A Simple Guide To Eco-Fabulous NC Customisations
Hi, my name is Jessica, a.k.a. pastypigeon. Being a long-time customiser, I want to help show fellow customisers that whether your NC coffers are brimming or virtually nonexistent, it is entirely possible to make fabulous customisations using inexpensive NC clothing items. Often even advanced customisers fall into the trap of only using items that are very popular and therefore are almost inevitably also very expensive. While some of these items are indeed very beautiful, unfortunately customisers often make the mistake of only using them in the same, tired old customisations that have been done again and again (Shooting Novas with New Years in Faerieland, anyone?). All costs aside, there is just no fun or originality in creating the same look that has already been done a hundred times before.
How NOT to Customise: The Same Uber-Expensive Custom That Has Been Done Over and Over Again
Another common mistake customisers make when using very costly items is they try to squeeze every possible pricey item into a single customisation without giving thought as to how all of the items actually look together. The resulting customisation is invariably random-looking, unattractive, and, to be brutally honest, basically the several hundred dollar equivalent of dressing a pet in an Ultra Fashionable Potato Sack and a Moon and Stars Background. Now, I don't know about you, but if I were to spend hundreds of dollars on a customisation I would want it to be the best looking customisation Neopia has ever seen, so beautiful and original it would make even Lord Darigan himself weep tears of joy. Sadly, I am neither that rich nor that powerful, but luckily for you I can give you some easy advice on how to make fabulous looking, eco-friendly customisations at a fraction of the cost.
How NOT to Customise: A Completely Random Assortment of Uber-Expensive Items
First of all, forget about values altogether. Get yourself over to your favorite customisation application and just let your imagination and creativity run free! If you customise with an idea or theme in mind and leave yourself open to try every option rather than commit yourself right off the bat to only the very narrow range of expensive items, that leaves you free to pick from a huge assortment items for the best combination of clothes for your look. Seriously! There are just a few dozen of these ultra expensive NC items, yet there are literally thousands upon thousands of gorgeous, cheap NC items to choose from.
So what is my secret to consistently creating eco-friendly looks? I simply don't bother with values or the popularity of items when I am planning my customisations. Honestly, these thoughts don't even enter my mind--I just try and find the best items that work together for my theme, period. It is only after I have completed the plan for my customisation that I look up the values of my items and trade for them or buy them in the NC Mall if they are available. Invariably, these items will range in value from 1-3 caps each with a very rare outlier in the 4-10 cap range. Not too shabby when you consider the alternative of customising with popular items worth 50-250 caps each!
But how can it be that I nearly always end up using very inexpensive items without even trying to cut costs? It's quite simple, you see, and it all boils down to probability. Think of it this way. More than 99% of the thousands and thousands of available NC Mall items have a 1-2 cap value each. Thus, chances are if you simply customise based on how well items fit together with your unique theme rather than choose items based solely on their popularity, you'll automatically be choosing from a huge pool of 99% cheap items instead of a very tiny pool of only expensive items. Which pool would you rather be swimming in?
The RIGHT Way to Customise: Beautiful and Affordable
Now, once in a while you will find that try as you might, a more expensive or popular item really is the best fit for your particular look. That is totally fine, because after all there is nothing inherently wrong with popular or expensive items. For instance, being the Wocky fanatic that I am, contacts are very important for creating my complete looks because nearly all Wockies have brown eyes that are difficult to match with the rest of their customisations. Because of this, I frequently find myself having to use Roberta, Zenco, Icy Blue, Spooky Green, and other coloured contacts to compensate. But I don't use these contacts because they are expensive or popular, I use them because they are the best fit for my customisations and there are no better alternatives. And that is exactly the same mentality you should have when you approach YOUR customisations: pick items because they fit, not because they are popular, and only use expensive items if there are no cheaper, better alternatives. Best part is, even if you end up splurging on one well-fitting 4-10 cap item for your customisation, with the rest of your items being so inexpensive, the entire customisation will still be very affordable.
And that, my fellow customisers, is the key to creating eco-friendly looks: forget about item popularity, forget about their awe-inspiring values, just pick items based on how well they complement your unique customisation. What will make your customisations look amazing and really impress people is not how many expensive items you can manage to cram into one customisation, but how well your items fit together thematically, the attention you pay to small but important details like foregrounds, face paint, and handheld items, and the originality and creativity of your vision. Using an occasional expensive item is okay, just make sure you are using it for the right reasons, not because you are following the crowd. I promise that if you follow my advice, you, too, will end up with customisations that are eco-fabulous! ;)