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Beauty Contest A-Z

by blackbutterfky333


BEAUTY CONTEST - For such a simple competition it’s amazing how packed the beauty contest is with tricks, strategies, factions and long complicated words. Here I’ve condensed some of the more confusing ones into a simple A-Z of the beauty contest. From definitions to how to make your entry stand out this guide has it all… except when two things begin with the same letter.

A is for Anthro: First people were debating whether they should even be allowed to enter but now they’re the most popular style! Anthropomorphic pets look like people, that is they stand on their hind legs, and have human limbs and torsos. There are loads of amazing anthros in the contest and some people love them so much they will vote for nothing else. If you are considering drawing an anthro pet be careful how human you make it- remember it still needs to be recognisable enough to get past the contest judge!

B is for Ban: If you win first in species or overall you get banned from entering that pet for several months. You can still enter other pets on the same account though, even if they are the same species. If you are lucky enough to win first in species but don’t want to wait to enter your pet again it is possible to avoid the ban by changing your pet’s species with the lab ray, a potion or a magical plushie.

C is for C&P: C&P or CAP stands for “Copy and Paste.” A CAP is an image taken directly from the site and modified in some way either by printing it out and drawing on it or by using a paint program to edit it on the computer. Many BC regulars dislike CAPs because they believe well known guild leaders use them to win without making any effort. It’s worth keeping in mind though that the people reading anti-CAP message boards and being upset by them are more likely to be young children without scanners than the famous Neopians you’re intending to target. After all if they're popular enough to win with a CAP why would they be advertising on the message boards?

D is for Difficult: Some species are much more difficult than others either because they have so many entries or because they are so expensive that their owners tend to be very dedicated. Ten of the most notoriously difficult species are Lupe, Krawk, Aisha, Zafara, Shoyru, Gelert, Draik, Cybunny, Eyrie and Kougra.

E is for Easy: If you’re planning to make a pet just for the beauty contest and sneakily change it into something nicer one you have the trophy here are ten categories which you can top with slightly less effort, Chomby, Moehog, Blumaroo, Mynci, Quiggle, Tuskaninny, Kiko, Jubjub, Chia and Scorchio.

F is for Fairness: The beauty contest is not a fair art competition because really it is not an art competition at all! It’s about many other things such as popularity, humour, inventiveness and pure advertising persistence. If you don’t have time to advertise enough but think your picture deserves to win the good news is there is an objective art competition you can enter! Go to Pet Central and under “current contests” click on “picture.” If you win your picture gets a place in the gallery and you get a trophy for your cabinet.

G is for Good Humour: Remember it’s just a game. Don’t over worry if people criticise your image or spam your boards it happens to us all. Just ignore it and they’ll go away. Similarly don’t criticise people and spam their boards. There is nothing quite so likely to lose you votes than getting a reputation for being a liar, basically making people think you voted for them when you didn’t. This does far more harm than good. Another thing to avoid doing is posting adverts onto your rival’s boards. I know their presence is very threatening but you are asking for a slap down if you do! ;)

H is for Hair: One of the best ways to draw fur, feathers or scales onto a neopet is if in doubt, don’t. Shade it and include their markings and leave the rest to the imagination. Or you could include it only in certain areas not the whole body, such as feathers on a Lenny head, wings and tail or scales on the Draiks back or fluff on the Cybunny’s collar. In anthro pets don’t make the hair flat, draw it so that it flicks towards and away from the fact with the inevitable strand over the eye.

I is for Invisible: How in Neopia do you draw an invisible pet? This is something that often gets asked so here are a few suggestions. You can blur the background in the shape of the pet, draw the pet as a dotted line or draw the pet on tracing paper, cut it out and place it over the background when you scan. In paint programs draw the pet and background separately and then place the pet over the background using the opacity tool of make it semi-transparent. You could even draw it at the rainbow pool as it becomes invisible with the paintbrush.

J is for Judge: The contest judge, your first hurdle! There are many reasons why entries get rejected from the beauty contest. They many be too adult (e.g. graphic violence) or not look enough like the pet. If you’ve based it on a well-known image, such as a certain well-known cartoon lion with Kougra stripes, then chances are it will be recognised. Sometimes Caps are blocked because they have not been altered enough. Alternatively the reason may not be to do with your picture, it could be that your speech has a problem with it. If you really cannot figure out why your image has been blocked try again as the judge is human like the rest of us and sometimes makes mistakes!

K is for K

L is for Lifelike: Out of all the styles of pets the lifelike ones have the potential to be the most eye-catching and attractive. However they, like the anthros, are at greatest risk of being blocked by the judge. It takes a great deal of skill to make a neopet look like a living animal, and still resemble the pet it’s supposed to be. Their poses also tend to be much more difficult as if you’re drawing a cartoon style you don’t have to spend so much time worrying about anatomy. These are the sorts of images that place most often.

M is for Media: Not the sort with cameras and difficult questions! Media is what materials you use to create your image. Computers and pencil crayons are the most popular although some go that extra mile and actually paint their pets onto canvass! One of the best things about the BC is getting to experiment with different types of media and some of the more interesting entries out there are sewn, collage, photographed 3D models… even food! If you pick a more unusual type of media you’ll find it easier to get attention when you advertise. (It’s also good if you’ve got a phobia of shading as many of these methods give you an excuse to avoid it completely.)

N is for Nattering: You’ve got a board and you’re having a whale of a conversation on it. Good, making friends is the best thing about the BC, but if you also want to win make an advert board and don’t forget to bump it in-between chatting. If you want to advertise and talk at the same time offer to rate people’s entries and previews. Very often people will look at your entry out of curiosity to see if you know what you’re talking about. If your image is good they may vote.

O is for Originality: People like originality. Using the same entry over and over bores people. If they haven’t seen it before they will at least look. Varying media is one way to make your picture original. Others include making a joke, giving your pet a unique personality or developing a style nobody else uses.

P is for Petpets: Petpets add that extra bit of detail to your entry and draw people’s attention to the picture. If your pet is scary they can add a little cuteness and if your image has speech bubbles they can be the other half of the conversation. They are also useful little props if you want something holding but your pet has its paws full!

Q is for Quitting: You’ve advertised as hard as you can with a wonderful picture four weeks running and come fourth every time. How frustrating is that? Surely it’s time to quit? Well… not necessarily. If people on the BC board recognise you then already you’ve got a big advantage so make the most of it. Post regular boards but also start conversations with people because being liked makes you more likely to be voted for. You should put clickable links in your signature, your shop, your user lookup and your pet’s lookup. What about all those names on your Neofriend list of people you no longer recognise? Get back in touch! Chances are they have forgotten you too so they will look you up, see your link and perhaps vote for you. At the very least you’ll have made a new friend. Have you been waiting to clear out your safety deposit box and not got round to it? This is the week to do it. Sell it all at shop wizard prices, luring plenty of customers to see the link in your shop.

R is for Rating: Many people on the boards will offer to rate your pictures and give it a number out of 10. Good rate boards will include advice on how to make your picture better, which is very useful if you want to make last minute alterations to previews. Not all rating boards will give a number (it is difficult to compare fairly something which must’ve taken hours in Paint to a ten minute sketch and scan) and many will not offer votes. Sometimes people use these types of posts as an opportunity to be mindlessly rude about people’s art. Don’t take this personally, but if it bothers you ask to see a sample of their art. Chances are they’ll make an excuse for not having one because theirs is no better or worse.

S is for Sketch: Sketches are usually pencil or charcoal drawn and in black and white. There are many reasons why people enter sketches. They may not have very good colouring materials, or feel that colouring spoils the picture, or need to cut the file size of their picture by making it greyscale. Unfortunately people sometimes assume that because it isn’t coloured no effort went into it. It’s definitely possible to win with sketches (my own scanner mutilates colour so I always enter sketches) but if you can colour it do as it makes it easier to get votes.

T is for Theft: Contrary to popular belief art thefts do not need to be reported by several different people before TNT look into it. If you see an art theft report it once with any evidence you have and the staff at Neopets will sort it out. Please don’t post about it on the board for several reasons; firstly it slows the system down if a horde of people report the same thing, secondly you can be counter reported for harassment and thirdly if you are wrong you are damaging someone’s reputation and losing them votes for no reasons. Many people believe these boards without bothering to check and sadly some dishonest people use this as a way to discredit their competitors. It’s better that these types of boards do not get made.

U is for Ugly: Yes ugly pets can win too! The trick to success is not to try to make them beautiful (and elegant tuskaninny is hard to swallow) but instead exaggerate their ugliness to make them humorous or scary. This will get people’s attention and earn you votes.

V is for Vision: Sometimes it is better to sacrifice file quality than to make it too tiny and other times it’s better to keep the image neat than to have a giant page-filler. Find a balance, people are not likely to vote for a thumbnail hiding at the bottom of the page or a giant blur. Put a better version on your petpage and direct people to that if you feel the file size has really spoilt your entry.

W is for Waiting: The last hour of the BC is when the boards are busiest and full of frantic people. It’s one of the best times to get votes if you can be there. Some people who have been saving their votes all week will only vote at the last moment. If you are entering the next competition it is also worth being there as you’ll be present the moment the BC ends to snatch up all the suddenly free votes while the winners are in a good mood.

X is for Xerophytes: As far as I know a xerophyte is a plant that is adapted to live in the desert and only has an abstract relevance to what I’m about to talk about which is the background. This needs as much thought as the pet. Are you going to include one or does the pet look best alone? If you are doing a realistic picture what sort of environment would your pet live in? A Techo might like a dusty, dry area filled with xerophytes (X is not an easy letter, okay?) while a Koi is likely to be in the water. When choosing your background try to make it attractive and colourful but not so bright that it draws attention away from the pet. For a very light pet you could try drawing it at night to make it stand out more.

Y is for Yelling: Sometimes, particularly if you enter a lot, you may come across somebody on the BC boards who is determined to yell at you for no particular reason whether it’s jealousy, a problem with your style or an attempt to put you off. Yelling back will not make anyone sympathetic and it wont make them leave you alone any faster. You also risk warnings and freezing. The best thing to do if someone is harassing you is report and ignore.

Z is for Zany: The beauty contest voters love anything bizarre and ridiculous that will make them laugh. Remember before they even see your picture you have to persuade them to look in the first place!

Congratulations! You are still awake and now possess all this BC wisdom! Go forth, completely ignore it and do your own thing. I bet it will be great. If ever you need further guidance my inbox is always open. See you on the BC board!

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