You've seen them around - adorable miniature (or not so miniature!) versions of all the Neopets we know and love: adoptables!
There may be a few of you out there who are wondering, "What are adoptables?" Well, adoptables are generally a set of art of a particular Neopet species, re-imagined by the artist, where every piece in the set has the same base (i.e. outline) but a different colour from the Rainbow Pool. There are many many examples of adoptables sets, too many to list in this simple article. But if you stop by the Art Chat any day and search for the word "adoptables" or "adopts" in the board titles, I'm sure you'll find artists advertising their sets!
Why are they called adoptables? Well, typically, if you see a lovely drawing of a pet on another pet's web page, it is a strict no-no to take that art for your own pet's web page. Those drawings were made for that specific pet and are not to be used for your pet. However, adoptables are different! You are allowed (and even encouraged!) to take adoptable art and display it anywhere you like on your own pages (as long as you do not claim them as your own work!). In a sense, you are "adopting" that piece of art and taking it home with you. Yay!
Here are just a few ways that you can use adoptables:
1. You can find adoptables that match the colour and species of your pet and put them on your pet's web page. A lot of people have a section of their petpage for just this purpose. It is often called a "toybox" or has a section title such as "mini mes."
2. You can have a gallery of adoptables on your pet's lookup. A panel or grid of mini versions of your pet is an adorable addition to a pet lookup and can add a little something extra to the description section of the lookup. Adoptables can easily be resized so that they can be laid out in an organized way. And you already know the colors will match perfectly!
3. You can use adoptables on your user lookup to represent the pets you own that reside on your side accounts. Sometimes side account pets don't get as much attention as they deserve. Using adoptables on your lookup to represent your side account pets can both spotlight what pets you have as well as remind you to go visit them more often! There are quite a few adoptables pages that offer multiple species, so you can often find adoptables for a variety of pets in the same artistic style. This gives you more of a unified look when using adoptables for this purpose.
4. You can use adoptables to represent your dream pets or pet goals. Maybe you prefer to use actual pet images for the pets you already own to show the customizations you've created for them. But you can still use adoptables for the pets that you don't yet own, but hope to own in the future! Adoptables don't have to be used only for pets that you already have.
5. If you see a really cute adoptable that you want to use, you don't need an excuse! You don't have to own the pet that the adoptable looks like, you don't even have to want to own the pet that the adoptable looks like. If you find stunning adoptable art, you can use that adoptable wherever you want. Displaying adoptables also supports the artists who have worked hard to make them available for you. So go out and adopt some art today!
Okay, so now we're fired up, but where do we find adoptables? Well, there are several ways you can find adoptable sets.
1. As I said before, you can find boards up in the Art Chat forum every day where people advertise their adoptable sets. Most of the adoptables that are being advertised are either new (which is exciting!) or they are offering custom adoptables. That sounds intriguing, doesn't it? If you don't know, custom adoptables use the same adoptable base that the artist has already made for that species, but they will colour it in to look just like your personal pet. Most people who offer custom adoptables will make them from either reference images that you have made or customizations. Just read their rules and see what they offer!
2. Link directories are a great source for pretty much everything. There are many great link directories out there, and I won't even try to suggest which one is best. If you don't have a favorite link directory bookmarked, head on over to the Help Chat and just ask people which link directories they like. Most (if not all) link directories have a section for adoptables, pixels, or graphics. Look for something like that, and just explore the pages that the directories have listed!
3. In addition to general link directories, there are also directories specifically for adoptables. These adoptables directories can also be found in link directories, so keep an eye out for them there. But I will say that a few of the more popular adoptable-specific directories are:
4. Remember when I said that a lot of petpages have a toybox section where they've collected adoptables? Well, link-hopping from one of these petpages is another great way to find adoptables. One way to find petpages that have content on them is to visit The Character Quilt (http://www.neopets.com/~Jethro#main). Sometimes persistent owners will have hunted down adoptables that aren't otherwise listed in directories, or they'll have made their own adoptables and not have had them listed yet.
5. Last but not least, if you're becoming increasingly desperate as you seem to not be able to find any adoptables of a particular species/colour combination that you're seeking, you can... dun dun dun... make your own! It's actually pretty fun to make adoptables, and after going through all the previous four suggestions for finding adoptables, you've probably become pretty inspired by the work that others have put into adoptable art, even if you didn't find the colour you wanted. Plus, think about the other anonymous adoptable seekers who may be searching for the same adoptable and are about to feel the same sense of disappointment and regret that you feel right now. Don't you want to make the world a better place by providing a much needed piece of adoptable art to the community? Of course you do!
See you at the Art Chat next week! I'll be sure to leave a bump for your board when you're advertising your brand new adoptables!