Paint shops in chat are unique to avatar chat. Who visits paint shops in chat? Painters, of course! "Painters" refer to chatters who "paint" avatars. This can mean creating an avatar from scratch, but more often it means starting with a "pre-cut" avatar. This can be a regular size avatar or a mega sized avatar. Pre-cut simply refers to a black and white image. Painters take this image and use a paint program, such as PaintShop Pro, FireWorks, or Photoshop, and turn it into a work of art. They add color, "tubes", and special effects. Sometimes they add a chat name, so the avatar is personalized for the chatter. Paint shops are often run like small businesses, with owners, staff painters, and other staff members dedicated to bringing traffic to the paint shop, keeping order in the paint shop chat rooms, and officiating paint contests.
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