Buffy Casablanca Poster poppy wreath  RS

Miss Psycho Pep Squad, the Monday edition!

1) Remember that post many moons ago when I asked if anyone knew of a genuine "Giles as a Big Bad" fic that sparked some great conversation and gave dragonyphoenix the inspiration to write such a one? THE PROLOGUE IS POSTED, with a banner by the talented pickamix (Giles looking sexy, shrewd and more than a bit dangerous) and oh my stars was it worth the wait!  If this is the prologue, I can't imagine what the rest will bring - and can hardly wait to read more. Rated PG, with Giles/Ethan shippines.

2) More Voting goodness: slayerstillness challenge 30 voting ends tomorrow; there are 24 truly fabulous entries to choose from! And only 9 entries to choose from at otherworldlyric Challenge 181 but oh my, some eyepoppers in the bunch, so don't miss them.

3) Thank you VERY MUCH to the thoughtful person who nominated my
"Becoming" icon for the 11th Round of the Wicked Awards! This round has been an embarrassment of riches for me and such a surprise. I've mentioned before how I never expected to be nominated for fanart and in competition with people whose work I admire. I was going to be a meta writer, remember? That was the plan and I WARN Y'ALL I  COULD STiLL GO META ON YOU WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT 'CAUSE I STILL HAVE THE NOTES I SAVED FROM THE HOUSEFIRE. (Albeit slightly worse for wear.)

Which is to say, the nomination period ends TODAY, August 25th.

(01)   buffy2

But wait, there's more icons and more talky after the cut!

So what do you do when someone nominates you? If you're me, you nominate other people in kind and encourage other people to do so because:

[Click the cut or walk on by, my friend]

1) You don't feel worthy of being nominated yourself, therefore nominate someone you think is better (even though you know that you are subtly downgrading the opinion of the persons who nomm'd you to begin with and you don't mean to do that but it's just so hard for you to really believe even though you do so love the kudos); or

2) You know that these awards are less about winning than about sharing the love - recognizing good work, and making it possible for other people to find it who might not have otherwise; or

3) You notice a shortage of nominations in your category, which means the category will be held over until next round and GOSH DARN IT but ow, you want to compete, win or lose, nothing selfless about it; or


I was going to write a post to report that the art categories were woefully underfilled. angelus2hot told me that usually the art cats fill up before the fic cats but it's been the reverse this year. Then I was going to scold and plead and pout if need be to make sure those categories got the sufficient number of entries to run. But I'm happy to say that they're filling up nicely and it all looks a go, but more art nominations are welcome (says the gal who doesn't have to plow through the noms or judge them - aka, do the actual work). Something seemed not quite right, especially with regard to best icons - there have been so many beautiful ones just the past 12 months, there's no reason that category shouldn't be overflowing.

More to the point, it felt weird to see my name on that list, and the categories so empty, when I know there are really great artists and really great art out there not getting its due. Especially in terms of icons because I'm well aware of my failings in this area. Now when I look at the categories everything feels better to me - there's art in a range of styles, covering every character and pairing, some by folks I'm familiar with but quite a lot of names and pieces that are entirely new to me.


4) Now while you're here, let's talk icons.

I never posted the Becoming icon here before, although I fell in love with it almost immediately and snagged it for my own userpics. It's essentially #2  oe #9 below with some cool effects added: crop, adjust and frame in Photobucket, add a text texture and a light leak texture in ipiccy, then bring back to PB for a "Bronze" color filter.  It was intended it for my second try at btvs_hush Challenge 273 (the deserving winners were rua1412 and debris4spike) and of course I couldn't enter it because of the text texture. I actually asked dragonydreams if I could get away with it. Um, no. *Note to self: READ THE RULZ, dumbass.*

Idiot me, if I'd known grunge textures enough to replace the text with scratches, plain noise filters or even just hit the sharpen button enough times, I could have gotten a similar effect and still been within the rules. But I liked what I got so much I didn't care, and I knew my icons weren't going to be winners anyway; I was just learning and having fun at that point.

This was the second time I used that text texture from ipiccy and was so delighted by the result I had to play with it. It was another "I can do that? Look ma, I can do that!" moment. There's something about this icon that makes me think of fragments of ancient texts and classical marble portrait sculptures half-buried in desert sands; of things both time-worn and timeless. The way I've cropped the image it's almost hard to tell anymore that it's Buffy, but I fell in love with the way the strange beauty, the severity of the shape of her nose, seemed carved of marble. I think that suits a moment that seems utterly classic and timeless:

"Take all that away, and what's left?" / "Me."

Was it as instantly iconic to those of you who watched back in the day as it was to me two years ago?


My actual entries for the challenge:


The Willow icons I made for that round...I'm tempted to say The less said the better but I'm fascinated by the huge difference in quality in just a few months time between these and my VampWillow icons just a few months later. That moment in the episode was the first time, watching the series, that chills ran up and down my spine and I had to rewind and watch again. At the time I made these I did at least like the focus on Willow's eye and how that really stood out, but I otherwise don't know where I was going with the pseudo-psychedelic pop art effect in this one.

And I deleted most of the ones I made which were far worse, including the one in which the Orb of Thessulah looked like a glowing radioactive orange scoop of ice cream melting on the velvet pillow.  You can thank me later (or just slip the cash under the door on your way out).

I love nominating people at awards sites. Makes me happy!

Please don't put your art down. It's wrong and it makes me sad because you are so talented. Do you improve? Of course. But you've never done anything that deserves the trouncing you give it.

Seeing all the categories fill up made me VERY happy. But then I'm not the one doing all the work there, angelus2hot and spankedbyspike are, bless them both!

Did I trounce my stuff? Oh dear. I was in a somewhat different mood last night when I wrote most of this than today. Looking at the icons again and seeing myself getting from point a to point b makes me happy. You're very right though, I should repeat <lj user=comlodge's wise advice daily. And I don't like the idea that I made you sad, my darling! I don't want that, you deserve smiles and teacakes and all good things. (Also someone defriended me last night because they're not into my cheerleading and icons posts which makes me really want to go full blast nuclear on the cheerleading and art. I'll be the best damn MIss Psycho Pep Squad Artiste ever just to be defiant. *lol*) BTW - I was just looking at the photos I took while my mom was here when we were out and about, and most of them came out fabulous! (And I photographed the teapot today, so pretty.)
I love your cheerleading posts! Why would anyone not like them? You support your fellow artists and spread the word about terrific communities to those of us who might not know about them. What's wrong with that????

I cannot wait to see those photos!

You know that I love that orange icon and you have to know that it totally deserves the nom. It's such a cool icon. I especially love the orange variations: the moment you captured is powerful and quintessential Buffy. It's the moment she basically goes "fuck you, I've got ME" which is so memorable, especially since we don't always have that kind of role model, especially when it comes to a female heroine. And orange. It's such a perfect color, IMO, because it embodies energy and power. It's the color of "be active" but without the blood implications of red. Go orangy icon!
ETA - You inspired me to make Becoming my default icon for the moment! I need to feel more powerful and active right now.

You mentioned that to me once about the color orange but I didn't appreciate it until I read your comment (which I love btw oh gosh I love it when you summarize one of my artworks because you always capture the essence of it perfectly.)

Looking at these again for this post made me all kinds of happy, actually. I've used that Bronze filter on other icons (like the Hugs one I'm using right now) but never to such effect. And I'd forgotten that there's another light leak layer to it atop that.

It's the moment she basically goes "fuck you, I've got ME" which is so memorable, especially since we don't always have that kind of role model, especially when it comes to a female heroine.

RIGHT? And yet there's a sadness to that moment as well - it's not a simple "you go girl" moment because it underlines her isolation. Her ability to be strong is both a blessing and a curse - and I think a lot of us suffer from that "I have to do it all myself and asking for help is a weakness" mentality. (that said - screw you, Xander "She said 'kick his ass' " Harris.)

BTW am I the only person who watched Primeval and kind of cringed when Forrest (the zombie version) said to Buffy "is that all you got?" and Riley replied "No - she's got me!" Like, i get the meta purpose of that in Buffy's arc but I was like, no no no do not impinge upon that perfect moment in Becoming, please. (Of course it seems really ironic in light of S5. Screw you Riley Finn.)

Edited at 2014-08-25 08:20 pm (UTC)
I wasn't really upset by that moment because S4 was all about separation and having relationship. The fact that Buffy leans of other people sometimes doesn't diminish her indipendence. Plus I think that the "me" moment is so iconic that nothing can ruin it, not even Riley XD

Oh I just wish I could use your icon as real avatar (As expression of what I feel) It's such an empowering one.
Congrats on your nomination! Your icons are beautiful!

"You know that these awards are less about winning than about sharing the love - recognizing good work, and making it possible for other people to find it who might not have otherwise"

I couldn't agree more!

Edited at 2014-08-26 01:00 am (UTC)
Thank you! You've been quite an inspiration and support to me this last year getting into fanart.

And congratulations on YOUR well-deserved nominations!

(Your Choices wallpaper is so erotic without showing a thing, all feeling and mood - oh gosh, I'm glad that I'm not the only one who got majorly shippy feelings watching Faith and Willow in that scene. The tension was WOW. If btvs had been a different show those two could have been off the charts.)

ETA: OH! I just thought of something! If I requested a no hurry whenever you feel like it commission for a Faith/Willow icon from you, what would you say to that? You don't have to crank anything out, no timeline here, but I just realized I don't have a F/W icon and I've shipped those two ever since I read one of beer_good_foamy's marvelous fics.

Edited at 2014-08-26 06:03 pm (UTC)
I am so glad you liked the wallpaper!

I'd love to make you an icon with Faith and Willow... I dunno what it is, but I see and feel that tension you were talking about every time they are on screen together. I am very much a Faith/Willow shipper! And I am even a Buffy/Willow shipper! :) As of right now, I have one icon of F/W that can be found here http://spikesredqueen.livejournal.com/tag/master%20fanart%3A%20btvs%2Fats%20couples under Willow/Other. Speaking of Willow/Faith I have a couple lj banners for my journal I made some years back... I've been wanting to change the one I have now, may put one of those up again. :)

Also, Pickamix made a couple of them. You can find them here: http://pickamix.livejournal.com/212081.html#cutid1

Back to your icon request, would you like it to be a still icon or animated?
Congratulations on your nomination!

Hooray for nominating others!
- (Anonymous)
Oh gosh I really didn't say anything intellegent over there, so don't feel any need to reply sweetie. Sometimes I can give great gobs of feedback to people and have all sorts to say, and sometimes not. yesterday was a "not"; I was just bowled over by your story and my brain was not stringing together sentences very well.

I'm not sure if I mentioned how one of the things that gobsmacked me was the fact that you had a sex scene without showing the sex scene? I know there's a place for porn in fanfic but to me there is SO MUCH of it, that a writer who trusts me to use my imagination is lovely to find.

Since I don't create images myself I don't comment on them often but your work is beautiful.

Oh thank you! I'm often not sure if I'm on the right track, so that's very gratifying to hear. And really, I'm sure you have lots of intellegent things to say about artwork, please don't feel shy! We all have art education - we all look at things and have been exposed to visuals our entire lives. The idea that we have to be specialists or experts is nonsensical.