An artist's style is like a person's handwriting, completely unique to the artist. And so, for some reason, there's something really cool about seeing a character you designed drawn in the style of another artist. You've maybe gotten fan art from somebody before featuring one of your characters. I'm sure you'd like to see more of it, huh? You could go around just asking people for art, but you'd get a lot better results out of people who are after the same thing and are willing to trade art. That's what MAX is for.

How does MAX work?
MAX works in rounds of two weeks. What you do is sign up by e-mailing the webmaster. When the next round begins the names of the participating artists are randomly arranged so that you have half a month (about 16 days) to create art of another artist's character, and somebody else will draw one of your characters. Before that time period is up, you e-mail MAX with the URL to your new artwork (you'll use the "Submit Art" link). And if you hold through and make that art, and if you want to, you can participate in the next round. Results will be posted here at the end of the round so everyone can see your new masterpiece.

Is this sort of like C-MAX?
Yes, in fact it's a lot like Character Monthly Art eXchange except that it's set up for half-months rather than a monthly basis. There are some other differences as well. MAX isn't here to compete with C-MAX, just to provide artists with more opportunities to exchange art. Feel free to try out C-MAX. It's a well-run exchange site that has been going successfully for quite some time now.

What do I need to sign up?
A few things will be necessary if you want to participate:

1. A personally maintained website that has your art and characters on it. This is so that somebody has a place to see and study your character before making the art. (galleries like Elfwood and DeviantArt work fine)

2. You cannot be on MAX's Blacklist. The Blacklist will be explained in a moment.

3. At least one character of your own invention.

4. The ability to have one decent picture created and online in two weeks. If you're not sure you can do this, you might want to wait.

If you're okay on all those criteria, just go to the Sign-up page and e-mail away. You'll be asked your name, web-site URL, and the names of some of your characters you would like drawn.

What is the Blacklist?
In the case that somebody signs up, gets some artwork made for them, and doesn't make anything for the person they were going to make art for, he ends up on the Blacklist. This is a list of the names of artists who have yet to deliver their one piece of art. Artists on the Blacklist can't participate in another round of MAX until they make the picture for the person they were arranged with. As soon as we get that picture, they're off the list and can continue again with MAX.

Some final comments
MAX can be a fun and interesting if we all keep it in good spirits. Here are some things to keep in mind as you participate:

- Artists of all ranges may end up drawing one of your characters. Don't be upset if that person's a beginner. We're all on different levels.
- After people are matched up randomly, I may make adjustments so that everyone is exchanging with somebody new.
- Please don't mail me your finished artwork, just the URL to view it on your webspace.
- Be sure to respect the character you're going to draw, and its creator. If you're not sure the creator would approve of the art you're making, be sure to ask him or her.
- Put a reasonable amount of effort into the art you make. Don't wait until the last minute and then whip out some quick simple pencil sketch. Make something you can be proud of.

Does that all sound good? Are you ready to try it out? Jump over to the signup page and mail me your info.