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Beyond Themes: 4 Tips for the Gallery Spotlight

by saiphami


You have wild dreams of a Gallery Spotlight Trophy, gleaming on your user lookup. Luckily, you have taken the first step towards making that dream a reality. After weeks (or months) of deliberation, you've decided on a gallery theme, one that will surely lead to your success as a gallery master. The hard part is over, right? Wrong.

There is so much more to think about when pursuing the Gallery Spotlight beyond just a theme. Soon, you find yourself overwhelmed at where to start. You've got your theme... what now?

1. Set up your wish list

It is impossible to win the Gallery Spotlight without having a complete, or at least almost complete, gallery of all the items encompassing your theme. The easiest way to do this is to make sure to have your wishlist (or to-purchase list) done correctly and completely before you even start collecting. Whichever method you choose to compose your list (as there are many), the main thing to consider is going beyond mere search terms to find your items. If you just type in "strawberry" to find all those pretty items full of strawberry goodness, you'll miss out on a lot – like the obvious, items with the pluralized version of "strawberries". The less obvious, which could make up the bulk of your unfinished gallery, would be items like a cake simply garnished with a solitary strawberry. It is crucial that you pay attention to every item you encounter as to not miss a perfect gallery candidate. Once you are certain that your wishlist has all of the currently available items within your theme, it is time to proceed onward to the next (and in my opinion, most exciting) step.

2. Purchasing

It is clear why this step is so important when pursing the Gallery Spotlight – if you have the best theme ever, but you don't have many of the items within that theme, your gallery will be underwhelming. Still, there are methods beyond mere buying to follow when purchasing for your gallery.

There are two strategies you could consider when buying items on your wishlist. If you're particularly anxious to start filling your gallery with items, you might want to choose the easier option – starting with the more inexpensive items. By going from low to high, you may get less discouraged as you work towards a complete gallery because your wishlist will rapidly diminish; your gallery will feel more "full". This method is also useful for those who might not have a lot of neopoints in the bank, as it will be less frustrating.

The second option you could pursue is the complete opposite: high to low. Hear me out first. The obvious benefit to this method is that a lot of the expensive items on your list may be items that are only going to inflate or get harder to find as time goes on. If your theme is large, this may get really frustrating when you get close to completion only to find that a must-have item has risen in price dramatically since you started purchasing. The progress may be a little less obvious at first, and it might be disheartening for those with small bank accounts as it may take a long time to just purchase one of the expensive items on your list.

Neither option is perfect, and a combination could suit you better. You may want to fill up your gallery with the inexpensive items but start working towards a few of the bigger purchases simultaneously. You may see a specific item that strikes your fancy that you must include right away, or you might come across a particularly good deal. The best advice I can give you is to really think about how you want to attack your wishlist before you start, and to watch prices carefully before you purchase. There is no real wrong way to gallery collect, but a strategy can make your pursuit of the Gallery Spotlight more organized and more enjoyable. After all, that is the most important part – having fun. Still, there are other aspects of gallery collecting that you should consider as you go, otherwise it could pose a major headache when you go to submit your gallery.

3. Ranking and Categorizing

This is the most stressful aspect of gallery collecting, hands down. I personally believe that it is important to figure out how you're going to organize your gallery early on, before you have so many items that it becomes tedious to change them around. Decide if you are going to have categories at all, and if so what those specific categories are going to be. Categorize every item as soon as you place it within the gallery – do not allow a buildup of uncategorized items. Ranking is the more difficult of the two organization strategies, however, especially if you have categories. Make sure to decide if you are going to rank within categories as well as the "view all" option (I always suggest ranking at least within the latter because it makes for pleasing aesthetics). More importantly, consider which method of ranking you want to utilize within your gallery. Consider what type of ranking best suits your theme, or simply what one you like the best. There are countless ways to rank a gallery, but these include: color, type, alphabetical, or by date released. These ways can be broken down further depending on your items and you'll figure it out better once you actually start ranking your own gallery, but it is best to have a game plan at the very least. Once you have done this, you are very close to being able to submit your gallery for the spotlight – only one final step needs to be considered.

4. Layout

This step can be as simple or complex as you want to be, but it is a crucial one. Create a layout that reflects your theme well, but more importantly, is one that you are happy with. It does not need to be fancy, just a simple background and a banner or image will suit it just fine, but more effort can only serve to make your gallery pop even more. Regardless, a layout can give your gallery that little extra something that makes it a bit more personalized.

Have you covered all these steps? Congratulations, you should be in great shape to submit your gallery to hopefully earn that golden trophy! Gallery collecting is a long but rewarding process, and regardless of how you choose to approach it, you are sure to have fun. Good luck!

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