I've worked very hard at adding community features for quite a few months (some of which I've later seen added to my ex-friend's site. yes, a friend, unfriended me after making some obscure comments on her site.) and I would really like to see Artists get away from small-mindedness and competition and go to growing COMMUNITY.
I opened up VisualArtGifts to the visual art community because I saw a need that was not being fulfilled to get seen and promoted. Many people in art site forums would ask what to do and how to get traffic to their art sales pages because there art work wasn't being seen and currently available art sites were not fulfilling that need.
I've added some free software and other software which I coded myself. Yes, many hours and days and in a sense months of hard work and testing. I didn't get any ideas from any friend art sites. I have been testing my most recent software addition ever since Buddypress was in Alpha (extremely early test version) about a year ago. I had only delayed to use it because it was very unstable and in general didn't work right until recent changes fixed the most important bugs.
It is time to help instead of harm, to BUILD COMMUNITY instead of breaking them down through rumor and unfounded accusations. I want to challenge art community and art site owners to join and become part of a greater visual artist promoting community. There are thousands of visual artists in the world and millions of Internet users, so it is time for us to grow up and be friends and promote each other without letting personal jealously take hold. Visual artists need to promote their art, get seen, and make sales.
Lets Promote Art, Share Art, Grow Art and build communities because the need still exists and participating in just one site (even one which now also gives links - you're welcome to use this idea, I'm not complaining, it was a good idea that I didn't see any other art site do before VisualArtGifts ) is not enough. As visual artists we need to promote our artwork on multiple sites because each one will get different results in Google and each site has different readers. Being in Facebook or just having a blog isn't enough either. Marketing visual art is very hard work and even harder if we try to pull whoever is working hard down to our level. Instead lets help each other up to the next level!