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Gallery Spotlight: A Step-to-Step Guide


by pokemon_lunatic

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Recently, my gallery won the Spotlight and since then, my inbox gets filled almost every day by random people who want to congratulate me or ask me questions. If you want to be in my shoes, keep reading!

Preparing your gallery for the Spotlight

STEP ONE:

First of all, you have to create a gallery. Just go on and click on the button to create one. Add a name to your gallery, a shopkeeper and a welcoming message. Don't worry about making it exactly as you want it, as that is just temporary. These are necessary to go on and will be changed later.

STEP TWO:

Secondly, deciding on your gallery theme is on the to-do list. My suggestion on this is to choose something that you like. Otherwise, you might get impatient and decide to give up halfway. Personally, I chose chocolate covered stuff, as my main theme, because I am one of those people with a sweet tooth.

STEP THREE:

Furthermore, it's time you bought your exhibits. This will keep you busy most of the time, as it's one of the most important parts.

The number of items is a subject which has been discussed many a time and many different views have been expressed. Several people believe that any number of items can be acceptable by the Neopets team. Indeed, some of the galleries which have won the Spotlight had very few items. Once, I saw one with only six items!

On the contrary, the majority of gallery owners tend to consider the item amount a very big priority. If someone ventures into the "Spotlights and Galleries" board, they will find a big number of galleries that display hundreds of items. I'm saying this literally.

Let me tell you my opinion. I searched all around the site for chocolate covered items for my gallery. Fortunately, that kind of items did not come to great numbers and I was able to buy most of them. If you take a look at my gallery, you will notice that only a couple of items are missing. These ones were too expensive for me to buy (about 700,000 Neopoints each!). Fortunately, the Neopets team did not have a problem with that.

An important factor to be considered, at this point, is the number of Neopoints that you are willing to spend. Upgrading your gallery to hold new items requires Neopoints, while the sum increases every time you do so. One might reach the point where one will spend 10,000 Neopoints just to add four items!

STEP FOUR:

Moreover, if you want to win the gallery spotlight, the layout plays a really significant role. As a rule, galleries with premade graphics won't be accepted, so you'll have to make them yourself. Now, if your art skills are not that good, you can have one of your friends help you with this part.

The gallery layout consists of the following:

a) Gallery title: Here you have to decide what your final gallery title would be. Just remember that it should match your theme. Think of something witty, as that will increase the possibility of being chosen for the spotlight!

b) Gallery Shopkeeper: This works the same way as above. As usual, your shopkeeper should go along with your gallery idea.

c) Background: A background is definitely needed for a good gallery. Avoid making fuzzy pictures with too much detail. That will draw the attention of visitors and they won't be able to concentrate on the items. A well-drawn, non-tiled background, usually, works perfectly.

d) Sidebar: That's a tricky part. Sidebars are not easily-made and they call for good CSS knowledge. There are some good guides made by friendly Neopians that you can follow, but remember: If you think you can't do it yourself, you can always ask for help from one of the graphic makers that lurk on the boards. To cut the long story short, your sidebar must have the same buttons as the official Neopets ones: Create a Neopet, Pet Central, Explore, Games, Neomail, Shops, Boards, News, Stuff, Help, Login and Logout.

e) Blog: Here's where you'll put your welcoming text. You might also want to say why you chose this kind of gallery, or list those who helped you, in the process. Nevertheless, a shop blog consists, mainly, of a picture that is faded where the text is positioned. This way, it is readable.

f) Table: The table is where your items will stand. There are many options to pick here: transparent tables, tables with a custom background, glowing tables etc.

These are the main elements of a gallery layout. In fact, these must be included in every gallery. You may add some more things, such as a cursor or a counter, but that is entirely up to you. Just try to make colors match. None would appreciate a gallery if they came down with sore eyes from improper color combinations.

STEP FIVE:

At last! Your gallery is complete! Submitting is what comes next. Think of a speech about your gallery and write a short text. The winning galleries are always accompanied by a short text, which, generally, acts as a prologue to it. So, that's what you should do as well! When you have finished with that, go on and click the submit button.

Great! Now your gallery has arrived at the judges. Good luck on winning the spotlight! Patience is a virtue, as you might be selected four months after your submission. The only advice I can give you here is not to submit again and again. That doesn't help at all. On the contrary, it puts your gallery at the end of the list, harshly reducing the possibility of winning. Just wait tolerantly. Besides, if you have a special gallery (i.e. a Mutant gallery), you'll have better chances of winning on its special day (i.e. on Mutant Day).

Still, a rejection should not put you down. Keep working over your gallery again and again, adding new items and improving your layout. Eventually, you will find a neomail from the Neopets team in your inbox and a trophy in your user lookup. Good luck and remember: Winning the Gallery Spotlight is a tough goal, but the satisfaction is rewarding.

 
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