The Community Relations Team acts as a window of information for the community on how to utilize deviantART in a way that will empower and enable themselves as respected and successful artists.
Our ultimate vision is a community of artists that come together unified and strengthened by sharing the belief that they hold the artistic power to create and shape their own success. In order to realize our vision, our mission is to exceed the expectations of our community, whom we view as partners, and we will accomplish this by committing to our shared core values. Our core values are listed in FAQ #84: What are the Core Values of the Community Relations and Operations Departments?
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Director of Community Relations :
Table of Contents
1. New Format
2. Fractal and Photo-manipulation gallery updates
3. Dealing with Negativity
4. Charity & Fundraising
5. Official Contests
6. News from the Galleries
1. New Format
In an effort to streamline and make the newsletter more efficient at reporting the news from the department as a whole and the goings on in the various galleries the "Important news and links" areas will now be something I include in the "Pimps & Whoas" feature I do which you can find an example of here. This will ensure the newsletter doesn't become to overwhelming and pimps and whoas will keep the news fresher Instead of waiting a month to get a recap.
2. Photomanipulation & Fractal Updates
Please note the the GM's for Fractal and Photomanipulation have had some real life things come up that have kept them away and affected the amount of DD's that have been coming up. The rest of the team are helping to fill in and your patience is appreciated.
3 Dealing with Negativity.
As members of a huge community and artists, we all deal with negativity sometimes. Whether it's personal attacks, or attacks against our art, learning how to constructively handle this sort of attention is important to, not only our development as artists, but as people in general.
Let's start with the facts, there are people out there who could care less about who you are, what your artwork means to you etc, and there's simply no reasoning with people like this. We encounter them in real life and the virtual world and it's a waste of time to give them attention or let their commentary affect you too much. I'm speaking about the people that comment on your artwork with derogatory comments.. 'nice ass', 'this is crap', 'model is fat' - some would argue that we should censor these remarks, develop policy and police them or ban them outright and while I appreciate the notion, I don't agree with this degree of censorship. Note that these are my personal opinions as I do not speak for $chix0r or her team
Firstly, it would require an excessive amount of manpower to deal with the complaints, clearly there are a few jerks out there with nothing better to do with themselves than be jerks. Secondly, it validates them by giving them so much time and attention and thirdly, and most importantly to me, I don't want deviantART to be a policed area in this respect.
I'm an artist and on very rare occasions, a model, and I've taken my fair share of abuse. Whether it's directed at my artwork or how I look in a photo and it sucks. It hurts, no one denies that. Art is personal expression and to have that attacked can be painful but we (as artists) have the power here, to choose.
We choose to give the power to those that attack us, we choose to let it affect us or we choose to learn from it and walk away. We as a community need to take back decency and communal beliefs. We, as individuals, need to remain aware of how we interact with our fellow community members and choose to be the better people, choose to ignore the ones that have nothing better to do and choose to defend the community that we love so dearly. It starts with each and every one of us. Yes, harassment is a policy issue and yes, those that cross that policy are dealt with by the CEA team but to argue that every asshole you encounter should be removed isn't logical nor possible. We have to empower ourselves as a community through support, positive interaction and community love.
The outside art world is no different. It's harsh and there are just as many, over-qualified, overly-opinionated jackasses there as well, so I don't want to fight to shelter you here because it ill-prepares you for a world many of you want to be part of. That being said I have some tips for dealing with negativity that I pass on to our staff and volunteers and I'd like to share it with you:
1. Don't React
Obviously easier said than done but that's exactly what angry people won't expect. Instead of reacting and saying the first thing that comes to mind, take a moment, count to ten, step back and create some space between you and the other person.
2. Listen for the Message Behind the Words
A lot of anger is mis-directed and is often a function of fear or frustration about something that has little or nothing to do with you specifically. Sometimes there are clues in the words as to what is really bothering the person, try actually listening to see if you can find them.
3. Acknowledge that you heard what was said
When you acknowledge what the other person has said you aren't necessarily agreeing with them but rather letting them know that they've been heard. For example: "I can see that you're not happy about this"
4. Ask a clarifying question
There are two reasons to ask a question here. First, it tends to defuse the anger by causing the person to elaborate on what they said initially (forces them to think) and secondly, it shows the person that you're interested in what is going on. Example: "Can you tell me more about what concerns you?"
5. Repeat Back
This is a step to further defuse the situation prior to trying to find a solution. Repeating back lets the person know that you've heard what they said. Example: "If I understand correctly, you are concerned that...."
6. Expand on what has been said
Get in the other persons shoes and take it a step further. This can let the person know that you really do understand and have thought about what they've said. Example "In light of your concerns, that would mean.... is that correct?" Ending with a question encourages the other person to confirm that they feel listened to.
This doesn't mean you agree with the person, it simple means that, based on where they are coming from, you can understand what was said. Example "I can certainly understand why you feel the way you do"
8. Offer to Explore Solutions
don't offer a solution because it'll likely be shot down but rather ask permission to be a part of the problem solving process. Example "Would it be helpful to you to consider what can be done to resolve this?" Avoid using the word we, because you may inadvertently assume responsibility of finding the solution and it may not be yours to assume. Keeping the question generic allows you to get feedback as to how willing the person is to assume responsibility.
9. Establish your Boundaries
You have asked a reasonable question and you're entitled to a reasonable and courteous reply. Sometimes you may ask here "What can I do to help"
10. Use as much force as necessary to enforce the boundaries you've set
Sometimes, you'll encounter someone who just won't let go. They'll return to the same thing and begin all over again or they'll toss in a dig or accusation that's unfounded. The fact is you've listened, acknowledged, explored, legitimized and offered and that isn't good enough. If you come across these situations - remove yourself from the situation - this is a no-win and it's not worth your time.
Now it's your turn - What community advice or topic would you like to see me cover in next months newsletter? Comment below with your suggestions
4. Charity & Fundraising
Enter the Not for Sale Charity contest being run by !KneelingGlory
Support the Beth Anderson Fund
Support $Moonbeam13 in the 2010 Weekend to End Women's Cancer
Support *gimp in the 2010 Weekend to End Women's Cancer
Help <a href="wobblyspackle.deviantart.com/j…">fellow deviant `bQw.
Support `StJoan in the Houston Aids Walk
Have a charity or fundraising effort you want to promote?? Note me with the details!
5. Official Contests
All "official" contests will begin at midnight PST on the start date and end at 11:59 PST on the end date. This applies to all Community Relation run contests and all deviantART sponsored contests.
- Repo Men ContestDeadline March 15, 2010
- All You Need is LoveDeadline March 17, 2010
- Through New EyesDeadline March 20, 2010
- deviantWEAR Design BattleDeadline March 31, 2010
- Project 52: A Photography ChallengeDeadline December 31, 2010
6. News from the Galleries
Comics & Cartoons
Skins & Themes
Animation News Letter by `NikiVandermosten
Abstract & Surreal & Fetish
Artistic Nudes: quietchildae
Artistic Nudes: wynnesome
Horror & Macabre
Photojournalism 1 & 2
Resources & Stock Images `znow-white
Science Fiction & Space Art `taenaron