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Enter the Wintersday Art Contest

Get your pen and paper ready, start thinking in the spirit of Wintersday and let your thoughts flow right onto your paper. It’s almost that time of the year again when Tyria gets colder and the days are getting longer and as with every year, ArenaNet has set up a new Wintersday Art Contest for everyone (with some exceptions) to show off how truly skilled they are.

Check out the official post on the Guild Wars website to see what awesome prices you can win. There’re mouses, headphones and a cool Everlasting Reindeer Tonic which has three forms, and I can tell you, it’s quite cool.

Since I know how hard it is to come up with a somewhat original idea, I figured that before sending you off into oblivion, I should give you some tips on how to get a cool piece of art together. Follow along after the break for some tips that will surely help you get a bigger chance on winning something.

It all starts with looking at what others have made, for me, that helped quite a bit to determine what I was going to make. Of course, you cannot copy and paste the same idea, you need to have your own, but looking and perhaps using a style of art that someone else has used in a past year will not make your chances any lower. Take Halloween for example: despite how many costumes we have seen in the past few years, there’s always room for you to be original while staying true to a specific kind of art.

If you’ve got pinned down what you want to make, be sure to make some raw sketches for yourself. It does not need to be a masterpiece, but at least you’ll have an idea where to start. In my case, I even expanded upon my original idea. In short, the idea was to have a Wintersday card with Grenth and Dwayna on it, but later I found it rather bland and not that interesting, after which I went back to the sketch phase and drew up the concept I used for the final piece of art.

If you think you’re not creative, there are always tips and tricks that can make you into a better artist; don’t be afraid to use official Guild Wars images. You might not make first place, but at least you’ll have a start. Remember though, if you use official Guild Wars images, the best thing to do is to alter them to your own style. If you use image editing software like Photoshop, be sure to check in on some tutorials – I know it helped me get better when I was still down there.

Another tip that I would want to urge everyone to check out is the Wintersday Art Workshop. A lot of great people gather here every year to improve their pieces of art, and it’s really one of the factors that did the trick for me last year. The people in the GuildWarsGuru thread offer feedback to every picture that gets posted there and in the end, you’ll learn a big deal out of it. I do recommend, however, to make use of some sort of watermark, to protect outsiders from stealing your artwork – some text with a lower opacity should do the trick.

Another thing that helped me was showing it off to friends; a lot of them helped me improve my artwork to an even higher level. Often you’ll find yourself liking what you’ve made, but when someone else sees it, they may find it ugly, and that’s why asking for constructive feedback, despite how hard it may be, actually helps.

I believe that’s it for now and I’m curious as to what you all will come up with. I’m not participating this year because we, of GuildMag, will be hosting and ingame event called: Rudi’s Quest, but more on that later…

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