Intro to Designing Your Series
Now that you’ve been invited to submit a full series on NeonMob, let’s get to the most important part of the process: creating. Create your art cards using a tablet, computer, pen, pencil, brush and more. As long as the final work can be shown on a computer, you’re good!
Every NeonMob series has its own special kind of magic — from a spellbinding story to mesmerizing artwork. The special ingredient is YOU and the story you have to tell with your art. If you are still working to complete the artwork for your series, here are a few helpful reminders as you embark on your NeonMob adventure …
Ask for Feedback
One of the most important parts of the creative process is sharing your work. This one simple act makes the whole thing real. Make sure to ask people you admire for feedback on your work. Share your process with your friends, family, strangers, the world — all via social media. Don’t forget to include other NeonMob creators and collectors in your outreach. Here are 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 collectors
NeonMob Creator Studio: Share your work, ideas, and struggles with other creators for honest feedback & never-ending support
Make Creating A Habit
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
Find Your Inspiration
Inspired by other artists’ work? Take periodic breaks to refresh your mind by pouring through other people’s creations. Scroll through the popular submissions to see what your peers are working on. Dig through portfolios on ArtStation, Behance, CGSociety, DeviantArt, Dribbble, Instagram, PixelJoint, and Pixiv. 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
When uploading images as a creator, please be mindful of the following parameters:
Images must be within the width to height aspect ratio constraints of 1:1 to 2:3 (square or portrait only; landscape is no longer accepted).
Images must have a minimum height & width of 1024 pixels, but larger is better.
Images must be one of these supported formats: PNG, JPG, TIFF, MP4, and GIF.
Images must be smaller than 30MB each.
Telling Your Story
A successful NeonMob series is more than just a collection of art: it tells a story. Think about the universe your cards will depict and create a narrative through your art and card descriptions. Without a story, a series is just another collection of standalone cards. But when you include a story, your series becomes a collection of sought-after trophies with each card having its own special value.
Here are some examples of popular series with great story elements:
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 unique 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 something that’s just a bit off
As you plan your series, think about what will connect each card to the others. Your story doesn’t have to be complicated, but your series will be more engaging to collectors if your art depicts a world with depth and interconnectedness.
Size of Series
The size of a trading card series on NeonMob can range anywhere from 15 cards to over 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 that your series name must be 35 characters or less.
Behind every successful NeonMob series is an amazing cover image. Just 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
Your name or moniker (optional)
From Walter’s Experiments:
From Space Colony:
Titles & Descriptions
Each card in your series should have a clear, compelling, and unique title. Card descriptions can tell a story, explain your creative process, or provide other information relevant to your art. A short 1 - 2 sentence card description is recommended for every card in your series.
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. Each rarity type is represented by a distinct colored gem which determines the number of cards available to collectors. 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: Core
Assigning rarities is one of the most interesting elements of creating 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, the system will guide you as you upload cards. All series must have a minimum of 15 cards: 14 core cards and 1 chase. The breakdown for core card rarities is below:
2 very rare
2 extremely rare
You may (and we encourage you to) create more than minimum number of cards for a series. Depending on how many cards you upload, the system will provide guidelines for how many cards of each rarity must be assigned.
Card Rarities: Chase
Chase cards are special in some way. For example, some creators have made their chase cards different stylistically or different in format (e.g. animated while the core cards are static images). Others have used chase cards to feature the best cards from their series or to preview a future series. The possibilities are endless! There is no rule on how chase cards should be different from core cards, it’s the creator’s job to design the cards to be special. Below are some examples of great chase cards.
Dominick Flask’s Places to Hide, a series of cards showing places to find peace and quiet in the modern world, includes three chases — all imaginary and/or hard-to-get places. This is Above the Clouds, a castle in the sky, of which there are only 25 cards in existence.
All series must have a minimum of one (1) chase card. Adding additional chase cards is optional but encouraged!
Card Rarities: Variant
A variant is a special type of rarity and can be used to indicate a card is a variation of a core card in the same series. To qualify as a variant, the underlying artwork in the card must be the same but you have presented the image in a different way from the original core series card (e.g. use of filters, different coloring, animated, sketch, etc.). In the example below, you can see "Cooz" and its variant "Cooz [Sketch]" from Infinite Totem by Graham Erwin.
Variants are created at the discretion of the series creator and are not required for publication.
Checklist Before Submitting
Before submitting, review the preview page thoroughly to see how your series will look once published. On the preview page:
Select your series preview cards by rolling over the cards in the banner. These cards will display alongside your cover art throughout NeonMob.
Make sure you have uploaded all the cards you want to share in the series. You cannot add cards to your series once it 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!
Edit your titles and descriptions to fix any typos and add links, where applicable.
Submitting Your Series For Release
After completing a final review of your series and are ready to submit your series for publishing, click the “Submit” button. Please note that you cannot edit your series after you submit. Please ensure that all images and descriptions are finalized before you submit your series for NeonMob review.
After submitting, your series immediately enters the series release queue for final review by NeonMob’s community team. NeonMob will optimize your series and may update rarity distribution, series order, titles, descriptions, et al where applicable. 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. Series are typically published within 30-45 days after being submitted by the creator.
If your series is not approved for publishing, it will be sent back to you for revisions or, in some cases, rejected and marked ineligible for release. Reasons for series 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.