Deadline for challenge 273 is Tuesday May 20th.
I never guessed that the Willow icon was Deborah's. She's a wonderful artist (see the Servalan icon I snagged for confirmation); but I thought I "knew" her style in general. This icon is on another level entirely. It suggests feminine mysteries revealed, from within a cave, the womb or a strange ansd rare flower. Becoming, but tenatively so. Rua's icon is a bit more subtle visually and I almost overlooked it at first; but there really aren't many nice Xander icons out there that I've seen, and I slowly fell in love with it. Which is a big deal because I'm not easily drawn to images of men, and Xander is an interesting character but hardly my favorite. This icon makes me want to cry; good lord, the expression on his face. He's so terribly young to be so old. He seems middle-aged already (is that what happens to children growing up in a war zone?) The effect at the corner reminds me both of a watercolor painting and the corner of a newspaper tossed on the curb. Old-tea coloring.
And likewise Dragony's Giles icon - so, so old, so melancholy; autumnal, fading, isolated. A reluctant parental-figure who was himself poorly-parented but is somehow expected to guide these children; a Watcher whose emotions and intellect are at constant war with one another, neither side quite winning out in the end; a man who wants love, who wants to connect but has no idea how, and who thrusts family and love away each time it comes to him because it's all he knows to do.
You may be shocked to read that #5 in that challenge was my alternate choice; I have no idea who made that one. Yes, I came within a hairsbreath of voting for a Bangel icon - of the EoD/Chosen kiss, no less. It's a simple crop - no distractions, the golden background gentle pushed back from the figures; the visual platonic idea of a "kiss" in our culture. You needn't even know the characters, the fandom or the context to get that far. A good icon starts with a good image. But again, this is muted, slightly hazy; the autumnal coloring suggests a relationshipp that exists somewhere between the lands of "perhaps someday" and "never will again".
2) I feel much the same sense of excitement looking at the entries for slayerstillness challenge # 24 :the pleasure of trying to decode the icons, sift through the layers of meaning and intent - so much to unpack here. Voting deadline is Tuesday May 20 so do vote now, if you can bear making a decision. Again, very much an "all of a piece" feeling to the entries, which is all the more astonishing given the fact that the prompt was a "free for all". The artists could submit anything they liked, so I'd expect, well, a free-for-all in the literal visual sense - and yet a sense of (inter)connection is very much apparent here. Muted colors, subtle textures, the importance of line. Certain characters and themes are much in evidence: Willow and Giles, Bangel and Spuffy are all present and accounted for. I have a few favorites but I'll reserve gushing until after the winners are announced.
3) Sign ups for round 1 of btvsats20in20 icontest are now open - the deadline is June 4th, and themes can be found here. The comm is still open to anyone wishing to be a co-mod or banner maker. Thank you to debris4spike for making sure this was on my radar, and to bangel_4e for going above and beyond in answering all my questions and offering support, advice and feedback. oh_cheezit has posted her S7 Spike, Spufffy and Beneath You icons for this first round: SO LOVELY.
I don't know yet if I'll sign up for this round; I'm still taking my time learning about these 20in20 challenges; they seem daunting to me, but so did slayerstillness, otherworldlyric and btvs_hush at first. icontests have definitely pushed me to improve my own work both by doing and by the example of other artists.
4) Due to lack of entries dragonydreams extended Otherworldlyrics challenge 172 extended one more week - and you know what that means:
I will be nibbling my fingers anxiously until May 23rd second-guessing the entries I sent in the other day and wondering "Should I switch one? I should totally switch one. No, I shouldn't. Yes, I should dear god the freakin' agony (was that supposed to be a secret? Um....) We all have one more week to get in our entries inspired by the Cure's "Watching Me Fall".
I had to read the lyrics of that song a couple of times before it sunk what was going on in it: a guy describing himself pick up a prostitute in Tokyo as is he's having an out of body experience. (Hey, I've never hired a sex worker, so what would I know?) She's described as if she were a stereotypical movie hooker, a doll, a siren or seductress rather than a human being - and he's the one "falling". Ok, so this guy has an itch to scratch and the money to buy himself an hour with a sex worker who is totally dehumanized in the song and he's complaining? Waa-waa, poor little me with my male priviledge and superior economic status and yet I'm morally helpless...oh give me an effing break. This is stuff is straight out of Genesis. Hey, dude, here's an idea if you're feeling dehumanized by the experience: start by treating the sex worker you hired for the hour as another human being. Knowwhatimean?
Honestly, that song is just begging to be deconstructed. Possibly with
a sledgehammer shovel a few well-made icons.