The Best Discords for Digital Artists

Digital Painting

Joining an art community was one of the best things I ever did for my art.

I wanted to learn everything by myself (mostly out of misplaced pride) but once I took the plunge, joining an art community had a huge impact on my art, confidence and success.

I first started out by lurking on the amazing ConceptArt.org forums, which have sadly been closed. Then I moved to Facebook groups, but they all felt too impersonal.

Discord is now by far my favorite way to take part in art communities.

A list of recommended Digital-Art Discord Servers is further down the article.  

First, for those who have no idea what I’m talking about, a quick explanation of what Discord is and why it’s so useful:

What is Discord?

Discord is a mobile, desktop and browser app designed to enable people to easily host and join communities.

Typically these communities, known officially as Discord servers, are built around shared interests.

You can find servers for all the different interests and hobbies out there.

If you're familiar with Facebook groups, or with forums such as Reddit, a Discord server is pretty similar, but in my opinion simply better.

Why is it better than a Facebook group?

One major advantage Discord has over Facebook and forums is completely instant messaging, full mobile and desktop notifications.

All of the Discord servers you have joined are available from one single app, and also the server owner can set up bots to do all kinds of neat, time-saving things for you.

It feels much more personal and immediate than Facebook or forums.

Discord communities provide a great place for like-minded artists all over the world to meet, help and encourage each other. 

Members give each other advice and feedback, share useful resources, and even work together on projects. 

If you feel like you are lacking feedback regarding your art, or are confused about your direction,

if you feel lonely on your journey, have questions you’re struggling to find the answers to,

if you would like to be part of a group of like-minded people, then I highly recommend trying out one of the servers below.

 

5 Digital Art Discords I recommend

I’ve joined many, many Discords, and the following are my most recommended for digital artists - in no particular order:

1. Art commissions 

This is a giant server with tens of thousands of members, all with one thing in common - they are all there in the pursuit of art commissions

The age range is generally younger and mostly consists of less experienced members - it’s an extremely active server with multiple critique, feedback and advice channels. 

It’s probably best suited to young artists who are still finding their feet, especially those who would prefer just to lurk in a large community, and keep an eye on other young artists committed to the same journey as they are.


Join the Art Commissions Discord server


2. One Fantastic Week

1 Fantastic Week is a YouTube channel run by the independent fantasy artists Peter Mohrbacher and Sam Flegal (click here to go to the YouTube channel)

At the time of writing their Discord is a fairly new addition and still small, but it is attached to a larger and growing Facebook and YouTube community so it is likely to keep on growing.

1 Fantastic Week is a primarily a place for professional fantasy artists to chat about making a living, share knowledge and help each other out - there is a fair amount of discussion around fantasy art, online and convention sales, and utilizing crowdfunding like Patreon/Kickstarter. Discussion around these topics is pretty hard to find online.

EDIT: 1 Fantastic Week is unfortunately now on indefinite hiatus. The youtube channel, facebook group and discord are all still around, but with no new content being made they arent as active as they once were. This is an unfortunate reality of online communities - you never know how long they will survive.


If you still want to take a look despite it's inactivity, click here to join the 1 Fantastic Week discord

 

3. Burger Bar

Coldburger is the online alias of Christian Fell, a splash artist who has worked for many games including Dauntless and League of Legends. 

He owns a server with a higher average skill level than most art communities, with an emphasis on developing the skills necessary to become a freelance artist for the entertainment industries i.e film, TV, games etc.

You can find critique from experienced artists here, but with the expectation that you contribute some useful critique to others first.


If you’re looking for a tighter knit group of aspiring industry professionals, check out Coldburger’s server



4. Ahmed Aldoori’s Patreon Server

Ahmed Aldoori is an extremely popular youtuber and educator, with a very successful Patreon. 

If you are willing to put down some money on his Patreon you can get access to his Discord server, which has a large community of intermediate and advanced artists, regular challenges as well as very active feedback and critique channels to build your fundamental and design skills.

It also has fairly active voice-chat channels, so if you are interested in hanging out with other artists while you work, this server (and also the next one!) may suit you well. 


Here’s the link to Ahmed Aldooris Patreon to join his Discord server: www.patreon.com/ahmedaldoori


5. Self Employed Artist Discord

The community server of this very site! 

Most of the members are intermediate digital artists, but we do have a fair amount of beginners in there and professional artists too. 

Most members have a few years of serious practice behind them and are either working on getting their fundamental skills up, or on building an art career.

The server is friendly and helpful, and members can get their own personal channel dedicated to sharing their work and getting encouragement, advice and feedback, once theyve been in the discord for awhile and interacted with other members of the server.

Here’s the link to join the Self Employed Artist Discord

How to find more Discord servers

‍If none of these seem right for you, you can search through hundreds of art Discords to find the right fit, using these websites:

You can search for public servers from within discord itself too - once you’ve downloaded it just click on the compass symbol at the bottom of your server list on the far left of the app.

Also, don’t forget to check if your favorite artist already has a discord!  There’s a decent chance they do, especially if they are a Twitch streamer or YouTuber.


How to join and use Discord

Discord is available as an app on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS, as well as usable in web browsers without having to install anything.

Head to https://discord.com to download Discord to your device or access it in your web browser.


You could always make your own Discord!

If you think you may benefit from setting up and running a discord community, it is actually easy to make a server, and while time-consuming and sometimes hard work, it can be very rewarding to manage a community.

Once you’ve installed the Discord app just click the little + at the bottom of the server list on the left, click create server, name it and you are away!  Now you can design the category and channel layouts, and even figure out how to get bots to automate tasks and instructions for you!


I hope this has been useful for you, and you try out these art communities.

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