Truth About The Gallery Spotlight
Before you read my guide, I want you to know the reason why I wrote it.
I lurk (and sometimes post) on the boards every day when I first log into Neopets. One that I commonly click on is "Spotlights and Galleries". That one with the eye catching text I read every day with fear back before I won the Gallery Spotlight on Bori Day 2010.
"Want tips from previous spotlight winners? Come on in."
^This used to put fear into my very soul. Why? Because I felt like my gallery was not good enough for the spotlight. I wanted tips but I was scared of ever seeing a gallery better than mine and I was thought for sure that there probably was one. I was scared of criticism. I eventually got over those fears and I'll say how later in the guide, but it's a horrible feeling. I don't want anybody else to ever feel like how I felt. That's why I sat down to write this guide.
Firstly, I notice that a common misconception is that people think you are only supposed to submit your gallery once in your whole lifetime and that's it. That is not true. I recommend that you re-submit your gallery to the Gallery Spotlight every other time you add at LEAST 5 more rarer items to it and/or make noticeable changes to the description.
And why? Because when you submit your gallery to the spotlight, a "snapshot" is taken of it. That means that if you add a whole lot of items, or put up a whole new layout in your gallery, it will show up the exact way it looked when you submitted it.
You should probably not submit it more than once every two weeks or so, though (unless you add like 50+ items), because any more often than that and you might just clog up the system that is used to pick a spotlight winner. Someone I wrote to once told me that he entered his Gallery into the spotlight and that it won two years later. If you worked hard on your gallery, then TNT will definitely pull up the link and take notice when they feel it is time.
Have you ever thought something like this, even for a second? "I'll never win... my gallery is too small (or too big?)".
I have actually read these really sad stories before from people thinking their galleries are too big for the spotlight. I can't believe this. I know that almost anybody can notice that if your gallery is large that you worked extremely hard collecting the items. People notice that you could have spent thousands, or even millions, trying to complete your gallery. As for smallness, if your gallery is complete or near-complete, it definitely has a chance of winning. It it's unique and looks good, people will like it.
Big galleries are quite the challenge. When I say "big galleries", I mean galleries that take 564,647,405,118 items to complete. Or more. Anyway, remember that they pick based on all of those aspects most of the time. It is amazing if you spent all your neopoints, an arm and leg or however you want to describe it, but having nice presentation helps your chances of winning as well.
I have noticed that in previous editorials in the Neopian Times, TNT has stated, (in their own ways with respective speeches) that they mostly judge on these four aspects when picking a Gallery Spotlight winner: Theme, Originality, Presentation and Completeness.
Don't think you can't win if you have a Plushie gallery, Sloth gallery or Meepit gallery because of that "originality" part! Yeah... A lot of people collect Plushies, mostly because they are so cute... and cuddly... and there are so many of them. I think that some Meepit galleries are made by some people who are dragged away by Meepits. And then they are later forced to create these galleries. As a minion of Dr. Sloth I have been threatened... err... asked not to mention much about galleries dedicated to him.
Try to rank your items. I recommend ranking them by color; it's a common method for ranking items in galleries and it looks lovely most of the time. If you need help styling your gallery, you could ask for suggestions on the "Spotlights and Galleries" boards with parental permission, I'm sure some people there would be happy to help you out. You will probably find me posting there, too.
Have a nice layout. I know that not everybody can code and design their own Gallery layout. It takes a lot of time and practice and sometimes it's just not easy. But try. If you go on the boards, someone will definitely send you a link to an amazing on-site guide to coding. Can't? Don't have time? Just don't want to try? That's fine. Don't be afraid to use a premade layout. A lot of people think it's against the rules or wrong to use a premade layout, but it is not. TNT has stated that galleries with premade layouts have less chance of winning, but remember that they also mainly judge on the other 3 aspects: Theme, Originality and Completeness. People have won with premade layouts or layouts made by their friends before.
Don't be afraid to ask for tips. When my gallery Armin The Small won, it was not very large but I had a lot of people tell me what they thought about it. I also got some advice from some people who had won previously when I posted on the "Spotlights and Galleries" board. I was scared that they were going to say it wasn't good enough, but they liked my gallery because it was unique.
Stick with one theme but spread it out, no matter what people say. I love my friends, but they didn't agree with my idea of putting an "Ice Caves" and "Slingshots" category into my Armin gallery. I couldn't help it, though. There are only like 5 items that mainly have to do with Armin. Dur.
When you win, feel free to scream for joy. Try to resist sounding like you're bragging when you are announcing your win to all of your friends and family, but be happy because it is an honour to win.
Currently, besides the site moderators, I don't think anybody knows how many different galleries are in the system; there could be hundreds, or thousands. But please don't ever let thoughts like that get you down. I know that if you believe in yourself and work hard, any of your dreams are achievable, winning the Gallery Spotlight included.
Lastly, there are absolutely NO hints or tricks, or "secrets" that people use to win. There is no secret button to click or secret page to visit. Everybody enters the Gallery Spotlight at different times with a different amount of times that they've entered.
I hope this guide has helped you, even if it was in the silliest of ways. :) *is tied up by Meepits* I WILL NOT MAKE THAT GALLER... *is dragged away by Meepits*