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Submitted on
December 17, 2013


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Is dA and its Group system slowing dying out?

Journal Entry: Tue Dec 17, 2013, 11:15 AM

Hello everyone!

:megaphone: :police: Before you read, please keep in mind that my intentions are not to blame, insult, criticize, or say anything harmful about anyone! The intentions of this feature if anything, is to motivate us all in improving the group system and dA as a whole! ALSO this is focused more largely on photography, digital art, and a few other mediums, but I don't claim to speak for the cases of other mediums and types of groups that I am not familiar with.

EDIT: To make things clear, I don't believe dA or Groups will ever be "dead" in the sense of them not existing anymore, or members in both factions not existing either, I'm using "Death" more metaphorically perhaps, in saying that the way the group system is intended to be working, has been failing, and needs improving in order to not fail its purpose, and that dA needs to do something to strengthen the community sense and interactions between members both in groups and in the dA community overall, and also render it more important to focus on unknown artists and give them a better chance by avoiding being or becoming a sort of elitist art community.

This feature is about addressing the issue of dA Groups slowly but surely becoming dead, I think we've all noticed that the Groups that were our favorites and go-to art collectors in 2011 have almost all vanished into thin air, or pretend to be alive only to let your work expire without a word. So is the Group system doomed? Is dA doomed? It sometimes seems that there's a lack of variety, that everything we see on dA is almost a copy of something else, over and over again. Are we lacking new talented artists? All we see are the popular famous ones on the front page, gaining popularity as always (not that this is necessarily bad), but what about the underdogs, the unknown artists who are often just as talented if not more, than those in the spotlight? Well...that was the point of groups in my opinion. With groups everyone had a chance to be "seen", however less and less groups are focusing on showcasing unknown artists, groups don't interact with each other, contests and competitions are becoming less common, therefore in a lot of cases groups are just submitting a bunch of work which leaves us all alienated and distanced from each other because nobody seems to be communicating whether it be in groups or on dA in general.

Groups can serve all sorts of different purposes, from creating a platform to share general interests and ideas, to collecting artwork, to creating an outlet, or aiming at giving feedback and critiques to members, or showcasing solely elite photography or accepting all works and discriminating no one. Now all Groups may intend to serve a purpose, but lately it seems that it's just become a fuster-cluck of randomness, and if your prior favorite Group isn't dead, it seems to be either slowly sinking or accepting way too many deviations (this excludes more "dA community" centered groups I think and is guided more towards photography or art collection groups).

Groups have become increasingly important and popular on dA, however the way they run seems to have changed. There is a lack of interactivity, of "solidarity" or camaraderie, of friendship perhaps. Everyone seems disconnected, which renders Groups fairly week. Now I'm not saying that all dA groups have died out, that would be ridiculous, there are still hundreds of groups accepting artwork and running smoothly, however, I think nobody can deny that some of the best groups we used to have on dA have died, which is leading to people constantly commenting on these groups pages saying "is this group dead?" "submissions expired...." "is anyone here".

So, once again what's the point of this feature?

To let everyone know which groups are still out there, alive and well, and promote the work that they have been submitting!
I don't want to call out other groups by listing which ones are now dead, that would just be rude, but maybe the founders of those groups will see this and want to get cracking again! I hope that nobody will take this personally, also I will probably forget or miss several groups simply because I'm more geared towards photography.

Young Photo Club

Recently revived by myself, a group for young photographers up to age 25 and their work. Trying to promote a platform where you can learn and improve your skills, while however remaining selective in what is accepted into the group.

fairy tale by Ddenisee don't tell them anything by KateIndeed take me to the sea by mariascherlies Chasing you by MintLights The Giant's Causeway by transkendium You left your mark on me by WelcomeHomeJane Frosty Owl by Silvermoonswan bloody Beauty by syinthetic
All I want for christmas is you by nagomi09

Similar groups that are still active:
:iconvintagenic: :iconpreciousness-arts: :iconwe-are-innocents:



A group for all types of art, still fully alive and active, accepting in some great works and promoting many unknown artists! A great group when it comes to variety, and promoting both professional and amateur artists.

Autumn Feeling by Natan-Estivallet The Trees At Shorne by Nigel-Hirst Phaethic Escapade by ChaosFissure Pollens by SaTaNiA
foundation by Ben-Andrews It's better to burn out than to fade away by borda
  Merry Christmas 2013 by atomhawk nature spirit by Ururuty

Similar groups that are still active:
:iconrealm-of-fantasy: :iconshareart: :icondeviantsgallery:


Captured Beauties

Another group accepting most medias that you can count on to fill your inbox with some cool artwork! The group even does Daily Favorite journals to further promote their artists. I'd recommend joining this group if you'd like to see artwork that you'd probably miss by browsing the front page or most other groups. I'd say they also accept a wide range of works from very amateur to very professional.

The Vatican by Destroth Make a wish by Sketchylious
Sky of Belgrade by Piroshki-Photography Do you remember Simona? by tim-tim-art
Rabbit Heart by deerArylide IMG 0327 by elysabet
 I Am Just a Tremor II by RapidHeartMovement Elf Riding On A Horse by ann-emerald

Similar groups that are still active:
:iconcompelling-photos: :iconpassionate-portraits: :icondivine-photography:


Death Chicks

Death-Chicks is one of the few "old" dA groups that you can still count on, I still receive many deviations in my message center from them, and enjoy submitting to them from time to time. They are more specific to alternative, pin-up, glamour, nude, fetish type shots or simply portraits of women in general that should usually have a kick of originality and uniqueness to them. As their subtitle says, the group is for "Alternative Photography" and is run by the talented and amazing DistortedSmile. They regularly post art features and promote dA groups along with the Daily Deviation system and overall involvement from members in regards to Art and the dA community, so check them out.

 At the well of the Dream Goddess by 6v4MP1r36 autumn princess by Boas73 true by Drastique-Plastique
  ElegyEllem in Lady Lucie Latex I by BelindaBartzner Black bride by segnisullapelle The myth of transformation 06 by orsnai R e d  C u r s e by EclipxPhotography He Says She's Intoxicating by MarilynSinclair


Deviant Dolls

Another "surviving" group that has been one of my favorites for a long time, and in which I've been an admin. DeviantDolls is similar to Death-Chicks but a bit less picky when it comes to their submissions, therefore accepting a wider variety of female centered art often from more amateur-type artists. A great group that I was glad to see hasn't become dead. Most medias are accepted, therefore showcasing a wide range of art.

Rapunzel by strannaya-anna raindrops fashion elegance by Svea-JillCzech
Baby, we were born to die by SummerColor Dragon by DobbiSallozare Feeling Good by WeissEpilog
The Peacock by KassidiKeys Swing by Jelisa-Rina


Clash of the Titans

Clash of the Titans is fully alive in regards to submissions coming in and being accepted quickly, it serves its purpose of showcasing all sorts of artwork from dA. It claims as its goal to only accept quality work, and therefore be a bit more elitist than other groups. It's a group you should follow if you enjoy receiving hundreds of deviations per day in your message center, because they definitely have something new for you every day. I'd say that the standards are correct, not too high, not too low.

 I've got my eye on you by The-Underwriter   Herbarium Amoris by b-lackdante Christmas Surprise by raysheaf
 ** by stringoiu Wildflowers meadow by Kasia1989
After the Storm by photorip Sleep Deeply by woollymammothmusic
Lok-Vah-Koor by plangkye

Similar groups that are still active:
:iconhighqualityart: :iconbest-photographs: :iconlegendsquad:

Majestic Masterpieces

This is a bit of self promotion. I just created this group about two days ago, I created it to try and fill the void that many abandoned groups have left. Majestic Masterpieces is intended to be a fairly elitist group to showcase the best photography of dA, however the "best" can also be from unknown or new artists, so I'm going to try and showcase them as much as possible. As you can see since we just started we don't have a lot of Deviations, so feel encouraged to join and submit!

Eternal Cycle by Queen-Kitty SEA FLOWER by M0THart The butterfly and I by kazarinakristina
Slept so long without you .... by Voodica Goodbyes by CherishKay

Groups I didn't include that I would still consider active:

:iconnikon-photographers: :icondrop-dead-intense: :iconthetruespiritofart: :iconeuropeans: :iconsupernatural-art: :icondream-club: :iconphotographyunlimited: :iconunknown-photography: :icongetdailydeviations: :iconi-heart-colors: :iconphotographygalore: :iconblumenkinder: :iconfashion-romanticism: :iconeliteartists: and many others! (The list could go on for a while ;))

Groups that I think are great, and need more attention so that we can avoid seeing them become dead like many others:

:iconher-hair: :iconamazinglybeautiful: :iconthespiritofart: :iconourtimephotography:

As I said, I won't list the groups deemed "dead" out of politeness.

So guys, let's try to revive the Group community, do more than just click through deviations, interact and try to really make a difference for our community here! I've been trying to contact some of the "dead" groups to revive them, just today we were able to do that with we-are-innocents and hopefully other groups will want the same thing!

Thank you

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Aloneness Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Never mind groups, I think all of dA is slowly dieing.

as you said "There is a lack of interactivity, of "solidarity" or camaraderie, of friendship perhaps. Everyone seems disconnected, ..."
HjordisBjorg Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2013
This group is still alive :aww:
WeActOnImpulse Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Their last journal is from 2012. That group is deader than a doornail.
TomGarot Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
A great appeal!
Now for my humble opinion:
I think a group is only as "strong" as it's members.
Thought i am a fairly new member to dA myself, groups in general tend to have certain dynamics to them. Groups "dying" thus is not necessarily a bad or worrysome sign, but simply shows the flow went on. Especially in a system filled with creative minds, like dA, loose formations tend to disssolve rather quickly.
People change.
They change their interests, their art, maybe even their way of creation. At some point the will want and even need to go on, to leave the past behind and to explore something new. Actually you would have to take the newly-forming and rising groups into consideration in order to really make a forecast on the future. As i said i'm rather new, so i sadly can not make a well-developed statement about this, but change in general is not bad.

I did not yet adress your other point of famous artists simply gaining fame and unknown pople staying unknown, but i think the development has many parallels to that of youtube (guess that comparison is going to cause a lot of hate), where basically the same thing can be observed. Still new users manage to randomly climb to the high ranks, aparantly not even because of the content they provide. Everyone has to personaly decide, whether he finds this a good or bad development. I personaly would like a system of more mutual support and greater chances for unknown people better, but those tend to have two major flaws:
First they only function based on the hard work and the selfless acts of every member and this is kind of an utopia.
And second they tend to not really credit every artist in an equitable way. I don't mean to say some deserve to be ignored, but you would have to agree that superior content is supposed to be valued.

Of course those two are extreme examples and none of them will (propably) happen to dA, the best solution would be a mix (best-of-both-worlds, you know?) and i can only hope your text will help achieving the best mutual support and peaceful coexistence on dA. And don't cling the past too much, explore something new and exciting, this is what art is about in the first place!

And a Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate (and some peaceful days to those whw don't) Santa Clause 
FlyteWizard Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013  Student Photographer
I'm an admin in three groups (Two of which are still active Unlimited photography and I love photography). The last group Canon Photo remains inactive, not because of lack of admins, but due to the Head Admin leaving without notice and not giving anyone control of the group. We are stuck with a voting system that requires 5 votes per submission. With no way of changing that or a way of informing members that we cannot take in any submissions. I've tried for a long time to post on every submission that we are "dead", I even posted in the chat box at the end of the group page. People still join and submit. I've contacted DA about this problem, but they can't do anything. I even ask them to close the group until the leader comes back so people wouldn'T be pissed that their submission expired. No luck so far.....
Mrs-Durden Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
That's a problem a lot of groups are having to deal with, and it really sucks. I'm hoping that their next changes in the group system will effectively fix the room for this issue to occur. It really is wasting a bunch of people's time, and confusing everyone in the group community.
Ddenisee Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013  Professional Photographer
heeey, thank you for adding my work to this beautiful feature Heart 
Mrs-Durden Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
It's my pleasure! I'm a huge fan of your photography :hug:
WeissEpilog Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2013  Professional Artist
How great to see their photos here! It is very nice. Thank very much!
Heart Heart Heart 
Mrs-Durden Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
My pleasure! :)
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