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DELVE March-April 2013 high res by eschlehahn DELVE March-April 2013 high res by eschlehahn

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Sooo - Happy belated Easter to everyone! We are back with another (though slightly delayed) issue of DELVE! :la:


DELVE is a free webzine created by the volunteer team of #DelveMag. It is focused on art all around deviantART, with art features from all genres, interviews, groups and community features, contests, and everything else art-wise this wonderful website has to offer the world. Thereby we strive to give artists a wider audience as well as present our readers with lots of new creative input. If you wish to be published or you would like to volunteer, contact us either by noting #DelveMag directly or one of its chief editors (see below).

I hope you will like this issue - the themes of this issue are spring, renewal, and artistic growth. Our team is still small (volunteers to join us are always welcome!), but step by step, we're getting the hang on it - horray! :dummy:

Cover and layout was created by the ever patient `AlanRalph, as well as an article about art and technology
Features by me (=eschlehahn)
Interview and correlating features by *v-for-vincent
Text editing by ~noisybubbles
Editors in chief are `jenepooh and =eschlehahn

Many thanks to the DTeam and and you, the readers, to make this magazine happen! :heart:


***Practical info***

In case your browser supports PDF viewing, you should already be able to view the zine directly. In case this does not work for you, just click the "Download file" link on the right beside this description - it is a high-resolution PDF file, roughly about 10,2 MB in size. :)
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:iconarmonah:
Disclaimer on the star rating: The rating is completely arbitrary and in no way representative of how I feel about this piece. I'm writing this to provide feedback, not to rate if a piece is hot or not based on some vague criteria.

I already commented in the #projecteducate backroom that I think a DeviantART zine is a great idea with a lot of potential. I hope you continue to publish more issues after this one, because I can see this get pretty big. It's still a bit of a diamond in the rough - but then again, almost all new projects are. A diamond in the rough is a diamond still.

Because there's a fair amount to comment on in this zine this critique is also going to be pretty lengthy. Let's get started:


Front page layout

For the layout of the front page I would look at how other magazines do it. There's almost a universal way of how typography is handled and how text is distributed on the page. Usually there's a striking visual (such as a portrait or a photograph or a design) that's centered in the middle or slightly off-center with the text going around it. Here a picture is used with that striking visual in the middle, but the text is right on top of it. This doesn't really work well because it distracts from the overall picture and makes it look kind of crowded while the areas surrounding it are empty. Another reason is that there's a lot more visual clutter in the middle that makes the text hard to read. The area around it on the other hand is light blue and has almost no contrast, which would've been ideal for text.

The text you included on the front page is simultaneously everything there is in the magazine. I think it's best to pick three or four contents in the magazine that would most draw viewers in and put either the title or its content condensed in one line on the page. Maybe include a subtitle where that would work well. This also anticipates for future issues, when/if the zine becomes bigger and starts including more content and categories. You can't have that all on your front page at some point.

The page after the front page has black text on a dark background. It's almost entirely unreadable.

I'd leave the back-cover image empty altogether, and move the "credits" text someplace else (maybe the "Editorial" page). I think you could do the same for the image on the page after the front page, and put "cover image by [Angelitoon]" somewhere along the rest of the credits.


Layout

I think this zine would benefit a lot from a two- or three-column layout. This makes long editorials such as "A Tale of Two Worlds" less intimidating to read, it would help with the distribution of visual elements, and it would make the pages overall more interesting to look at, especially if they contain a lot of text.

There is a LOT of white space. The "Editorial" page has no pictures at all while page 10 (pages 18 and 19) have a single image on them that doesn't even fill the screen. Page 12 (pages 22 and 23) suffer from the same effect. There is a lot of empty, unused space, and it makes the pages look bland. The standard blue-and-underlined hyperlink layout is just plain ugly.

The pictures themselves aren't really distributed on the screen in an interesting manner, and there is a lack of other interesting visual elements. In "A Tale of Two Worlds" for instance, quotes could've been included to add some variety to the text.

I don't think the black-text-on-white-background is really an issue; it's really common in print mags and many of them pull it off well. But web zines don't have to worry about print expenses, so you're more free to start experimenting here. Though I don't know what your plans are for the future, and if that includes print distribution as well.


Text

Watch out for sentences that continue across pages, like what happens in "A Tale of Two Worlds", where a sentence on page 5 is continued in page 6. That breaks with the flow of reading. It can't always be prevented, but try to whenever possible.

Here's a relevant article on "Widows, rags and orphans", what they are, and what you can do to fix them: [link] though this zine doesn't suffer from what Techrepublic calls "bad rag" because it's both left and right justified. Widows and orphans though would be interesting to look into.

The interview with Angelitoon reads a bit choppy, and I don't think there was a lot of after-editing after the initial interview was conducted. The first few questions could've been condensed in an introductory piece of text: "Angel Alonso (better known as Angelitoon on deviantART) is an artist based in the north of Spain who owns his own animation studio, where he has worked for over 25 years. He is most known for [some of his biggest/most well-known projects]. In this interview we learn about his artistic process, his career, and his inspiration.". After that it works better to ask a few follow-up questions after you've got an answer to your initial question, and combine the answers in a single larger block of text.
Lastly (and optionally) you could send the interview back to see if the artist is okay with how you paraphrased things, and then publish it.

And that's it, I think. I hope you'll find some of the advice in here useful :)
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
7 out of 7 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

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:iconchuckdaws:
chuckdaws Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very informative. And very cool! :dalove:
Reply
:iconeschlehahn:
eschlehahn Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2013
Thank you very much. I am happy that you liked it. :heart:
Reply
:icongreenxballoon:
GreenXBalloon Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2013
Thank you so much for the feature! I love you! :-*
Reply
:iconvikingprogenitor:
VikingProgenitor Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, thank you so much for the feature! <3
I love the idea of a DA zine and I think you are pulling it off pretty well.
And you made at least one unknown artist feel very good about themselves :D
Reply
:iconeschlehahn:
eschlehahn Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2013
This is wonderful! Thank you kindly for your feedback and I also thank you for sharing your work here at deviantART so we can enjoy it here! :heart:
Reply
:icongwynconawayart:
GwynConawayArt Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013  Professional
This is a wonderful zine! Thank you so much for featuring Deviant-Mentor, we greatly appreciate it!
Reply
:iconeschlehahn:
eschlehahn Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2013
You are most welcome, and we in turn thank YOU for engaging in and supporting the deviantART community! :heart:
Reply
:icontehangelscry:
TehAngelsCry Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Thank you so much for featuring #Divine-Tutorials :squee:!
As a point of interest, maybe consider featuring lesser known pieces of art, rather than the famous pieces we can all recognise? :)
Reply
:iconalanralph:
AlanRalph Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2013  Professional General Artist
Hi there. If you're referring to the artwork selection that accompanied my article, I went for what I considered a sample of the best digital art covering several different styles and formats. However, I deliberately made the choice to keep those fairly small when doing the layout for the magazine, so as not to overshadow the article itself, whilst making the artwork for the *angelitoon interview and the art features as large as possible to give those centre stage. :)
Reply
:icontehangelscry:
TehAngelsCry Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
I do appreciate what you were going for. Next time, might I suggest that you find lesser known pieces? You can still find fantastic "digital art, covering different styles and formats" whilst not going for the over 1'000'000 views pieces X)
Reply
:iconeschlehahn:
eschlehahn Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013
Hello *TehAngelsCry and thank you for giving us your thoughts! :wave:

We at DELVE will always try to feature lesser known artists, as we have done in past issues too. You will also see that especially in the art improvement and the spring features, there are some pieces not yet known widely across deviantART. Nevertheless, we are always open to suggestions and will try even harder in picking up opportunities for giving new/unknown artists a wider audience. Thanks again for the feedback, it is greatly appreciated! :dalove:
Reply
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