PET CENTRAL - The Beauty Contest doesn't seem to be advertised as a huge event
in Neopia but it does attract a lot of entrants from the Neopets owners who
are good with a paintbrush. Every week if you flick through the pictures of
pets entering the Beauty Contest you will notice the pictures done by talented
artists, the pictures done by people who are having a go and then the other
I understand that some people just have no artistic talent whatsoever and
that even if you're okay at drawing it doesn't mean you can do it with a mouse
and cursor although there is always the trusty scanner. Don't get me wrong I'm
not here to attack those people who aren't the best graphics artists in the
world. I would put myself just one maybe two rungs above hopeless. I'm here
to make a fuss about the people who don't really seem to care and take no pride
in their artwork at all.
Each week if you look at the entrants towards the end of the Beauty Contest
you'll see that some amazing artworks have hundreds of votes and quite honestly
deserve them. Also you'll see some other pictures and you'll think how in Neopia
did they get that many votes! Everyone does have different tastes when it comes
to art but I'm sure that most people can tell the difference between a picture
that someone took five minutes to make and one that someone worked on for weeks.
Change the background
Believe it or not saving a standard picture of your pet and making the background
black, red, yellow or any other colour other than the original does not constitute
an artwork. Every week I see many pictures like these and I find it very disheartening
to see that sometimes they are receiving more votes than the artworks where
people have obviously put a considerable amount of effort in.
I'm sure that a few times a .gif (animation) artist has submitted a nifty animation
of their pet but when I say animation entries I'm talking about the ones where
snowflakes and dots flash all over the image. This is another of the rather
easy image to create all the person has done is saved a picture of their pet
opened it in paint and either drawn of pasted the snowflakes in on top of the
image already drawn by a Neopets artist. Then they repeat putting the spots,
lines, snowflakes or whatever in different places, add them frames to make up
the animation and wallah - flashy stuff all over a picture of their Neopet.
Another common entry is the morphing style pets where the image morphs from
one to another. I know for a fact that to create this effect all you have to
do is save the images, load them into the animation program then choose the
preset function that fades between the two images. An image such as the one
I'm describing would take no more than 5 minutes to make and that's only if
they experimented with the fade settings.
Over a picture
Sometimes you will see a picture where the standard drawing of the Neopets has
been pasted over another picture making it seem that the pet is in a cave or
surfing etc. Sometimes this can be done quite effectively and look good. When
it's done well I don't have a problem. But when the person hasn't taken any
care whatsoever and the pixels that weren't quite white, although very close
are still dotted around the Neopet you know that they were just quickly making
a picture in an attempt to win a trophy of some sort.
Obviously I can't really expect the Neopets Team to proof every image before
it is entered into the Beauty Contest and although I can dream I doubt that
slapdash pictures like these will every be completely eradicated. But I can
make a last and final plea to the rest of Neopia, the voters.
And so I ask you, if you see an image that is made without that tiny bit of
love and care don't harass the artist, just don't vote for it. Another of my
gripes is that people just vote for their friends' of fellow guild members'
artworks. Yes, okay they're your friend or fellow guild member but look at all
the other pictures entered into that species category before voting. You may
just find that the picture you were about to blindly vote for was one of the
lowest quality picture entered. By all means if you see that your friends picture
is very good or know that they have put a lot of time and effort into it and
honestly believe that it deserves to win vote away.
Say NO to the people who haven't made an attempt to draw their own Beauty
Disclaimer: I know that some of what I have said in this article is
a little harsh. I also understand that kids under the age of thirteen play the
site and that age can prevent you from achieving a certain level of art. Let's
face it a drawing by a four year old is very different to one done by a twenty
four year old. But my art teacher promises that being a good artist is 95% practice.
And I have to say that I believe him.
This article was strictly about my observations when it comes to the quality
of some of the entries into the Beauty Contest. Unfortunately I can't make everyone
a Picasso. All I want is for the people who have worked hard to create a quality
piece of art get the recognition and the votes that they deserve and that voting
doesn't fall along friendship and guild lines especially when the quality just
isn't in the artwork.