Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What does 'digital manipulation' mean?
A. What we're trying to do here is encourage art submissions that are removed from the digital realm. So taking a screenshot (digital), whether your own or pre-existing, and enhancing it with Photoshop (digital) is not acceptable. Even creating a piece from scratch in Photoshop or Painter is unacceptable. Taking a drawing you made and then scanning it and Photoshop'ing it is also not acceptable. Painting on top of a printed screenshot also fails the test. In those two previous examples, you would ideally finish the drawing traditionally, or use the printed screenshot as reference for your painting. We know that this limit is essentially shutting out the digital work of folks in a class like Craig Mullins and Jay Faircloth. Trust us when we say that we didn't decide this lightly, but this contest is aiming for something different.

Having said all that, however, we're realists, so using digital work in your final piece is acceptable within reason. For instance, printing 20 screenshots, cutting the pages up and making a collage out of them is acceptable. The ratio of digital media to the entire piece must be small. Ask yourself this: What will we think when we see your submitted work? Will we think 'digital' or something else? You should be shooting for 'something else' :-) Of course, if you have a fully-scoped out idea and you're not sure if it passes muster, email us and we'll tell you what we think.

Q. OK, so I can't use Photoshop. But can I submit a digital camera shot? Doesn't that fall under 'photography'?
A. Yes, as long as it's printed and is an untouched photo.

Q. How many pieces can I submit to this contest?
A. You can submit as many pieces as you want. However, realistically we think it's better if you pour your efforts in just a single piece, but that's up to you.

Q. This is my first time shipping {painting/watercolor/sculpture}, give me some tips!
A. If the paper is stiff, you have no choice but to ship it flat. If it's soft paper, roll it into a tube and ship that. Canvas with acrylic or oil paints have their own quirks, which if you're going to submit you should already be familiar with. Rolled canvas is fragile, so be advised it's possible that (depending on how thick you paint) pieces might break off. Make sure you give the oils long enough to dry. You must ship the unassembled frame along with your canvas so we can put it all back together here. Investigate shipping it flat, which is preferred. Sometimes you can actually assemble a box around the painting, using sheets of corrugated cardboard, packing tape, and bits of styrofoam. Sculpture also requires some work to package and ship properly. A good idea is to make the sculpture 'collapsible' so it can be shipped in pieces and re-assembled as needed. Use plenty of styrofoam peanuts, shredded paper, etc. Look for a local Mailboxes Etc or similar shipping service, they are usually well-versed in packaging and shipping odd-shaped pieces. And finally, let us reiterate that you are responsible for getting it to us on time. We won't return art that arrives late, sorry.

Q. So how exactly are you going to judge this? Isn't it unfair that all these different media will be judged against each other?
A. Creativity, originality, presentation, relevance... all these factors and more will be considered. The method used might not rank that high in the equation, if you think about it. A perfectly-formed 4FT tall statue of an Elite with plasma sword in hand is quite impressive, but a 1FT square charcoal sketch of a Bob stumbling unto a patrol of Jackals and Grunts on the Pillar of Autumn, if it evokes the right emotions, can be considered equal if not better than the statue. If it's framed with care, that helps even more. That same sketch drawn on notebook paper smeared with chocolate-donut fingerprints and folded into an envelope addressed to "THHE PILOR OF AART CUNTEST" is, of course, going to hurt your chances of being taken seriously. One last thought: demonstrating an intimacy with the storyline (in-game and from the novel) doesn't hurt. There's a lot of rich material there you can mine.

Q. Can I enter something that doesn't relate to Halo?
A. The intro page to this site is a giant picture of the Master Chief, the protagonist in Bungie's award-winning game Halo, attempting a self portrait. The name of the contest is reminiscent of a level name and major character in Bungie's award-winning game, Halo. A FAQ entry up above mentions mining the Halo storyline for ideas. Yes, the theme of this contest is Halo. :-) We can't stop you from sending us a still life painting of a basket of fruit, but we hope you understand you're not going to win any of the prizes.

Q. I've entered traditional art contests before. I can usually opt to get my art back, why are you insisting on keeping mine?
A. A traditional art contest usually requests a fee for submission. On top of that, some art contests also charge you a fee to exhibit your art if it wins. Add the shipping costs, and boy, that's a lot of money you have to shell out, no? Our contest is free to enter, so please appreciate that we don't want to be obligated to spend our own money to send art back. If there's a tremendous amount of feedback calling for this option, we may consider sending back the art of folks that didn't win for a fee that is paid up front with your submission. But remember that if your piece stays here with us, it could be displayed at future gatherings or fanfests.

Q. So you're guaranteeing that my art will become part of a traveling Bungie art exhibit? Sweet!!
A. "Could be displayed" is not a guarantee, I'm sorry to say. We're certainly going to be shooting for it though!

Q. Is this contest some sort of sly ploy for MS to get their hands on my hard work? You know, word on the street is that MS is an evil corporate empire hell-bent on world domination.
A. MS/Bungie is not running this contest. We are. is a fan-run site. We thought it would make a Halo/Bungie fan happy to know that their work could be 'shown off' by Bungie at some future fanfest. We asked if they would consider it and they agreed. Your art work will be credited and you retain copyright. Bungie's only contribution is to the bag of prizes. If you think there is a conspiracy involved, we're not foolish enough to think a FAQ of any size is going to convince you. And if you think MS is going to take over the world, that's exactly what Bungie wants you to think. This is your only warning.

Q. Is someone making money off of my work?
A. We're surprised anyone familiar with would even insinuate that. The short answer is no. One of us is paying $500 for the gallery space out of his own pocket. The prize money, also $500, is coming out of another member's pocket. We hope that we'll be reimbursed for any future shipments of the art pieces, but will consider shipping them anyway if the event merits it. Please also consider the storage requirements we're committing ourselves to here.

Q. If it's costing you so much to run this contest, why do it?
A. Because we love to see what fellow fans can do. And we love Bungie's Halo. Simple as that.

Q. I don't care, you guys suck. Bungie sucks for selling out. MS sucks. Bill Gates sucks. U AL SUK! Here, take a look at the 'art' I'm sending you! Sucka!
A. I know exactly what I'm going to do with your submission.