the most popular visual suggestions out there, and it was made in MS paint. We will only be going over how to create a suggestion in an image editing program, due to that being the only way I know how to make them!**

**If someone is experienced in Firebug or Chrome's developer tools and would like to write a short guide to using them to be included here, feel free to note me and I'll put it in!**

How to make a visual suggestion in an image editing program:
  1. Get your idea down. Make sure you've gone over the section on what you should consider when making a suggestion.
  2. Open a new document that is big enough for your suggestion. Don't be afraid of making it to big! You can always crop it down later. In this document sketch out a basic idea of what you want your idea to look like. This will help you figure out what elements you need to find around the site to build your suggestion.
  3. Find your elements! To build your suggestion you will need to screenshot the different elements already found on the site that you need. This helps your suggestion blend with what the site already looks like, which can make it easier for people to understand what you're trying to suggest. You can create elements as well, just try and make sure they blend with the site. You can pull these elements from anywhere, just because the area you screenshoted was a comment box doesn't mean it has to be a comment box in your suggestion! With this tutorial I have included a collection of pre-made elements for download! A full list of these elements can be found in the artists comments.
  4. Paste your screenshot into a new document. Copy the elements you want to use from the screenshot and paste them together in your suggestion document. Pull as many screenshots as you need to build your suggestion.
  5. Use the text tool to add in or adjust any text in your deviation. I, personally, use the "Verdana" font since it is the closest my computer has to the font deviantART uses.
  6. Once you've finished your suggestion you have two options: either submit it and explain everything in the artists comments or break it down within the suggestion which can be done using arrows and text, numbers on areas of the suggestion and an explanation on the bottom, or whatever works for you!
  7. Promote!

Another thing to consider when making a visual suggestion is if you want there to be added functionality for premium members, or if you want it to function the same way for all levels of membership. It isn't necessary to make it have an extra premium function, but it's something to consider!

Here's a few screenshots of what my setup looks like, to give you a better idea of what I'm talking about:

Screenshot 1 by Katy-L-Wood

Screenshot 2 by Katy-L-Wood

On the right side you can see my different layers that I've used. Make sure you keep things at least semi-labeled, it helps so much when you start having a lot of elements.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me and I'll be happy to help you out!

How do I make a written suggestion?

Written suggestions take less steps to make, but they also require a lot more explanation due to not relying on visuals to help explain. Start by going over everything you should consider when making a suggestion which I listed above. Then open document in whatever text program you have on your computer, or stash if you so choose, and then write down your suggestion. Be sure to cover these things:
  • What do you want to see? Describe it as best as you can, people need to be able to picture the idea in their minds.
  • How would it function? Would it have more functionality for premium members? Would it have the same functionality for premium and non-premium members?
  • Why do you think it would be useful?
  • Address potential issues.

What are some examples of good suggestions?

'Self Suspension' from DA by ViscountDevil

This is a good suggestion for several reasons. It blends well with the site, it is very clear as to how it would work, and there is a good breakdown of all the different aspects of the suggestion in the artists comments. It is also something that has garnered a huge interest from the community.

Paid Name ChangesDear deviantArt Staff,
I've been virgino0owhore for nine years. While I understand I can just create a new account if I want a new name, I feel that this is a waste. I would have to move every piece of work over to this new account, re-favorite over 3,000 favorites and rewatch my current watch list. It's simply not worth it all because of 14 letters. 
Not to mention, I lead a club against name wasting, making getting a new account hypocritical. It seems more practical to allow members to pay to change their name. This prevents the wasting of names that can't be removed because they have history on them. It also gives deviantArt a new revenue source. 
Naturally you couldn't choose a taken name but, the act of paying for a name change is common in internet society and amongst gaming communities as well. The price varies but is usually around 15 U.S. dollars, and whatever that may translate into. 
How would a user change his/her name?
:bulletgreen: They could access

This is a good written suggestion because it very clearly describes all aspects related to the idea. Issues with the idea are also addressed very clearly in both the suggestion itself and the artists comments. 

How can I get recognition for my suggestions?

One of the best ways is to submit your suggestions to relevant groups! A few good groups to submit suggestions to are:
If you submit something to the visual or written suggestions gallery, don't hesitate to create a thread for it in the suggestions forum and link it in the site updates as well! Let people know about the idea, and encourage them to give feedback.

Not everyone will like your suggestion, so be prepared for that as well. Don't let it get you down though! Just take what they say and keep it in mind for your next suggestion or a revamp of an old one that didn't go as well as you liked!

You can also recommend your suggestion for a Daily Deviation, or recommend another suggestion that someone else made for a DD to help them get recognition! The current community volunteer for thedeviantART related gallery, who suggestion DD's can be recommended to, is bradleysays! Be sure to read his DD suggestion guidelines before you suggest something! Don't be discouraged if your suggestion doesn't get accepted as a DD though, it doesn't mean it's a bad suggestion.

In conclusion!

If you guys have any questions at all, feel free to ask me! I will be happy to help you out. I hope you find this guide helpful, and if there's anything you think could improve it, please tell me so I can take it into consideration!