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Gallery Spotlight #200


by sparky63428

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As we approach and pass Gallery Spotlight #200, it's time to remember the previous winners and to encourage future winners. Galleries are a way of showcasing your favourite items, a unique collection, a place of memories or how rich you are. For some, it's a simple task of collecting a few items. For others, it's a difficult but worthwhile challenge (plushie collection, anyone?). Whatever the reason, finishing a gallery is a satisfying accomplishment.

Throughout the article, I will refer to some spotlight winners by the gallery name, followed by its spotlight number (for example, "Neopet" (#1))

1. Choosing Conundrum

For some, it's almost impossible to think of an idea. It may be because you have gallery block, or maybe you have too many things to choose from. Here's a guide on how to choose your collection.

Item-based

The simplest way to choose your collection is to base it on a certain Neopet or item. Something as simple as a Zafara gallery or a kite gallery works. A lot of item-based galleries have won the spotlight, for example "El Taco" (#144). However, galleries like that tend to be more common - in other words, less unique and original, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't choose a gallery like that. If you like it, then choose it. To make an item based gallery more unique, go into specifics. Chocolate galleries are quite common, but you can make it unique by choosing something like chocolate neggs or chocolate cakes. Chocolate galleries which have won the spotlight include "The Non-Chocolate, Chocolate Gallery" (#143) and "The Patisserie of Chocolate Covered Stuff" (#190).

Theme-based

Theme based galleries tend to be more unique and original. Instead of choosing a Neopet or item, choose a subject for your gallery. The best way to explain is to give some examples. "Taste of the Orient" (#10), "The !Exclamation! Wing" (#96) and "Fart Zone! The Gallery" (#75).

These three examples do not specialise in a particular item group, like food or furniture. They cover arrange of neoitems that fit the theme. It's harder to find items to put into these galleries because it takes longer to look for them. However, they are definitely more interesting to look through.

Cost

Cost can become an important factor in choosing your theme. A hidden tower gallery is much harder than a keyring gallery. Make sure you take the costs of items and upgrading into account when deciding on your theme.

2. Looking for items

There are many ways to look for items. You can be lucky and find the item on the floor, but what are the chances of that? The main ways are to buy items from: official Neopian shops, user shops (search using the shop wizard), the trading post and auctions. If you are quick and patient enough, then the official shops will usually give you cheaper deals. Using the shop wizard is quick (just make sure you refresh a few times to find cheaper prices if you're using the normal shop wizard), but it can only find buyables (items under 100,000 NP). The trading post is mainly used to find unbuyable items (items costing 100,000 NP and over). It is harder to find items you want, especially rarer items, from auctions, but some of the time you can get great deals.

3. Renovations

Upgrading

For a large gallery, upgrading is one of the most expensive tasks. It costs 150 NP to open one and upgrading starts at 200 NP. As you upgrade one size, the cost increases by 200 NP. To upgrade to size 2 costs 200 NP; upgrading to size 3 costs 400 NP and so on. Therefore, a gallery that can hold 100 items will cost 42,000 NP total; 200 items will cost 164,000 NP total.

Decorating

- Arranging items

After upgrading, it's quite easy to stock your gallery. Just use Quick Stock and chuck them in the gallery. That may be easy, but it creates a very messy and hard to navigate gallery. The people who view the gallery will be quite confused. That's why you should use the categories feature, which allows you to group your items. Another handy tool is the rank feature. You rank order your items to your liking so you can make your gallery look better. Your gallery can look much prettier that way. In fact, "An Unlikely Rainbow" (#132) did just that. The items in it are pretty random, but down the first column are red items, second column yellow, green, followed by blue. Across the rows is the same type of item. The first row contains a red, yellow, green and blue sticky hand. Play around with the categories and ranking and try to tidy your gallery that way.

- Colours, colours

Another must have in a gallery is a few graphics. A banner, background and a description possibly in a blog are the basic essentials. These tell whoever's viewing the gallery what it's about immediately. They also make it less boring. For an ice cream gallery, a faded background with a watercolour swirl would look great, and a Zafara gallery would look better with Zafara related pictures in the background. However, be careful not to make your background distracting, because the main focus is the items. If you're no good at graphics, then a simple coloured background will do. You can also ask around the Gallery and Spotlight Chat for help. Another very important factor is the colours. Please do not combine a red background with orange text, or a dark blue background with dark green text. It's impossible to read. There are certain combinations that are a no-no. For example, red text on a green background?!? Horrible enough for normal colour-vision people and a meaningless rectangle for red-green colour blind people.

Attractive Assortments

A messy and nameless gallery is like a house with an overgrown garden. It works, but it doesn't look as nice. Sorting your items into categories, ranking them into some sort of order, and adding graphics contribute to the great look of a gallery.

Summary:

- Choose a gallery based on something that you like and combine that with originality.

- Make sure you have some graphics like a banner. Even if you are no good at drawing or html, you can ask for help from friends or the gallery neoboard. Do NOT plagiarise, though. Read the spotlight rules first.

- Sorting your items into categories and ranking them make a gallery look a lot better.

- Stick to proper grammar, spelling and punctuation.

- Do something to make your gallery memorable. Something humorous in the description adds to the enjoyment for the viewer. Humour isn't the only thing. Use your imagination!

- No matter what others say, if you enjoyed making the gallery and put a lot of work into it, it's a wonderful gallery.

One last thing (for some it's the first thing), your gallery needs is a name. Try not to go the easy way - "Salad gallery", "Toast" and "Petpetpet museum" all tell us what the gallery contains, but always try to look for a more original name. Using the three examples above, names like "Field of Greens" (#33), "The Toastaurant" (#91) and "Neopias Tiniest Citizens" (#127) sound much better. Although these three aren't the best, they're definitely better than just stating what the gallery contains. Some of the best spotlight winner gallery names do not immediately tell you what the gallery is about, but the relevance is clear once you look at its contents.

Pirates Against Scurvy (#112)

Items containing Vitamin C - perfect for pirates who don't want scurvy. It's very hard to link pirates and scurvy to Vitamin C at first, but it's made clear in the gallery description - very clever name.

Albatross! (#64)

This has nothing to do with the gallery, yet at the same time it's relevant. It's a gallery of sillyness, but there's no better way to introduce the theme than to give it a random name!

The Whittler's Workshop (#175)

If you don't know what a whittler is, the name relevance isn't obvious. To whittle is to shave or carve from a piece of wood. Fits the theme of wood perfectly!

The Duck Stops Here (#131)

A silly name, but one that works well. The gallery is devoted to bath time items.

Gallery Spotlight (#200)

Who will win the milestone spotlight? You or me? Who will it be? We shall see! (Whoever can figure out where I got this from deserves a candy.)

For now, I'll list some of my favourites from the past and why I like it so much:

An Unlikely Rainbow (#132)

Not the best name, but it gets across its message. The gallery contains a range of items, including potions, paint brushes and plushies. Across the row, it has a red, yellow, green and blue version of the item (or theme - one row contains space petpets). This continues down the columns. This was the third winner since galleries were separated from shops. It's one of the only galleries that takes full advantage of the new ranking system. The graphics are fantastic, and the rainbow arrangement is made even clearer with the background down the columns of items. The background isn't distracting either.

The !Exclamation! Wing (#96)

Some of the items in this gallery must've been a pain to find! It has a collection of items with an exclamation mark in the name, or on the item itself! Thumbs up for originality! The graphics are fun and lively, and also contain exclamation marks! The blog also includes interesting information, as well as a song!

Alphabet Alley (#163)

A very abstract idea. This gallery is literally an A-Z of A-Z items. The items are either clearly letters or it may be very abstract. The items are arranged alphabetically - another example of using the ranking system effectively. The design is neat and the description is clever.

apothecarius (#196)

A potion gallery that includes both the ingredients and the final product of many potions. Of course, the recipes aren't real, but they are so cleverly thought out that you'd think they are.

Pirates Against Scurvy (#112)

One of the best gallery names, as explained above. This is an example of an item gallery that has gone into specifics in an interesting way. It doesn't have fancy graphics, but the description and of course the items are enough to give the gallery its appeal.

The Whittler's Workshop (#175)

One of the best aspects of this gallery is in the description. The enthusiasm of the owner shows and it also has a humorous side to it. There is a display of quite a large range of neoitems related to whittling wood. It's pretty warming too, hopefully not caused by fire.

Mission: Imposs-nible (#119)

This is a blatant reference to a movie. Sometimes references are so overused (to be or not to be) but this one fits into the theme snugly. The foods in the gallery are close to, if not completely inedible. Originality on a common theme is used here.

The Non-Chocolate, Chocolate Gallery (#143)

It seems like a contradiction at first, but immediately the owner explains the reason behind the name. In addition, there is a very informative description of white chocolate, how it is made and why it is a non-chocolate chocolate.

There are a few more galleries that don't fit into my favourites, but are worth a mention

The Gallery of Abandoned Petpets (#129)

A collection of petpets that were found attached to Neopets adopted from the pound, which is a good twist on an ordinary petpet gallery. If these petpets were sold, it would be one of the only profitable galleries!

The Laundry Room (#191)

Random assortment of items that were found in the owner's children's pockets while doing the laundry. It's a great idea that deviates from the normal.

And now... Gallery Spotlight Number 200!!

In this short article, I've only been able to mention a few of the 200 fabulous gallery spotlight winners out there. Each of the gallery owners should be proud of what they have achieved. And current gallery owners out there should also be proud of your gallery, whatever stage it is at. See you in a future gallery spotlight!

About the author

sparkster63 is a starry Zafara who is adventurous and curious about everything - sometimes too curious. One of his interests is to help his owner search for drinks to put in their gallery.

 
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