DeviantArt is one of the most popular art websites for creative professionals. The platform has a great community. You can connect with other artists and see what others are doing. You can also share your digital art within the relevant community and across social media.
However, DeviantArt doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There are several viable alternatives to DeviantArt.
This article will focus on 10 of these alternatives. I’ll walk you through each of the sites. You’ll discover the best features of each platform. By comparing each alternative against DeviantArt, you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
Before we look at each site in greater detail, let’s take a snapshot view of all ten.
Snapshot of DeviantArt Alternatives
Here are the ten best social networks used by your fellow artists and other creative people. The table compares their strengths and weakness as a platform.
|Website||Free or Paid||What we like||What could be better|
|ArtStation||Free+Paid plans||Focused on matching artists with clients.||More functionality in the free plan.|
|Behance||Limited period free trial + Paid plan||Site’s ability to attract top clients.||Expensive Pro plan.|
|Free||Broadest range of audience.||Tough to get noticed in the noise.|
|Free||Purely a visual platform||More creative inspiration than selling.|
|Free||Idea sharing and collaboration.||Limited client artist interaction.|
|Dribble||Paid. $19-199 pm||The best site for UI/UX designers.||Limited utility for other art forms.|
|Pixiv||Free + Paid||Large community||User base is primarily from Japan.|
|ConceptArt||Free||Good job board. Well organized site.||Overcrowded.|
|Ello||Paid||Ad Free||Limited functionality|
|Tumblr||Free||Great visual||Strict content policy|
Now that we have a broad overview of the ten best DeviantArt alternatives let’s look at each in greater detail.
Think of ArtStation as LinkedIn for creative people. The site is the premier platform for 2D and 3D aspiring and established artists. It is a place to showcase your work within the gaming, film, media, and entertainment industries. Recruiters from these industries visit ArtStation. They hire both freelance and full-time creatives from the site.
Kevin McDowell, art director for Creative Assembly, says, “We look for artists who produce the kind of work we are looking for.” He stresses that artists and creative people should showcase their portfolios. Don’t worry about the likes and share numbers. At the end of the day, it’s the quality of your work that counts.
ArtStation has a free and paid plan. The free plan gives you access to basic features to build your profile and showcase your portfolio. You can create a personal site on a subdomain of the site; yourname.ArtStation.com. The site gives you the tools to build your professional network.
The Pro and Plus paid plans to allow you to sell your work. You can also become an affiliate seller and get 70% of a sale from the Top Products in the online marketplace. The Plus plan costs $6.99 per month. The Pro plan costs $9.95, is ad-free. You get access to analytic tools.
The Studio plan at $14.99 is for companies with multiple users. It offers everything in the Pro plan. You get listed in the recruiter’s directory. That makes it easy for recruiters to find you.
Behance operates slightly differently from the rest of the industry. It positions itself as a visual arts platform. It is more focused on artists looking to showcase their work to prospective clients. It doesn’t try to be a culture website or a source of inspiration (although it does those things well too).
The Behance team showcases work from people across creative industries. It highlights the work of the best artists on the site. According to Scott Belsky, CEO at Behance, “Our mission is to empower creative careers with a powerful and efficient platform to showcase your work.”
How it Works
Like DeviantArt, Behance allows users to build their portfolios. The user interface is better laid out and simpler to navigate. Behance is a great resource for organizing projects, sketches, and research work. The site has more robust features than DeviantArt. It attracts more industry professionals.
Anyone can join the platform. You can start creating and showcasing your content immediately. Perhaps, this is why Behance is one of the most widely used and popular art sites. It is difficult for new users to build their reputation on the site as it’s very competitive. Becoming a popular artist on Behance can be great for your career, though.
The portfolio website boasts a host of technologically advanced features. It is a great resource for fashion, paintings, digital art, traditional 2D art, sketches, and other forms of creative content.
Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms. It is a great platform for artists. You will find curated content from visual arts websites like DeviantArt posted on the platform. Twitter allows you to upload visual content like pictures, videos, GIFs, and creative infographics.
How it Works
Both visual art professionals and creatives use Twitter. You can share your portfolio, network, and seek clients and jobs. Many creatives use Twitter. It’s a good alternative to Tumblr, which has restrictive content policies. Tumbly censors its users.
Twitter uses hashtags. You’ll need to find the most relevant hashtags for your niche. That way, people can easily find your content. Twitter is a great platform for starting (or joining) conversations. You can share your content, network, and gain visibility in the artistic community.
The promotional features of Twitter are great for visual artists. Creatives running businesses can create ads around new content. You can get new followers. However, it’s not as good as Instagram in this respect.
Twitter is a great place to share concept art. Fan-made renditions of upcoming products like smartphones, gaming PCs, shoes, and other consumer products are always popular. Your content can even go viral.
Instagram is one of the most popular visual social networks. The platform is a place to share images and videos. Lots of creatives use the platform to share their drawings, concept art, and videos. You will find a lot of feeds with beautiful pictures and funny Instareels. It’s easy to spend a few hours browsing Instagram.
How it Works
Instagram is great for photographers, animators, painters, and concept artists. You can publish all types of visual content (such as JPEG, PNG, MP4, and JPG).
Instagram is a great platform for sharing creative content. You can get an engaged Instagram following if you know what you’re doing. The “discover” panel allows users to find new, exciting accounts with great content to follow.
Instagram also supports the use of hashtags. You can subscribe to individual hashtags to receive new content relating to them. The content shows up in your news feeds.
Unfortunately, Instagram does downgrade the quality of videos uploaded to the site. You’ll see this issue with older videos. That’s becoming less of an issue, though, as the conversion process improves. You don’t have this problem with photos, however.
Pinterest is like a visual social bookmarking site. It is one of the most used social platforms, and a great source of referral traffic.
You can share all types of content on Pinterest. For example, DIY tips, life hacks, creative ideas on digital art, crafts, and design. Whether you’re a professional 2D or 3D artist, homemaker, aspiring artist, craftsman, or lover of all things DIY, Pinterest has a section for you.
How it Works
Pinterest has “boards.” The boards are like categories where you collect relevant bookmarks together in one place. People can share, like, and comment on the pins on your board.
If you want to promote your content through Pinterest, you will need to create suitable visuals to your blog post. Pinterest is a great resource to create and showcase your work. However, unlike Behance and ArtStation, it’s not geared to selling products.
Pinterest is a great destination for inspiration. There are resources for interior designers, movie set designers, consumer product development professionals, and more. There’s not much of a Pinterest community, though, as it’s mostly just bookmarking and sharing content.
Pinterest is free to use. You can spend on paid advertising if you choose.
Dribble was created for UI/UX designers. It was a place to showcase their work and invite friends and other connections to view these works. Today, the platform has a broader focus.
How it Works
Dribbble today positions itself as an open design website. The platform is accessible to design professionals across all types of visual media. While it isn’t as popular as DeviantArt, Dribbble is the go-to solution for UI/UX designers.
The platform’s distinguishing feature is its ability to link creative design professionals with prospective clients. You can pitch to clients, secure work, and build your entire UX product portfolio from scratch.
If you’re looking to build and showcase your repertoire of projects, look no further than Dribble. You can upload your work and invite prospective clients to view your projects.
Pixiv is a popular platform for the online art community. It isn’t as well known as say DeviantArt or Behance, though. The site is Japan-centric and caters primarily to a Japanese userbase.
How it Works
Pixiv is an online platform where you can share illustrations and other similar digital art mediums. The platform shares many of DeviantArt’s features. You can share artwork and get feedback from other community members.
Pixiv has a rating system that allows other community members to rate your work. The rating system uses several artistic parameters. The general idea is to promote your highest-rated pieces. Content with a good rating is more visible to prospective clients.
While Pixiv was developed for a Japanese-speaking audience, users can set the default language to English.
Pixiv is more creative than commercial. The website does not actively offer users the same kind of opportunities to sell their work as other platforms like Dribble or Behance.
ConceptArt is one of the best online art communities. A lot of work is showcased here. The website and its accompanying online forum host millions of posts per month. There’s a thriving community of digital artists, illustrators, designers, and more.
How it Works
ConceptArt is an online platform like DeviantArt or Dribbble. It is built around a community of art-savvy individuals who share an appreciation of the art form. The forum gets millions of posts every month—topics on the platform range from artbooks to critiques, and sketchbooks.
ConceptArt also has a comprehensive job board. Users can search for employment opportunities. Highly reputed studios around the world often post job opening or projects here.
The platform supports creatives who make stills, videos, and animations. The platform provides you an opportunity to network, share your work, and apply for job openings. In short, everything you need to succeed as a visual designer.
If you’re looking for an online art platform where you’re rewarded for being active, then Ello is your best bet. It is an online community of artists. The platform is based around an active forum.
How it Works
Ello is one of the largest platforms for digital art and photography worldwide. Creative professionals use the site to share their works with the world. The website promotes traditional and digital artists alongside things like DIY design, crafts, and photography. Whatever your niche, you can find a relevant category for it on Ello.
Arguably, Ello’s best feature is the competitions hosted on the site. The platform has various competitive events for creative professionals and artists. These competitions are a chance for people to showcase their work.
The Ello UI is clean, minimalistic, and functional. All projects are well organized and laid out. You can comments, like, and share other people’s work.
The platform also allows artists to sell their art directly on the website. In a sense, it’s a bit like Etsy.
After Twitter, Tumblr is probably the most widely used platform on this list.
Tumblr is popular with professional artists and photographers, and countless bloggers. You can promote and share your work through posts.
How it Works
Unlike some sites like Ello and Behance, Tumblr posts are sorted according to subject topics and hashtags. The platform is best suited for people who create original content and fan art.
Tumblr has a chat functionality. You can exchange private chats and direct messages with other users. Users can comment on people’s work, reblog or like posts.
The platform has come under fire lately because of its strict guidelines on content. It has given user warnings and censored posts. So, if your art style leans more towards the risque side of things, you’re better off on other sites.
Every artist, whether focused on crafts, painting, illustration, 2D and 3D art, needs an online community where they can source inspiration, build their portfolio, search for lucrative opportunities, and sell their work. Many of the platforms identified above provide these features and more.
So, what are you waiting for? If you’re a DeviantArt user, take this opportunity to expand your artistic horizons beyond its borders and reap the myriad of benefits afforded therein.