The Ins and Outs of Gallery Making
So, you’re surfing around your fellow Neopians’ lookups, wasting time ‘til the
Snowager decides to take his afternoon doze.
Or maybe you’ve been directed from the ‘Shops’ Neoboard, in interest of someone’s
Plushie Angelpuss that they’ve been advertising for the last hour.
Whatever the reason, you’re sitting here, staring blankly at their user lookup,
and before you click anywhere else, you notice they have a Size 63 ‘Gallery.’
Galleries. What’s the point? Why would anyone spend so much money just to show
off items? They’re basically expensive Safety Deposit Boxes right?
Well, the answer to that isn’t something any one person can say for a fact.
However, there are a lot of galleries out there, and a lot of people who make
them without having a CLUE as to how to manage them. After awhile of staring
at *insertusernamehere*’s gallery, you decide to make one for yourself. What
do you do, though? Below I have listed some suggestions on how to get your act
together. At the bottom of the walkthrough, I have made a summary checklist
to keep you on track.
Getting Started: Choosing your Theme
Before you run off to spend your entire bank’s worth of Neopoints on random
items, stop and think a moment. Why do you want a gallery? Are you trying to
express a favorite theme? Show off some rare items you recently received? You
read some article and they told you to? Well, first things first. Think of what
you want to put in your gallery and WHY. Any theme will do. With that point
made, I’d like to bring up that all the following advice and suggestions are
for those with interest in the Gallery Spotlight. Anyone else with any other
motive for his or her gallery is welcome to follow the advice, but it isn’t
Okay, you’re thinking of a theme. There are a few things to consider.
1: How expensive is your theme going to be? Surely, you must have a rough idea.
Are you willing to deal with the price?
2: If you’re shooting for the gallery spotlight, think about this. Is your
theme common? Look around for other galleries with the same theme. Ask people
on the “Spotlight and Galleries” Neoboard. Common themes are not bad, but if
you’re looking to stand out or win the spotlight, you’re really going to have
to work hard to make your gallery shine.
3: In relation to 2; keep this in mind. No matter HOW unique you think your
chosen theme is, there might be someone out there with the same idea. Neopets
has A LOT of users. So there’s always a chance that someone else is doing the
exact same thing.
Summary: Think of a theme. Make it original if you can.
Getting a Picture
I know, I know… “I’ve chosen my theme. Get on with it!” Patience, people. Making
a gallery that’ll stand out is actually a very hard thing to do.
Your next step is to think about how you want to present your gallery. Go find
other galleries similar to your theme. Even if you think it’s uber unique, go
looking for them. See what your competition is going to do. Draw ideas from
My next suggestion is a boring one in most cases, but… Go look at the previous
Gallery Spotlight winners. You don’t have to do all of them, but it helps to
do so. See what made them unique enough to win. Now you’re about ready to get
started with the handiwork.
Summary: Look around for ideas. Form an idea of what you want your gallery
to look like.
Rather you finally got the ‘Pack Rat’ avatar and already have some, or are
making a shopping list of items. Always consider future possibilities. When
you look at an item, think ‘is this really going to fit?’ If yes, then great!
Throw it in your pile of 'showcase-to-be's.
If you need help making a list, go look at other galleries again. Go look at
shops. Or you could search the Internet for Neopets item databases. There are
a few, and they are EXTREMELY helpful.
Summary: Figure out what items you need and obtain a few.
Setting up the Gallery
Okay, so you have a few items. There are two ways to make an actual gallery.
You’ve gone to ‘My Items’ and hit the ‘Item Gallery’ link. Here, you can buy
a gallery like you would a shop and start adding things. There is another option,
though. You can convert your existing shop into a gallery. Doing this would
revert your shop size back to 1, but create and increase your gallery to the
size of your shop before it was converted.
Simply put, your shop is size 4. You want to turn your shop into a gallery.
You push the button to do that. Your gallery is created and is now size 4, while
your shop returns to size 1.
However you obtain your gallery; it is there now, and waiting to be filled
with your items!
Summary: Buy your gallery space.
Picking a Layout
This step is to make your gallery attractive. This step is a little more optional
than the others.
If you know HTML/CSS etc., good! You shouldn’t have too many problems here.
If you don’t, you have a few options. There are a few pet pages within the
Neopets network dedicated to helping people with these problems. CSShelp the
Kougra’s pet page is one example. Or you could search the Internet for tutorials
and explanations on what to do. The first step would probably be coming up with
a color scheme. Make sure the colors flow well and complement each other. Let’s
not get into any hot pink with yellow lettering please! It’s just blinding.
If you are absolutely convinced that you cannot make your own layout. Again,
turn to the Neoboards. The ‘Help’ and ‘Spotlight and Galleries’ boards can be
helpful for this assistance. If you are polite enough about it, someone might
make you one.
Summary: Start piecing together a layout. If you cannot, find help.
So, you have a few items coming into your gallery. You feel the pull on your
pockets as upgrading your gallery starts eating your money. You have your layout
slowly coming together. What’s next?
Adding more items!
If your theme is a particularly small one, think of some items that can be
related to your main idea and throw them in.
You have items? Okay. Think about this.
With your layout and your item count, how accessible is your gallery? Will
it look good to all Internet Browsers? Aha. What about those on slower Internet
connections? A common mistake I see, personally, with people’s galleries is
they fail to think about people with dial-up connections. After all, if you
want a popular gallery, you have to be userfriendly.
How to cut down on the wait time for them. Well, you could always categorize
your items. Categories and item ranks are available to make your gallery more
organized. Working at these options right might even give your gallery a bit
So you don’t like categories. You’d rather see your items sprawl down forever
in this endless list of your accomplishments rather than grouping them together
in small little packs. Not to worry, even if you were to categorize your items,
you can still see that big list of yours by clicking ‘View All Items’ within
your item options!
Summary: Add more items, think about organizing them.
What to Write: Layouts prt2
A gallery page layout can be different things to different people. Each person
has different opinions as to the parts needed to be a presentable page. One
thing that is very important, but rarely recognized, is your text! What are
you going to write on your page? This is dire, especially to those with their
hearts set on the Spotlight. Here are some things to consider.
-A story or summary about your theme. Why you picked it. How it is important
-Thank yous to people who have helped you.
-Advertise if you have other galleries.
-Anything else you think is appropriate. This is a very free subject, have
fun with it!
-Advertisements for your guild.
-Advertisements for your pet in the Battledome.
-Anything that could be considered rude or inappropriate.
How people should like your gallery because you’ve worked so hard on it and
spent your whole X amount of Neopoints on it. This one I cannot stress enough.
I’ve seen it written in the boards and on galleries so many times. It is considered
rude and arrogant, especially when there is always someone else who has poured
so much more money, time, and work into their galleries. Just don’t, please.
Around this point I suggest thinking of your gallery name. Generally, that’d
be one of the first things you’d do, isn’t it? Well, gallery names can be changed
and altered by the items and layout so very much, that the best names can sometimes
come from waiting ‘till you have the rest of it put together.
Summary: Write something in your gallery, about your gallery. Make sure it
Will people like it? Am I ready for the spotlight?
Well, if you need opinions, again go looking for them. However, keep in mind,
if you ask people you know, more than often they will sugar-coat their responses
in telling you how great your gallery is. If you want real opinions, the best
place to get them is the ‘Spotlight and Gallery’ board. The people there are
always looking (for/to give) ratings. If you want comments or ways to make your
gallery better, ask for them. Also, if someone asks your opinion on their gallery,
oblige them. We’re here to help out, after all.
Keep in mind, a lot of the people in the Spotlight and Galleries board can
be a bit harsh. We do this on purpose, not to be mean, but to tell you that
something is wrong and get the point across. If you get a harsh rating, do not
get upset about it unless it was purposefully hurtful. It’s not hard to have
good judgement on this type of thing. Though if you know for fact that you cannot
handle constructive-criticism, you might not want to do this.
In the end, the only real opinion that matters is your own. Are you happy with
your gallery? Do you think it needs to be played with a bit more? If you think
your gallery is just fine the way it is, then keep it that way. It’s your gallery,
no one else's.
Summary: If you want, ask for opinions about your gallery. Do not get upset
if you do not get a good score at first. You can improve.
Entering the Spotlight
Well, it's that time. You think you’re ready for the spotlight. When to enter?
If your theme revolves a certain time of year (example, a Christmas Gallery
revolves around Christmas), that time would be a good time to submit your gallery.
But, wait, as you’re submitting, think to yourself: “Would my gallery only have
a chance at winning around that time?” If the answer is yes, then you’re not
ready. Have confidence in yourself. If you truly think you could win the Spotlight
any time of the year, then you have a better chance at winning. As long as you
are confident in your showcase, then nothing else matters. Good luck!
Well… no, you’re not. Unless you’re truly tired or content with your gallery,
you’re never done. Those who start them often find themselves working on them
even after they think they’re done. Neopets will always add new items. There
will always be more possibilities. Maybe you want to use your pet’s pages for
a Gallery ‘Website’. Go for it! (It’s especially helpful for wishlists!) Possibly
you can change your theme around and start all over again. Add whatever you’d
like to your gallery. Just have fun with it.
Summary: Often times, galleries are neverending. Have fun with your gallery
as long as it shall live.
That’s the end of my little guide. I’m sure it is far from perfect, but keep
these things in mind while you are working. Often times, the path to gallery
making seems a lot easier when you actually take these little tips into consideration.
[ ] Think of a theme. Make it original if you can.
[ ] Look around for ideas. Form an idea of what you want your gallery to look
[ ] Figure out what items you need and obtain a few.
[ ] Buy your gallery space.
[ ] Start piecing together a layout. If you cannot, find help.
[ ] Add more items, think about organizing them.
[ ] Write something in your gallery, about your gallery. Make sure it is appropriate.
[ ] If you want, ask for opinions about your gallery. Do not get upset if you
do not get a good score at first. You can improve.
[ ] Often times, galleries are neverending. Have fun with your gallery as long
as it shall live.