Is Creating a Profile on Behance Worth it for Artists in 2024?
Pros, Cons, and Comparisons: The Artist's Guide to Behance
If you’re looking for a place to share your art, grow a following and potentially find work, you might have already heard of Behance.net. The site launched in 2005 and has since grown to over 24 million users who use Behance as a portfolio host, hiring platform, and networking tool.
Users can upload their artwork, designs, photography, and more to showcase their skills and gain exposure.
Or at least that’s the idea.
Social networks for artists are notoriously rough waters to tread. A rare few rise to the top, but most artists will be left with a tremendous time-sink and little results.
But is Behance different? Will a profile there help you gain more visibility and opportunities? Is Behance really better than larger platforms like Instagram or DeviantArt?
Let’s find out…
Behance is great for graphic designers
If you take a few minutes to explore the website, you’ll find that the majority of the content on Behance focuses on graphic design. These might be logo designs, packaging designs or app interfaces, but they seem to make up the bulk of the posts.
If you work in the graphic design field, Behance is probably the single best place you could put your portfolio. Tons of world-class designers use Behance to share their projects from major brands like Apple, Nike and Tesla.
Behance’s project builder is also quite robust. Users can post images, text, photo grids, videos and even 3D models, which is ideal for designers who work in a range of mediums.
Behance is great for Adobe users
Adobe acquired Behance in 2012 and quickly integrated their products into the platform. Their ‘Discovery’ section even has dedicated categories for Adobe software like Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.
Projects that use Adobe products can also be selected for curated digital galleries specific to each software tool. ‘Featured in the Lightroom gallery’ etc.
This can give a key advantage to artists who use Adobe products, but also work against those using alternatives like Clip Studio Paint or Affinity.
Behance is great for finished art
If you enjoy posting (or seeing) sketches, doodles, or other rough concepts, Behance might not be for you. The platform definitely centers around polished, finished portfolio pieces and it’s rare to see works in progress.
That said, Behance actually has a designated ‘Work in Progress’ feature where users can post an image of what they’re working on… but it’s automatically deleted after 24 hours. Strange, I know.
What Behance encourages instead is posting the process along with your finished art. The builder allows multiple photos and grids that make it easy to show the progress leading up to the finished art.
New artists might struggle to be seen on Behance
New accounts (or new artists) have a hard time gaining traction on any platform, so it’s hard to say this is unique to Behance. By default, the site’s discovery pages and search results favor established artists and those that use Adobe products. This circularity leads to a relative minority receiving tens of thousands of views per piece, and most others less than 100.
However, if you have an existing audience you can bring to Behance, the platform’s robust posting tools make it possible to share much more than competitors like Instagram.
Common scams on Behance
There are two features of Behance that uniquely target it for scammers: Its job board and NFT functionality.
Similar to other job search websites, Behance makes it possible for artists to tag their profile as ‘available for work’ with a contact form for prospective clients. Scammers can use these forms to send fake hiring requests that try to harvest personal data and beg for bogus ‘application fees’. If you receive a seemingly too good to be true job offer on Behance, make sure to do your due diligence.
Another scam to watch out for? People asking if your art is available as an NFT. What they’re actually fishing for is for you to use their fake ‘NFT minting’ services and other fraudulent crypto schemes. Here’s an example of what might show up in your inbox:
“Hello dear, you’re a very talented artist and your works are amazing. I have an upcoming art exhibition coming up next week and I would like to showcase your artwork, willing to sell a few as NFT?”
If you’re looking for an alternative to Pinterest, Behance certainly comes close. Just like Pinterest, it’s possible to create ‘moodboards’ on Behance and save images to them for later viewing. You can also have public and private moodboards, and get suggestions based on similar images.
Unlike Pinterest, which encompasses every image type imaginable, Behance is limited to creative projects only. This makes it easier to sift through images to find inspiration, although the total image pool is considerably smaller.
Behance vs Instagram
What drives many artists to Behance are the frustrating limitations of Instagram. The limited photo aspect ratios, downgraded resolutions and biased algorithms (among many other issues) have led legions of artists to quit Instagram.
The most important factor of figuring out if Behance is better than Instagram is what exactly you use Instagram for? If it’s commenting and messaging other artists, Behance is more than capable.
You can follow, like, comment and direct message on Behance just like Instagram. Artists can share livestreams of their work as well as offer services and digital assets directly.
Behance’s profile options are also superior to Instagram. You can add multiple external links, work history, about me and other fields.
While Behance has more features than Instagram in almost every aspect, there’s one big difference. Behance has around 25 million active users, while Instagram claims over 1 billion.
Behance vs DeviantArt
At 23 years old, DeviantArt has been around longer than Behance. The two platforms both cater towards artists and make it easy to share and comment on art.
While Behance centers around creating polished portfolios, DeviantArt revolves more around community building through it’s longstanding forum and group categories.
DeviantArt’s userbase and posts are also quite different than Behance. Manga, anime, fan-art and character tributes are common on DeviantArt, which seems to draw a younger crowd. DeviantArt is also absolutely full of AI-generated art, which brings us to our last topic…
Does Behance allow AI-generated images?
Short answer: yes, AI art is allowed on Behance.
Adobe, Behance’s parent company, has fully embraced generative AI with their own Adobe Firefly prompt-to-image generator. According to their policy FAQ, Behance art was NOT used to train the Firefly model. It states:
Separately, when asked how to identify AI art on Behance:
“We encourage all projects, including those made with Generative AI, to be tagged and labeled with the tools used to create them”
Get to the point
If you want a polished and sleek webpage that makes it easy to share your portfolio, Behance is a great choice. It’s among the most feature-rich artist platforms out there and is totally free.
However, it might not be ideal for traditional artists and quick sketches because of its heavy focus on digital art and graphic design. Behance favors artists who use Adobe software, meaning you might struggle to gain visibility if your work deviates from this.
Do you have an experience with Behance you want to share? Let us know (good or bad!) in the comments.