I ran across a couple of comments in various places on dA this past weekend, making the remark that submitting a deviation to more than ten groups on deviantART is "attention-whoring".
No, it is not. It's called sale-marketing-and distribution. It's also called networking and exposure. It's what professional artists actually do. Most, or at least in my opinion the ones who actually want to survive and live off of their work, get their work out to as many audiences as possible. The published author wants to see their work in as many homes, bookshops, and libraries as they can get it sold to. A photographer wants their image in print, on billboards, on book covers, in calendars and postcards and greeting cards and advertisements and whatever and wherever as often as possible. The artist wants to sell their work to clients and that means making it visible. Just because the first publisher turned down your manuscript doesn't mean you stop there. It doesn't mean you stop at the TENTH publisher either because that might be considered "attention-whoring" or "selling-out". No, it's called visibility. It's because you never know who might one day see your work, who will be the person who changes your life, who buys your work, or who becomes your new best friend on dA.
Features help. Submitting to a group is like one. You're putting it out to however many subscribe to it. You may get no views at all but on the other end of the spectrum you could get a fave, and then a watcher, and that watcher might become a friend and someone who teaches you something new. Should you only accept the first ten features from random deviants and tell all the others, "oh no, please, that would make me an attention-whore." No, you go, "thank you so much for featuring me!"
Who says we should be picky and submit to only preferred groups on deviantART? Should I submit a manuscript only to the biggest publishing houses? Should I sell my photographs only to ESPN, TheHockeyNews, and Sports Illustrated, local papers be damned? Um....no.
I get that some people don't want features, and don't want their work in more-than-ten groups or whatever. Fine. But stop bitching about starving. You don't become better or professional by turning your nose up at everything beneath you, any more than refusing to eat anything but caviar makes you the next top chef. At least I think so. Working with my bread-and-butter clients is how I got my biggest clients. I worked for everyman one day and he referred me to the big boys the next. I would never have gotten this job if I'd decided I was too good for that job, or that feature, or that group.
This doesn't mean I send my work out to twenty plus groups all of the time. Most of my deviations are at about ten anyway. But this is practicality. I belong to those groups I feel my work best belongs with (or that I'm interested in watching), but under no circumstances is this out of a fear of "attention-whoring". I just don't think hockey players belong in a group about kawaii-kittens.
If you want to keep things to ten groups for a reason that makes sense, fine. But don't call the decision to do otherwise attention-whoring.
It's not attention-whoring. It's smart business.