Buffy Casablanca Poster poppy wreath  RS

Showing the Ladies Off (and pushing our comfort zones)...

** Pirate Bride snogged returns to the world of fanart after an extended hiatus with this: "Mr Gunn Will See You Now" ("Fifty Shades of Gunn") a Gunn/Willow banner that is incredibly erotic.  To call it "yummy" almost sounds dismissive; "perfectly scrumptious" works better. And yet, it's pretty much worksafe. (Unless a pretty lady in lingerie and a bare leg is a no-no in your office. Or implied interracial shipping. Or looking at fanart or anything not related to work and really, is this the kind of workplace you want to be in?) I've never considered that pairing but looking at her banner it suddenly seems perfectly right. Where's the faction for this ship? And, tell me again why m'lady has been away from fanart and denied us these lovelies for so long?

** Working in the Key of Light: Happy birthday to pickamix, who started things off by giving all of us a gift: "Light Willow".  A total turnaround aesthetically from a Mistress of the Dark Art(works): astonishing, unexpected and gorgeous. I'm kind of beyond words here because everything about it could have been, in lesser, hands, cliche - the butterfly wing texture; in her sure hands, nothing here is cliche, all of it is absolutely, meltingly lovely. It was the second thing to greet my eyes Sunday morning, after a proper cup of tea, and I began to tear up. Then I simply sat with it, studied it, took it all in - the way Willow emerges from the light, the way the texures wrap around her, embrace her. I could go on all day about it.


[More contemplation, opinionation - and pretty pictures! - ahead]

****

What unites these two artworks in my mind is their shared elegance: visually clean, uncluttered, nothing out of place. Simplicity of composition that belies the work that surely went into making both of these. Both of these have room to breathe and yet the composition in each one directs your eye exactly where the artists want it to be. You can roam around, you can go deeper (I can study these for quite some time to suss out the subtle, almost hidden layers), but your eye is not likely to fall off the canvas. That takes a sureness of touch that comes with talent, yes, but also intellegence and conscious practice of the craft. There's no way around it.

The presence of negative space in both goes a long way towards achieving that elegance; and this is a quality I need to study and learn from. My sweetie once described my writing as "too much velvet" for her taste.  Too many adjectives, too much description, too much verbiage in general.  And I find myself doing the same thing with artwork, especially now that I'm discovering layers and textures and oh boy is it easy to fill up the spaces and just because I can doesn't mean I should. Knowwhatimean?

****

Yesterday I thought to myself that if I were a fic author and received either of these artworks as a banner to go with a story I'd die of happiness, aka jump up and down and grin and hug myself uncontrollably. Silently, in my chair, so only I would know. (Ok, the grinning and hugging would actually happen. The jumping would be entirely mental but it would be intense.)THEN I'd show them off and say "Look what I got, y'all!"

But of course, I'm not not a fiction author, and not much of a writer at all, currently....

And then LOOK WHAT I GOT, Y'ALL!

"....yellow is the color of intellectual energy, positivity, but also jealousy and illness and in the yellow shirt there are birds flying (freedom) except that you go on and see the shape of the knife buried in the flesh and all the blood spilling. It's broken freedom and innocence lost...."

kikimay not only snagged my "There Once was a Girl" icon for her default icon, which is an honor all by itself; she wrote an analysis/interpretation of it! MY ARTWORK HAS BEEN META'D! And of course her commentary is as intelligent, concise and elegant as her prose. I always imagined I'd be writing the meta about someone else's work, never the other way around. Eventually I decided I wanted to provide the pictures to compliment for other people's words, instead of asking other people to provide them for me. (And at that point I knew velvetwhip would be the first second recipient. it had to be her. ETA: clockwork_hart1 was actually the first person I made a banner for. Mind like a sieve over here.)

Now Kiki has provided the words to compliment my picture and so it goes. And this is addition to the honor of a Mod's Choice Award at slayerstillness. The little icon that could.



I died of happiness....

...but then I came right away back because I've got to finish my set for Round 4 of btvsats20in20, which is due Sept 27th. Have you seen the awesome entries so far by spikesredqueen, sweet_lyri, pickamix, snowpuppies, teragramm, killing_kurare, and oh_cheezit? Plus I needed to cast my vote on the current challenge of slayerstillness, which I missed the boat on entering; therefore, doubly important that I participate as voter.

It's nice when we the artists vote for one another but there ARE MORE THAN 15 PEOPLE IN THIS FANDOM. I know there are. And if you can't or don't want to make icons, by all means vote. Your opinions count and don't let "Well I don't know anything about art" nonsense (because of some stupid thing your parents or your fifth grade teacher told you as a child) hold you back. YES YOU DO KNOW ABOUT ART. Of course you do! You're surrounded with it, you've taken it in your entire life. It's no different to voting in the Sunnydale Memorial Fanfiction Awards even if you haven't written any works of fiction yourself.

My sweetie has a classmate in art college ten years ago who was a wonderful artist (pastel was her preferred medium and she could make a pastel painting look like it was done in oils), and just the sweetest person imaginable. One of their professors told her in class, in front of everyone, that she "lacked artistic intelligence".  Need I describe my feelings towards this arrogant jackass in minute detail or can you just pick up the vibe of my loathing?

We all have "artistic intelligence". We just need safe space to practice it and express it, as artists and appreciators. (Without people to appreciate, there is no point!) I can say without hesitation that participating in icontests, and thanks to the wonderful community of folks here, I've been pushed farther and faster just the last six months than I could have imagined possible. And I haven't even begun to skim the surface of what's possible.


But I've gone on long enough, Gentle Reader: goest thou and vote, create, offer feedback and share the love - do your part to keep this fandom alive and lively. What medium of expression have you not explored, or are just beginning to? What holds you back? What ideas do you have for bringing new excitement to this fandom and what about it continues to excite you and keeps you interested?


WOW - I REALLY like that Gunn and Willow one. That's sexy! Good work that person did!
snogged is not only super-talented (although she's been concentrating in fic lately) she's also just one of the nicest people I know - she's really been one of my mentors in this fandom and a wonderful friend.

So I admit to bias - it's great to hear feedback from someone who doesn't know her! I hope you do get a chance though. I'm trying to think which of her tics I like best and I'm torn. Her most recent is a Buffy/Dru fic, post series (rated NC-17 but I consider it relatively mild for that rating:http://snogged.livejournal.com/777719.html#comments). Her prose is as elegant as her banners.

And hello to you hon, how are you doing?
Thank you for the link! And Buffy and Dru - I never would have thought of that pairing - that's great! And yeah, even just from cruising Snogged's journal, it's obvious there is a lot of talent there. You know the best people!

And I'm doing alright, all things considered. Dealing with insomnia, but it could be worse! Thank you for asking!
And I've often wondered why there isn't more fic with Buffy and Dru interacting because there are so many parallels and contrasts going on between those two; but I'd never imagined them in a snippy way until snagged wrote it. One of the many reasons I'm grateful for my friends wonderful imaginations.

You know the best people!

*Wraps pearls strand around fingers* But of course!

all things considered.

And I looked at your journal yesterday and you are a brave little toaster, that's all I can say. Wish I could offer more than that.
I vote in the art contests. I think it's just as important as voting in the fic competitions.

LOVE your art, so I am not surprised it inspired meta.

Hope you know you're completely awesome and I am still blown away that you made me lovely art for Soft and Pink and Very Sad.


Gabrielle
*blushes*

I vote in the art contests. I think it's just as important as voting in the fic competitions.

You've been one of my role models in this fandom for being involved and active. My previous fandom was much much smaller and there weren't the same opportunities; my experience was staying in a niche and stagnating. so I learned a lot when I came here and from you especially in terms of how much fandom can be a real community for growth and learning as well as friendship and fun.

I am still blown away that you made me lovely art for Soft and Pink and Very Sad.

I'm smiling reading this, you know.
I'm the one who's blushing. Being considered a role model... really not sure I deserve that. But thank you.


Gabrielle
Thanks for a catch up - I love reading your insightful thoughts.

I have been inadvertently MIA, so didn't see your icons ... so will look later. I am almost finished my Joyce ones, but as I have had a tough month I am not 100% happy with what I have ended up with. So may chose her the time after next to see if I can get the "person" I want to see.
Oh hello you MUST have been reading my mind, because I've been thinking about you! And wondering how your icons are going, because I very much look forward to seeing them! I don't recall ever seeing a joyce set done by anyone.

I'm pretty sure bangel4_e will let you do a character any number of times over and over.

I tend to think I'm going to pick a claim for the next round and then change my mind depending on my whims. Id love to be able to stick with an idea when it comes to me and maintain the momentum but that's the challenge of the changing themes, and I'm not used to that yet.

So may chose her the time after next to see if I can get the "person" I want to see.

Are you and I the only people who take this so seriously? *LMAO* Really, I know exactly what you mean! I want to go back to Tara and get her right; and I already want to do a second normal again claim because I meant to focus on buffy, dawn and Joyce, and so far I have little to no joyce or dawn. Buffy (Sarah) is just so mesmerizing in that episode.

These characters are so wonderful to spend time with, aren't they?
I love voting in art competitions. Sometimes, it can be tough to choose favorites, but I know it's worth it to participate.

Thank you for speaking so highly of my Gunn/Willow art. You make me blush, darling.


*hugs you tight*
I love voting in art competitions. Sometimes, it can be tough to choose favorites, but I know it's worth it to participate.

That's a great way to look at it, because on one level I dislike voting, as I've said over and over (and everyone is tired of reading, no doubt.) Part of that is my indecisive brain - the same reason i've got 200 icons right now for the 20in20 and I can't use most of them but I can't decide what to use. etc.

But these challenges have really pushed me to get better fast, it's kind of amazing when I look at the Normal again icons I did several months ago for an OWL challenge compared to what i'm doing now, and I'm still not satisfied.

I did icons over ten years ago as a moulin rouge fan, but there were no challenges, no contests, and very little in the way of community where I could compare or learn, so I didn't grow. I did some nifty stuff, stagnated for way too long, then got bored of it - over a five year span? But there was nothing to push me to improve, no yardstick to measure myself by.

Thank you for speaking so highly of my Gunn/Willow art. You make me blush, darling.

Your work deserves the highest praise! I'm really sort of amazed still that you credit me (and Megan) for being an influence to get back to it, because you've been such an influence on me. (And an amazing mentor.) I get to claim fairygodmotherly-muse bragging rights? Coolness. :)
I'm really pleased that you liked the little meta for the icon. I'm not really an expert and I know maybe two things in total about art but your icon inspired me. I hope you will produce more with this colorful/symbolic value. This one is gorgeous.

As always, interesting suggestions and links. I'm going to vote for slayerstillness.
I love it, Kiki! And I'm honored that my work speaks to you - that's what an artist wants!

I know maybe two things in total about art

NONSENSE. And there you've proven my point in my post - you know a lot more than you give yourself credit for! Plus, you know quite a lot about classical studies and norse mythology that I'm completely ignorant of.

I'd forgotten your description of my becoming icon in terms of how the colors affected you; you know a lot about colors, symbolism and emotional resonance that I don't know and can't articulate. So when we all share our gifts we all learn from each other.

Don't downgrade your gifts and intelligence, Kiki dear.

i hope you will produce more with this colorful/symbolic value. This one is gorgeous.

I'll take that as my marching orders! thank you so much for the feedback. I'm surprised how many of my icons are muted or earth-toned, because as you know I LOVE jewel tones and clean colors. (My sweetie is the one into earth tones.) I have no idea why my style tends towards old tea coloring in icons so often lately. It may be just where I'm at with the tools I'm using? I might get clearer brighter imagery as I learn more and get into photoshop.

Or maybe it's the depression. :P
*HUGS*

Thanks a lot for the ego boosting! XD It's really nice to be so appreciated and it's lovely because the appreciation is mutual.

I really like colors and their meaning (A friend of mine once gave a book about colors and symbolical meanings and I enjoyed a lot) I think that they express a lot in terms of emotional resonance and artist's will. I especially love when you use warm colors - you know me - and I'm really curious to see your new work for the icon contest. Can't wait!
I can't wait for you to see it either! Or the alts/extras from the btvs_hush round, there's at least one from that I think you'll love.

I admit, if writers write for an audience, then so do artists, and you're one of the primary people I have in mind when I create; is there something in it that Kikimay will like? is a question I constantly ask myself.
You are very important! You're my Clement Greenberg!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clement_Greenberg

:)

BTW, I had my sweetie take pics of me the other night when we went to another gallery opening, this time for one of her paintings. I don't like how I look, but you would have approved of the hairstyle I invented - rolled the long locks into a tight rope and pinned it up one side of my head covering the ear. It looked better than it probably sounds, sort of semi-retro.

Edited at 2014-09-23 11:11 pm (UTC)
Oh I think I pictured the hair just right: lovely! I love retro-style (I'm planning to do a retro-bob haircut for my unruly hair)

You are very important! You're my Clement Greenberg!


Wonderful! XD
I wore my hair in a curly somewhat retro stacked bob for years and LOVED it. It's very hard to find people to sculpt it correctly though, with my thick hair. (only one person ever did it right.) Can't wait to see. :)

I also have thick wavy hair that now don't curl up anymore, so that's the problem. But if I find the right haircut I'll do it (I loved having pixie hair for four years, I'm not used anymore to mid-long cuts XD)
I can definitely envision you in a pixie cut, that must have looked super-cute! I can't wear that kind of cut, my face and moreso my hair is all wrong for it. Naturally curly and very thick - not that I'm complaining! But it's down to my tits at this point; probably way past time to do something with it. (Maybe I'd feel less depressed with a halfway decent cut? The bob was so easy to take care of - wash, scrunch a little gel in it, and go.)
I have the same hair but I didn't care. XD I wanted the pixie cut and I did it. It's really easy to manage, you know? And at some point when you get used to short hair - which in my case was after two minutes- is the very comfortable. Plus there are pixie cuts for all kinds of faces. Think about that. :D
It's nice when we the artists vote for one another but there ARE MORE THAN 15 PEOPLE IN THIS FANDOM. You are so right!

and I find myself doing the same thing with artwork, especially now that I'm discovering layers and textures and oh boy is it easy to fill up the spaces and just because I can doesn't mean I should. Knowwhatimean? Yes, I do know what you mean I find I have that problem when making banners. When it comes to icons I usually have the opposite problem and I find my icons are generally on the minimalist side.

Well I don't know anything about art" nonsense (because of some stupid thing your parents or your fifth grade teacher told you as a child) hold you back. The only thing you have to know about art is if you like it or not. I did have an 8th grade teacher who told me I was horrible at making color decisions. She was probably right but who gives a crap. ~_^
You are so right!

But of course. I try to make a habit of it. *lol*

One day I started counting the number of votes cast in all the challenges where they're visible and realized, wait, it's only that many people? If each artist pimps the challenges even once and draws their friends...but I don't think a lot of people do promote them? Which is fair - I just had someone befriend me on the pretext that they weren't interested in my icon challenge posts (and lately I'm kind of bored myself), and there doesn't seem to be the same interest in art as in fiction in this fandom.

I'm curious how many people vote in fic contests like SD memorial, averaging out the fact that there are more categories hence more entrants who all are presumably voting.

What the solution might be I have no idea.

But we've already talked about that before so, stopping now.

Yes, I do know what you mean I find I have that problem when making banners. When it comes to icons I usually have the opposite problem and I find my icons are generally on the minimalist side.

I have several posters/banners that I've not posted here yet, including some I did for my Tara claim of btvs20in20, but they are rather minimalist; some have no text. And I'm really surprised by that. (My poster for Gabrielle's Soft and Pink is cluttered but there's a purpose to that, to imply the chaos of Mr Gordos world.)

But posters are very new for me, icons I've been making longer and my style has shifted as I've had better tools to play with. When I just had photo bucket and started doing OWL challenges I was constantly seeking out icons that had lots of negative space. My older Normal Again icons look very different to what I'm doing right now. Once I switch to PSE I imagine there will be another shift as I get used to the tools. (toys, who am I kidding?)

I did have an 8th grade teacher who told me I was horrible at making color decisions.

And adult is telling a child that they suck at a thing which they have no experience with and couldn't possibly have achieved mastery yet. Methinks there's more than a little projection going on there. Hmmm... (you showed them all, didn't you? Your mastery of color is marvelous.)
How goes Photoshop Elements? Also, I remembered I have a file folder of art I've saved from Tumblr for inspiration that I can maybe email you if you like? Tumblr art is different from banners and icons, but sometimes they can give you ideas! I don't know how to do everything (and I work in Photoshop CC), but I'll try to help! It might have to be after the weekend - my computer is acting funky and I can't get it fixed until Friday and then I have a family wedding weekend (it's one of the cousins I actually like and I have my brother's best friend as my date, so it should be fun!).
I've barely touched PSE yet - mostly Organizer for my sweetie's photos. I adjusted the color on one of them for an ebay auction and got it right within 2 minutes (go me!)

I'm staying off heavy larnin' of PSE until after this round of 20in20. The deadline is the 27th but I'm going to need an extension, I know. So definitely not until after the weekend. (What I've done so far ROCKS, btw.)

I have a file folder of art I've saved from Tumblr for inspiration that I can maybe email you if you like

Sure, if there are things you'd like me to see. :) I have several bookmarks for art on deviantart and tumblr. There's one on the old computer I lost - a "watercolor" of Buffy from PG/The Gift that was on tumblr and I can't remember who did it.

I've found a lot of textures and such on tumblr and OH BOY am I going to have fun.

Thank you so much for the help! And now I have a question, since you're here sweetie: Is it possible to crop a section of the gilded molding in the Greg Gorham photos of Sarah and construct a "picture frame" from them to go around posters/banners?
http://www.chosentwo.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=4&pos=256

That's one of my projects for after this round of Normal Again icons.

it's one of the cousins I actually like

You have a family member you like? Coolness, have a blast sweetie!