Passing on the Torch: Tips from a BC Veteran
The Will and Testimony ofA Veteran Beauty Contester
To those Beauty Contesters who faithfully enter their works of art and find themselves on the Beauty Contest Board, I bequeath the following tips and suggestions. May you use them well and find them enlightening in your ventures in the Beauty Contest. Continue your work in the Beauty Contest, as I have spent my Neopets time doing so, and may amazing art and equally amazing people always be rewarded!
Tip 1: Advertising is the door to winning the Beauty Contest. People say this is a shame. Don’t listen to them! Part of the Beauty Contest is meeting other artists like yourself and making new friends. HOWEVER... Good art is the key that opens the advertising door. With both, you will find the Beauty Contest to be an enjoyable experience. Every Beauty Contest entry should be an improvement of your art, and every time you should wish to do better. But always be sure to have fun! That is really what the BC is all about.
Tip 2: If your picture is ruined by the 20k size limit... don’t complain about it. The size limit is necessary. Instead, post a better version on your pet’s lookup/petpage, and simply tell people to refer there for the “real” version.
Tip 3: No one wins with adverspam. Always be sure to read the topic creator’s first post, particularly if it is a topic that says “Free Votes”. If you go to a topic and post your advertisement and leave, you will accomplish nothing but getting people mad at you, and thus you will not receive votes.
Tip 4: You aren’t just there to advertise. You are also there to chat with fellow BCers, get tips on your art, and help other people in return! If you aren’t having fun advertising, there’s really no point in entering the Beauty Contest at all. Always meet new people and make advertising as much fun as you can!
Tip 5: Topics need to be something people can comment on. Don’t make a topic just asking people to vote for your pet; this will push people away because there is nothing to comment on. Start up a conversation. Make the title a question most BCers can answer, or else an interesting, quirky statement people would be attracted to - and more importantly, continue it with the topic post. It’s the best way to meet friends!
Tip 6: Don’t lie about whom you vote for, especially just to get votes yourself. If you must, don’t say whom you vote for at all. But if you say that you voted for someone and you did not, not only is that a lowly thing to do, but if you are discovered, no one will ever respect you; people will get angry (of course) and will not vote for you. Think about the other people on the BC Board, and be courteous to them.
Tip 7: Don’t trade votes. This is a common mistake among new Beauty Contesters. Despite what people might say, it is against the Neorules. But that shouldn't be the reason you don't do it - trading votes is just as lowly as lying about whom you voted for.
Tip 8: Make sure your entry’s species is identifiable. All art styles are accepted (like anthro and quad), but if your picture does not look like the pet you are submitting it for, it may not get accepted for the Beauty Contest at all. If people are continually calling your pet a species it is not, or asking what species it is, then you need to improve your species details.
Tip 9: Be original! Just because it has to be an identifiable Neopet doesn’t mean your picture cannot be original. BCers fall for special designs, ideas, fancy backgrounds, and different styles. Develop a style that is yours and only yours!
Tip 10: Don’t stay on the Beauty Contest Board. This is not to say go to other Neoboards and make a thread and post a thread that screams “Vote for me!” But if you often lurk on other Boards, put the link to your entry in your signature and chat it up with your other friends. They may just vote for you.
Tip 11: Don’t neomail users asking for votes. This is extremely rude and ticks many BCers off. Unless a user’s topic specifically says that you may do this, don’t even try it.
Tip 12: Don’t be rude to your competition. In fact, why don’t you go up to them and wish them good luck? Do that! They want to win just as much as you do, and it doesn’t put you in a very good light if you’re insulting them.
Tip 13: Don’t judge by art program. Whether you are voting or creating a drawing, don’t complain about different art styles and programs. Do the best that you can and look for the quality in everything, not what created it.
Tip 14: Keep chatspeak to a minimum. Yes, I know, everyone uses chatspeak, and isn’t it fun? Sorry; on the Beauty Contest Board, chatspeak is a first impression of n00bishness and idiocy. Use your very best grammar and your very best manners to achieve respect and friendship. Also, always use proper terminology – traditionally drawn is not “hand-drawn”; all art is hand-drawn.
Tip 15: Don’t say “It’s my first time”... and expect it to be some sort of handicap or reason that people should vote for you. People don’t care if it’s your first, 74th, 1,403,856th, or last time entering. They will vote for people they think deserves to win.
Tip 16: Lurk the BC Board... even if you aren’t entered! What? Why would you go there if you were not entered, or even voting? Well, the Beauty Contest Board and the people there are just as interested in talking to other artists and getting advice just as much as voting! Plus, if people see you more, they will be more inclined to vote for someone they know better. And people on the BC Board in particular are very knowledgeable and open, and the Board itself is especially spammer-free, as BCers bite down hard on spammers on their beloved Board.
Tip 17: Keep an open mind. Don’t vote for only anthros, or only quads, or only traditional pictures, or only digital pictures, or anything else you can think of. You should be voting on the quality of the art and the person entering.
Tip 18: If you just don’t like a certain style... don’t broadcast it. Don’t insult the artist that created a piece of art you don’t care for. Just don’t vote for them and leave it at that.
Tip 19: If OTHER people don’t like a certain style and broadcast it... you can show them good entries of the pictures they do not like, but do not flame them and insult them for not liking it. While people like good art to win, bear in mind... voters have the right to vote for whomever they want.
Tip 20: Don’t brag about your picture. It’s just asking for trouble. In fact, don’t say anything about your picture at all, except asking for a vote. BCers generally don’t approve of that self-indulgence, and may flame you on what’s wrong with your “amazing” picture.
I write these words in the hope that some Beauty Contester will read them and reveal them to other Beauty Contesters, who will follow my words of wisdom and continue the Beauty Contest. While my time might be over, I pass on the torch to new BCers, and hope that they will carry it as faithfully as I tried to do. And perhaps they will pass it on to others as well.
Author’s Note: Thanks to everyone on the Beauty Contest Board: friends and other users that submitted ideas and encouragement for this article; I couldn’t have written it without you. Thanks for all the awesome times on the BC Board; I hope there’s more to come!