Art Request Etiquette
Every so often, you will come across a board where another user is taking art requests and you, like many other users, will jump on the chance to have someone draw a picture of your neopet. There are a few things to consider, however, while posting on these boards to request a drawing.
Before posting, there are a few things to do:
First off, and this is probably the most important thing, make sure to read the original poster’s posts. The first posts (sometimes the first few posts made) are the most important, but you should read all the others they make on the board too. The reason that first posts are so important is because that is where the person offering the art requests will outline any rules that they have about art, or direct you to where you can find their art rules. People who often take requests sometimes have their rules outlined on a petpage in order to make things simpler.
The next and other very important thing is to follow the rules that the original poster has outlined. This may seem to be fairly obvious, but some people post without thinking, and then the original poster has to repeat themselves over and over; think of posting without reading the rules, or posting a request that doesn’t go along with the rules as the equivalent of someone offering a JubJub on a trading board where the original poster said that they weren’t interested in that species. Not following rules on art requests boards (and any other type of board) just wastes everyone’s time, which is no good.
These two things to consider go hand in hand, and can help you to avoid looking foolish, and help you to be able to get an art request. If you rush in and don’t read the posts, how can you expect to follow the rules if you don’t even know them?
There are numerous different rules that people who do art requests have, and they have them for a reason. For example, one artist might only draw female neopets, or won’t draw neopets that are Maraquan or aquatic by nature. The majority of the times these rules are put in place because the artist will only draw what they are comfortable with drawing, because they want to be able to do their best on the art requests they accept, and not have to draw something they haven’t had much practice in drawing. A common rule that artists have is what kind of pets they will draw, either anthro, quad, or both. ‘Anthro’ is short for anthropomorphic, and it means that the neopet stands on two legs and wears clothes like humans, like Hannah the Usul, or Hanso the Ixi. “Quad” is short for quadrupedal, which means the neopet stand as they do in their lookup pictures, commonly on four legs such as the Lupe or Aisha. The term quad refers to all pets that are not anthropomorphic, even species like Yurble and Lenny that stand on two legs. If the neopet has the proportions and stands like an animal does, then they are considered quad.
Okay, so now that you’ve read the rules and know what to do; the next thing is your post itself:
Many rules also come in the form of how to put in your request. Some artists have a short form that can be filled out by requesters, while others would just like to know the full name of the pet someone is requesting. These ways to request help streamline the process for both parties, with all the information in one place. If the artist does not post the specifics of what information they would like you to give to them, the most important things to post are: the species and color of the pet and/or the pet’s full name. It is also a good idea to tell the artist if you have a reference picture of the pet you are requesting for.
Now, before we move on, I know a question that is forming in some of your heads. What is a reference picture? You have probably seen them around; lots of users make drawings of their neopets with a unique look that sets them apart from others. This is different than customization (though customization may be a part of a neopet’s unique look, sometimes a very large part) and is solely conveyed through art done of the pet. I will use my Bori, Reiniku as an example: Reiniku is a Halloween Bori, but I draw him anthro, so he stands on two legs and wears clothes. He has the black and red colors of a regular Halloween bori, and wears a skull mask, but he also has a head of black and pink hair, a hole in his ear, and markings on his tail. This is Reiniku’s unique look, and he has a reference picture on his lookup depicting it.
Okay, now you have your request in; all the information about your pet is laid out for the artist to read:
The next part is essentially waiting. While on an art request board, it is usually encouraged for you to chat while the artist gets to every post, deciding if they will take the request. People who take art requests usually like conversation, especially about their art; feel free to strike up a conversation about it! Or if you are more on the lurker side, just keep an eye on the board until the artist responds to your request. If you have followed the rules, provided them all the information they need, and have been polite, there is a likely chance that they will take your request.
They responded to my request, and declined it! Oh no!:
In this situation, the first thing to remember is that artists taking requests have the right to decline and accept whatever requests they want. There are a number of reasons a request might be declined; not following the rules is the obvious one (though you won’t do that, will you?), but other reasons can be anything from the artist having taken too many requests already and not having time for yours, or the pet that you requested to have drawn didn’t inspire them enough to draw it. If your request was declined, being rude about it is not the answer. To make a quick point, being rude is never the answer. If the artist declines your request and says it is because they are not particularly inspired by the pet, feel free to ask if it’s alright if you request art for another neopet, if you have another within the artist’s rules.
They responded to my request, and they accepted it! Oh boy!:
How exciting! This means that the artist will draw a picture of your pet. This is another part where it is important to read their post; sometimes they will ask you to neomail them so they don’t forget you, and other times they will not. Now the waiting game starts again. Depending on the artist, it can take a few hours, a few days, or even a few weeks for them to finish your art. With all sorts of site events going on, and the artist’s personal life, they can be quite busy and not have time to draw. If you feel that they are taking longer than they should, it is acceptable to send a polite message asking about the status of your request, but multiple mails are not usually necessary, and should be avoided. Pestering someone is not usually a way to get things done, especially if you remember the fact that art requests are more or less a gift, and artists are not getting anything in return (subsequently, if an artist asks for any sort of payment in return for a drawing, that is against the rules, voluntary art trades however, are allowed).
Soon enough you should have your art, but there are a few more things to keep in mind:
The first is displaying your new piece of art. It seems like a no-brainer, but for some reason, some users either don’t get around to, or don’t bother to put the art drawn for them up. Not only is this disheartening to the person who drew the art, it means the time they spent on the art was largely wasted. Sure, the person the art was for looked at it (and maybe saved it), but odds are the art is meant to be displayed; besides, it’s nice to show off art you get, maybe on the pet’s lookup or page?
The second thing to consider is crediting the artist. While most artists include their username as a signature on art requests, it is still a nice gesture to write something like: from ______ or by _____. That way if the artist looks back they can feel appreciated and others can look up the artist. It is also a nice gesture to link back to the artist’s lookup, so others can go visit them.
So now you know the ins and outs of requesting art! Venture forth and request art using your newfound savvy!