Congratulations to rua1412 and kwritten for their winning icons in otherworldlyric challenge #171 ("Origins")! Two of the three winners were my personal vote-getters and I'm not saying which. (Unless you ask nicely and offer bribes.)
The deadline for the current otherworldlyric challenge #172 "Watching Me Fall" is Friday, May9th - which is tonight in my part of the world. With apologies for the very late reminder. But the folks who work best under tight deadlines will relish the challenge (right?)
Many thanks as always to my awesome beta-Muse, wickedbish for his sharp eye, gentle guidance and record-time response with my OWL entries. He picked out the top three of the lot and there was no quibble on my end. My entries:
1) 2) 3)
And here's some of the icons I made for the challenge but didn't submit. #4 probably would have been my fourth choice to submit. 5 and 8 don't have text; I never got to that point and decided they didn't need it.
4) 5) 6) 7) 8)
9) 10) 11) 12) 13) 14)
15) 16) 17) 18) 19)
Things I have learned in this round:
1) That there's not a lot of Tough Love icons out there.
2) That making TL icons was in some ways more painful or difficult for me emotionally than making Bargaining or After Life icons. Which is probably why there are not a lot of TL icons out there...."Oh Tara, baby..." *sobs*
3)...OTOH it's still easier to make TL icons of Willow than Villains icons. I. JUST. CAN'T.
4) The easiest way to do icons of Willow and WIllow/Tara? Do what I do with Buffy and focus on what I love in the characters - which is to say, focus on their capacity to love. (Which is not to be confused with "being nice and ladylike" or "getting it right".)
5) I thought about using the lyric "inquisitive mind" with an early seasons cap of Willow but am not familiar enough with S1-3 to think of something off the top of my head. Which I already knew. But it's harder to do caps of seasons you're not as passionate or knowledgeable about. (Ok, so I already knew that too. Moving on....)
6) I love the set of Aly's mouth in the cap I used for #1, her pale face and dark eyes, even the strange monkey-fur collar that implies "base" impulses, the hunter...she has an utterly fierce beauty here.
7) I have more screencaps of Willow than I remembered.
8) For all my capacity for snark and irony, I seem to have an internal "sensor" when I'm working on icons that tells me from time to time in no uncertain terms "That really isn't funny. Don't go there." Hence #14 & 15 - I was trying to deconstruct the lyrics of the song and the additional phrases popped into my head; Buffy is "made to live", "made to serve" as a Slayer. Then I made 15 and felt like I was making fun of her and that felt gross under the circumstances.
9) So I decided that the phrase more accurately fitted the Buffybot who is, as lanoyee has pointed out to me, a metaphor for the Slayers themselves, "manufactured" at the whim of the Shadowmen and the WC, used up and then discarded for a newer model (#19)....Which really isn't funny. At all. No matter how you slice it.
10) In fact the more I think about the Buffybot, the more disturbing the entire situation becomes. Including the fact that "she" looks to be in pain, by whatever metric you want to measure that for a robot, in the cap from Intervention. (3, 16-18)
11) But as it happens anyway, the rules of otherworldlyric specifically state that you can ONLY use words that are contained within the song. Which meant 14-18 were a no-go as entries, but made for some interesting contemplation. It also meant that #3 didn't have quite the same impact/irony as I'd intended. (The plain and rather shitty looking font in #3 didn't help matters; HOW did I let that pass that way? What was I thinking?)
12) Wrapping text around an object is possible in Photobucket is only truly possible by making a new text box for every letter and manipulating each one of them individually - position/spacing, angle, size, etc. (#2, 9-10). Wrangling 18 individual text boxes at 100 or 200 pixels square is a bitch. Not really worth the work. That said....
13) If you are going to do something so foolish as to wrangle 18 individual letters
around Buffy's bloodied hands within an image, it's easier to do it in a single continuous line or flow, even if one of the words needs to be read backwords than place some words left to right at the top, then start again with the rest of lyric from left to right at the bottom. (#19, Kendra icon) Trust me on this one.
14) Sometimes fancy effects in pixlr-whathaveyou or piccy-yaddayadda (11, 16, 17) aren't really superior to "Brighten", "Contrast" and "Saturation" in Photobucket (everything else) in terms of final results. It's the user, not the tool, that matters. BUT - they're a helluva lot of fun to play with.
15) Every once in a while, I care less about "legibility of text" than I think I do. See # 7 - I was going to remake it with a different font, then realized it didn't bother me the way it was.
16) I do wish however that I'd save images before putting the text in more often because I do wish I had a version of #7 without.
17) Something I actually learned working on Spuffy icons recently is the importance of a point of physical contact to connect two characters in an icon whether or not they are looking at one another. I made #6 before #4-5, but the image is stronger emotionally and compositionally with WIllow's arm and hand visible in the frame, curling around Tara, clutching her jacket.
And FINALLY the most important thing I learned this round:
18) NONATTACHMENT! Do not, under any circumstances, think for even one fraction of a second, "Well, mine aren't the greatest, but I could possibly win something because...." THIS WAY LIES MADNESS AND BADNESS - or at least a momentary sense of irrational disappointment!
SYSTEMS ABORT! DETACH! FIND THE ZEN!
Just trust me on this one.