As many, i was a hobbyist who grew up with DeviantArt since ~2007. I remember getting into dA not because "sonic fanart" or something like that, but - if i remember correctly - because several famous photographs (inluding artistic nudes ones) used it. Regardless whatever was happening to dA in terms of "quality" or something, there were things that always were possible on it. One - amazingly functional site layout with many useful possibilities (sadly, plenty of that was cut down over the years, like custom code fields to web-design personalize your pages. Though even today site engine is still more functional than, say, Pixiv.). Two - sense of community, especially among specific dedicated circles (like, idk, darkside bodyhorror photography, or ball jointed dolls makers).
Today, for this or that reason i had to came to Artstation. At the moment - to look for inspirations, follow all those incredible artists etc. etc. Maybe will put up my own works there as well in the future, who knows. I'm less than half of year as registered user at ArtStation and already made ~1500 favorites (yes, spent DAYS browsing people there. So much outstanding works! though it's a freaking PAIN to browse your favs as there is no pagination, like on dA where you can go through first 40 pages today and other 20 pages tomorrow. I blame modern society of smarphones-first web design) and there was a thing i noticed...
It feels SO DEAD. I mean, even on amazingly amazing top industry works, you see, at best, less then douzen of comments. And usually those comments are some simplified "nice work, dude" without any interesting discussion or artists sharing knowledge. In comparison, on dA similar works would have, like, 150-200 comments on them and very often you get some interesting replies from artist, whether it's technical discussion or some side story.
Also doesn't help that, even in ArtStation TOS, they highly recommend you NOT to contact anyone unless it's job contract proposal or similar business. So............... this seems to be the "root of evil". Looks like, overall, Artstation still IS mainly "job thing" place? Despite 1) what artstation site team tells you about making website more open to people of different levels and hobbyists 2) not only "industry veterans" or "job seekers with fresh portfolio" are using it, but also straight up amateurs (well, hopefully not as amateurs as weakest from dA, haha) and also "i do art for my own pleasure only" kind of folks, to whom i have my deepest respect as they continue to do it despite being exhausted on their main job or family situatuons. Yes, after spending weeks of browsing art, i'm sure.
So, anyone else shares similar feelings as me? I kinda, now decided to come here as i hope this place is a bit more... heartwarming, with people interaction - not only feedback on works in w.i.p. threads, but also camaraderie of creators. Or you really think that only on deviantArt creators were able to become friends? haha