Whether we are the people who ask ourselves, "Is that it?", or whether we are the people who ask ourselves, "What can I say?", this guide will hopefully provide you with some insight in how to go about writing a good description for your deviations, a.k.a. your Artist's (or Author's) Comments.
~IIIXII has already written a beautiful guide here. He mentions a great point and that is that your artists comments are the only thing that might motivate a reader or viewer to comment your work
How many of us want constructive comments, critiques and, most importantly, feedback on our pieces?
Thus, is it only fair that if we want something back, we have to give something as well?
Inspiration. Did you seek inspiration from something? Were you inspired by a place or a person? If yes, let us know about it! There is no shame in telling us what you were inspired by, whether it is your next-door neighbour's dog or the clouds!
Feelings and thoughts. Do you remember what you were feeling when you were creating your piece? Was it happiness, anger, sadness, frustration, or something else? Can you remember a thought that kept going on and on in your mind when you were creating your piece?
Creation. Describe and explain the process it took you to create your piece. Did you use many tools? How long did you take? Was there a particular bit that you had to do over and over again?
If you want specific feedback, ask a question. Even if nobody comments on your pieces, ask it anyway, because some random person may just happen across your piece, see that you are an artist wanting to improve and help you along your way.
Encourage people to comment. Things such as "I'd like to know what you think" or "Comments are much appreciated" can create a great effect. If you invite someone and give them a nudge in the right direction, some people will seize it.
It also illustrates how open you are to other peoples interpretations and opinions as well, which will increase their want to comment, as they will feel their thoughts will be taken into account.
Additionally, there is no harm in analysing our own pieces too, as long as it is constructive. A few sentences explaining what you dislike and like about the piece, what you had most and least trouble with can lead to
How we relate to the piece itself! (As it is a two way relationship) Not only can we explain how the piece relates to us on a more personal and emotional level, but it will help other people relate to you as well, thus, securing a connection between artist and well, artist, really. We are all artists here, aren't we?
If one artist is provided with an opportunity to relate to another artist, it can bring on a friendship where both artists can support one another.
Don't keep the Artist's Comments too short, but don't write masses and masses as well! Too short, and we are left disappointed. Too long, and we are easily overwhelmed. You don't have to describe and explain everything, but a little bit helps in helping us relate to the artist.
The key is to write something that let's your own individual feelings and personality shine through while still leaving some interpretations of the piece to the viewer. ~ ~amaira515
If you get carried away and you cant cut down once you go back and read it over, try and separate your comment with paragraphs and spaces.
Language might be a barrier for many of us, but that doesn't mean we can get away with just putting "..." on our pieces. Even if it is a sentence or two, it is better than nothing!
Nevertheless, if nobody can understand what you are saying, then it is basically the same as putting "...". If English is not your main language and you have a few errors in grammer and spelling, that is fine! Text speak, however, is a no-no.
If your piece is one of a series, feel free to link to other pieces within the series, too. If a person likes what they see, the quick access will mean less trouble for them. However, make sure that the artists comments isn't filled entirely with links.
There is also a brilliant Group on deviantART dedicated to increasing artist's exposure through the use of a "Linking" system:
"Link another artists submission in your artist's comments box. It helps everyone's exposure and finds undiscovered art." ~ #dALinkSystem
Many people have deviations that have a massive paragraph full of text to try and protect their work.
However, there's no easy way to say this: this is the internet. If you dont want anything stolen, dont put it up here.
~IIIXIIs guide explains what you can do to the Artists Comments in terms of protecting ones own work, so there is no need to repeat it here.
Nevertheless, do not just fill your artists comments with information about copyright and the use of your piece (unless it is stock). If anything, look at it like a scale. Three quarters of your artists comments should be about the piece itself (if not all), and the other quarter should include the information that, theoretically, protects ones own art work, if you utterly insist for it to be there.
Nobody wants to look at a mountain of information if they just wanted to look and comment on your art in the first place.
Hopefully, you know a bit more about what to put in your Artists Comments. Even though they appear to be small, they can actually mean and express a lot.
This guide is by no means complete and it does not apply to everyone. It was written by %ProjectComment as a Group, by deviants, for deviants.
I would like to thank the following who contributed: ~amaira515, !Iluvocnj2006, ~xblackxbloodxcellx and !Scarlesaur. Their efforts in the making of this guide are much appreciated, and they deserve to be recognised.
Feel free to %ProjectComment for more guides! A couple that will soon be posted: 'A Guide on (Offending) Comments', 'How NOT to Comment', 'Why Comment in the First Place?' and more!
Thank you for reading.
^3wyl, posting on behalf of %ProjectComment