Buffy Casablanca Poster poppy wreath  RS

btvsats20in20 ROUND 6: WILLOW ROSENBERG

ETA 01/16/15: Round 6 Voting at btvsats20in20 open until Jan 18th. Thank you everyone who has voted and commented!

Many many thanks to velvetwhip for her boundless support and encouragement, for the brainstorming sessions and her absolutely invaluable Willow expertise!

This is the first time I've been comfortable enough to make Dark Willow icons; I've needed to tap into a little of that dark side apparently.


TEASERS:
     

[My entries plus alts/extras in the gallery]









10 Themes
Accessory Purple Quote Reason Profile
Out Of Character Soft Glow Bored Outfit Re-Cast**
5 Category |HOLIDAY TIMES
Cat 1 Cat 2 Cat 3 Cat 4 Cat 5
5 Artist's Choice
AC 1 AC 2 AC 3 AC 4 AC 5









* Reason: In 2014 I came out of the closet as a Buffy/Tara shipper. This year I'm coming out as a Buffy/Willow shipper...and by "ship" I mean "relationship" in the broadest sense.
I love Buffy. I love Willow. Their friendship was one of my favorite things about the show; it's not only central to btvs, it's absolutely essential - just as the friendships and love I've found in this fandom are likewise absolutely precious and essential to me. I want to celebrate and appreciate, not waste time mired in pointless and tone-deaf fandom wars.

** Aly Sheedy. (The Breakfast Club, War Games; she's adorable and quietly intense on this 1975 segment of the game show "To Tell The Truth", after her novel She Was Nice to Mice was published when she was all of 13 years old. It's a historical novel about Queen Elizabeth told from the POV of a mouse who lives at the castle. Which seems like a Willow Rosenberg type of project. Except that I suspect Willow would hide her manuscript away in a drawer because somebody laughed at it.)


Ironically Alyson Hannigan was already a "recast"  of Willow; Riff Regan played her in the unaired test pilot, but I couldn't find a decent photo of her to work with.



Alts/Extras:

  01-05
  I've never seen this image of Aly used in icons, and I have no idea why not; it's utterly adorable.


  06-07
The inspirations for my AC set. I wish both of these had come out better, and I couldn't find another theme to fit them in.


08
My alt Reason icon, and one of my favorite icons I've made this round. Buffy & Willow (or "Wiffy") fans unite!



09-12
13-14


  15-18

  19-22




23-26

23 was my alt Outfit icon; my entry version is a bit more visually arresting, and has a nice lesbian subtext (it could be an icon for an Impala/Willow shippy fic). But the alt version, with the mummy's withered face frozen in anguish, is sadder and more interesting on a meta level.  25 and 26 attempt to blend a quote from Reptile Boy with an image from Grave; it doesn't quite work because the context the image - a pile of burning books - is unclear.


27-28



This is the first round that I started by making the AC set; I've wanted to have an aesthetically coherent AC set ever since I saw spikesredqueen's pretty Cordelia AC set for Round 1.  So I collaged them together in a row as single images to apply text and effects to all the icons at a time. Then of course I proceded to make at least three more variations, and mixed and matched to come up with the final set of five.

As one does:

29-33


34-38


39-43


44-47

I used the "Oh my goddess" rather than the "White Willow" cap because I think the White Willow cap looks just plain silly.






Thank you sweetie I'm so glad you like these! I'm always most anxious to win the approval of my Willow posse. :D
Nice work. I particularly like the choice of Halloween for the holiday and the autumnal colors for the Category Set, and Bored and Out of Character out of the themes set.
Thank you! I was stumped about Holiday at first because everyone was doing Christmas and, hello, Willow's Jewish (but we never see any Jewish holidays celebrated on the show, unfortunately); but I recalled that the Halloween episodes all contain significant moments for her character arc.

The OOC one is a particular favorite of mine *points to new default icon*
These are wonderful! My how I have missed your artwork and your words behind them! I adore a lot of these and I can really see your progress as an icon maker!

I do not believe I have ever seen the picture of Alyson Hannigan that you used in the Out of Character category before.
I was so sorry you had to drop out of this round sweetheart but given everything that's going on in your life right now, it's not a surprise - real life comes first, and I hope you are finding ways to take care of yourself! I especially appreciate you taking the time to drop by and comment, thank you so so much! I'm glad these icons do Willow justice.

I do not believe I have ever seen the picture of Alyson Hannigan

When I look at the photos at Chosen Two gallery there are an incredible amount of gorgeous photographs of Alyson over the years that are just begging to be made into icons, and only a few I've seen used in fan art. But I do the same thing with Sarah - reuse my favorite images of her over and over when there are plenty of other photos to play with.
- (Anonymous)
I like the teaser that's the close-up of Willow's face with the sparkly lights.

Thank you that's one of my favorites! *points to default icon* I used some light textures I've found online that I hadn't used before with several of these icons, including that one.

Alt 1 was supposed to be the OOC entry but I went back and made a totally new version at literally the last minute because the alt version felt too fussy, too precious and overly-detailed. (The same with Cat 2.)

I think Willow's colors are more vivid with the bright yellow.

I agree. The background is a simple default ipiccy texture I've never used before but the color coordinated beautifully with her w/out being too match-matchy.
These are brilliant, as always. (Quite literally brilliant - I love how you manage to make those little 100x100 squares glow without losing contrast.)

And Ally Sheedy as 80s Willow? Inspired.
Quite literally brilliant

Oh my gosh thank you!

Ancient Chinese secret: I used some light textures I've found online that I hadn't tried before AND - I finally figured out what the "Burn" photo editing tool does. Basically, it allows me to deepen shadows anywhere I like with precise control. So like my sweetie does with her paintings, it helps me lay down my darkest darks right next to my brightest brights. It's simple and really rather fantastic.

And Ally Sheedy as 80s Willow? Inspired.

:D I don't even recognize most of the folks in other people's recast icons because I don't watch many movies or tv so I had to go retro. also, the hood of that coat - I immediately remembered Willow's eskimo costume.
Lovely icons. I especially like "reason" because of the soft coloring and the subject (Willow/Buffy friendship) and I like the alt with the heart shape. "Quote" actually made me smile because of the association between the quote and dark!Willow (Which, as you already know, is one of my favorite villains) same thing with "bored now": I just love how you mix past and present with your icons. My favorite icon from the 20in20 is maybe "recast" because I really like the softeness of it.

Let's talk about how brilliant your alts are because, honestly, HOW CAN U?
I LOVE 05. One of the best Willow icons ever even if it's OOC but I just like the coloring, the crop and the text. Also 07! Your conceptually complex icons strike back! Can I tell you what I see? Not only absolutely genius because you blended the images perfectly but also deep symbolism: we imagine Willow raising Buffy from the grave, but actually we see it as if she's almost invoking her from another dimension and the dimension is inside her womb because of the crop. Supernatural/symbolic rebirth: check. You should totally do a large artwork with this idea.

Absolutely lovely 13 and 14 and the "stay close to me" made me giggle because the text is from my favorite icon of yours. Did you do it on purpose?

the "stay close to me" made me giggle because the text is from my favorite icon of yours. Did you do it on purpose?

ABSOLUTELY. :D I knew you'd appreciate that.

I apologize for not answering you sooner, dear, because I was and still am STUNNED by your wonderful words, by the way you understand everything I'm trying to communicate with these, and see things I didn't even realize. THANK YOU so much for all of it, and your compliments!

I especially like "reason" because of the soft coloring and the subject (Willow/Buffy friendship) and I like the alt with the heart shape.

Reason is one of my favorites - my claim for next round is Buffy & Willow. Because for as central as their relationship is to the Buffyverse precious little attention is paid to it in fandom, in comparison with the "ships". What's worse though is that fandom factions seem to have been split into Buffy vs Willow camps. I say, Fuck that noise, you know what I mean?

dark!Willow (Which, as you already know, is one of my favorite villains)

This is the first time i've ever made Dark Willow icons and been comfortable doing so - really seeing the power and righteous rage that Dark Willow (initially) represents and ignoring the way it went off the rails or the fact that Joss' story implies that powerful women need to be tamed or controlled by men. (again, Fuck that noise.)

I just love how you mix past and present with your icons.

Thank you for noticing that! I really worked on that very consciously.

HOW CAN U?

Occasionally I am callous and strange *LOL*

Also 07! Your conceptually complex icons strike back! Can I tell you what I see? Not only absolutely genius because you blended the images perfectly but also deep symbolism: we imagine Willow raising Buffy from the grave, but actually we see it as if she's almost invoking her from another dimension and the dimension is inside her womb because of the crop. Supernatural/symbolic rebirth: check. You should totally do a large artwork with this idea.

YES, YOU GOT IT!!! *Dances with joy* You completely understand what i was going for. And I want to make a larger version of this.

Willow is very much Buffy's "sire" when she resurrects her. And I think it's important to emphasize that Willow may have gone about things the wrong way but she had the best intentions. She wanted to save her friend from eternity in Hell and risked her own life to do so.

Did I read or did I just imagine the other night a fanfic where Willow's reason for not including Dawn was that she didn't want Dawn's hopes crushed if the spell were a failure? Or is that just my head canon?

And thank you for noticing 13-14, I really love those for the old tea vintage color and texture. I probably should have entered one of those for purple rather than the slightly fussier entry version but oh well.
I love these! The coloring is just fabulous! I especially like out of character, soft glow, reason and all to the holiday theme.
You know how you say you can identify my icon by my coloring? I am starting to see a consistency in your coloring. I know I say this a lot but you have come so far from when you first started making icons!
Thank you so much for the compliments! Out of Character and Reason are two of my favorites this round btw.

I'm starting to see just how and why my icons are improving (my round 3 and 4 sets were - not as good as I thought they were at the time. Ouch. *lol*)

I am starting to see a consistency in your coloring.

I'm often surprised by how "autumnal" and muted my icons tend to be; even cool tone ones (because I really do love rich jewel tones) although I seem to mostly make warmer toned icons.

I was looking at my Normal again round 4 set and whoa, that was some harsh color there. I think doing the muted rainbow for round 5 was a really good way for me to "recalibrate" my color palette.

When I made moulin Rouge icons ten years ago i used a lot of bright colors but that film is quite different stylistically to btvs.

you have come so far from when you first started making icons

Oh my gosh thank you so much!

I need to start posting my huge back catalog of banners I've made this past year because I'm really proud of some of those as well.


Color me impressed!
These look so awesome and I love how you captured so many sides of Willow's personality!

My favorites, of course are:
Accessory
Reason (I'm pro-Buffy/Willow)
Profile
Out of Character (ah! such a cute face)
Re-cast (Aly Sheedy is a perfect choice)
Cat 1
AC 1-5. I love the power of that statement!
I love how you captured so many sides of Willow's personality!

Thank you! I was hoping you'd approve of this set so that means a lot to me. I wasn't sure if the icons were good when I finished them (not false modesty, I really wasn't sure - I made this set in about a week or so rather than my usual 3-4 weeks) but I had a sense that I had covered a lot of facets of her personality. This was the first time I made Dark Willow icons and didn't feel uncomfortable with it or dwell on the messed up aspects of the arc because I was able to see it as a part of her arc and also an expression of power and righteous rage.

I tried to make this just S1-2 Willow or limit it to one season or episode but the more I looked the more I realized how much I'd forgotten - like, how important all three of the Halloween episodes are to Willow's arc and what a key role she plays in each one.

Your favorites are all favorites of mine, btw - except that of the Category set my favorite might be #5 from Fear Itself. I wanted to contrast her comfort and confidence at that point with her discomfort in Halloween, and the fact that she's really sexy in that Joan of Arc armor because confidence is incredibly sexy - so "something sexy" is meant humorously but also sincerely.

Accessory was originally one of the alts with more glow in it, and Out of Character was going to be Alt #1 but I remade it at the last minute because it suddenly struck me as too fussy. I'm really super happy with the OOC one I did enter; it's probably my favorite this round. I mean, SO CUTE, why haven't I seen this image in like a thousand icons already?

Re-cast was one of the most difficult icons to make. I couldn't figure out who could possibly replace AH in the role; the only photos I found of Riff Regan were very poor quality; and the caps from Breakfast Club and War Games of Aly Sheedy weren't much better. That's the one entry I probably threw out the most rejects of.

Reason (I'm pro-Buffy/Willow)

Yay!



I've been working on some treats I think you'll like. :D

AC 1-5. I love the power of that statement!

Thank you! I love it too but I was a little worried that folks would think I was stealing Willow's thunder by having Buffy's quote there, but I saw it as an expression of how important Willow is to the story, to Buffy's story, and to the central themes of the show. So I'm very glad and relieved that came across to you!


OMG! These are stupendous!!!! Now I have to delete some of my current icons to make room, darn you!!!! That AC set is genius and that is the most original Bored Now icon I've seen! Bravissima!!!!!


Gabrielle
Thank you Gabrielle! I just posted a thank you to YOU, but to sum up - the fact that this set exists much less is any good is largely due to you. I might have dropped out without your encouragement and ideas; pat yourself on the back, my dear because you deserve the kudos too.

Now I have to delete some of my current icons to make room, darn you!!!!



*stage whisper* If you're serious btw I can suggest one icon to quietly retire *cough*suicidehint*cough*

Fantastic work, and I love your Willow re-cast so much!
Thank you very much! This was a fun set to do - the recast icon was one of the hardest top make because of image quality, so I'm glad it's a hit. :D
- (Anonymous)
Ack, how did I miss these?!
This is a beautiful set hon. Your icons just keep getting better and better and I love how you work with textures (it took me so long to even start using them myself).

And now for my faves...ok so first up I have to say I love what you did with the ACs. It's really creative and the image choices are suberb. I also really love:
Accessory (Willow was so adorkable in the early days and I love the simplicity of the icon);
Reason (Yes! And also it's a beautiful icon. I love the colouring; it has a rich yet kind of retro look to it);
OOC and it's alts (it's just pretty and I love the light effects);
Soft Glow (same as above - seriously beautiful!);
Recast (excellent choice and I love the warm colouring);
Cat 2 & Cat 5 (love the warm colours again, and great image choices).
How did I miss your comment here? THANK YOU so much for the compliments to my work! I'm just blushing like a rose.

I love how you work with textures (it took me so long to even start using them myself).

Aren't they wonderful? I've mostly used ipiccy's default textures or my own photos up until now; I started experimenting with other textures more in the last round; this round I pushed myself to use more and different textures I've found online, esp: light and glow textures.

I love textures A LOT. Adore them. I think there's two very distinct aesthetics in fan art in that regard - the more crystalline, smoother look with a certain clarity and purity that I admire so much, and the "rougher" texture-heavy aesthetic that I'm nonetheless drawn to.

Your Category set is a completely brilliant example of merging the two. If that's what happens when you use textures - more, please.

And I'm blushing even harder rereading your icon choices of my set. I don't know what to say except thank you so much!

This is the very FIRST round of 20in20 that i did the AC set first; I really wanted for once to have a true set conceptually and not just throw in 5 extra icons I happened to have lying around. I sacrificed their usefulness as individual icons but I'm ok with that.

Accessory is so cute - I'd forgot about that hat. I'd forgot about a lot of things in the early seasons so this round was great just for that. And I was really pushing myself to go for simplicity or the appearance of it this time around, after the last round of slayerstillness when my simplest icons took 2nd and 3rd place, that taught me something about the value of simplicity.

Reason (Yes! And also it's a beautiful icon. I love the colouring; it has a rich yet kind of retro look to it);

Buffy & Willow fans unite! (The "wars" btwn Buffy fans and Willow fans are as perplexing to me as the ship wars.) And you described what I was going for exactly -the color and look of an old hand painted postcard or photograph. I'm very pleased it worked for you; it's one of my favorites here.

I could do a set just from this scene. So next round my claim is Buffy and Willow; I look forward to making those. There are not a lot of icons of the two of them for all that their friendship is central to the show.

OOC is another one of my favorites - alt #1 was supposed to be the entry until the last minute I suddenly decided it was too fussy so I remade it; I'm glad I did. The light effects in the entry are from a set of "color filter" textures I've borrowed but haven't used before.

Recast was a fun idea but a real challenge - I wish I could have gotten a better icon but that was the best I could do with the screen caps i found from Breakfast Club.

And Cat 5 is my favorite of the Category icons; I really think Willow is sexy because of her confidence here, unlike Halloween and she looks so uncomfortable in that "hooker" outfit. But still adorable.









The AC set is so perfect and beautiful. I love your category icons too, especially 3 and 5, and Soft Glow - which was a perfect prompt for you I think.

I hope you're doing all right. ♥
Thank you sweetie!

I'm really pleased that this round I specifically set aside time to focus on the AC and Category sets, rather than throwing them together out of alts and leftovers like I've sometimes done in the past. I do like Cat 5 very much - Willow is so adorable in Fear, Itself and I love how much more confident she is than in Halloween two years earlier.

which was a perfect prompt for you I think.

Oh my gosh thank you that is a huge compliment!

And I am doing ok right now hon - better than ok, actually, I'm doing fine. I've got a part-time job at a nursing home since November and I don't earn a lot but it pays the rent and I love the residents I look after. Working with them puts lots of things into perspective.
Thanks for letting me snag some!

Are you kidding? It's my pleasure and honor - I want these icons to be USED and enjoyed, not just looked at!

I think I said it in the post, but I've wanted to have a cohesive AC set ever since i saw your Cordy set in round 1 and this time I finally managed it. I know the text reduces the usefulness of the first four AC's so AC5 is the only true stand-alone. (And it won first place AC icon! *dances*)

And Reason I just absolutely love, I'm so glad other people like it too.