Art communities can fill you with inspiration, motivation, and make learning and creating artwork really fun!
As like any hobby, the value of surrounding yourself with circles of like-minded individuals can have an overwhelming positive effect, especially if you strive for improvement like I do. Feedback and critiques are powerful. Here is a selection of my favorite online communities that I frequent regularly. I warn you, though, they can be highly addictive!
Deviantart is probably the biggest art community you can join. Artists of all skill levels are represented here, and it is easy to find artists to follow and interact with.
The design of the site is functional and intuitive. The message and notification system is nice, as is the favorites system for collecting and organizing your favorite finds. There are areas to view all the new, unseen works that the people and groups you follow release, so you never have to miss anything. The front page can be sorted to reflect your personal feed (of the people you follow), “Whats Hot” for that day, the featured images of the day, and a few other categories. Each user gets their own homepage which can be customized nicely with various widgets.
When you follow another user, you can choose to follow their deviations (images), journal posts, and forum posts if you want to, so you truly refine your level of stalker-ness per artist. The “groups” feature is interesting, allowing members to make or join groups of users with similar interests and share/collect artworks.
Deviantart is a big, active community in which you can showcase your work and easily find others who share your interests. Most registered users are hobbyists so most of the artwork isn’t so great, but the cream swiftly rises to the top.
If you’re serious about improving your art (be it digital, 3D, design, or fine art) consider making Conceptart.org one of your main communities. If you ask for critiques here, you will get them, and you will get good and honest ones. You might even get your art ripped apart, so don’t be too sensitive.
The site is forum-based and is packed with information. Users can create their own personal sketchbook threads and have their own “showcase” gallery. There are always community activities and challenges going on and lots of great art discussion. Conceptart.org also hosts a great fine art class system called “Level Up!”. The reviews I have read about the Level Up classes are very positive and compare the quality to taking accredited college classes.
There is a huge amount of talent here who are always striving to improve, so it is a great place for honest critiques. The site has also been undergoing a lot of nice modern design changes and is currently in a beta.
Tumblr is a fun way to showcase your art and share/reshare the art that you like and what inspires you. The user base is enormous and there are countless different communities to fit into. Consider it a twitter-like blogging platform. Your new content from your personal tumblr will be put into the main feed of all of your followers, and then your followers can reblog those posts so all of their followers see it. Tumblr can be a great place to showcase your art, especially if you have many followers that reblog your work.
Since Tumblr is reblog-based, it can be a tough place for interacting with people. There isn’t a very good comment system, and your posts can get buried very quickly in people’s feeds. However, it is a wonderful place to share and discover.
CGSociety is a great site populated by a lot of 2D and 3D professionals. It is filled with tons of great articles from the digital entertainment industry about the latest up-and-coming artists, the latest behind-the-scenes secrets for movies, and coolest new short films.
They have multi-month classes called “CGWorkshops” that are taught by industry professionals. The classes are definitely catered towards people who serious about learning. They are pretty expensive, but I believe they are of a higher quality than any college can provide.
The forums are a great way to showcase both 2D and 3D work, to ask technical questions about software, find fun challenges, and discuss stuff.
If you’re interested in 3D art or in the game industry, Polycount is a great community to join. The forums are incredibly busy and it is a great place to learn. People are more than willing to give critiques here and answer technical questions. Since Polycount is such a staple community, they host a lot of great competitions with awesome prizes, but watch out – the competition is fierce!
Behance is probably the most professional way to showcase your artwork. All of the other communities I have listed so far have been more casual in nature, friendly to beginners and professionals alike. Behance, however, is mostly designed for professional-quality work. By joining and creating your personal galleries, you are maximizing your professional exposure and your work can be distributed to curated online galleries. Are you a serious artist? Join Behance!
I placed these two sites under the same category because of their similarities. Both Artstation and Drawcrowd are beautifully designed sites that are geared more towards skilled artists. On both sites, each user gets a beautifully designed homepage that can easily function as a professional portfolio. You can comment on people’s artwork and follow your favorite users. Both sites are pretty new (and are still technically in beta), it seems like they were both built to fill the void that the CGhub closure left behind.
With Drawcrowd, there is a favorites system that allows you to collect your favorite images. It doesn’t seem that Artstation has that yet, instead using a “like” system and encouraging users to follow their favorite artists.
If I’m not careful, I could get lost in both of these sites for hours.
Pinterest is a great place to share artwork and find great reference and inspiration, but I put it last because the “community” isn’t that great because there is not a very good social system.What is cool is that your posts won’t tend get buried under content, which is what happens easily with sites like facebook, tumblr, and twitter. It is a great place to find tutorials and inspiration, and it is very easy to organize your collections (or “boards”) of favorite images.
Did I neglect to mention any great communities? What is your personal favorite? Please let me know in the comments section!
Art Amino is a great art community. It’s an app for ios and android.
I would like to respectfully disagree. The people are nice but they are too nice. When ever I post something I get no comments just a small flood of likes and follows to point where it feels artificial, boringly easy, and pointless.
Well.., amino banned me from ever using their app again. Idk why but damn.
My daughter is 12, talented and determined. But, she is 12. Which of these sites would you all recommend? I looked at paigeeworld and see a lot of sad stuff. I know that loneliness, etc. is part of life, but I’m looking for balance and an age- appropriate community for a kid about to enter adolescence who is truly an artist and determined to carry her art forward. Any suggestions welcome!
I’m wondering if you know anything about artwanted.com. I’ve been on it for a year now and have had problems. Was thinking of un-subscribing. Any thoughts? Thanks, Patty
Hi Patricia – I have been on Artwanted.com for many years.
I get a regular email from them letting me know that only 1 person has viewed my portfolio each month……
Not really worth it in my opinion.
Aimed mainly towards amateurs and younger people, paigeeworld.com is a great site to post your artwork and follow other artists. It’s a bit like instagram, the community is very friendly, although i personally tend to be a bit bothered by their non-nsfw guidelines (i think art shouldn’t need to be censored) but it might be perfect for people who just want to share their art and find some inspiration in other people’s artwork, or view nice fanart.
I agree! Paigeeworld should be included since it’s incredibly useful and the community is probably the least toxic and the most welcoming that you can get on the internet.
Not to mention it has really useful tutorials and it’s very easy to use! Even though my art isn’t the most beautiful, I’ve been featured and it feels really good.
I never thought someone would mention PaigeeWorld, but I’m glad you did! It is a great community and in my opinion, for relatively skilled artists, it’s quite easy to gain exposure. Their daily features are generous, and the mods are responsive and friendly. The only reason they have non-NSFW guidelines is because there are 9-year-olds on the app, and some parents might not want their young children to see NSFW, so I respect that rule of theirs. The contests are awesome. Overall, it’s really great and user-driven.
Sounds cool. I’ll check it out. And for the non-nsfw guidelines, they’re probably there to prevent little kids from seeing it. There a probably a lot of young kids on the site.
Appreciate the info here, I’ve been looking for some sites/forums to join.
thank you for this collection <3
I really like wetcanvass.com.
It is huge, and caters for all types of art whether it be painting, drawing etc.
There are loads of different forums, and the tendancy is towards encouragement and positive comments, there’s a bunch of lovely people on there.
Another site I quite like is Fineartamerica.com.
Crowdshare – fairly new
Hitrecord – a collab group
Depending on what you want to get out of the online art community, is what you should spend most time promoting – yes, promoting. Just posting your art on these venues will not give you what you are looking for (unless you are already a household in the art community); however, depending what you want to accomplish, these are good guidelines..
If you would like to sell your art:
– Use social media like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Behance, YouTube, DeviantArt and Tumblr to promote your work on selling sites etsy.com, makdu.com, saatchiart.com or your own site (there are lots of good options to sell via your own website)
Note that using social media is not just posting your art — its joining a conversation, commenting on other work, following, liking, sharing — so pick one or two and focus on those because picking more will take up sooo much time and give you less output
If you just want exposure and don’t really want to sell art
– Post your work in every avenue you can — why not
– Get a YouTube channel — the art community (and art fan) love to see you work on your craft.
– Reach out to small forum and art sites to be featured in their writing — really – they will write about you if you have something to say.
This is a wonderful comment, thank you for contributing!
Whoops, I approved your comment but forgot to reply!!
Thank you for your thoughts, I think they are quite accurate. I absolutely agree that “joining the conversation” is a crucial part of promoting your art! Interacting with the communities you join can mean the difference between a few followers or a ton!
A guide on art promotion would make a great standalone blog post even!
Where’s PaigeeWorld on the list? This is a friendly community with over 1,000,000 active members. PaigeeWorld is a mainstream site which means it does not allow adult content. For many people in the community – this is their social network of choice!
PaigeeWorld is friendly – you can be an amateur or professional. Many of the top Manga artists on the world have accounts. People are encouraged to post and make friends. Young artists are inspired and look up to their older mentors. PaigeeWorld has daily activities and themes, weekly events, and monthly contests. There are also over 2000 tutorials that can be accessed.
Please check out PaigeeWorld. I think it needs to be added to the list.
Thank you for your thoughts, I’ll go look : )
You are absolutely right!! Thank you for mentioning PaigeeWorld. It is one of my communities of choice, and the developers of the site are constantly updating PaigeeWorld to make it better and better. The moderators are really responsive, and there are so many great ways to get involved with the community and learn. It truly is a great art sharing site for everyone.
Brilliant gather up. I use Behance often and i`m super thrilled by the inspiration gems I found each day. These humans really do have cool things to draw quite often !
Thanks Emma! Behance is wonderful, for sure!
Thank you for great summary! If you want to update. Please don’t forget mentorrie ^^
I found Utopiaplayground.com to be a great platform for me to share my artwork and check out a bunch of new creatives ranging from digital artists and graphic designers to photographers and CG
I was pretty surprised to find that Google+ has a pretty good art community. Just have to follow the right pages to find it.
I’m following a bunch of “Draw my OC” pages right now. It makes pretty good drawing prompts when I am having artist block.
PaigeeWorld! http://www.paigeeworld.com This small community has been working up the charts and is now the 436th largest website in the USA! There are clients for web, android and iOS. This site is mostly Manga / Anime but has room for everyone.
Whoa it’s Preston!! Yes, PaigeeWorld is a great community that is ever-growing. I love how responsive and considerate the moderators are, and there are numerous awesome ways to get involved in the community. PaigeeWorld is revolutionary!
I need to build a website to promote and sell my art. What is the best platform to build/design a website? I am most familiar with wix but I was doing some research and came across artweb.com. What are the pros and cons of artweb? I have never used WordPress but I am a fast learner. What are the pros and cons of WordPress? Is it worth my time to learn how to use it?
I like wordpress the most, I would totally advise to give it a shot. There is a bit of a learning curve (like everything) but it is worth it
Just came across this post. The Cape Collective (.com) is a brand new artist community. Create and sell artwork + give back to arts organizations!
Pixel is another great alternative and there are many others. Deviantart is an art community but Tumblr is big.
I’m a little late to the party, but I’d like to recommend Paintberri. It’s fairly new but has a pretty lively community, & has a built-in art program. You can even draw in comments, which some users are using for RP.
There is also showyourarts.com, artists get their own page/ porfolio, they can follow other artists and comment on their work. A 3D gallery is also automatically created for each user and is accessible from the IOS/Android app.
I love to draw on my arms and get tons of compliments would that count as artwork?
I don’t see why not!
Deviantart is being overcome with porn masquerading as artistic nude. Searched “spooky” and got tons of shameless crotch shot photographs. Other than that, it’s a decent site. If you manage to stay away from that side without activating the mature filter.
Try out Sony Sketch!
https://mygraffitiberlin.org/ is missing.
Berlin biggest Photo sharing Website -> Art.
Or go photo realistic sole paintings of anything since utmost to what more and more to consider with https://paintdraw.ml
im actully kinda scared to share my art ‘;-;
How can I show my art?
I have patented a proportional drawing tool that eliminates marking grid lines on our art work. I don’t know how to start the marketing process. I think all beginning artist would love it as well as skilled artist.
I can share my art, I take a yes.😀
These are some great art communities and I am a member of a few. Wondering if there are any new ones in 2018.
Hi quite an interesting article and good comments, though most veer towards manga and illustrative arts. I’m a Fine Artist and am interested to find site that are 1. Free to join, 2. Allow me to upload art to show and 3. All ow me to link back to my website.
Example: https://www.artistsandillustrators.co.uk/Art2Show …This is a popular/large site for which it is totally free to achieve my list above (even though the site suggests there is a fee to pay…there isn’t, although upgrade options to exist)
Can anybody help me? Kind Regards, John Lyons / Art2Show
What about starting your own website to sell your artwork? I don’t mean abandoning online art communities, I mean in addition to that.
Get inexpensive hosting that includes a site builder so you can put up the site without programming, and use a system that handles selling downloadable files if you do digital art. Instinct Art at https://www.iabyiz.com is one example. It’s one guy selling his digital art, it’s not a community.
You know, go for “multiple streams” of income. Get as many outlets for your work as possible. Some will do better than others. Some might not be good at all. But combined, it might add up to being worth it.
I kinda of would not recommend Deviant Art anymore as an art community. I mean it is lovely for interface and options and search filters and all, but the quality of art has greatly decreased since the time of this post’s creation.
I say this mainly because (I am not judging here.) it has become a cesspool of fetish works, and strange ones, things like vore, duct tape, gaping, and trampling. It has an overload of nudes popping up, and people there would now rather pay attention to that than actual good, quality art.
There are many, countless pieces of art with maybe 300 views in the same amount of time that an *inappropriate* creation would gain 3,000 with 50 comments, 100 favorites, and like wise. The community is skewed. I do not recommend Deviant Art, but the rest of the suggestions are okay to look at!!
Deviant art has gone totally puritan/ censorship…I had adult themed painting posted there for over 8 years…then, this past week (06/22/2018), they started deleting those posts without warning. I yanked all of my work off of there and deleted my account. Now I’m looking for a new home to post my work.
If anybody recalls Sheezyart, it is now back in the form of ambiance.gallery – although it is very, very early days right now, if it had more users though, it might well fit into this list somewhere.
Critiquer.com is cool, they are giving free professional critiques for artists and designers for a while.
I really like Ello, it gives me the best exposure and I also use Behance and Saatchi 🙂
Hi artprompts is great. Im looking for sites that give specific assignments or practice project that will both serve as a practice to improve the skill set and become guide to creating portfolios. Any comments will be appreciated.
Deviant Art is great for getting bullied for being a moderate centrist by communist anarchist and literal Nazis. Being told your art sucks just because you disagree and being bullied into near suicide. GET THIS SHIT OFF HERE! Websites which only allow human beings!
Unfortunately you will find nasty, insecure people in any online art community who will criticize, insult, and bully you. Heck, you’ll find toxic people in any community or hobby. The question is, will you let them bring you down?
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