All right, so we said we would do this. I will be using a lot of Kay's old post in regards to preparing your gallery for a promotion, but of course I will also add a short overview of what we look for in each rank when it comes to promotions.
Rank requirements for promotions
note that this is for the current admins
To Junior Artist:
Mastery of basic techniques: very few halos, a cohesive base for graphics, even colouring and decent image quality. At least one set of icons, a few banners and sigs, a blend and hopefully a CI or two. You don't have to include everything, but a gallery consisting of only a couple of banners and nothing else will have less chance of being considered for a promotion. This counts for all ranks.
To Senior Artist:
Strong technical skills, such as matching skin tones and solid composition - this means keeping to the rule of thirds, a clear focal point and easy to read text. Image quality should be good. We will allow some amount of blurriness or graininess, but not if this consists across all graphics. The forefront images should be cohesive with the background. Seeing as we do like to see whether improvement of skill consists across graphic types, we want to see at least one set of icons, a few banners and sigs, a blend or two and hopefully a couple of CIs. Graphics shouldn't be older than 4-5 months.
To Graduate Artist:
Very strong technical skills: no halos, the knowledge of when to use soft vs. hard blending to improve composition and keep the base cohesive, consistent colouring and strong image quality as well as a consistent skill level in the aforementioned across all graphic types. This is when we start looking for individuality, or style - a certain composition element or colouring technique that makes you stand out from the other galleries. Text should be strong and follow the flow of the base. Graphics shouldn't be older than 4-5 months.
To Staff artist:
Near perfect technique including text, composition, colouring, blending and image quality. Individuality combined with versatility is important here. We're usually looking for great technical skill combined with something that is unique to that artist - sort of like a signature. This could range from a certain type of colouring to how they use their images in the graphic's composition, without losing creativity. Graphics shouldn't be older than 4-5 months.
On variety, creativity and consistency.
Seeing as we do use these words quite a bit, I wanted to explain to the best of my abilities what I understand under these words.
Variety. This sort of hangs together with creativity. Perhaps I can explain it best when I explain what I do not understand under variety: when I go into a gallery and see the same stock, same texture, same colouring and/or same type composition used on every graphic. To me, that shows a certain type of complacency. Even if what this artist does is really good and technically perfect, it doesn't show either variety or a willingness to be creative and experiment with other types of blending, colouring, composition or text. I understand that there is sometimes a bit of confusion when we talk about 'style' being a signature element by which we can recognize an artist's work, but even by having a style you can still experiment as to me, style should never consist of just 'one' single element.
For example, someone's style could be the use of curves and vibrancy layers to give their graphic a bright, saturated colouring, combined with darker elements in the background, bordered text and the use of negative space. Within this style, however, there is still plenty of opportunity to experiment with any of these techniques. They can, for example, make a graphic that doesn't include negative space, but keep their trademark colouring technique, or make a graphic using more muted colouring but still use the same composition using more negative space. This is of course a very simplified explanation, but I hope it sort of gets across the idea why style and doing the same thing over and over because it's easy, is not the same thing in my book.
Consistency. With this I mostly mean that I expect a certain amount of consistency in skill level across graphic types. Especially from SA and up, if you are very good at making banners, but are still making quite a bit of technical mistakes when it comes to blends, sigs or icons, I will usually not consider you for a promotion. For that reason we also ask people to have a bit of every graphic in their galleries.
Preparing your gallery for a promotion.
this part was mostly taken from Kay's old post
Remove Old Work
As a rule, you should remove (or link) all old work before promotions begin. We have a lot of artists here and, as much as we would like to, we can't watch every artist close enough to recognize an update from an old design so a gallery with a mix of old, sub-par designs and new, improved designs is something that looks, to us, as though you're an inconsistent artist - someone who gets it but just needs a bit more practice to get things "spot on."
Make Sure Your Images Work
All too often when wandering through the galleries to do promotions, I run into galleries in which half of the images don't work. If you know we're doing a promotion, and you always do, check daily to make sure that your images haven't expired or use a stie that doesn't allow expiration.
Include Your Best Work
Your best work and your favorites may not necessarily be the same thing. When we look at graphics, yes, we look at immediate appeal but, after we're done with that, we look at the technical aspects of it. We are going to look to see if your graphics appear muddy or if you cut off noses - are your blends seamless, do you use textures and patterns well, exhibit good judgement with text, etc... this is in line with the rank requirements above.
Watch Out For Tutorials
Tutorials are great, don't get me wrong - but a closely followed tutorial isn't what we're looking for when we're considering promoting someone. If we see a graphic that is clearly made from a tutorial it will neither count for or against you - so don't follow 30 tutorials, update your gallery with the products and expect to be promoited.
No, you don't have to keep an organized gallery to get promoted, but staying organized helps us along the way. It's easier to browse when all of the avatars are in one place and all of the banners, etc...
Choose Your Highlights Carefully
This one got a bold and an underline because it's particularly important. We ask to have a certain amount of images per graphic type so we can best judge your level of skill across graphics, but I've known galleries that were so full of graphics that it became very hard to load and very hard for us admins to keep an overview. If you want to keep your old work, you can always link it.
When you're choosing your highlights - the images that you display as images - you'll want to be careful to ensure that they're your best works and, also, that they don't unecessarily stretch the page. Use thumbnails where need be and make sure that it's going to be relevant to TDA. We don't often see requests for colorizations in the request areas, so spending your highlights on four large colorizations might not be the best use of space if you're finding yourself short of images.
Don't Underestimate The Power Of Blank Space
I've noticed, when browsing galleries for promotion, if images are stacked directly on top of each other or, in the case of icons, side by side with no room to breathe the eye tends to take in the whole block as a single blob as opposed to seeing individual pieces for what they are. This can really hurt you in a promotion because if you tend to wander stylistically or use a lot of different colors or even if you just make busy canvases, it's too easy to take in an initial impression of "Woah - thats a lot of look" and never go back.
I'm not saying you should put miles between things - but giving 15 pixels of breathing room on all sides is a good guideline for any image. With banners, signatures or blends, just hit the enter key between every entry and you should be fine.
Gallery Context Reminder
taken from Jess' post in 2014
Please remember that, if you're looking for a promotion, you should stick to ONE principle - QUALITY not QUANTITY!
Going through galleries, there are a lot of you who are holding yourselves back by having inconsistent galleries, with loads of older graphics whose quality lets you down. A good rule of thumb is that a graphic that got you promoted to junior will not get you promoted to senior, and so on, and if a graphic has been in your gallery for more than two months without a promotion, it probably needs to go.
I encourage everyone to go through their galleries and have a good clean out! Or, if you want a second opinion or ten, put up a poll in the Polling Place so that others can tell you which graphics should go and which should stay
Don't sell yourselves short by being overly sentimental! You can always link or give thumbnails of old graphics that you still want to have in your gallery
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to post here.