What IS a Secret Santa event?
The Secret Santa is a gift-giving event in which people have to give a gift to one person. No one knows who they're getting the gift from until they actually get the gift (and in actual settings with physical gifts, sometimes they never find out who the gift is from).
Here on dA - and probably other art websites - people have adapted this to give art. One person in charge of everything (in this case, me) had some system of randomizing the names (I run a list through a randomizer thing and match it up with the sign-up list), and then will send a note to everyone telling them who the gift is for and what they want. So what happens?
I will use names.
Alice, Bob, Doug, and Paul all sign up to participate. They send notes saying what they'd like as a gift. I shuffle things, and so Bob is giving Doug a gift, Doug is giving Alice a gift, Alice is giving Paul a gift, and Paul is giving Bob a gift. They all work on their gifts, all the time wondering who their gift giver will be, and then eventually they all get their gifts.
I will explain more later.Hm, neat. So how do I participate?
Send a note to to the group saying you'd like to participate (be sure to put Secret Santa Request in the subject) and include up to three art requests. All three MUST involve an original character of some sort - ANY kind of original character: a totally original character, a fan character, even someone else's character.
If you have a pretty detailed request, you should have another request that's simpler, or say you don't mind if the person doesn't follow the request to the tiniest detail.
Here's an example:
1. I'd like to see my character Jake [link to image references and any relevant bio information] just hanging out in some winter setting.
2. I'd like to see that same character in a plaid green coat with a solid yellow scarf outside in the snow with shopping bags whistling some Christmas song.
3. Or my characters Annabel and Morgan [links to references] sunbathing on a beach, Annabel preferably in a blue, striped bikini as seen here [reference]
You do not need image references, but that would obviously help. The references do not have to be drawn by you.
The three requests can be for the same character or different characters.
You need at least one request that features only one character, and one request that is simpler for artists who are either too busy to do something more complex, or aren't confident they can pull off a more detailed piece; two of your requests can include a super-complex scene with a bunch of characters, but at least one request has to be simple.
There are no further rules about what you can and cannot request, as long as it's legal and isn't breaking any of deviantART's rules (ie, no child pornography, no self-harm, no racism, etc. I don't expect anyone to request anything like this, but I like to just mention it so there's no confusion on the off-chance anything like this comes up).For the gift YOU draw
You only need to fulfill one request out of the three. If you're feeling especially generous, you can do two or all three of them, or combine them somehow.
Do the best you can with the requests, but don't worry if you can't follow the requests completely. You can un-participate at any time during November.
If you already sent a note with your requests, you can send another saying that you've changed your mind and do not want to participate after all. You cannot un-participate after the 29th.
You can also send a note with any changes to your requests before the sign-up deadline.
-For instance, you can decide you want your OC Stephen drawn, so send a note saying you want Stephen to replace one of your other requests.
If you're un-participating or you have a change to make to your request, send a note to the group with a relevant subject. "Secret Santa changes" or "Secret Santa - Dropping out", something like that.Other Important Information
You have to submit your note
by November 29th. You will get your assignment - who you'll be drawing a gift for - on the 30th. (Re: Time Zones - I live in Washington state so my November 29 will most likely end after yours, so don't worry about the time zones. Basically you really just need to get your note in before I start sending out the notes, which will hopefully be at around 10 am on the 30th, which will actually be the evening or night for most of the world.)
Your gift is due by December 31st. You can upload it at any time, although uploading it around the 25th would be nice.
If you end up having extenuating circumstances that prevent you from uploading your work in time - your scanner died, you had some long power outage - just send a note whenever you can (obviously you might have trouble doing that if your power is out).When you've finished your gift
upload it to your dA account and contact the person your gift is for with a link, and submit it to the "Secret Santa 2015" folder.
Your gift can be digital or traditional, or even something else. If you feel inspired and want to make a doll, or plushie, or something besides the usual picture, you can go ahead and do so, or you may want to contact the person whose gift it is and ask them if it's okay (or you can note me and I'll ask them for you). If you would like to arrange for physically sending your gift through the mail, you will have to arrange that with the other person. (Side note: I'm not sure anyone has ever done anything for Secret Santa aside from regular, visual art).
When January comes, I will ask if anyone who signed up didn't get a gift but still gave one, and then there's a system set up from there to make sure everyone gets something.
The number of participants, as long as it's at least 3, doesn't matter. The way I mix up the lists, it doesn't matter if there's an odd or even number.
Be sure to ask if you have any questions. You can just comment here if you have questions about the process, but send a note if you have questions specifically about the request you're making or the request you've been given (when the time comes).
If you hear of any Secret Santa/Art Trade events going on that anyone
can participate in, be sure to comment or send a note with the info!
All right, I think that should be it. Happy drawing! You can start sending your request notes now!
Oh, and we'll hopefully resume normal "posting" in January. I just wanted to do the Secret Santa thing this year and people have complained before that it's hard to have both SS and the Postings going on at the same time. And since the Postings have turned into more traditional art trades now, that might just have been even more confusing to have both on at the same time.