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Hello again, everybody!

For this article, I thought I would go into some detail as to what I do here at deviantART. You've seen my recent articles so you know I'm getting more involved in the printscommunity group, but otherwise I may as well be an anonymous $admin. I'm going to explain the different parts of my job, focusing mainly on my prints duties specifically since that's why you're all here, right?


Did you have a print that was rejected within the past year and a half? There's a pretty good chance that it was me who did it.

So... Awkward. Sorry 'bout that!

That is one of the main reasons why I have been doing these articles. The more information I can get out there about creating a quality print product, the less I will (hopefully) need to reject and the more we all can sell!

When Prints are Approved

I wish we had the staff so that every print could be viewed and approved the second it was submitted to deviantART. Unfortunately, with the amount of deviations and prints per day that are submitted, I doubt that will never be a realistic goal. The compromise was made long ago that when a print is purchased for the first time, it will then be put into a Pending Approval status and Quality Control, currently myself, will check the image for printing. Once it has been approved, it will always be approved and I will not need to look it over again.

If you edit or add any of the products, it will put that product back into a pending status for me to review. This means that, if I have approved your print, then you decide to add a mug product, only the mug will be flagged to be approved when sold. The remaining products for that print that were previously approved will stay approved.

I start every day looking through these pending prints. On average, approximately 80% of all pending prints are approved. For the remaining 20% that are rejected, the reasons below are most likely why. When a print is rejected, an email is sent to the account listed in your settings pagePlease make sure your email address is accurate, just in case. Your email is also used for transactional messages, letting you know orders were placed successfully and when they ship.

Rejection Reasons

These are the main reasons why prints are rejected:
Copyright/Trademark Infringement: This is the most often used reason for rejecting a print. We are unable to print characters/copyrighted images/trademarks that someone else other than the artist owns for legal reasons. This a terrific video and journal about Fanart Law that was filmed in a 2012 panel we held at San Diego Comic-Con.

If you are curious, at the time of this writing, the current popular rejected properties are My Little Pony, anime/manga series like Naruto and Sword Art Online, Supernatural, and standard US comic book characters like Wolverine, the Avengers, Superman and Batman.

Cropping: The next biggest reason that a print needs to be rejected. This may be a small and easily fixable issue, such as the the edge cropping text. It could also be a larger issue, such as a photo is cropping half of a woman's head off in the print, but not in the deviation. The article Cropping and the Bleed Edge will explain further about what needs to be done to fix it. This is a major and easily fixable rejection reason.

Dissimilar Images: This is where the deviation differs from the print in some way. Usually the differences are minor, as the artist uploaded a new revised deviation but did not update the print file after. Examples would be colors not matching, newer details not added, backgrounds changed... etc etc... If the image in your gallery isn't the same as in the print shop, it will most likely be rejected because of this. I have a finely calibrated monitor to make sure I can see all of these differences, too.

You can bet I was good at the Spot the Difference games when I was a kid. ;)

Watermark: A watermark on the deviation can be a good idea if you wish to have some added security on the internet, but for the print source file, it will be a large ugly spot that is taking away from the printed hard copy. Please make sure all watermarks are removed from the high quality source file you upload. If you want to have a watermark on each preview image, deviantART offers our own, which can be added using the checkbox on the prints edit page. This will only effect the preview image and will leave the full image unwatermarked and looking beautiful.

Low Quality: When I say low quality, I am not referring to artistic skill. We allow every skill level into our prints shop. Low quality refers to such issues as pixelation and heavy blurring due to artificially enlarging your image. This is usually done when an artist realizes they can't fit into every size in our prints shop, so they go into their art program and blow the image up to fit.

Click the image to view it full size in
Ezri As A Kitten By Renonevada-d4up5eh-1 by renonevada

As you can see with the photo above of my adorable kitten Ezri posing for what looks like a myspace/facebook style self shot, the right side looks really gross compared to the image on the left, which is crisp. The left image is at 600x400 while the image on the right has been blown up to 1800x1200. You can see the pixelation in the image, along with a muddying of the details as Photoshop has blurred the image to compensate for this size change.

If the source file looks pixelated, so will the print.

I know there are programs that say they can increase the resolution without any image loss, but I have yet to see one that actually does. You are not able to get any extra information or details from an image by increasing its size. Pixels are set squares of information and can not give you any more data by making them larger. If you increase the size of a picture, you are only making the pixels bigger, giving the lines a jagged edge to them. The contour of a face isn't meant to be jagged like that. Only steak knives are.

Laguiole steak knives cropped by renonevada

To combat this, most art programs will blur the edges of the pixels to try to make an image look as good as possible at that larger size. Other programs throw crazy filters on that not only distort the pixelation but also blur any detail in the original image. Basically, it makes the image look way worse than it originally would.

FYI I am very anal about this. If your picture is pixelated and blurry because you tried to enlarge it, wanting a 24x36 inch print when we only would let you have an 8x12 originally, it will get rejected. Things like that make us all look bad and will only serve to dissuade new buyers from giving us a shot or keep people from attempting a new purchase.


Once all pending prints have been taken care of, my next set of duties are to work on retail tickets. There are a bunch of categories that both myself and MAMBITO1320 handle.

Premium Membership
Digital Downloads

This is the main focus of our job and usually takes up the majority of the day. The best way to get assistance is through the Help Desk if you have any issues with this site. You can always find it by clicking on "Help and FAQ" at the bottom of every page, then clicking "Contact the Help Desk." If you have any questions, we will be able to handle them there.

Please try to be as detailed as possible. Give us the order number if you have any issues with something you have purchased. If you need your address updated, make sure to put your address in the initial ticket. If I have to ask for it, there's a good chance it will end up being shipped out unchanged. If you have an issue with the site, please provide any screenshots or links that may help illustrate the problem better.

We get every type of ticket, from "Do I have to print out each order," which is a no, by the way, we do all the printing and shipping at no cost to the artist, to "I gave someone 20 points and they won't give it back, so that means they stole it and should be banned."

ae 450xNULL by renonevada

I can't post meme's as reply's to tickets. I wish I could, but it's less than professional.


A scary one, right?
Fraud2 by renonevada
With the introduction of Digital Downloads, points are suddenly very important on this site. There is a whole new way to buy and sell products by adding purchasable digital content directly onto your deviation pages. Quite awesome, I know!

There is also a whole new way to defraud our system by using this method. I don't want to go into too much detail why as I don't want to give anyone any bad ideas, but these purchases need to be looked into to make sure things are working smoothly. Tools were built to help recognize these sales and they seem to be working well so far.

From working in a casino and now working here, I really do have a good understanding of money laundering, along for a healthy respect for quality forged American money.

I do a few other things, but those are the big three. I hope you enjoyed this one and gleaned some new information from it and about how deviantART functions, as well.

Visit Prints Shop
Prints approvals, retail help desk tickets and fraudulent transactions. All in a days work.
Add a Comment:
xXBlazer12Xx Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2015  Student General Artist
I don't understand what they mean but 'money' do u get REAL money or money to get premium membership!
Llama Emoji-38 (Confused) [V2] :baffled: 
renonevada Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Both, actually! All sales are sent to your earnings page:… Shop-Earnings to get there. From there you can have it sent to your Paypal account for real $$$ or as points to get PM's and buy anything else on the site.
draconiangem Featured By Owner Edited Feb 16, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I have only just recently set up some prints within an 8 hour period (it is also Sunday) I had a few friends attempt to buy some, but they are getting "internal error" massages when they try to  buy them.  Is this a normal part of that pending approval process? I'm at a loss as to what to tell them other than just "try again tomorrow" or "wait and see".  Yet I just bought one myself a little while ago.  Kind of embarrassing lol. 
renonevada Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Definitely not normal. Prints should be up within minutes. Please have a friend contact the help desk with this issue so they can assist better. Also have them include any relevant screen shots of what is happening.
wolfguardian24 Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Cloverheartmikey Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
So is it like a little poster is delivered to their house or somethin?
mikesmom37 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2014  Student General Artist
from a casino to DA. wow! really cool!!!!
RaifanZell Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Understood.  Thank you for the insight.
I will do my best to be careful with such matters.
NaraxBara Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2013  Student Digital Artist
i cant even submit to the group so...
roseta2blues Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013
thanks so much, this is my first foray into selling my art. Other than tattoos and the occasional painting :)
auniabubba Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013
Thank you I think I understand a little better
HhinataYUYU Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013
AngelitaRamos Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks! I had no idea why I couldn't print my Tomb Raider pic. And now I do. Thanks so much. =}
Art-Magnus Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013
All my prints are my oringinal skilled work.
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2013
lintu47 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
    Oh why not, having a meme reply would make a great reply - and you, a pro with good humor (in my eyes at least)! I understand though the need to keep the standards up and the professional feeling since this is the classic "etiquette".
    But if you ever come across one of my tickets, feel free to include as many memes as you wish (cats preferred).
ParkCity Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
well, havent bought anything, and neer had my prints rejected, so... cool! XD
saiyan-frost Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Learnt something new today; maybe now if I ever create prints, I can avoid it being turned down (didn't realise there were that many controls; but that's a good thing).
SonAmyFan362 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Professional Writer
I am a stickler for the rules. Can I lend a hand?
artstrac Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
Interesting article.
Thiefoworld Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
Interesting insight of your activities! :D More admins should write about what they do, at least of what they can share ;P It's always interesting to know!
Zerosity Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
Replying with meme's may be unprofessional, but it sure is a good laugh! =D
Astrikos Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013   General Artist
Wonderful article, thank you. 
Talty Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013   Artisan Crafter
This is very informative and interesting, thank you for putting it together :D
DecepticonFlamewar Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I have a question.

I've been thinking about offering some of my more original pictures as prints just on the off chance someone would use them. The art software I use is very primitive and is only capable of exporting as a 640x480 JPG. There's always some slight weirdness from the export process, but there's nothing I can do about it. If you were to deny something for quality reasons, and it quite literally cannot be changed on the artist's end at any size, would we be able to negotiate with you to get small prints out there?
renonevada Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm going to use this image as an example as it is set at 640x480: flamewarflipsides.deviantart.c…

Speaking just about the quality and not the category it is in, it would pass. However, you would not be able to have many options. Possibly only the small magnet would work as a print. The faq below will give you better understanding of the sizes we need for quality larger prints. :)

FAQ #132: What are the minimum image sizes for each product?

With such software limitations, I would consider an alternative such as Gimp, which is free.
DecepticonFlamewar Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You clearly haven't read any of the previous comments I made very deeply. The Gimp is far less intuitive and would crash my computer. I can't afford to buy a more advanced one or fix the one I have. 

Still, good to know I can sell magnets. Thanks. :)
Cedarbox Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
If the size is fit for small prints, there's no need to negotiate.
DecepticonFlamewar Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Every time I submit something that isn't fanart I get badgered to offer like, magnet prints, but I'm wondering if I actually went through with that, would it get rejected because of the tiny tiny artifacts that come from my software only exporting in JPG? It's not like I resize or crop anything artificially. I just can't control the output.
ItsNotFilia Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Why negotiate low-quality prints, when you could opt to use one (or more) of the plethora of vailable free software that won't limit you to 640x480 px images?
DecepticonFlamewar Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The software I use isn't on my crappy computer; it's on another device. I'd have to spend hundreds of dollars to do anything half as good at what I do on anything else, plus learn an entirely different software suite that works completely differently.
ItsNotFilia Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I have to disagree about the need to spend money, unless you're asking for touch capabilities.

I get where you're coming from, but you're not actually asking an administrator to accept low-quality prints; in fact, you're asking the audience at large to accept low-quality prints. But these people pay money for prints and if they prints they order turn out to have artifacts, or be pixelated, they won't be able to return the product, plus they'd lose confidence in actually purchasing prints.

Evidently, you don't need to negotiate for prints on small items. So long as the art you're submitting doesn't have artifacts and whatnot, you'll be fine. (plus you can always submit the print and see whether it goes through) If prints are enabled for a certain size, then resizing isn't necessary for the enabled prints.
DecepticonFlamewar Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
My computer can't even handle youtube for very long. Even if I got free software, I'd have to get a new rig to do any kind of large-scale, print-sized artwork on it. I do everything on my 3DS on Art Academy: Lessons for Everyone, and while the art export comes out higher quality and more finely detailed than the prints, if you zoom in it occasionally looks jpg-y. I would never blow up an Art Academy export larger than the 640x480 (or 480x640) default, but I guess I'm just concerned that my watchers who like my AA stuff would order a print knowing the limitations and be denied anyway. It's like, why should I bother to go through my work and find the few things that aren't fanart and do all that mess just to find out I can't sell teeny tiny four inch magnets that are probably smaller than the screen I painted on?

Seeing this post makes me less apt to try and set my art up in the print system, rather than more. 
MiikuuMcFluffybutt Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you. This was very helpful!
Andaelentari Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Oh wow great stuff to know!  Thank you! :la:
SimplySilent Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2013
Great article! :heart: Thanks for sharing. :D
KikyouNez-sama Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks for the hard work!
tuftedpuffin Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2013
Thank you for all your hard work!  You guys do a bang-on job of printing my own work, far better than any local place I have tried to get them done.  (my touchy, expensive printer broke long ago and I don't have money for a new one or I'd do them myself).  I have only bought a few things by other deviants, but that will someday change :)
SecretSavvie Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2013  Professional General Artist
KovoWolf Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2013  Professional General Artist
Excellent article :)
redvibe7 Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for this very informative journal.
joeyv7 Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013
Enlightening  article - it's also nice to have a face for what was kind of an anonymous department, before :)
makepictures Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013
Renovada rocks at his work!  We are fortunate to have him in the community.
skiesofchaos Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Professional Photographer
Excellent to hear that we have such expertise on the job.
RJohnstone Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ryan, thanks for the additional insights to your side of the business. I appreciate your journal articles. -- Richard
keight Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013
Thank you.
MuirOfLanternWaste Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013
^.^ I know these journals aren't supposed to be entertaining, but I think they're really funny as well as informational. 
faeorain Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I'm still waiting to hear back about my help ticket regarding the fraud being perpetrated via the commission widget. I ordered a commission back on June 8th from someone, they never came through, they ignored my last message inquiring about the work and they've kept the points. They are also still offering commissions on their page, I suppose, waiting for the next person to scam.
renonevada Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'll look into this on Monday when I get back into the office. :)
faeorain Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
So, any progress on that? We are about to hit another weekend, and I still haven't heard anything about my case. By the way, you are the one who is assigned to my case :)
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