Amateur Series Revised Standards For Publication

(Joe @ NeonMob) #1

After an internal review, NeonMob has decided to make the publication standards for amateur series more strict than in the past and we will now be publishing only the very best original amateur submissions received. Here is a list of items that we can no longer publish as of Monday July 24, 2017:

Fan Art: Unfortunately, NeonMob does not have licensing agreements to distribute copyrighted concepts or creative and therefore we are legally unable to publish fan art. For additional guidance, please also read our policy on adaptations, fan art, and fair use here:

Skins and Outlined Art: We can no longer publish fidget spinner designs, skins for video game weapons / vehicles / et al, emoticons / emoji, poker chip sets, or any other basic design skins.

App Generated Art: We can no longer publish art created using web based applications such as weavesilk, drawastickman, neon flames, etc.

Some Photography: We can no longer publish selfies, food pictures, portraits, pictures of your friends / family / acquaintances, and similar personalized photos. Pet and animal images should focus more on the art of photography, not on those more personal photos that all pet owners might take (ourselves included); please see below for guidelines on quality.

Minimalist Art: Submissions such as stick figures, pixel art, outline sketching, and similar series must be original, unique, and compelling to be considered for publication.

Poor Quality Images: Please ensure that all images are submitted in the best possible quality as we cannot publish blurry or otherwise obscured images. Scanning sketch images or other smaller hand draw works is far superior to submitting a picture from your phone. If no scanner is available, please ensure you take a steady picture at the highest possible quality. When submitting photography series, please be mindful of lighting, contrast, and other aspects to ensure the best quality possible.

Incomplete Descriptions: As always, the title, series and all card descriptions must be completed prior to publication review. Series submitted without complete descriptions will be returned for revision.

Although our publications standards have been updated, please don’t be deterred! We hope you take this opportunity to help your future submissions stand out by imagining a series that highlights your creativity and originality. Reference our Creator Handbook for links and guidelines in designing your series of original art: We also provide tips on how to be a successful creator and promote your works: Finally, visit our Forums and run your concepts and art by other collectors / creators to get feedback from the community prior to submitting your series for publication review:

If you would like more clarification or guidance on our policies regarding a possible series submission, please email the team at and we will be happy to help. Thanks for making NeonMob a great community!

  • The NeonMob Team

*Please note that the website has not been updated to reflect these new standards; we will update the amateur submission section on the website with this information on our next revision.

(Joe @ NeonMob) #2

(Dorothee Rudolph) #3

I understand why you don’t want to allow fan art series and series created with web based apps, but aside from these two cases what’s the point of keeping the amateur category at all then? As a collector I was always aware not to hold amateur series to the same quality standard as the pro series and I’ve rarely collected amateur series, but they did seem to have a fan base. Some artists started by publishing amateur series first and later became more skilled and / or more popular and then switched to publishing pro series. I always hoped not to find good quality series in the amateur section, because their creators weren’t able to earn any money with those series.

Or is this a first step to stop publishing pro series, because you hope that you will get artist to offer all series for you for free? That would be awful! From what I’ve heard, creators are hardly earning any money anyway after the system change (including discontinuing the exclusive series option) and with the high amount of free packs. I once joined NM with the goal of submitting pro series later on and hoping to make some money of them, but after the system change I’ve given up hope to ever earn any money with my art here and if I’ll ever submit a series, it will be to mainly get collectors to click my creator page and from there visit my other websites. If NM really hopes to eventually receive all creative content for their website for free, then I suggest the staff to check out the Twitter account @forexposure_txt - there you’ll see how much artists despise, when companies expect to receive content for free (or for ‘exposure’).

Regarding not allowing pet photography series, I’d like to mention that I’ve collected two pet series in the pro section (‘Aristodogs’, though that was an elaborate one and currently ‘Cat Café’). I’ve just clicked on some catds of the newest dog series in the amateur section. It was published on July 7th or 8th and one very rare card and one extremely rare cards had already print numbers over 60. So it seems to have a fan base.

(Joe @ NeonMob) #4

First, I would like to assure you that this is in no way a step to asking for artists to offer NeonMob their pro series for no compensation; we have no intent of ever asking this as we are a very small operations of artists ourselves as well and understand that professional creative work is not free. To be honest, I really don’t where you would have inferred that from the post above but it was the furthest thing from our minds when outlining new amateur guidelines.

Second, regarding the new standards for amateur publication, we agree with you and do not expect new and emerging artists to have the same skill level as a majority of our pro artist submissions. However, with hundreds of amateur submissions monthly we needed to institute more stringent guidelines than previously listed to manage internal resources with community demand for amateur series (which is very small in comparison to pro series). By listing these revisions publicly, we hope that amateur artists will focus more time on original concepts and creations that are truly unique and showcase their emerging talent, whatever the medium, and less time on submitting content that cannot be published. This way we can bring the community higher quality amateur series in the hopes of increased engagement and collecting for amateurs.

Third, you are also correct in pointing out that many of our pro artists did begin on NeonMob by publishing an amateur series first. We still think that the amateur submission process is a great way for new artist, or just artists new to NeonMob, to introduce themselves to the community and familiarize everyone with their unique style. We also occasionally promote to pro those truly outstanding amateur series submissions when warranted; just recently we published the series Half Moon from new artist Ashleigh Nicole which was originally submitted as an amateur series: It is important that we continue to recognize amazing amateur artists and give them the help or guidance necessary to submit a pro concept for voting, and I am personally here to answer questions or provide feedback where applicable. As I had listed above, amateurs can email directly if they would like to discuss possible series or get direct feedback prior to submitting.

Finally, in regards to the specific segments in the new standards regarding personal pet photos, I have taken your argument into consideration and think you are right. I have amended the above to reflect a more open policy on pet photography. Animal series in general are extremely popular and we all love seeing adorable pets, but we want to discourage those more personal photos that all pet owners might take and shift the focus more to photography than the pet itself.

I hope I have been able to address your concerns. If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to email me directly at Thanks!

Joe @ NeonMob

(Loimprevisto) #5

This has been a long time coming and addresses some concerns that have been an issue since the amateur category was first released. Thanks for changing things for the better!

(Ashleigh Nicole) #6

The concept of a higher quality, more organized Amature series is great. All art is amazing and seeing the creativity from people really help to inspire others. However, in order to gain a higher audience you want to come off as professional as possible. This benefits both the site and it’s artist submitting series. If anything, it will help the artist make more for their pro series. It’s too easy to publish Amature series with low quality standards compared to what it takes for a pro series. Which means, more people are noticing the lower quality work rather those in the pro series. Unless your already a part of the site. Personally, I would think all artist would welcome a change to bring in new members and/or customers. This site has a lot of potential and in order to reach it at its fullest, you have to try new things. My thoughts were to use the Amature series to help advertise for the pro series. It’s gets great sample artwork out quickly to draw people in, and those who like it enough can pay to collect the full series. You can make money while people also get to collect great artwork for free.

(Mckayrulez) #7

Thank you for finally addressing this!
The amateur arts were really getting bogged down by minimum effort paint sticks, smiley faces and selfies! It was always really weird to me why people did it in the first place. Like maybe with selfies I guess they wanted to see themselves on the site but those lame cards that were literally a line drawn in ms paint?? So odd lol.

Also I understand why fan art is finally done with. It’s a very slippery slope on the legal side both for or not for money. It’s also annoying to see others profit off someone else’s work. As a fanfic writer I know it’s a huge deal not to profit off other peoples characters, or to appear like your using copyrighted characters for something other than fun for the fans. So its good to see this strictness finally implemented here.

Probably won’t stop the Undertale fans from trying though. They seem very persistent. Lol! :wink:

(GreenSpleen) #8

This is very intriguing information. But for the most part, I am silently hoping that with these up-and-coming changes regarding amateur series on NM, no other features get touched in the process. ESPECIALLY features we all love and enjoy (like pro features)! :grimacing:

I for one, do not pay much mind to the amateur series, but I am well aware there are still fans and a tight-knit community around said types of series. Going forward, any amateur system that remains on the site/app deserves a chance to be shown to their specific audiences. :blush:

:frowning: Also I hope these limits aren’t too harsh on amateur creators.

(Jonathan Ayuso) #9

I have a friend called “Chang Tin”. He want to create a pro series, he make hiper realistic pictures of some of his friends.

Does that qualifies as “selfies” or “portraits”?

I don´t want his series to be canceled, he really make his very best :disappointed_relieved:

I leave some of the drawings for context

(Joe @ NeonMob) #10

This artwork should be submitted as a pro series and is in compliance with our guidelines. Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks! - Joe @ NeonMob

(Gretathecat) #11

I think, it’s a very good change :smiley: Some amateur series aren’t good for me

(Geleiademocoto) #12

Hi, I’m a little confused about the “no fanart” rule. This post says you’re unable to publish it, but the fair use policy you link to says

Any work that references existing characters or art must be significantly transformative in order to count as an original work

which seems to say that fanart is okay as long as it’s “significantly transformative”.
Also, taking a quick look at the amateur series available, I saw two different Pokémon related series (both were pretty cool), and even in the FAQs you show Pokémon fanart as an example of a great submission.

So what counts as fanart after all? I’m asking this because I thought about making a series with paintings of Wizarding World locations in the style of tourism posters. So that would be based on a book (Harry Potter), meaning it’s fanart. What’s the line here? Does it count as fanart only if I make the places look the way they did in the movies, or is it copyright infringement to use the term “Wizarding World”, and if so, would not using any copyrighted words make it okay?

Basically, could you give a more specific definition of what you mean by “significantly transformative”?

(Joe @ NeonMob) #13

The Pokémon series were from a time in the past when we had licensed art as part of the platform. This is no longer the case. I do apologize but some of the language on the website is outdated and something we are working to update in the near future.

The copyright world is a bit tricky and “significantly transformative” can be, as you have noted, confusing ambiguous. In this post we are laying out a more conservative view of what constitutes fan art or copyrighted works as we are no longer licensed to share either. In your specific example of travel posters from the Harry Potter universe, we would be dealing with the specific terms denoting the content and the overall concepts involved. Although this is a wonderful idea, I feel as though the description as you have written it would not be allowed to be published on NeonMob. Phrases including Harry Potter, Hogwarts, Wizarding World, etc. are all copyrighted by either the author Ms. Rowling, Warner Bros, or Universal Studios and therefore would not be allowed. Specific recreations that closely resemble scenes from the Warner Bros movies or locations from Universal Studios parks would also be copyrighted imagery and also not allowed. Fan art incorporating the overall concept of the Harry Potter universe such as depictions of Harry with the lightning bolt scar, Dumbledore with his specific white beard and dress and wand, etc. would be copyrighted by Ms. Rowling and also would not allowed.

So for your idea to be “significantly transformative” and therefore an original concept and creation, I would suggest a few things. First, the concept itself is good and travel posters for mythical locations sounds like a fun idea. But disconnect this idea completely from the Harry Potter universe and don’t use names, places, or depictions from the books, movies, or parks. Second, allow yourself to be inspired by this universe and other fantasy realms and create your own unique version. For example, Hogwarts is a magnificent castle in a Gothic or Gothic Revival style … use that idea to help create a totally unique looking castle on a hill with different architectural features that appears in your own created universe. Third, create a unique backstory for your universe that you share through the series and card descriptions. Creating your own universe allows you to make it as complex and large as you want without the restrictions of playing by the rules of someone else’s idea.

I hope this answers your question and provides some clarity. More than happy to answer any other questions you may have, feel free to email me directly at Thanks!

Joe @ NeonMob

(Geleiademocoto) #14

Thanks for replying, it’s definitely clearer now and your idea seems like a good solution. :bulb:

(Joe @ NeonMob) #15