Dos and Don'ts of the Art Gallery
The art gallery is quite a special competition in our beloved land of Neopia. What makes it so special is that the only requirement for getting in is that you are willing to put a whole lot of effort into your art. In order to win the user lookup or site spotlight, you have to have a knack for coding or graphics editing. To win the poetry or the storytelling competition, you must have good spelling and punctuation, and be able to come up with a unique and compelling storyline.
Art, however, is different. The beauty or meaning behind a work of art is in the eye of the beholder. There is no universal scale for judging art, just as there is no surefire way of making it into the art gallery. However, this article will outline some tips and tricks that may help you out when trying to get a piece that you’ve created into the art gallery.
1. Do not limit yourself to digital art!
Many people are discouraged from entering the art gallery because they are unable to purchase sophisticated graphics software. However, you should never be discouraged from creating art the good old fashioned way! Just take a peek at the art gallery and you’ll notice that there are many hand-drawn pictures chosen every week. You can choose anything you want to make your art on. Whether you decide to use paper, cardboard, canvas, or anything else, just remember to use your imagination!
As for the tools you use, those are also up to you. Pencils, crayons, paint, they all work quite nicely. Once you have finished drawing (or painting) your picture, in order to get it onto your computer, you will need a camera. Make sure to take a good quality photograph of your image, so that it does not lose any of its beauty. Try to take a picture in a well-lit room so that you do not have to use your camera’s flash, as that can sometimes ruin the clarity of your art. Once you have uploaded it onto your computer, you might have to resize it so that it fits the size requirements of the art gallery. Remember, an image should be no larger than 80k, and should be saved in either .gif or .jpg format.
2. It doesn’t have to be 2D!
If you feel like you have a special talent for working with clay or various other materials, feel free to create a marvelous model or a stunning statue! You don’t have to simply use clay and paint, though; you can use any types of materials that you like! Once again, you are going to have to take a photo of your statue in a well-lit room and upload it onto your computer. Photos can be quite large in size, so you might have to resize your art. Saving it in .gif format also helps to reduce the size of your image, but it will cause your photo to lose some of its quality. If you’re wondering what the dimensions of your image should be, this is a quote from the Art Contest Rules page: “The ideal size is somewhere between 300 and 500 pixels (4 and 7 inches) in height and width. It doesn't have to be square and you don't need to provide us with the small thumbnail image either.”
3. Keep checking that calendar!
Very often in Neopia, there are special days commemorating certain pets or characters. If you keep track of which days are coming up, it can help you substantially when entering the art gallery. On days celebrating certain pet species, the art gallery is dedicated to showcasing images of that pet. Therefore, if you enter a well-drawn image of the pet that is being celebrated, you have a better chance of being chosen than if you simply enter an image of any other Neopian character. Remember to enter your work a couple of days before the pet day, to give the judges enough time to get to your image.
4. Once is enough!
Remember that you only have to enter your art once for the judges to see it. Submitting the same image multiple times a day will not raise your chances of being chosen by the judges. It will only serve to clog up the system and make sorting through all of the submissions more tedious. If you are not accepted, you can try entering again a couple of weeks later, but chances are that it would be wise to analyze your art and figure out why it got rejected before entering again. The next section will deal with reasons why you might have been rejected, so read on!
5. Rejected? Don’t be discouraged!
There are many reasons why the judges of the art gallery may have decided that your image was simply not right to be showcased. First off, make sure that all of the subjects in your art are existing Neopets characters. What I mean by this is that they must either be a pet or color combination that is already in existence on the site, or a character like Fyora who already has a clear design. You cannot, for example, draw a picture of a Grey Draik and hope to get accepted into the art gallery, because Grey Draiks do not exist on Neopets.
Furthermore, you are allowed to sign your name or username on your entry, but make sure not to put a copyright symbol or the URL of a different website. If your work has a copyright symbol on it, the Neopets team cannot feature it in the art gallery.
Another reason why you may have been rejected is that the quality of your image is bad. Try to save it in .jpg format, if possible, and try not to skew it when you are resizing. What this means is that you should try to always try to keep the proportions of the image the same as in the original.
None of these apply to you? Your image might simply look like it is lacking in effort. If it is simply a picture of a Neopet on a white canvas, try adding a background of some sort. If it is a quickly drawn sketch, try adding more depth and detail. Always be as original as possible when entering the art gallery!
6. No sticky paws!
The art gallery is intended to showcase original art. What this means is that the art that you submit must be 100% your work, created by you. Of course, if you will be using scissors or a hot glue gun to create a piece, make sure to have an adult helping you out! However, if you decide to ‘borrow’ somebody else’s artwork and change it around a bit to make it your own, that is not okay. Do not trace another artist’s work, or use their work as a reference. This is a serious offense and you can get in trouble for entering a piece that is not entirely your own.
It is fine to look at graphics that have been created by Neopets artists and that are on the website for reference. For example, if you are drawing an adorable Plushie Blumaroo and you need some reference colors for your picture, it is okay to reference a Plushie Blumaroo at the Rainbow Pool. However, try to create a unique pose for your hypothetical Plushie Blumaroo, rather than just copying what you see at the Rainbow Pool.
There you have it! Hopefully, these tips will help you out when entering the art gallery. Remember to be original and to always put as much effort as you can into all of your work. Just because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it doesn’t mean that you should submit a sloppy, poorly-done piece of art in hopes that somebody will find it beautiful. Most likely, they will not. Also, remember not to be too hard on the judges. Just think of how many submissions they sort through in one day, and how many good ones they have to reject just because of sheer volume. They work quite hard to keep the art gallery running. My final words of wisdom are to never be discouraged! If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.