I've never done a fandom "meme" before but kikimay picked up one from lokifan that I couldn't resist:
Comment on this post with CONVERSE. I will choose seven (five if you prefer) userpics from your profile and you will explain what they mean and why you are using them. Post this along with your answers in your own journal so others can play along.
FYI: The first sentence means that you reply by typing that word "converse" and then I choose 5-7 of your icons, which you get to explain in the comments thread. (For examples see lokifan's meme post - and yes, I had to ask how this worked.)
I tend to use icons in three ways: 1) to express mood, 2) to "pay tribute" to my favorite characters or episodes; Buffy is my favorite fictional character, hence she's my primary avatar; or 3) because the icon is artistic/aesthetically pleasing. I try to chose or make ones that I haven't seen elsewhere, or are overused images. Kikimay chose the following five from my own:
1) Laughing Dead Things: One of the first BtVS icons I made; I wish I'd done a better job with it.. Most of my Buffy icons when Ifirst started my journal were very serious. I wanted something with Buffy laughing or smiling but also unique. Leave Me the White has screencaps from the outtakes or dailies of Dead Things, and the shot of Sarah breaking into laughter while trying to film the dream sequence is adorable. There are few things sexier than laughter. I also love the ironic contrast between that shot and the tone of the episode.
Full Disclosure: When I got internet service in my new apartment three weeks ago, I mulled over which Buffy episode to rewatch first. Something light and funny, perhaps, Life Serial, or....Oh who the hell was I kidding? It came down to two of my favorite episodes: "Who are You"and "Dead Things"; DT won by a hairsbreadth. The raw power of those two episodes, the way they parallel, bookend, and resonate with each other, including the similarity of the Buffy/Faith/Spike dynamics in each, the key role Tara plays in both eps, the literal or symbolic "identity hijacks", and the fact that WAY (and TYG) foreshadows S6 - is like nothing else I've ever seen on television. Frivolity, thy name is...not RedSatinDoll.
2) Tara does not approve: The official name for this one in my head is "Tara is not down with this shit." It shouldn't surprise you that Tara is the second most-frequent character in my icons. (If it does: Welcome! Have a cookie and make yourself at home.) I found this one on www.fanpop.com by "Laurik 2007" ; it was one of the first icons I grabbed when I was setting up this journal. I needed an icon that expressed "strong disapproval" as opposed to "seething rage"; this image is strong and simple. It's also my reminder that Tara was more than just a "saint"; the fact that it's the scene in Tough Love just seconds before Glory attacks her gives it an unsettling quality as well.
AND WHILE WE'RE ON THE SUBJECT: Can we agree that Tara enduring torture at Glory's hands almost silently, sacrificing her life, her mind, to protect Dawn is one of THE most horrifying moments in the entire series? Dawn and Buffy protected Tara in "Family" and here Tara returns the favor many times over. That is true courage, full stop. Why isn't she more frequently honored and celebrated in fandom for this?
3) Chosen One purple: made this icon and gave me permission to use; it's been my default icon ever since. I had to have it the moment I clapped eyes on it: love at first sight. Purple is one of my favorite colors, Buffy is my favorite character, I love the late seasons; but none of those would be sufficient of themselves. This is one of the most exquisite and artistic icons I've ever seen in every respect. valyssia is as talented a visual artist as she is a writer, and this icon is a masterpiece of the form.
4) Winged!Buffy: Like Chosen One purple, this doesn't express an emotion per se except my love of Buffy, beautiful fanart, and my gratitude for a delightful gift from a beloved friend. I've talked about this one previously, but long story short: made me the Winged!Buffy image as a gift, inspired by brutti_ma_buoni 's fic "The One With Wings" . I made it the image on my "welcome" post, and then with her permission created an icon of it, lightening the colors slightly in the spirit of Bottecelli's Primavera (Spring).
5) Dawn and Buffy: One of my favorite icons of those I've made. I love the Summers sisters, and had high hopes for plenty of interaction between them in S7. That didn't pan out but Him is one of the episodes that gave me hope - it's basically about the two of them, and the scene at the Bronze is one of my favorites. The argument feels so real of an older/younger sister dynamic, and I thought Dawn was going to slap Buffy when she mentioned Joyce. The scene just hurts and I hurt for both of them.
A few months back I made several Buffy & Dawn icons inspired by my love for them but also by kwritten's amazing meta series on Dawn and subsquent conversations. I originally was going to offer this out to everyone in an "icon dump" but loved it so much I decided to keep it. I love the contrast of Dawn in the foreground but out of focus, furious; Buffy in the background but in focus, obviously frustrated with herself and the situation. It makes a nice pairing with a couple of other icons I've done of them from Bargaining. with the focus reversed:
Bonus (i.e. cheat): I'm using one of my other favorites of the ones I've made here, Buffy & Tara Bargaining. I wanted a Buffy & Tara friendship icon and this was the first image where I got both of them together and got the image to my liking.