Monday, 3 August 2015

What a Ripoff

I love being an artist.
I adore drawing something and having people go "this made me feel a certain way"

I hate being an artist online.
When i'm not dealing with my stuff being stolen and having to put big ugly watermarks in the center of all my images... i'm dealing with trying to find a way to share my stuff where people will actually see it and i'm not getting screwed over in any way.

While Deviantart wasn't perfect it worked well for me for the past decade.
I was an on and off Subscriber which for the price of 35 bucks a year meant i had some small upgrades to my page... even though they had a tendency to get rid of the features i liked. Still i liked the site and wanted to support it so i didn't mind.

Yeah that all changed today.

but lets backup.
Deviantart isn't the only site i've used as a host, i've used any i can get my hands on with varying levels of success... however all those sites vanished and once again i was left with the not perfect but passable Deviantart.
Every time i felt like a found a new home it would lose all support and eventually die out and if i wanted to share stuff well i on;y really had the one option.

So i stuck with it... for 10 years.
Now i don't know if i want to post anything there anymore.

Today they updated some of their branding.
The biggest change being that "Premium Members" had been changed to "Core Members"
and with that name change they decided to nearly doubt the cost of every subscription option.

Now i am Canadian so yeah... as you can see our dollar isn't doing so well... anyways i'm going to stick to USD for this.
50 dollars....
well for 50 bucks you must get some pretty cool features... lets see.
the thanks of the community?
a ugly tacky symbol beside my name?
discount at the store that barely pays the artist and i don't think anyone uses.
oh but i can change my user name if i want... so thats worth 50 bucks right?

what worries me is that there is one feature i use as a premium member.
I schedule when my stuff posts, i don't see that feature listed anymore...
I know a lot of people have custom journal skins and thats not listed either.

this could mean a few things... it could mean that you are paying more and receiving less (aka the stupid option)
they are giving those features to everyone instead of locking it behind a paywall (aka the well hell freezes over option)
They are just stupid and forgot to list it but it's still there (aka the why must you be so misleading option)

But whats the issue... i'm a subscriber for another 10 months no matter what.
I'm just so annoyed that they would do this, offer nothing better then what they currently have and completely screw over their community (which is known for being 'starving' as it is)
It's such a blatant Cash grab and it explains an email i got about a month ago.

The email asked why I had decided to be a commission-able artist on Deviantart without using their app.
and i told them essentially that there was no way i was going to give someone 15%-20% of my profit when currently i have a successful system that allows me to get 100%
Then they asked me "what could we do to get you to use our app"
"There is nothing you can do to make me give up 15% of my profit for no reason in a currency i can't even use off of your site"
oh did i mention their Site works on it's own currency known as points? and to order a commission you need to pay points... which then they arbitrarily take 15% of  from the commissioned artist even though they got 100% of the point purchasing cost? You can exchange these points for real money Via paypal.... and a 5% fee.

anyways they said "thanks for the feedback" and left me alone.

you could feel the desperation, they wanted their hands on every penny since obviously their server fee have gone up or something.

And you know what? i'm done.
The site has been doing small stuff thats been annoyed for years now but this is actually insulting to me.
I'll still post there, i have my largest vewer base on Deviant art so i'd be stupid not to.
But i'm shifting my focus elsewhere...  most likely patreon (but i probably wont be hiding anything behind a paywall since i don't feel good about that.)

maybe one day a new art site will come along and i will post all my stuff and be happy.
or maybe i'll get off my lazy butt and code a personal website.

For now i just look forward to seeing peoples reaction to the price hike and see if Deviantart backpedals at all
but i think we all know thats unlikely... because there are still some people who will pay that stupid price.

Anyways, Speaking of Patreon: here's mine
Also Here is my redbubble for fun
And my youtube page because why not... i've already been pretty brave today why not share it here

also if you know of a good art site that doesn't consistently try to screw over it's users let me know!

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