Journal Feature TutorialHow to make a great Journal feature!
This article has been written for %projecteducate by `miontre.
Featuring other artists in your Journal is a great thing to do, because everyone wins! Not only are you supporting other artists by giving them some extra exposure, but you can also earn some exposure for yourself and make new friends too. Additionally, those who view your feature have the opportunity to find some new art and artists.
Therefore, it pays to make your Journal features the best they can be. Making a really good Journal feature can involve a lot of time and work - planning, collecting artwork, arranging the artwork in a Journal, publication, and promotion. Taking these steps instead of merely dragging in thumbs from your Favourites will result in an appealing and rewarding Journal feature. In this tutorial, we're going to produce a feature with images arranged like this:
I hope you learn from and enjoy this article!
While it is tempting to jump right in, it's beneficial to do some planning beforehand. The main thing you'll want to think about is what sorts of things you're actually going to feature! You might like to feature some work which has recently caught your eye, or maybe you want to be more specific. Maybe you want to set a theme or some criteria. Maybe you even want to make up a certain process for finding the artwork. Do you want to start a feature series, or will this be a standalone article? Thinking about these things will make the process of finding deviations to feature a lot easier.
Once you've sorted out the planning, it's time to find some art to feature! There are a lot of different ways to find artwork to feature. Make a new Favourites folder, and use the drag-drop system to collect the deviations you'd like to feature. deviantART's new More Like This tool makes it even easier to find artwork based on your feature's theme. Here are some other ways you could try:
- Artwork you already know
Maybe you already know of some art you could use in your feature! Look through the Galleries of artists you like who make artwork which would fit with your feature. Are there any old favourites that you could include?
- Other people's Favourites
Try browsing the Favourites of people you know are interested in the sorts of art you want to feature. They'll probably have some art you could use already collected. Try looking through the Favourites of the artists who made those works too.
There are many Groups on deviantART, from those with a broad range of interest to those with a very specific focus. Find a Group which might've collected artwork along the lines of your theme.
- More Like This
The new More Like This tool makes it extremely easy to discover artwork. You provide it with a piece of art and it'll provide you with similar artwork. It's very useful for finding lots of art to feature!
Finally, you can still find plenty of art just by browsing deviantART! Look through the various categories and use the search tool to find some art.
Every time you find a piece you want to feature, drag and drop it into the Favourites folder you created earlier on! This will allow you to easily store and organise the deviations you want to feature.
There are two different methods you can use to compile your feature, and you need to pick one before you start your work. I'd recommend sticking with the same compilation method for the entire feature, to keep things neat. Both of the methods have their benefits and disadvantages, which I will discuss below.
- Visual Method
You can visually compile and arrange the artwork in your feature by utilising the Rich Editing (WYSIWYG) mode in Sta.sh. You can drag and drop artwork from your Favourites, and resize them just by dragging. This is a good option if you want to complete your feature quickly. However, this option makes it more difficult to get your sizing perfect (which is important, even a pixel out of place can diminish the viewing quality of your feature).
- HTML Method
You can also arrange the artwork you want to feature using HTML code. It is more time consuming than the other option because you'll have to get image and deviation URLs for each piece of artwork, as well as type in and experiment with different sizes. However, using HTML makes it much easier to size, position, and re-position your images, as you can see exactly what is going on. As a result, your feature will be much cleaner and you're guaranteed to get a perfect result. Don't worry if you do not know the codes, as these will be explained in depth later in the tutorial.
Sta.sh is a very useful tool to use when compiling your feature. Since you probably won't finish your feature in one sitting, you can save your progress online with Sta.sh. You can leave it and come back later, without having to save it on your computer in a separate file like you would with the traditional Journal editor.
Once you're into Sta.sh, click the big "Compose in Sta.sh Writer" button on the right. You'll be taken to a page which allows you to both create literature submissions and write Journal entries. Select a Journal skin to use by clicking "Change skin" in the very bottom right. I would suggest you use the default skin, since this way there won't be any distractions when your audience is viewing the feature. Of course, if there is a skin you want to use, go for it.
Now try to think of a title for your feature. If you can, avoid names like "Photography Feature" or "The Colour Red", since that's less likely to intrigue people to open your Journal. Try to think of something creative, interesting, or artistic. If you can, incorporate your theme into the title somehow. If you can't think of a title right at the beginning, don't worry, as there is no rush. Something may come to you while you're compiling the feature, and you can always think of something at the end if it doesn't. If you would like to, write a small introduction for your readers. Welcome them to the feature, and briefly describe your theme.
However, if you've chosen to use the HTML compilation method, make sure you select the text entry area press Ctrl-E on your keyboard before you write anything. This will put you into HTML mode which is vital. If you don't enter into HTML mode, Sta.sh will mess with your code and your feature won't turn out. Make sure you enter HTML mode again if you leave your document and come back, as the system will put you back into Rich Editing mode.
If you've decided to use the Visual Method, you can skip this step. However, if you're using the HTML Method, there are some simple codes you need to learn.
The first code allows you to create a thumb and set it to your own width, in pixels. The second code does the same, however, this time you set the height. To create a thumb, follow these steps:
<a href="a"><img src="b" width="c"></a>
<a href="a"><img src="b" height="c"></a>
- Right click on the thumb of the deviation from your Favourites. Copy the Link URL, and paste it in the place of a.
It's important to get your URL through this method only. Other types of links, such as those copied from the address bar and the fav.me links, will not result in a draggable thumb.
- Open the deviation in a new tab. Right click the image, and copy the Image URL. Paste this in the place of b.
- Replace c with the width or height you want to use, in pixels. Appropriate sizes will be explained later on.
The second code will be used for the deviations which share the row with other images. You'll use this code multiple times on one line. Keep the height on them each exactly the same value. This will make sure they keep to a neat, tidy row; instead of a row with lots of images at different sizes. As a result, you'll have to keep previewing your feature and experimenting with different sizes. If you know all the images in the row are square, you can just divide the width of your feature by the amount of images to get a height for them all.
Here's a tip: While compiling your feature, keep a "template" of both codes at the top of your Sta.sh document. Type the width of your feature into the first code. You can leave the second one blank or pick a generic height to be changed. When you need to add a new image, simply copy and paste the codes. That's half the work already done for you!
Finally! It's time to compile your feature
Using your chosen compilation method, begin putting together the deviations you collected in your Favourites folder. If you're using the Visual Method; click deviantART on the right-hand panel, select your Favourites, then click the folder containing your images. From here, you can simply click or drag the images to add them to your feature. Use the handles on the sides and corners to scale your images. If you're using the HTML Method; just keep your Favourites folder open in a separate tab. From there, you can easily copy and paste the codes you need.
Arrange the images like in the example at the top: a full-width image followed by a row of smaller images. If using the HTML Method, you can create a new row simply by putting your codes on the next line of your Sta.sh document. Of course, you don't need to strictly stick to this arrangement rule. You might want two full-width images together or two rows of smaller images. Just use your own good judgement However, I wouldn't advise more than three or four images on one row, as they can begin to get too small at this point. If using the Visual Method, it might be hard to see if the smaller images are on the same row until you scale them down. Make sure you don't accidentally have a row of smaller images and a full-width image all on one row. It can happen if you aren't careful. Even if you're using the HTML Method, you may want to double-check for this before you post your article. If your feature doesn't already cover majority of the width of your screen, you can easily check by previewing your feature and expanding the window to full size.
There are a few things you'll have to think about when you pick which pieces should be full-width and which should share a row with others. You might like to pick your favourite pieces to "highlight" with a full-width placing in the feature. However, the artist may not have made the image available in a high enough resolution for this to be possible. It is also better to place landscape format images on full-width rows and portrait format images on the rows with multiple images. This is for a number of reasons. Firstly, a single portrait image at full-width will take up a lot of space, vertically. Secondly, multiple portrait images can be shown at a reasonable size alongside each other, whereas landscape images will be much smaller. Of course, there will be times when you can't or simply don't want to do this - it isn't a major deal so just do whatever works.
While compiling, don't just place images randomly. Instead, think about which images could go with others. Maybe you want to match, contrast, or compliment colours, subjects, moods, mediums, sizes, or styles? Maybe you could even try telling a story by placing certain images in order?
The key to compiling your feature well is to make sure you aren't blindly pasting in images, but rather taking care and thought with it.
After doing a final check to make sure there are no typos and no problems with your arrangement, it's time to publish your article!
Click the green "Done" button, and you'll be presented with a final preview of what your Journal will look like published. From here, click "Submit to deviantART". Fill in the submission form to your preference, with your chosen category as Journal Portal > Culture > Art Features. Finally, click the "Submit Now" button!
The final thing to do is to notify the artists featured! You could send them a Note, or leave a comment on their profiles or deviations. Don't forget to include a link to the feature! Usually the artists will take a look at the feature and leave a comment. You never know, you could just meet someone new!
And congratulations! You've just made an awesome Journal feature!
You've brought exposure to other artists, helped others to find new artwork, and brought a little exposure to yourself at the same time!
I hope you've enjoyed this article and have learnt something new! Please add it to your to help others to see it!
Finally, here are some Journal features for inspiration:
deep in thoughtHere is another feature, filled with photos!
If you enjoy it, please consider adding this to your favourites and leaving a comment!
I have a question at the end
Best of the Week XVIIA collection of the best photos submitted to #Breathtaking-photos this week!
I apologise for the delay since the last feature! I hope you enjoy the photos.
look away by *EbruSidarMisty Forest by ~Justine1985
walking inside by *augenweide
A winter morning by *valiunicAnother Snowy Dream by ~Thinking-Silence
Endless Winter by ~LarsVanDeGoor
Keep smiling. by *Lileinaya
Hachiko by ~chaoticfireflies
Spruce leaves by ~Al-Baum