5 Steps to Perfecting Your Pet’s Style
As someone who has spent an embarrassingly huge amount of time customizing my pets, I'd like to think I've become something of an expert on the topic. I look through many random strangers' customizations daily, deciding what I like and what I would change. I browse through all of the new neopoint and neocash wearables daily. I spend hours putting finishing touches on my pets and then changing those finishing touches... and then changing them back, adding something or removing something. I am obsessive, but I think I have developed a pretty good eye for what works and why it works. Here are the five major steps I go through in the process of dressing up my pets:
1. Pick a theme.
This is absolutely THE first thing you need to do before starting the customization process. Without a theme, your pet will look mismatched and people will not be able to see all of the time you have put in. Usually I think about the base colors of my pets' paint jobs and then try to decide what personality they have. Then, I come up with some key words upon which to base my pets' styles.
For example, I might dress up my woodland Uni in an earthy forest setting to match her base colors, flower, and earthy vibes... or maybe I'll put my chocolate Kacheek in a candyland dream world to coordinate her edible and sweet nature with her surroundings. Maybe I'll put my faerie pet in an ethereal cloud setting or my alien Aisha in the middle of outer space. Some base colors leave a bit more room for creativity. I have a water Draik; sometimes I dress her up in an under the sea setting, but since her coloring is very versatile, I have put her in many other settings as well! You get the idea!
Once I have chosen my theme, I start brainstorming ways to execute it. Sometimes I peruse past customization spotlight winners or look around the NC mall neoboards (full of expert customizers) to see what other people have done that may catch my eye. I try to define what about their pets is so unique or flattering, and how I could try and incorporate this into my design in my own way.
2. Pick a color scheme.
One thing that almost all of the best customizations have in common is a very unified color scheme. This should complement the theme as well. For example, my stealthy Ixi has a nighttime ninja warrior theme. Her base colors are deep blues and purples. Building upon this, I decided to pick blues, turquoises, and purples to create her color palate. These colors play off the theme well and also give my pet a very polished and put together look.
Sometimes I will see pets that have been customized with a very well thought out and unified theme, but the colors are all over the place! This is a huge mistake, and if you are hoping to win a customization spotlight or even just have a notable neopet, a color scheme is essential! Even if you do not pick three definitive colors, go with pastels or bright island colors. Just stay with one idea. Trust me – your pet will benefit from this!
3. Browse through items.
There are many great websites – for example, Jellyneo – that have closets filled with every single wearable item ever available via neopoints AND neocash! This is a great way to decide what might look good on your pet before taking the plunge and buying these items. I do this with every single customization! Let's say I think a retired, highly coveted neocash item might look good with my pet's theme. I can use these closet systems to make *sure* this is the case before trading off an item I really value and finding out that this wearable really looked better in my head. And please do not go buying expensive neopoint wearables before trying them on first!
I always go for a background first! This is because backgrounds generally have definite themes and color schemes, and are a great way to begin the customization process. You can then match up the rest of your items using this as a starting point. You don't have to do this of course, but I find that it really helps me get started. Sometimes I even see a background I like and think of a new theme based upon this background!
When browsing through items, always remember to stick to the above rules of color and theme! You can search specifically for an item you are lacking. Let's say I am doing a cloud theme: I can search for a cloud item by typing 'cloud' in Jellyneo's (for example) database, and find all the items that fit this description! If 'cloud' didn't work, try something else! Maybe 'sky' or 'rain'... keep going until you are completely satisfied with all the items on your pet. In addition, if you think the one thing your pet is lacking is a great handheld item, try searching for 'staff' or 'wand.' Or maybe you're looking for 'wings' or 'wig.' Explore all the possibilities! You never know what may look, 'off the rack,' totally wrong, but make your pet look like a movie star!
4. Set up a frame.
Your neopet might have the absolute PERFECT background, amazing clothing to match, some awesome handhelds... but many pets, even with all of these items, are still lacking a little something. Customizations often look just a bit empty... Like they are missing that one finishing touch to step up their look from good to off the charts amazing! The way to do this is by creating a frame for your pet! You may not yet understand what I mean, but I will give some examples. My Uni's frame was created by using, on the bottom, Candlelit Opera Stage Foreground, and on the other sides, Beautiful Columns Foreground. These items are both beautiful, match my pet's colors and theme, and also fit well into the space, really showcasing my Uni while also using the space better – and not leaving tons of extra room.
Other types of objects you can use to create frames for your pets are: fences and gates, trees, garlands and string lights, archways, ink frames, walls and other foregrounds... be creative! This is not a definitive list. You don't want to copy what other people have done. Do your own thing, and it will look so much better than using an old, worn out idea!
5. Add finishing touches.
Now you've gotten down the basics. You chose a theme, picked some colors, browsed through tons of wearables before finding the perfect ones, and you set up a frame. Congratulations! By this point, I am sure your pet looks splendid! But if you're like me, and something of a perfectionist, you're going to want to double check your pet to make sure everything looks flawless. Maybe there's another set of wings that would look just a bit better in this situation. Maybe that new staff from the NC mall would just look perfect against your faerie pet's colors. Or maybe you realized that your pet could use some face paint, contacts, or a necklaces. These extra little touches will not go unnoticed! I always say that my pets are *never* finished! There's always something else that can be changed or added.
Now, you are ready to enter your pets in the customization spotlight! It is very difficult to win, since there are so many incredible pets every week. But keep entering! Even if you do not win, you will gain a lot of admiration from others over the effort you have put into your pets – I guarantee it. You will also feel very proud of the work you have put in, and how wonderful your pets look. They will love it too! Mostly, though, you will have a ton of fun putting together the perfect vision for your awesome neopet!