I have given this exact same advice dozens of times. It goes for both…
Reading through the responses to this post, I think people are confusing “don’t use Deviantart or Facebook as your primary presence on the internet” with “never use Deviantart of Facebook or any social media communities to promote your art.”
I use tumblr and DA and twitter and facebook to great success (obviously), but my business cards always link to shoomlah.com or clairehummel.com. Easy to remember, professional finish, and it gives me more or less complete control over how my art is presented to people. My main page links to my tumblr and my DA, sure, but I give people the option to browse my art quietly, on their own terms, without being bombarded by ads and other superfluous nonsense.
If you have 12 bucks to spare, you can get a domain name and have it link back to an organized, art-specific tumblr! If you don’t, you can at least set up a daportfolio and link to that instead. Maintaining a presence in social media is really important, yes, but so is maintaining a professional presence, the face you put forward towards potential employers and clients.
And I’m sorry, but Deviantart is hard to browse. I’ve been on it for ten years now so I know my way around, sure, but from a visual standpoint there is next to no design logic or hierarchy of information. The category system is a redundant joke, art pieces are called “deviations” which is completely alienating to new visitors, and the front page is littered with art chosen by a completely obtuse and self-propogating popularity system.
And have you looked at a person’s individual profile page recently? With fresh eyes? It can be IMMENSELY confusing to figure out that you need to click on that tiny “gallery” link at the top to get to any actual art. Ugh.
DA has been so good to me over the years, it really has, but I’ll be the first to say that it is not an Optimized Art Browsing Experience- I use it out of necessity rather than any actual fondness for the platform.
I should probably write up an actual article about internet presence at this point,