Buffy Casablanca Poster poppy wreath  RS

The Monday Edition of "I HAVE BEEN SORELY, TERRIBLY REMISS FOR NOT..."

1) Pimping: btvsats20in20 Round 2 wonderful icon sets by federica74 , "Willow Rosenberg" and debris4spike's Season 1 icons. (She made a Joyce & Jenny icon! *flings confetti*) The deadline for all Round 2 entries is July 9th.(Not nervous, not nervous, nope, not me not nervous *gulp*)

2) Rocking the vote: Vote NOW in slayerstillness Challenge # 27 "Hair porn". Only 23 entries this round, still hard as heck to decide. Deadline is tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th, midinight in your time zone.   BTW, challenge #28 "Angel Investigations" is now up.

3) Thanking everyone who voted my Anne icon "Most Creative" in slayerstillness Challenge #26 "The Same But Different", and indeed thank you to everyone who voted for any of my Anne or Willow/Tara icons. I love seeing the unlocked voting threads; even if I don't win, seeing that at least one person voted for one of my icons is always a little morale-booster.


01) Yep, it's this cap from from "Anne".  I've used it before but I wanted to see if I could get better results in ipiccy than in Photobucket alone. And I was still upset at losing my job unexpectedly and something about playing with this image was balm to my soul. Glorious Buffy. Is it awful to admit that I went into this wanting to win Most Creative specifically? I think the whole "life sucks right now I need something to smile about" probably had a lot to do with it. I know there are folks who haven't won anything, ever. I should be ashamed - or should I?


4) Thanking comlodge and chasingdemons for their tips, advice and hand-holding. While comlodge works on the official banners for Slayerstillness challenge 26, which are such a treat to receive and make my icons look better than they actually are, I decided to put into practice some of the tips and advice she and chasingdemons generously offered me on techniques/tools such as blending and layers, which is a whole new country for me, to make my first "practice awards banners."  NOT the official deal, just playtime and practice:



ANne red button 2   Anne button peach 01-02)


I think #1 came out better than most of the Dark Willow icons I've put together for btvsats20in20 *pout* And it was the hardest of these four to make because I'm so new with layers and it seems simple but it's a lot of work planning each layer. Holy moly.  I have a LOT more understanding and respect for what goes into these awards buttons and for working with layers in general. Miles to go, miles to go....


Anne peach blue     Anne mirror text 03-04)
These two are a bit overly-fancy for real awards buttons; the idea IMO is to create something that the recipient will enjoy receiving, that makes the icon look great but doesn't overwhelm it and these are definitely "overwhelming". But so much fun - I couldn't resist going overboard with reflections and frames to play with the "mirror imagery" of the icon itself.



     Buffy_Anne_angles MORE artwork to come. Here be teasers.
[AND HERE BE MORE ARTWORK, GRATITUDE & THINKY-THOUGHTS]


Thanks of course to my beta-muse-god wickedbish for selecting my Anne icons to enter. Without him I'm nothing.  Congratulations to tempertemper, teragramm, rua1412, iconsoleander and kwritten for their winning entries. (Half the fun of that round was guessing who made what, and I guessed rua1412, teragramm, and kwritten's correctly based on my familiarity with their style and subject matter.) Such an amazing round, so many beautiful choices. I feel very fortunate to have won (earned?) Most Creative - to have won anything this round, with so many stunning choices.


My other four Anne entries (2-5) plus extras
02-08)


09-15)
16-20)

# 16 was actually my entry in otherworldlyric challenge 176. Didn't win, didn't deserve to, but I had fun making it.  I prefer the "vintage" coloring of 17 & 19.
***
I wish I had done better on the Willow/Tara (with a little Spuffy on the side) set. I nearly cried looking at that cap from Entropy. My icons are not as good as I wanted them to be and I'd wanted to do right by Willow & Tara because I've so rarely attempted W/T icons, In fact, I've rarely attempted lesbian "imagery" in words or pictures. Making this set I was reminded again that I grew up without a "vocabulary" for expressing love between two women and despite nearly two decades of real life lesbian life, it doesn't come naturally to me.

21)  This one is my favorite of that set - The Body + Entropy. Those kisses were broadcast over a decade ago but two years ago they still brought me to my knees. I wonder if it would have made a difference to me growing up if I'd seen kisses like these on tv in the '80's and had a context, an image for two women in love. Here's the rest of that set plus some extras, of course:


  22-29)


30-37)

#37 was potential entry to OWL that I decided against. The Tabula Rasa + Entropy icons 25, & 32-36, were better in theory than in practice.
I'm enjoying making larger works lately, in part because my skills are improving; in part because my eyesight has deteriorated to the point that I had to order bifocals last week and can barely see what I'm doing when I make icons lately. (And ye gods I hated typing that sentence, but 'tis true. Better ugly glasses than living in near-blindness.) But also because I like making things that are meant for someone else and for a very specific purpose.

Which won't stop me from making icons, or making bigger works for no other reason than I'm having too much fun. (And I swear I'll return to Willow and Tara another time. I'm determined to come up with something wonderful for them.)


Click on the image below for the full-sized version - and please tell me if that actually works or not.


Buffy_Anne_angles
There is much I could say but all I can do is squee with joy that you won!!! Yay!!!! You are so truly deserving!!!! Bravissima!!!!


Gabrielle
And I saw that you voted one of mine Best Color! and I was so tickled because I LOVE that icon, I loved the "far out" coloring.

Thank you so much Gabrielle. I was really stunned and pleased to see who cast votes for my work. I made these right after losing my job so I was NOT in such a joyous mood. Earning that award meant more than usual this time.
Yay! I am so pleased I voted for an icon you love. I am even more pleased that you received this validation right when you needed it most!


Gabrielle... who got a bunch of writing done today. Whee!
The timing was very nice - I felt so stuck and uncreative and throw-in-the-towel for a few days. I'm so glad I pushed through it.

who got a bunch of writing done today.

ALL RIGHT! (Not that I doubted for a moment.)

Not only a distinct style but subject matter as well - Willow and Angel. Which is cool because as rahirah reminded me, artists strive to have a distinct style or signature, it's part of their "voice".

I appreciate it when people make icons that don't look like everyone else's. (Also I like guessing who did what. having series like this made it easier of course. Anonymity, pfooey.)

Congratulations again on the win!

You used the layers tecnique we talked about, brava!

Chasingdemons also linked me to tutorials and gave me tips, and it was just time to plunge in. I want to make a fic poster for someone special in fandom and I need to learn layers in order to be able to make what I want. but WHOA, learning curve! And this is just ipiccy, not PS or gimp.

I'm enjoying the help and support I've found here so much.
I love, LOVE, LOVE banners 1 & 4 .... it's something I cant do (#1) the blanding of images ... I need to focus and play ... you have done brilliantly.

Yes, Joyce & Jenny ... both great ladies, aren't they?

I do love those angles in that last image - the colour and textures ... superb.

And congrats on the icon .... I was off line for 10 days (grrrr), so missed the deadline, and the vote. Well done.
Thanks hon! 1 & 4 are my favorites too. 1 was a LOT of trial and error.

it's something I cant do (#1) the blanding of images ... I need to focus and play .

Chasingdemons has been so so helpful to me, she's a great teacher! Maybe she could help you as well? There seems to be still a lot of playing and just diving into it involved. I don't know how complicated it is to make layers in gimp but chasingdemons and eilowyn found me a simple visual tutorial on adding logos to an image which is basically what I did with these buttons. The frames around the icon had to be added first because ipiccy had limited flexibility in adjustments once you start putting layers together.

I might be able to help you a bit as much as I can as a novice? Basically, the first three buttons involved layers - I added a frame to the icon, then had to create a background to go around it (in the case of 2 and 3, just a plan rectangle I colored peach.) text and frames were added afterwards.

http://ipiccy.com/help/how-to-add-logo-and-text
http://red-satin-doll.livejournal.com/47629.html?thread=1534733#t1534733

#4 isn't actually layers per se, it's a lot of ipiccy frames. First I added a reflection "frame" (more of an effect) that reverse the image; then added several layers of "mirror" frames with the gloss set all the way up.

I did the same with the last image and icon #14, which I cropped from the large poster - lots of mirror frames, then canted the image, then used the clone tool to repeat the patterns of the angles and Buffy's reflection. (I could do a tutorial on that perhaps, if you like?)

Yes, Joyce & Jenny ... both great ladies, aren't they?

YES! I love the mature women of btvs and we didn't get enough of them onscreen. I like I Robot You Jane more than most fans in part because that's the ep that introduces her. Jenny's death was the third time the series made me cry. (Nightmares and PG were the first two.) I haven't been able to watch Passions a second time.

I also would have loved to see the two of them get together - I don't think Jenny and Joyce had a single scene together?

And congrats on the icon .... I was off line for 10 days (grrrr), so missed the deadline, and the vote.

Oh thank you! And one has to take a break now and again, there's always another challenge. (the latest one is about AtS characters so I won't enter but perhaps you'd be interested?)

I honestly thought that iconsoleander's Faith set might be yours - I picked the close up for best crop - because there was an emotional rawness, the deep contrasts and the lack of "prettiness" to it that seemed of a piece with your work.
No I don't remember a scene with Joyce & Jenny ... something to write a fic about ... especially with both of them linked to Giles!!

I lost my internet, so off line. I saw it was AtS challenge, and as I have yet to watch it I will give it a miss.

I must get help, and try to work through the concept of banners.
something to write a fic about ... especially with both of them linked to Giles!!

Clockwork_hart may have written one (too lazy to check, I am) and I've seen a couple of shippy femmeslash J/J fics - which actually wasn't what I was looking for or wanting - , but not really anything of note or anything that deals with them seriously in canon. So if you're inspired by all means!

as I have yet to watch it I will give it a miss.

Same here.

I must get help, and try to work through the concept of banners.

How so? A banner is just a loose term for anything larger than an icon it seems. Start with what you're doing now but in larger size. that's what I've done - I've got banners that were made in PB, nothing fancy, because they didn't work as icons. This is a good example: http://red-satin-doll.livejournal.com/pics/catalog/1041/24161

Now I'm just starting to do layers but you've been using gimp for a while so you ahead of the game. Working bigger makes you want to try other effects just to see what you can do, and I bet yours will be wonderful. You've already got a great sense of color, composition, textures, emotional impact.

kwritten just gave me some tips for how she uses the paint function to create some of the icons she made for Slayerstillness.
Yes I learnt layers last year, although I don't often use them as such ... tend to add and remove bits that I want. So at least giving me a starting point I might try to give it a go. (Thank you)

OK, I shall give it a go, at some point.

And, yes, I'll think of a fic (which reminds me to get back to the one I'm writing!)
So at least giving me a starting point I might try to give it a go. (Thank you)

Have to talked to chasingdemons? She's a wonderful teacher. I think you both have gimp, or she has PS, which is close.
I love the banner with Vamp!Willow! And this time, really, it's all about the Tara/Willow icons. So beautiful.
Congratulations on the win! I LOVED that icon and was so happy when I saw that it won something. (most creative is an AWESOME one to win as well - that's a kickass category)

Those kisses are important not just out-of-universe for all the LGBT kids (and adults) who NEEDED it to happen, but to the show for the parallels in the kisses themselves (the way Tara cups Willow's face is beyond adorable and desperate and comforting at the same time).

(also, about eyesight: mine actually improved the older I got because I have a pretty serious stigmatism and when I was diagnosed - aged five, doncha know? - I was having trouble differentiating between my double vision-projection and the actual thing I was looking at. It wasn't until I was in my late teens that I could walk around without my glasses on and actually see where I was going and what I was doing clearly without my glasses on, which just means when my eyes do deteriorate like my grandmother's did I'm going to be quite seriously affected. I feels ya. To the future! - not)

Yes the clicking works, and the picture is awesome. I love it.

Pimpage has happened sweetie:
http://red-satin-doll.livejournal.com/48355.html

And OH MY GOODNESS thank you for the compliment! I owe it all to Ryan, I probably would have selected something else left to my own devices (you see how many variations I have. There can never be enough Anne icons. NEVER.)

most creative is an AWESOME one to win as well - that's a kickass category

I don't know why I wanted to win that catagory specifically but I'm so pleased. I guess it's like, Ok I've won best crop - I KNOW I can crop with the best of them, so I guess that was another level to me? Because yeah, like you said, kickass. It seems to mean different things to different people (like degree of technical difficulty) but for me it's about originality and imagination. And, did it make me feel something (laugh, cry, whatever?) Like, kwritten's "Dawn = key" icon got my vote for MC because it took me a minute to figure out what was going on and then I laughed out loud.

(the way Tara cups Willow's face is beyond adorable and desperate and comforting at the same time).

Right? I think if I knew how to achieve better image quality the W/T icons and the Body/Entropy one in particular might have gotten more votes.

Did you notice the Spuffy comparison in some of the icons? I think that's something that I need a bigger canvas for. Because I think the show continually parallels Willow and Tara with Buffy and her lovers in a given season - with Briley in S4 to establish that W/T are just as legitimate and "real" a couple; and then W/T and B/S - their relationships take opposite trajectories (from spiritual handfasting to sensuality and raw carnality for W/T; the opposite for B/S. LOVE the matching FtB shots, the handfasting parallels.) W/T is constantly paralleled to Buffy in ways that Xander and Anya simply aren't (until Entropy and Selfless.)

mine actually improved the older I got

I'd be envious except for this:

which just means when my eyes do deteriorate like my grandmother's did I'm going to be quite seriously affected. I feels ya. To the future! - not)
YOU PIMP ME TOO MUCH. (but thank you Sweetie!)

Big meta-art of Spuffy and W/T juxtapsotion is in order (and would be amazing) - reflections vs shadows.

(if I don't think about my eyesight the problem can't affect me, LALALA)
NOT ENOUGH. I've been meaning to pimp the Buffy/River stories for weeks and haven't gotten around to it.

Excellence can never be promoted enough.

Big meta-art of Spuffy and W/T juxtapsotion is in order (and would be amazing) - reflections vs shadows.

It would be amazing - your words, my pictures? ( I know I can write, I don't feel confident in my writing, or my ability to organize. This one post took all day, literally.)

I was clicking through the links - the first one goes to Conclusive Etymology instead of Straight on till Morning so I thought i'd point that out. And... They aren't excellent at all. I'm sure I can do much better for those two with all of my emotions about them, but it may take a while.

It would be amazing - your words, my pictures? ( I know I can write, I don't feel confident in my writing, or my ability to organize. This one post took all day, literally.)

You have notes/ideas on this coming out the wazoo I'm sure, whereas I only have a few simplistic points, but a collaboration, with your messy ideas and my off-the-cuff attempts at structure? It could work?
the first one goes to Conclusive Etymology instead of Straight on till Morning so I thought i'd point that out.

Thank you for catching that Lucy! It should be all fixed now.

And... They aren't excellent at all. I'm sure I can do much better for those two with all of my emotions about them, but it may take a while.

YES THEY ARE.

whereas I only have a few simplistic points,

I just read your meta. SImplistic? NO WAY. It's passionate and eloquent and we need that in this fandom, it's been a while it seems to me. I adore it, and in awe of how cogently you express yourself. Messy ideas can be brilliant but not worth a shit if I can't organize them enough to be able to communicate them (or don't even try) y'know?

but a collaboration, with your messy ideas and my off-the-cuff attempts at structure? It could work?</i. It could,
I only have you to attest to my eloquence with things like that - it was a jumble of ideas in a rough structure until I actually wrote it out. Not to mention that it's my first proper meta. But my ideas on B/S vs W/T are a lot less refined than the Gift ones which is my point. You have all kinds of thinky thoughts about that in a way I don't. But bounce ideas around? I could get a whole lot done that way.

It could.
Look at what you have learned! If you are this into it, you WILL have to get Photoshop or some other similar program eventually. You know that, don't you? And when you are ready to take the plunge, you will be way ahead of the game because of your knowledge of Ipiccy and the way you are figuring out your processes. I didn't know a thing when I started Photoshop. The only thing I knew was that it was damn fun! But I also had a mentor. Shanmara created artwork that I loved so much I thought, I just have to learn how to do this. She took me under her wing several times, and I will always be grateful to her. But her artwork was not like most of the people who were posting art at that time. And sometimes her work wasn't appreciated as much as I thought it should be. And that's one of the things I've learned about fanart, there are certain styles that people love, and some that don't get as much praise. But that often doesn't have much to do with the quality of the art. Also, I do hate to say this but sometimes voting isn't always completely objective either. So I try not to read too much into winning or not winning a contest. I had one piece that won first place in a contest, and it was really kind of a stupid picture and very gimmicky. I was actually a little embarrassed that it won first place. A few months later, I was nominated in a contest for one of the most beautiful pictures I've ever made. I thought it was perfect, artistically, creatively, emotionally, etc. There were five pieces in the contest. One got first place, and two got honorable mention. My piece was not even mentioned. So now I just work to please myself and to be proud of what I've made and to continue learning and pushing myself. I'm not saying I don't like acknowledgment, but even if I don't get any comments, I still know if I've done a good job or not.

One thing I used to talk about a lot with shanmara was how sitting down and working on Photoshop could just take all your stress and worries away, even if only temporarily. That is still the case. I'm glad you feel that sense of escape too.
If you are this into it, you WILL have to get Photoshop or some other similar program eventually. You know that, don't you?

Yup. I tried downloading gimp the other day but there were compatibility issues with Mac Mavericks; Lexi pointed me to some forums that offered suggestions. (I have to admit though I stared at what I could download and thought WHAT. THE. HELL.)

Our old computer had PS but it's too expensive now and there are compatibility issues; and my sweetie finds Apeture unwieldy compared to her PS program.

I do need to take things to another level, though, if I'm serious about this. I never expected to get into visual arts this way, my sweetie's the artist in the family! I think decades of studying art and art history is paying off.

But I also had a mentor.

I have at least a couple here - you're one of mine. (You know that, right?) And you know I love talking about this stuff - and why not?

I do need to take things to another level, though, if I'm serious about this. I never expected to get into visual arts this way, my sweetie's the artist in the family! I think decades of studying art and art history is paying off.

I was curious about Shanmara btw so I tried to look her up - couldn't find an account but found some icons here used by randi2204. http://www.insanejournal.com/allpics.bml?user=randi2204
The one of Spike's (JM's) eye is just - HOW is that degree of perfect clarity possible?

But that often doesn't have much to do with the quality of the art. Also, I do hate to say this but sometimes voting isn't always completely objective either.

As I learned when I observed fanfiction awards.(thank god I'm not a writer.) And the last 20in20 - the icons I LOVE because they're distinct were not the ones that got the most votes; while one of the ones I cared for least of my own was a favorite. Even in terms of other people's work - some really stunning things did not get the attention they should have. (The Xander icons - WHERE WAS THE LOVE?)

*shrugs* I'm not really that "competitive" and I've complained that I don't like to vote, so it feels a weakness to want feedback and get votes.

I think for myself right now, the main thing is wanting to get better. Maybe that's why I wanted the MC award in this round of SS - or rather a voice in my head said, I want... I think it was another hurdle to cross, a marker.

Maybe that's another reason I've wanted to do fic banners, posters and buttons. Not only are they specific to a purpose but - I never thought of this until just now - it's not about "competition".

So now I just work to please myself and to be proud of what I've made and to continue learning and pushing myself. I'm not saying I don't like acknowledgment, but even if I don't get any comments, I still know if I've done a good job or not.

Trying to second-guess what might get votes and what people might like is tempting but also dangerous. (It's a whole 'nuther thing if you're getting paid for artwork and pleasing a client, of course, than work we're doing for free and therefore we SHOULD be allowed to please ourselves. I feel the same way about fanfiction btw, when I see an author changing how they write or giving in to demands lest they lose their audience. Honestly? they can go elsewhere if that's the case.)

About how long did you say you've been doing "fanart" or digital art in general? I think you told me once but my mind = sieve.

That is still the case. I'm glad you feel that sense of escape too.

Isn't it wonderful? I thought of myself as a writer, but I don't get the same amount of pleasure from writing as i do from making art on a routine and regular basis. I can get into the flow of a project and lose myself; and then I've got a finished product. No "second drafts", or days and months overworking something.

Thanks again for sharing, sweetie, your encouragement and suggestions have meant so much to me. I look forward to many more conversations! *hugs*

I feel the same way about fanfiction btw, when I see an author changing how they write or giving in to demands lest they lose their audience.

I've seen that too. It never ends well. But for some reason, I think it's harder to write fiction and not have feedback than it is to post art. I feel like art can be a more solitary endeavor, but writers need an audience.
I think it's harder to write fiction and not have feedback than it is to post art. I feel like art can be a more solitary endeavor, but writers need an audience.

*ponders* I think that - depends on the situation? I know a LOT of people who write things (stories, poems, etc) that they shove into dresser drawers because they don't mean for anyone else to read it, it's truly a private expression. But writing is certainly a solitary process in the moment, or used to be before the internet. And I know that my partner is constantly frustrated by the lack of an "audience" for her paintings. The artists I know want their stuff to be seen, NEED it to be seen.

Then there's the fact that we have all these icontests, every single week. There are tons of 20in20 challenges out there, too many to count. There are comms with fic prompts like sb fag ends, but it's not the same thing. Imagine the Wicked or SunnyD memorial or Willowy goodness awards being held every week or month. That's pretty sterling proof that artists do indeed need an audience.

There's also places like deviant art which is basically a huge online artists community. (I found some pretty text textures that I wanted to use but the makers only allowed them to be used if you had a deviant art account which I don't.) LJ really isn't as conducive to that.

And then there's the fact that writers are, well, writers. They are comfortable with language and with writing and talking about what they do; whereas a lot of visual artists may not be as comfortable with language and talking about their work. that's not an absolute but a high number of visual artists are said to have learning "disabilities" of some sort. (My sweetie is dyslexic for example.) Of course there are tons of exceptions, and people who are good with both art forms.


I'm so proud of you for winning Most Creative! That is a truly wonderful icon.

The rest of your icons look great too! :)