Alyson Hannigan Green Eye glow RSD

Something to Sing About: Awards banners by starry_night and my icons for Slayerstillness # 37

THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone who voted for my icons at slayerstillness Challenge 52 ! Wow! Thank you starry_night for the Mod's Choice Award, and congratulations to tempertemper and sweet_lyri!  Banners forthcoming from tempertemper and I can't wait to see what she comes up with. I feel like Pavlov's Dog, slavering eagerly for an impending treat (the banners).  Just call me Fido.  Except unlike poor Fido, I know TT will deliver the goods. Speaking of banners.....
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Something to Sing About (v.2), 2014 Click image for full-sized version


My newest friend in fandom sandy_s was admiring the WIllow icon I made for whedon_elite Challenge 110, whilst I was swooning over her entries for 127 and her "Echoes" Spuffy userpic. I asked if she wanted to see ones of Buffy I'd made for slayerstillness Challenge 37.....

....and then I remembered that I had never gotten around to posting the icons from that challenge or the beautiful awards banners
starry_night made for me. I'm sure Sandy had no idea what she was getting herself into *lol*. So without further ado: the awards banners are by starry_night, all other artwork by yours truly. The Icons eminently snaggable and I have a veritable treasure trove. ( FYI: I despise the term "icon dump".)

I love how starry_night coordinated colors and patterns individually to each icon. My favorite banners are 2nd place and the rich "tobacco brown" color, and Most Creative with a bokeh pattern that wittily matches what's in the icon itself. Did you see the warm tangerine glow of her banner for comlodge or the frost pattern that echoed rua1412's distinctive textures?

[ALL THE JOY LIFE SENDS....]



Click banners for full-size images:
Banner by starry_night for Challenge 37 Dec 2014   Banner by starry_night for Challenge 37 Dec 2014 Banner by starry_night for Challenge 37 Dec 2014


Banner by starry_night for Challenge 37 Dec 2014 Banner by starry_night for Challenge 37 Dec 2014



My entries:
      1 - 5

  6 - 12
Yes, I duplicated a few images; you noticed? I have no idea why Starry let me get away with it, other than she was being super-generous.

This was a special challenge for me in a lot of ways. When it began, I had just lost a friend in fandom (how is neither here nor there at the moment) and I used this challenge to push myself through a period of intense grief.The person I'm speaking of had been very supportive of my artwork and so I had them in mind the entire time and kept asking myself, "What would she think? Would she approve of this?" I tried out new-to-me techniques and came out with a set of entries and alts I'm immensely proud of. (That this person had not passed away in fact is neither here nor there now.) I decided to focus on Buffy, my favorite fictional character, and dive in deep. (That this person was not a Buffy fan, making this an altogether strange "memorial" is neither here or nor there either.)

1 - 2 ) Probably the simplest icons I made that round, so the 2nd and 3rd place awards stunned me. The Dawn icon I literally threw together at the last minute because I realized I wanted to do something with Dawn in it and I liked the image. #2 is the only cap from that heartbreaking scene in Listening to Fear that I could make a decent image from. I had wanted to depict Buffy crying but had to go with this. I also had to make the scene look like daytime light in order to make it visible; the caps are incredibly dark and this is deceptively warm and sunny. But I like it that way.

3 - 4, 12) The one moment in BtVS when a character shattered the "fourth wall"; it's been done as a gimmick countless times before and since (Garry Shandling, anyone?) but this is one of the few instances I can think of when it's genuinely unsettling. The camera is uncomfortably close to Sarah's face and we are "in her space" as she calls us out on our passive complicity. As viewers we are "enjoying", are "entertained" by her pain and trauma; and unlike her friends we've been in on the secret from the beginning. I love Sarah's face as Buffy (and specifically as Buffy); and unlike so many caps for the series, this image is relatively good quality, clear and well-lit.

5) Another image that I've reused in other projects and dearly love, Buffy in her own dream at the beginning of Nightmares; I layered two photographs my sweetie took of New England sunsets over Buffy. Yes, the clouds were really that brilliant and fluffy and I only slightly adjusted the saturation.

6 - 7) These Joyce & Buffy icons were two of my favorites going into the challenge; I absolutely teared up while I making them. And made tons of alts, which were nothing more than small tweaks to coloring, sharpness etc. I made versions that included text (see alts) from The Gift, "I just wish my mom was here." What Buffy says to Giles (again) in Intervention, that she feels that being the Slayer is turning her into stone, was also on my mind. I wanted to compare/contrast Joyce who is dead, "cold as stone" but very much alive in her daughter's memory; and Buffy who is alive but feels herself to be a dead thing. Her depth of feeling indicates to me that nothing could be further from the truth but it's what she believes about herself. (I have strong words for Xander Harris and Riley Finn and their entitled manpain but I will keep them to myself at the moment. In the interest of the children.)

"Sing" on number 3 and it's alts refers both to Buffy's lament "Something to Sing About" and "Sing" written by Joe Raposo (1971) and made famous by the Carpenters, a song I grew up with thanks to Sesame Street and probably had on my CD player when I was making this set.

9) Another of my favorites, "Normal Again grune wall" is still in my userpic gallery. The look of this icon was inspired by tempertemper's 1st place Willow/Tara icon for slayerstillness Challenge 32 from Oct 2014, believe it or not. I even asked her how she got the look of the icon, attempted to duplicate it to the best of my limits and got something completely different.  I'm still really pleased by the balance of sharpness and blur and how palpable it seems: Buffy dirty hair, her gritted teeth, and tensed muscles are all very sharp, contrasted with her hand flapping impotently against her attacker. It's an incredibly sad image; that the girl who went up against Angelus ("Take all that away and what's left?" / "ME.") is reduced to this, even if it's an hallucination, and that she should find this state of affairs preferable. Of course it also speaks to Joss Whedon's fascination with tearing characters down to a state of complete powerlessness and then seeing how they react. Which he does over and over and over.....ad nauseum, ad infinitum.

11) I actually had snogged on the brain for this one, due to the rivulet of blood effect. Sarah's hair reminded me of a needle piercing her skin; the effect was surprisingly easy to create. I probably should have kept this one to myself but it was just weird enough that I decided, what the heck. It's weird. I'm weird. And that's ok. But OTOH, I thought 13 would be "too weird" to submit, although it's one of my favorites. Go figure.

And I did promise a treasure trove of alts. Challenge 37 was a special free-for-all: we were allowed to enter as many as we wanted instead of the usual five. My habit at the time had been, 5-9x the number of alts per entries needed. I entered 12. You do the math, Gentle Reader. This only represents a fraction of my alts btw. You're welcome. (And I wonder why it took me nearly a year to post these?)

13 - 19


20 - 25

  26 - 32
I might like the b/w versions better than the sepia ones. It's a toss up.

33 - 39


40 - 47
This was the round I finally got in the habit of saving icons with and without font. In case you hadn't noticed.
A Vague Disclaimer is No One's Friend:
~ DO NOT RE-POST TO OTHER SITES (INCL. FANPOP) OR LJ COMMUNITIES WITHOUT MY PERMISSION!
~ Take what  icons you like for personal use but please credit if used :)
~ No hotlinking!
~ Comments however are appreciated :)
All artwork by yours truly except where otherwise indicated.


* NEWSFLASH! This just in! Congratulations to neatmonster, sweet_lyri, crazycordy and emmatheslayer for your wins in whedon_elite Challenge 126 and THANK YOU for the Best Crop Award for my favorite entry of my set this round! A gorgeous, dynamic set of winners - banners will be forthcoming posthaste!
I remember these and they are every bit as wondrous and meta as I recalled. Bravissima, because you truly do know how to weave threads of real meaning into the pretty pictures!


Gabrielle
Thank you m'dear lady! I hope you recognize that you help me see the meaning in my own work even when I miss it, and motivate me to strive to be better and reach deeper.
( FYI: I despise the term "icon dump".) Hee! I love that expression, I use it all the time.

I do love that something to sing about banner.
Thank you sweetheart! Now I'm wondering if I already posted it? Oh who cares, it's pretty right?

Hee! I love that expression, I use it all the time.

Oops - I think you told me that before, didn't you? I didn't mean to cause offense of course but you know that :D

I get that the phrase is meant to be ironic - maybe? I have such a struggle as it is valuing my work that "dump" just brings unpleasant associations of garbage etc and I'd rather not go there myself. But to each our own right? :D
Now I'm wondering if I already posted it? Oh who cares, it's pretty right? Absolutely! One of the reasons I love the comm Noel of Spike is because we are allowed to repost a/w from years past. I love "revisiting" an older piece of a/w. Especially since there are new comers to the fandom all the time.

Oops - I think you told me that before, didn't you? I didn't mean to cause offense of course but you know that :D Yes, I knew that!!! You are (of course) allowed to hate the expression. Where I think the expression is great. *shrugs* Different opinions are what makes the world go round. ~_^

I have such a struggle as it is valuing my work that "dump" just brings unpleasant associations of garbage etc and I'd rather not go there myself. Where I think of the expression as cleaning house and getting organized.

But to each our own right? :D Absolutely!!
I love "revisiting" an older piece of a/w. Especially since there are new comers to the fandom all the time.

And as a relative newbie, I identify. The mods of seasonal spuffy very kindly posted winning banners from past rounds after I'd asked; some amazingly beautiful artwork was done 10, 15+ years ago and it's a shame not to have access to it.

Where I think of the expression as cleaning house and getting organized.

That is an adorable way to put it. :D
Congratulations!

The icons are beautiful!

I especially like 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 11, Alts 17, 18, 19, 20-25, and 47
Congratulations!

Thank you so much!

I love the specificity of your choices! And that you've singled out icons I didn't think anyone had noticed, esp. 10 - 11 and their alts.
I love that you made icons after your friend passed away...working through grief is hard. I wrote a fanfic called Peripheral Vision after my grandmother died to deal with my own grief...it was a confusing thing for me because my father stopped speaking to his mother when I was a kid and we lost touch with her until she passed. So, yeah...the fic really helped. Do you feel like the icon making helped you?

Love the Dawn icon on the stairs...the coloring matches her stance and expression so well! And the Buffy sing one...with the sing fading into her face...gorgeous. I'm going to definitely snag that one! I love your alternatives as well. #46 is especially striking... It's so much fun to play with the same images...and to see what others create with the same ones... Beautiful work!
working through grief is hard. I wrote a fanfic called Peripheral Vision after my grandmother died to deal with my own grief

I've bookmarked your AO3 page so I can enjoy PV and your other stories at leisure! (And I noticed that you bookmarked two of my own favorite authors, gabrielle and stultiloquentia. Great minds and all that jazz.)

I hope writing helped you? (I have a somewhat similarly complicated tale of estranged families and my grandfather passing, but that happened when I was in college and school, not art, had to be my outlet.)

Do you feel like the icon making helped you?

In the short term, yes; in the longer term - it got kind of complicated and painful all over again when the reports of someone's death turned out to be "greatly exaggerated", in the words of Mark Twain. In the end, time and bonding with other friends, forging new relationships, turned out to be the best medicine for it. It brought me closer to certain people and I'm grateful for that. but I wouldn't want to go through that experience again.

Love the Dawn icon on the stairs...the coloring matches her stance and expression so well!

Thank you so much! I really love getting specific feedback, as you know; and I admit I was absolutely astonished that my simplest icons that I spent the least amount of time on took second and third place. The Dawn icon in particular was all but an afterthought - but sometimes those end up being my best, or best loved!

I do like the composition of that image - it looks like she's trapped or imprisoned by the rails but in fact she could get up and leave the basement anytime. But there's a sense that she's metaphorically trapped - both within her own sense of self and imposed limitations, and trapped in Sunnydale.

I'm going to definitely snag that one!

Please do! You can tell I had a LOT of fun with that image. It was the first time I'd ever made an icon and gave the skin that shiny, smooth, porcelain glow that I admired in other artists (and find incredibly fake at the same time. Which is probably a good metaphor for Buffy then, existing but not really living in her own body.)

It's so much fun to play with the same images...and to see what others create with the same ones...

I agree! Assigned image themes in challenges are fun, and one time starry_night did a challenge at Slayerstillness where the theme was to use the same image for all 5 entries and I'd love to do that one again. It's always come naturally to me to repeat images multiple times.

OTOH there are some images I haven't touched in part because I associate them with other people's icons. (Buffy giggling at Giles in his dream in Restless or laughing in The Real Me, for instance.)
I'm honored to have helped inspire an icon. It's awesome!

Also, beautiful, beautiful icons. The "Something to Sing About" banner is extra amazing!
Thank you for the inspiration Oh Muse O' Mine! And for the kind kind compliments - I love that banner too and honestly if I had to tell you how I made it I couldn't. It just happened.
Thank you! I love seeing what icons people like specifically.

I have large poster versions of 8 & 46 btw, I'll have to show those off soon too. :D

Edited at 2015-09-23 06:27 pm (UTC)