Intro to Designing Your Series
Every NeonMob series has its own special kind of magic — from a spellbinding story to mesmerizing artwork. The special sauce is YOU and the story you have to tell with your art.
Now that you’ve been invited to create a full NeonMob series, let’s get to the most important part of this process: creating. Create your art cards using tablet, computer, pen, pencil, brush and more. As long as the final work can be shown on a computer, you’re good. If you haven’t yet started creating the artwork for your series, here are a few things that will help you as you embark on this adventure:
One of the most important parts of the creative process is sharing your work. This one simple act makes the whole thing real. Share your process with your friends, family, strangers, the world — all via social media. Make sure to ask people you admire for feedback on your work.
Three places where creators can get helpful feedback from the NeonMob community:
- The NeonMob Forums: Share your work with collectors & creators alike
- NeonMobsters on Facebook: Share questions, ideas, or WIP art with this super engaged community of mostly collectors
- NeonMob Creator Studio: Share your work, ideas, and struggles with your creator peers for honest feedback & never-ending support
Create something small every day. Get in the habit of making art by making the process of creating a daily ritual, even if it’s just for 15 minutes at a time.
If you're at a dead end, take a deep breath, stamp your foot, and shout "Begin!" You never know where it will take you.
— Twyla Tharp
Take time to be a sponge. Inspired by other artists’ work? Scroll through the popular submissions to see what your creator peers are working on. Dig through portfolios on ArtStation, Behance, CGSociety, DeviantArt, Dribbble, Instagram, PixelJoint, and Pixiv. Take periodic breaks to refresh your mind by pouring through other people’s pixel creations. Then, get inspired to get back to the grind by watching artists (like NeonMob co-founder & designer Rogie King) stream their process on Twitch Creative.
Make stuff you love and talk about stuff you love and you’ll attract people who love that kind of stuff. It’s that simple.
— Austin Kleon
We accept most standard image and video formats, including JPG, PNG, TIFF, GIF, MP4, and MOV. Cards should be exported at a minimum of 1024 pixels for height and width, but bigger is generally better. Images may be portrait, square, or landscape, although collectors have shown a slight preference for portrait shaped cards. The maximum width-to-height dimensions allowed are 2:1 or 1:2. For information on allowed dimensions and file types, view our Help Center page on this issue.
Telling Your Story
A successful series is more than just art: it tells a story. Think about the universe your cards depict, and create a narrative through your art and descriptions. Without a story, a NeonMob series would just be another collection of standalone cards. With a story, a series becomes a collection of sought-after trophies, each one with its own special value.
A few examples of stories from popular series:
- Unicorn Empire: Crazy, funny, cute, weird and amazing unicorn breeds
- Daydreams: Depictions of the artist’s most personal, whimsical and creative daydreams
- Monster Hierarchy: A kingdom of monsters, each with its own powers
- The Orphanage: Creepy kids and characters residing in a haunted orphanage
- Codex Fungi: Mushrooms found in the real world, along with the imaginary world
- Confictura: Scenes and creatures from the imaginary fantasy world of Kala
- OCD Hell: Ordinary scenes of life with just something that’s off
As you plan your series, think about what connects each card to the others. Your story doesn’t have to be complicated, but the more your art depicts a world with depth and interconnectedness, the greater your series will be.
Size of Series
A NeonMob series can range anywhere from 15 cards all the way up to 300+ cards. There's no right number of cards to have, but the sweet spot is between 50 and 100 cards. However, small and very large series are often quite popular, too!
A name may be a small aspect of your NeonMob series, but it is a critically important one. A good name is original and representative of the story and artwork in the series. You can be evocative, clever, colorful, inventive – just don’t be boring.
Keep in mind: Series names must be 35 characters or less.
Behind every successful NeonMob series is a cover image. Like books, collectors do judge a series by its cover, so create the most visually appealing cover you can. You want your cover to hint at the story of your series and portray the tone and style of the art found within. An unpolished or straight-up bad image will turn off potential fans of your work.
Cover images should include:
- The name of your series, legibly displayed
- An original cover design, or art from a card in the series
- Optional, you can include your name on the cover
From Walter’s Experiments:
From Space Colony:
Titles & Descriptions
Each card in your series should have a clear, compelling, and unique title. Although card descriptions are optional, we recommend a 1-2 sentence description. Descriptions can tell a story, discuss the creative process, or something else. Remember: the art is what everyone sees, but the descriptions round out the picture.
Card Rarities: Overview
You will assign every card in your NeonMob series a rarity type. This rarity is represented by a distinct colored gem and determines the number of cards available. There is no right way to think about which cards should be more rare than others. It entirely depends on the style, characters, and characteristics of the series. Here are a few examples where creators have used rarities to make their series even more interesting:
- In Kingdom Animalia, a series of animal illustrations, the rarities correspond to the animal’s threat of extinction.
- In Rulers of Eldera, the characters are organized into clans, and each clan has its own rarity based on its history of power.
- In The Gumpies, a series of quirky cute creatures, the complexity of the character design increased as the rarity of the card increased.
Card Rarities: Non-Chase Cards
Assigning rarities is one of the most interesting and creative elements of making a NeonMob series. The more rare the card, the fewer copies exist. If you're wondering how to assign rarities to the cards in your series, follow these simple rules and you’ll be golden:
- All series must have a certain number of non-chase cards, which includes commons, uncommons, rares, very rares, and extremely rares. Chase cards (covered in the next section) have separate guidelines. The minimum number of non-chase cards in a series is 13 cards, broken down as follows:
- 3 uncommon
- 3 rare
- 2 very rare
- 2 extremely rare
- You may (and we encourage you to) create more than 13 cards. Depending on how many cards you upload, we will provide guidelines for how many of each rarity must be assigned.
Chase cards are special in some way, but there is no rule on how chase cards should be different from non-chase cards. It is your job to design the cards to be special. In the past, creators have made their chase cards different stylistically, different in format (e.g. animated while the non-chase cards are static images). The possibilities are endless!
- All series must have a minimum number of 2 chase cards. Adding any more than 2 is optional (but encouraged!).
Dominick Flask’s Places to Hide, a series of cards of places to find peace and quiet in the busy modern world, includes three chases — all of imaginary and/or hard-to-get places. Here’s Above the Clouds, a castle in the sky, of which there are only 25 cards in existence:
Checklist Before Submitting
- Before submitting, review the preview page thoroughly.
- On the preview page, you select the cards you wish to display as preview cards to collectors. These cards will display alongside your cover art throughout NeonMob.
- Double check to make sure all cards you want in your series are uploaded. You cannot add images after your series has been released!
- Double-check all the rarity assignments to be sure you are happy with your selections. You cannot change rarities after your series has been released!
- Double-check each description and fix all typos.
- If you’re offering your series for posters, confirm the eligible poster sizes listed on the right-hand side of each card description. If certain sizes aren’t listed, you may need to upload larger images. See the full list of potential sizes here.
Submitting Your Series For Release
After you’ve complete your final review of your series and are ready to submit it for publishing, click the “Submit” button. Please note you cannot edit your series after you submit. All images and descriptions must be finalized by the time you submit.
After submitting, your series immediately enters the series release queue for final review by NeonMob’s community team. If your series includes all required elements and is approved by the community team, it will be approved for publishing and added to the release queue. Usually, series are published within 30 days after being submitted by the creator.
If your series is not approved for publishing, it will be kicked back to you for revisions or, in exceptional cases, rejected and marked ineligible for release.
Reasons for rejection include but are not limited to offensive images or language, submission of a totally different series than the one you proposed in your original concept submission, copyright issues, and/or artwork quality concerns.