Welcome!

Hello and welcome to Studio 101! If you ever wanted to start your own adoptables/art request site, but never knew how to get it started, this is the place for you! Here, you can find an extensive guide on how to open and manage an adoptable site.

Studio 101 also offers mentoring to those who are serious about creating a new adoptable site. Mentoring involves 1 on 1 discussions, constant feedback on your progress, critiques of your work, and more. Ready to create an adoptable site but want a mentor? Head over here!


Studio 101 is also offers petpage layout templates specifically designed for adoptable sites. Check them out here!

Updates

2/26/2015 - Studio 101 is open! Feel free to browse around and if you have any questions, just let me know!

FAQ

What is the goal of Studio 101?
- The goal of this site is to help assist new site owners in creating adoptable sites. Whether you're an experienced artist or just a beginner, Studio 101 is here to help you!

For the Mentor Program, do I have to follow a time schedule?
- Nope! You can follow your own time schedule when doing the Mentor Program. I won't rush you or push you to do things you don't have time for.

Can we fully edit the layout templates?
- Yes! Edit them as much as you want. You can pick apart the coding, add your own images, change colors, etc. Credit to Studio 101 must still be visible in your credits section for the coding.

If you have more questions, feel free to ask!

About The Owner

Hello! My name is Ashe. I've been drawing for about 11+ years and still draw everyday. Drawing has and always will be a passion in my life. I also enjoy helping out anyway I can when it comes to drawing! :D

Credentials:
I've been running adoptable sites since 2013.
I currently run an adoptable site called Bisou which has over 55,000 hits.

Mentor Program

If you always wanted to create an adoptables site but need help getting started, I'm here to help you out! I'll always be available if you need to ask questions, need critiques or any type of help. I'll even help assist you in creating your own layout! Here's the following steps of the mentor program:

1. Read our Guide - Before you sign up for mentoring, please read the Guide on building an adoptable site. You don't have to have anything finished, but make sure you just read through it first.
2. Fill out the Form - Fill the form out below completely and neomail it to me. This will be both our introduction to eachother and what your plans and goals are for creating an adoptable site.
3. Practice - We will discuss what type of adoptables you want to create. Feedback and critique will be given along the way.
4. Layout - After you established how you want your adoptables to look like, we will begin creating your layout. You can choose to create it all on your own or I can help you out. I will even create one for you!
5. Finalizing your site - Once your site is ready and set, we will go over everything and make sure you're prepared!


Remember, all of these steps can take as long as you need. There's no time frame for anything. Take as much time as you need, no rush!

Sign Up Here!

I am currently AVAILABLE as a mentor! Please fill out the following form and click on the mail me icon to the right to send me your neomail.



Currently teaching:

- none

Link Back





Listers




Layout and content by Ashe

Introduction

Essentially, an adoptable site is a place for people to find small images to place on their pages (aka adoptables). Adoptables can be neopets, foods, objects, creatures you've designed, and more!

If you love drawing, why not try creating an adoptable site? You can learn about design/coding along the way and meet many amazing people from the community!

Next Step

Before you Begin



Before you start you'll need to take the following into consideration:

Time: Make sure you have enough time to run a site. You should be able to at least update your site once a week. If you're a busy college student with a job and other curricular activities on top of that, you most likely won't have enough time. Also take into consideration how long you want to keep your site. Don't just create a site one day because you're "bored". You should have the mindset of knowing your site is going to last for a good long time.

Effort: All of your best effort should go into your site. If you give 110% into all your site's creations, you will surely learn more, grow as an artist and as a site owner. For example, if you are offering requests, make sure the final product is something you really are proud of. If it's not, re-draw and fix it up so you really do feel proud. This type of effort will show through all of your works and in turn, you will have a portfolio where you love every drawing!

Passion: If you want to create an adoptable site, drawing should really be something you enjoy doing. You'll be drawing a lot and if drawing really isn't your thing then maintaining an adoptable site will be a challenge.

Patience: Be patient when it comes to creating sites. Don't expect 10 requests on your first day of opening. Don't expect 100 visitors daily. If you're a new site, you need to be patient. Don't get frustrated if you get 0 requests for days. As your site grows with time, more and more people will visit!

Have Fun: Lastly and most importantly, site making is for FUN. It should never get to a point when updating a site feels like a "chore". Think carefully about what type of site you want to open so that it remains as fun as the first day you opened!

Next Step

Research



Researching other adoptable sites is a great way to get inspiration and ideas. This doesn't mean copying them, but inspiration can always lead to new ideas! I've compiled a list of adoptable sites that every new adoptable site owner should check out. Make sure to note the following for each one:

Theme: What's the theme of their adoptables? Food, pastry, neopets, etc.
Cohesive Design: Note how they all stick to 1 style. This makes them more recognizable.
What do they offer: Do they offer premades? Or only requests? What you decide for your site is completely up to you!

Adoptable Sites:



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Conceptualize



Now that you've seen a few examples of what other adoptable sites offer, it's time to brainstorm what type of adoptables you would like to make. A few common and popular themes are:

- Neopets
- Cupcakes
- Chibis (of Neopets, Disney, popular characters, etc)
- Teacups
- Candy

To make these themes a bit more unique, you can create sub-themes from them. For example, say you want to do Neopet adoptables. Then you can choose a sub-theme from that. Maybe you could do adoptables of all spooky Neopets! (more ex: only certain species, certain colors, etc) I'm not saying you have to select from the above themes either, but they are what people usually go for. If you want to be unique (definitely!) then let's compile a new list of adoptables that aren't seen as often!

- Mythical/fantasy animals (unicorns, dragons, etc)
- Mermaids
- Unique creatures made by you
- Fairies
- Jars (something inside)
- Snowglobes
- Plant life (flowers, mushrooms, etc)
- I could go on and on :D

Remember, whatever theme you choose, you should also have some sort of connection with it. Example, if you love cats, why not create cat adoptables? Or if you love to cook, why not create food adoptables? Make sure you have a good solid reasoning for choosing what adoptables to draw.

Site Name

Don't forget to give your site a name! Make sure the name has a significant meaning and relates to your adoptables!

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Practice



By now you should have your concept and theme ready! It's now time to begin practicing! I'll go with the example that I've chosen to create jars for my adoptables.

As you practice, you can make these either pixels or drawings. I'm not good at pixeling so I'm going to go with just normal drawing in Paint Tool SAI. Let's begin by practicing how I want the jars to look like. The jars will serve as your base so I suggest drawing multiple versions before settling on a design. Remember, do not draw any details. Just draw the base. Here's what I came up with for mine: :


Drag to address bar for larger version


Now, after you draw a few your bases, go ahead and pick your favorite. For me, my favorite will be the middle jar. After you select your favorite, it's now time to add personality to the adoptable. Personality adds a bit of a personal touch and makes it more unique! Adding personality in a drawing can be created just by adding special elements:


Drag to address bar for larger version


Now, the theme of jars is very broad. I can put almost anything I want in my jars. Since I LOVE stars and the idea of catching falling stars, I'll make that my theme!

By now you should have your base ready. Make sure to save it as a .psd or .png and have it available for when you make new adoptables. You will keep drawing over this base for every adoptable. The idea behind this is so that all your adoptables have a cohesive design. This makes them recognizably yours!

Examples of good cohesive designs using the base:



Lastly, don't rush this practice step. You probably will have to keep re-drawing and re-drawing until your completely satisfied. Remember, you'll be making ton of these. Especially if you end up doing requests! Also make sure it's something that's fun to draw as well!

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Your Layout



Now that you have a few adoptables made, it's time to create your layout!

You might have seen many people who just slap adoptables on a blank white page and call it a day. Who wants to display their adoptables like that? After all the work you put into making them? This following section will help you create an organized layout where it looks like you were actually proud of what you created.

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Premade Layouts



I understand not everyone knows how to code. That's not an excuse to just slap your adoptables on a blank page. There's actually many places to find PREMADE PETPAGE LAYOUTS already made and ready for you. As you browse through premade petpages, try to find ones that are simple and really customizable. You want to be able to imagine the following as you look at premades:

- Will this layout accommodate sections for: updates, rules, request/pick up (if you offer requests),premades, extras and sitely)
- Can I edit this layout to my liking?
- Are there any distracting images? (EX: don't pick a layout that has Aisha's in it if your adoptables have nothing to do with Aisha's.)

Premade Layout Sites:

For more, please visit Lacuna Directory


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Learning Coding



It might come down to it that none of the premade layouts are suitable for your site or you just are not satisfied. If you're feeling like putting in a little more work into your layout, why not make your own? There are lots of sites out there that can help you improve your coding knowledge and even teach you step by step on how to make layouts!

Coding Guide Sites:

Neopets coding tips, tricks, articles from doubleSTANDARD

For more, please visit Lacuna Directory


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Organize



Your layout should be coded and ready to place content in now! Let's go over the following sections you should have so your whole site is organized:

Intro Paragraph: Your intro paragraph should mention what type of adoptables you offer, your name and any other important info you would like to share as introductory. EX: "Welcome to (site name)! Here you can find (type) adoptables created by (your name, preferably in a link). If you have any questions or comments, feel free to send me a neomail!" You can also go on to talk about requests if you offer them or other important info.

Updates: Having an update section is a good idea so that visitors know what new adoptables have been added or if requests are open/closed. (if you offer requests). It's also good to update so people know your site isn't dead and that new content will be made.

Rules: Make sure you place rules down so people know the do's and don't's when it comes to your adoptables. Good rules might be: Always credit with a link back to your page, don't enter them in contests, etc.

Premades: Place your adoptables on your site in a organized and sensible way. You should have the adoptable shown + a textarea code provided for people to place them on their pages.

Request: If you decide to do requestable adoptables, you will want to lay down some requesting rules. Ex: Only request once a month, don't request when requests are closed, etc. You'll also need a status sign that tells people whether your requests are opened or closed. (you can see examples of this from other adoptable sites) Next to your status sign, you'll need a form for visitors to send to you in order to request. Make sure the form has all the necessary questions you'll need in order to complete their request. Lastly, you may want to add a waiting list so visitors know where they are in terms of waiting for their adoptable to be completed.

Pick Up: Again, if you do requests, you'll need a pick up section. This gives requesters a place to pick up their adoptable. You'll want their adoptable, their name under or above the adoptable and a textarea with the coding provided.

Extras: An Extras section is only an option, but it is a good idea. You can put FAQs, About, and other extra info.

Sitely: In your sitely section you'll want link back buttons. They are essentially buttons with your sites name on them. These are necessary for every site owner. They will allow people to link back to you from other pages (such as people crediting you, directories linking back, etc). Next, you'll want an area for Affiliates. Affiliates are beneficial since they help advertise your site. You'll also gain more new friends! Lastly, you'll want to place your Listers in your sitely section. Listers are site directories who have listed your site.

Credits: Make sure you remember where you got EVERY RESOURCE used to create your site. If not, you could get reported and your site could be taken down. You'll want to list all the sites (with link included) where you got resources from. Neopets doesn't allow off-site links so try to remain in the neo-resource community. If you took inspiration from someone, listing them is only optional but it would be the right thing to do!

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Service



It's important when running a site to give quality and professional service. This doesn't mean you need to be strict and up-tight. It means you should treat your visitors the way you would want to be treated. Please consider the following:

Keep updating: Keep your updates current! Even if you have no content to update with, just a blurb in your updates saying "you're busy" is enough to let visitors keep up to date.

Finish requests: If you offer requests, you should at least finish your requests in a timely manner. Don't take 20 requests and realize "Oh that's too many" and never complete them. Start off by just taking 5 requests at a time and try to finish them within 2 weeks. If you need to take longer than that, at least make note of it in your updates that you're running behind schedule.

Answer your neomails: You're going to get all sorts of neomails. You will probably get fanmail, hate mail, suggestions, comments, etc. Whatever the mail is, try to reply quickly and kindly.

Hate Mail: Sadly enough, it does happen. I've heard site owners get hate mail and it's pretty sad. Don't let it discourage you if it happens though. Hater's gonna hate. :( Just reply back saying something along the lines "If you don't like my work, you can find more adoptables somewhere else" and leave it at that. Don't be rude to them either, it just eggs them on more. Just write a normal reply and move on.



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Requesters



This following section applies if you're looking to add requests to your site. If you plan to offer requests, be prepared to handle the requesters!

The good, kind requesters! Most of the time, you won't have a problem with your requesters! Most are kind and understanding. They might make 1 or 2 mistakes while filling out the form but once you just let them know, they will fix their mistake and all will be good!

The picky, kind requesters! Sometimes after you finish a request, the requester won't like it. They might ask you to change a few things. Now, don't get angry or upset. If you offer editing requests, then simply make the edits. There's no big deal here. If you don't offer edits, then let them know. Don't make a big deal if someone doesn't like the outcome of the adoptable!

The bad, angry requesters! Not often, but it may happen, you will get a requester who is completely dissatisfied with the final adoptable you create for them. They may start to call you names, bash on your art, throw out personal insults, etc. Just remain calm! They don't know all the effort you put into your adoptable. Just reply with something like "I'm sorry you're unsatisfied with your adoptable. Please try requesting somewhere else if you want something different." This way you have kept calm while dealing with this type of attitude.

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Maintenance

As your site grows overtime, you'll have to do a pretty decent amount of maintenance to keep it alive and strong!

Make sure you have no broken images: When you upload your adoptables, make sure it's on a reliable image hosting site. You'll want to check and make sure all your adoptables work!

Changing Layouts: It's completely optional, but changing layouts every now and then is exciting and refreshing. Each time you make a new layout, you have a chance to improve your site!

Link Checks: You'll need to check all the links around your site to make sure they are working properly. You'll also need to check your affiliates and listers.

Affiliate Sweep: It's a sad process but sometimes you'll need to do an affiliate sweep. Basically you go through your affiliates and make sure they are active or if they closed. If they have not updated in more than 5+ months without any notice, it's likely that the site has died and you shouldn't have them as an affiliate anymore.

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Advertise



Affiliates are other sites around the community that you would like to be connected to or associated with. They are also a great way to advertise your site! Around the site community, affiliates are placed in the sitely section so the more affiliates you have, the more people who are linking back to you. Also, most of the time, sites mention in their updates who their new affiliates are!

Applying for affiliates: When you send out applications to affiliate with other sites, make sure their affiliate spots are open. Some sites have affiliates closed so make sure you check! When neomailing them, make sure to mention your name, your site's name, your site's link and what type of site you have (adoptables).

Accepted or Rejected: If you get accepted, hoorah! It's best to add their link up right away since they will be doing the same! If you get rejected or don't get a reply back, don't get discouraged. Just keep building your site and in a few months try again!

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Listers



Listers are site directories which list all different types of sites. When people go looking for certain types of sites, they turn to site directories! Having your site listed means more people can find your site easily. Here's a few active and recomennded listers you should add your new site to:



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Boards



The neoboards are a great way to advertise your site. For an adoptable site, I recommend posting a thread on the Art Board. Start off your board topic with your sites name and then what type of adoptables you offer. EX: "Bisou - Chibi requests open!". In the description you'll want to give more info about your site. Make sure to stick around your board and answer any comments/questions people may ask.



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The Community



Lastly, you can always count on the community if you need help getting your site more viewers. If you're hosting events, other sites might mention you in their updates! If you need any help just feel free to neomail site owners and see if they can lend a hand :)



Previous Step

Layout Templates

The following templates are specifically designed for adoptable sites. However, feel free to use them for other sites as well.

RULES:
- Credit to Studio 101 must remain in the credits section.
- Edit the template however you want! I encourage you to change the colors, headers, positions, images, etc to fit your site's theme.
- All the layouts come with pre-code pages (sitely page is coded with buttons, adoptables page is coded with textareas, etc) Feel free to take any of the codes for your own site. But if you do, please credit back.
- In each premade, the textareas are bracketed with ( ). You'll need to change the brackets to .










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