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How to Win the Beauty Contest


by blackbutterfky333

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Making a Winning Image!

Making a good image is very important- unless you’re very well known, you won't get many votes for a copy-and-paste entry. The style you choose, whether you draw by mouse or hand, and how many heads you give it should be whatever works best for you but there are some general points which might help you get more votes.

by xharmonisedx

1) Make the image a square. Even if it means chopping a little bit off or adding some extra background. A lot of voters will first see your image in a long line of square thumbnails. If yours is a distorted rectangle it won’t look as nice and they’ll be less likely to click on it.

2) Keep the image strong. Bright colours make it more attractive whereas feeble faded lines will make a good sketch almost invisible. If your scanner is old and creaky like mine it’s a good idea to press harder with pencils, pencil crayons and pastels and to outline it afterwards in black marker even if you wouldn’t normally.

3) Change the pose. If you carefully copy a Neopet in its exact original pose, no matter how much effort you put into it, some people are going to think it’s a trace and not vote. If you really feel you can’t change the pose by yourself, look at the “How to Draw” section and poses on trading cards to give you inspiration.

4) Preview your work on the board. Sometimes purely by bad luck you might discover you’ve drawn something that resembles a cartoon character in a program you’ve never seen. The entry above turned out to be a very embarrassing example of this! ;) When you preview use a paint program to write your username in big letters over it so nobody can steal your picture.

By blackbutterfky333

5) Do something original that you can talk about. “Vote for my Cybunny” is unlikely to lure the hordes to your board, but as (whoever) discovered “Vote for my handmade plushie Zafara” can keep the same board up for hours!

6) There are several ways to reach the 17K file size limit. You can reduce the physical size of the image or some programs let you reduce the quality to save on file size. Unless your image is animated, some programs will let you save the file smaller as a jpg instead of a gif. If your image is a sketch, switching the image more to greyscale will make it smaller. If all else fails put the proper version onto your petpage.

Advertising o_O;

People don’t like advertising and I can’t imagine why! It’s my favourite part of the Beauty Contest. You have interesting conversations with other artists, get to spout complete nonsense to advertise without spamming and make new friends. Some people get angry when they’re against a famous entry and assume that all these entries are bad. This often isn’t fair as a lot of them are beautiful entries which deserve to win! Here are some ways you might not have thought of for promoting your entry.

By solitary_existence

1) Put a link to your entry in your signature so it’s always there whenever you post. Copy the link exactly including the http part or it might be blocked. Toward the end of the week, when not many people on the BC board have votes left, go to Help Chat, Avatars or Quests and offer to help people. Do NOT ask them for votes or try to exchange your help for votes as this is unfair and against the rules, but if you’ve helped them and they see the link in your signature they might well take the time to vote without being asked.

2) Put your picture with a link to your entry anywhere you can - on your petpage, pet lookup, main lookup, and shop. All of these are within the rules. Getting someone else to display your link or putting the link in your trades wishlist is not. Neopets HTML help page will tell you how to do this.

3) Having a pack rat sale? Got a lot of spare Tombola prizes? Save them for when you are in the Beauty Contest, as the more people who visit your shop, the more people will see the link in it.

By summerschilde

4) Use the Notice Board. Lots of people look at the lowest entry. Have a look at what the lowest entry costs (usually around 2000np) and buy an advert that costs one Neopoint more. Then, depending on how many Neopoints you want to spend on this, post up to three adverts above and three adverts below this price. Space out the price of the adverts so that they are 100np apart. Although you probably won't be able to see any of them straight away, adverts are made and run out of time on the notice board constantly, and with an even spread one of your adverts is likely to be visible for a reasonable amount of time each day. Remember a clickable link for lazy people like me who often won't try to find an entry for ourselves.

5) Don’t bump the same board twenty-odd times. Firstly you risk a telling off for spamming and secondly if nobody is coming to your board that usually means your title is boring. Leave the board until it reaches the bottom and then post another one with a catchier title.

6) Free votes boards are invariably popular and often pointless for the poster if the aim is to get more votes. Most people will not bother to look at/vote for your entry and if you post one be careful you don’t make it sound like you’ll only vote if people vote for you. People will post their link on these boards and go back to advertising their own entry. A better option is to do a rating board where you say how good a picture is and give advice on technique. Be honest but polite, keep construction positive and avoid number ratings as somebody will always get upset. That way they come back to see their rating and will often vote for yours since you took the time to look at theirs.

7) Don’t vote count. It’s a waste of time and totally inaccurate. Some of the people (not most but a lot) who say they’ve voted for you do so in order to get your vote. Sometimes you can spot them saying they voted twice for the same species of neopet. Most of the people who vote for you won’t tell you they voted because it’s just too much like hard work.

8) Try to avoid spending as much as a solid hour advertising. It’s better to spread it out if you can- advertise for five minutes before you go out, post quickly during your break or while the adverts are on telly. Much more effective, much less boring and it gives you time for more interesting things like Splat a Sloth.

9) If you’ve entered the Neopian Times, Poetry Contest, a Spotlight or anything like that, have an entry in the Beauty Contest even if you don’t plan on advertising that week. If you do happen to win, it’d be a shame to waste all that free publicity, wouldn’t it? ;)

10) Lastly a little nag on what not to do. Don’t advertise directly on the wrong boards, Neomail strangers or get irritated if someone doesn’t vote for you. It only winds people up and they might decide to report you.

Miscellaneous

by aravan_fox

1) Entries get rejected to all sorts of reasons- it doesn’t mean your art is bad! Sometimes the image doesn’t show up on Neopets servers, so try resaving it and entering again. The main reason for rejecting a copy and pasted image is that it hasn’t been altered enough. The big reason for rejecting other entries is that they don’t look enough like the Neopet. Occasionally an image is rejected because the theme is too adult- use your common sense here. If you’ve copied an image from a cartoon, or based it so heavily on one that it can’t be mistaken for anything else, chances are it will be recognised and not allowed through. Don’t try this- the worst thing for you is actually if it *does* get through as if a player reports it you might lose your whole account.

2) Everyone loses from time to time. It’s not nice when a brilliant piece of art that you spend ages advertising loses to a scribble, but don’t give up! Re-enter it and win the next time (but better not to enter it the same week if it is someone famous as they can enter twice before being banned.)

3) What do I mean banned? Every time your pet wins first in species or first overall it is banned for several months. This is to stop the most famous pets dominating the contest week after week. If you’ve already entered the next week they won't ban your entry because nobody known who wins until the new contest starts. After that the only way to get off the ban is to change your pet's species.

4) If your pet changes colour, gender or stats it has no effect on your entry. However if the pet changes species you keep the votes you already had and nobody else can vote for you. There is no way to tell how many votes you have until the contest is over.

5) You can include Petpets in your entry even if your pet doesn’t own the Petpet you’re drawing. You can usually include two pets in your entry if they are the same species- if you want two different species it’s best to make the actual entry pet the main focus with the other one in the background.

6) Ready to enter? Click here: http://www.neopets.com/beauty/index.phtml and good luck!

 
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