Why this journal?
The reason I'm writing this journal is because miscatting has become quite a popular practice on dA and as such it needs to be addressed from time to time. Before a new Icon-CV had been appointed (say hi to ValaSedai as the new Icon-CV!), I had discussed with ClefairyKid about writing up a small journal (though likely text-wall) about the importance of correctly submitting icons and pixel art.
While some deviants may be doing it on purpose, due to the recent changes in the Fair Exposure-algorythm, a lot of you don't, which is why I hope this journal helps clear up some misunderstandings about both galleries. Most of the info in this journal caters specifically towards iconists, so iconists: welcome to you!
But even if you aren't an iconist, the information in this article will hopefully still be beneficial to you: welcome to you as well!
Reasons why submitting correctly is beneficial for you.
1. It makes CVs love you.
Back when I was still a CV, I would often get amazing suggestions for Icon-DDs via note. But then when I would head over to the page to feature them ... I couldn't, since they'd be posted in the pixel art category. And when you're an Icon-CV, you can't touch the pixel art gallery and likewise the other way around.
So if I was really adamant about featuring something, I'd have to contact the CV who watches over the gallery the piece I wanted to feature was in, then I'd have to wait for the go-ahead and recategorize the deviation if the CV allowed. Then and only then would I have been able to feature the piece.
This means that sometimes days and weeks passed between getting the suggestion and finally being able to feature it, all because of the initial miscategorization. Submitting correctly does make the CVs love you!
2. If you submit correctly, your art is more likely to be seen by the right people.
This will be speaking from personal experience as well, but when I was a CV, I used to have to browse to find potential DDs, alongside going through the suggestions I had gotten. Now, if you are an Icon-CV, chances are you'll be browsing the Customization > Icons gallery more often than not.
The trouble is that, because of the miscatting, not only would I have to go through the icons-gallery, I would often also have to sift through the pixel art-gallery in order to find the icons amongst the pixel art and then decide if what I had found was even feature-worthy.
The thing is that if you have to go through a gallery made up exclusively icons, chances of encountering a feature-worthy piece are higher than when you have to sift through irrelevant content in order to find one or two icons, which may not even be a potential DD.
Want to make the CV's life easier and also ensure your art is seen? Then please don't make us sift through all the galleries and submit correctly. There are only so many pages we can go through in order to unearth the hidden gems, when we're doing this as a volunteering-job in our spare time.
3. Submitting correctly will gain you more exposure
This one is exactly as it says in the header. The icon gallery is quite a small gallery, meaning there is not a lot of competition and if you can make great icons you'll stand out immediately.
Want more exposure? Submit correctly!
But ... I pixel my icons, why are they not pixel art?
When submitting a deviation, it's always handy to take a look at the category you're posting in.
So before you submit that deviation, try to keep the following pointers in mind:
- Pixel Art is made using tools that do NOT produce automatic anti-aliasing . Auto AA is the computer creating in pixels on it's own to smooth out lines, like the effect you get when you work with a soft brush in Sai or Photoshop. This is what gives you the smooth lines you would normally want when working on a large canvas for digital art, which is not favourable for pixel art.
- Pixel Art usually has less than 256 colours. More than this is a strong indication of having used tools that create auto AA, though it could also mean the pixel artist handpicks a lot of colours.
- Icons are usually predictable sizes such as 50x50px, or 100x100 px, but Pixel Art can be large or small or anything in between.
While icons can be made by pixeling, not every icon is pixel art.
Icons can be made by vectoring or drawing as well, for example, two techniques which do not fall under pixel art.
And since the icon-gallery is also quite small, it wouldn't hurt to see some new faces in there as well as some new icons.
Because otherwise the gallery would go empty.
Which would be sad.
Which would make me sad.
And then all that rests me to say is that if you've read all of this, you more than deserve a cookie.
Now go forth and submit correctly.