Buffy Helpless Hairporn RSD

"If I were at full slayer strength": My Helpless icons and alts for Slayerstillness & Whedon Elite

But first a word from our sponsors: starry_night has kindly extended the deadline for btvsats20in20 Round 9 to Friday the 15 - and as usual, I'm the only person who hasn't submitted her stuff. *le sigh* (It's my job and the barometric pressure that gave me a massive headache and I can't find things because I had to move all my images...Excuses, I has 'em.)

But in the meantime do check out the wonderful entries from sweet_lyri (The Prom), halliwell (Spike), and dark_x_huntress (Faith). Yes, this is a smallish grouping this time. Or, since the sign-ups truly are open the ENTIRE round, you could be all show-offy and smart-alecky and show up with a set of 20 you did literally overnight. I know there's someone out there who can pull that off.

helplessblendbannersyringelighttext478sq1.3.png
"Helpless" banner (Giles, Buffy) by yours truly; click to view full-size.

I promised kikimay I'd post all my entries from the last rounds of slayerstillness and whedon_elite in one place so here they be:
[If I were at full Slayer strength....]
My entries for slayerstillness Challenge 43, "Helpless": Thank you again to everyone who participated either as artist or voter!

          1 - 5

Awards Banners for me from tempertemper: I know I posted these before but they're too magnificent not to show off again (click for full-size):

ss43banner1stplacebytempertempermay2015_siggieaddedbyrsd.png ss433rdplacebannerbytempertempermay2015.png   ss43mostcreativebannerbytempertempermay2015.png Icons are snaggable; banners are not - obviously.


My entries for whedon_elite Challenge 116 "Springtime" :
  helpless0155icon1.1.png   entry springtime whedon elite challenge 116 for whedon elite challenge 116 springtime 6 - 9

1) This icon's title could be "Feel the Fear but do it anyway" . One of my personal favorites of this set. The texture looks like some sort of writing (but isn't) so there's a mystery to it, and I think the focus on her expression as it emerges from the shadows is really strong. I originally added text to it (#14) but my wise Muse thought it stronger without and she was right. #26 is the "base" image without the last texture layer.

2)  I didn't notice until after I made it that there's a slick of red blood on the underside of her hand. It's very un-showy and subtle compared to #1.  Buffy has been through a horrific experience and she's trying to tamp down her emotions when by rights I wouldn't blame her if she burned the joint down and walked away. She endures an awful lot of trauma and keeps marching, keeps forgiving and keeps fighting. Her expression is so poignant and all praise to Sarah for her marvelous performance.

3) I actually freaked myself out with this one and it's companions 20 - 22. BtVS' template was partly rooted in horror movies and Helpless is one of the most overtly horrifying episodes of the series, hence my borrowing of the phrase from the episode Hush. This icon highlights that but also the ways that the series fails in it's "feminism". Again, see velvetwhip's fic Answering Prayers (aka "the best fic you're not reading right now but should.") Technically, I like the smoothness of this icon and the look of a handtinted photograph but I suspect it works better without the text (alt 22).

4) Winner, 3rd Place and Most Creative: Buffy's profile in the abandoned hotel as she looks around at the walls covered with polaroid images of Joyce was the single image I spent the most time with, alone and in combinations with other characters, the emphasize their interconnectedness: the top banner, entry 4, alts 10 - 13, & 16 - 21. (I have a thing for Sarah's oddly timeless profile.) I intended to enter 11 or 12 and changed my mind at the last minute. I'm pleased with the clarity of the smaller image of Buffy, which is hard for me to achieve, and I really like how the library books and the polaroids echo each other. I think that unifying element of pattern-making helped put this icon over the edge for me over the other variants.

5) Winner, First Place: My first first-place win at slayerstillness and I hope I'm not sounding arrogant in repeating that but it makes me all kinds of happy, and thank you to everyone who voted for it!  I also mentioned in my prior post that the inspiration for this icon was entirely clockwork_hart1's recent Buffy icons that combined soft color and light effects with shots of Buffy in motion.  This icon isn't as blurred as her's; I ended up sharpening the features of her face a bit to contrast with the whirl of hair. #23 is the more "naturalistic" version without the colored light leak effect; usually I go for subdued colors but Lucy's example inspired me to push the color. I'm surprised how well the icon turned out, given the darkness of the cap. There's the irony of the prettiness of it, of the "hairporn" and the direness of the situation, of Buffy's fear and desperation in that moment.

6) My personal favorite of my WE set; I wanted a Wiffy Helpless cap but couldn't get it to my satisfaction, see #32 below. I like the chalky flatness of 32 but I the clarity and sharpness aren't the best so I went with the closer crop.  As the theme of the round was springtime and I already had the flowers in #10  - 12 it seemed appropriate to hv

8) I finally made a Cordy icon!  See also 34 below. Not a lot to say about it, except that I was inspired by kwritten's beautiful work especially her recent The Freshman Category set when I made this one and # 9. I'm not Cordy's nor Charisma Carpenter's biggest fan by any means; but that moment is one of Cordy's finest in BtVS; when a distraught Buffy asks for a ride home and her reply is "Sure". No questions asked. (Has anyone ever written fanfiction about that car ride home?  Has anyone ever speculated on what might have been said - or not?)

9) Winner, Mod's Choice. I wanted to play with this image because of the unusual cropping (that's the way Sarah's face is cropped in the screencap, as Buffy talks to Angel); I really didn't expect this to be the favorite of voters among my WE entries but thank you for the votes and feedback!  I worried that it would come off as "she slapped on a texture and called it a day" so I'm glad it doesn't come across like that.

Alts and extras:

10 -15

I call # 13 "The Needle and the Cross". I don't any of these need further explanation. I like the snarkiness of #15 but also the way the text actually looks as if it's part of Giles' sleeve.  If this is "a father's love" then somebody call Social Services. No wonder the poor girl has relationship issues.

  16 - 19


          20 - 26


27 - 31


My alts for whedon_elite Challenge 116:

helpless0129wiffyicon1.1.png     32 - 36






I am so impressed with each and every one of these, as you already know. There's so much subtext and meaning in each image. Wow!

(Also, thanks for the kind words about Answering Prayers. You make me blush.)


Gabrielle
Well that makes for two people with rosy-red faces because now I'm the one blushing, thank you! This was a lovely comment to wake up to. :D

There's so much subtext and meaning in each image.

Fortunately a lot of that emerges subconsciously. I think the only subtext of my WE icons #8 & was "make something pretty" and "Kelsey does things like this let me give it a try."

Answering Prayers is just a wonderful story and it's easy to say nice things about it. I feel like I'm not saying enough if anything,



Edited at 2015-05-14 12:09 pm (UTC)
- (Anonymous)
Thank you dear!

I wonder in hindsight if I didn't chicken out a little bit about the Giles icons - was I subconsciously afraid of offending the Giles fans of my f-list, or did I really just think that set of entries was "best"? (All two of them *lol*)

'cause the clarity on 15 is pretty darn good...actually the image clarity if very good...ok, I chickened out. Honestly time here.

Cool. I like 5 better.

I thought about that one a long time and went back and forth - 23 is more "natural" to my style, I wasn't sure if the light leak just looked slapped on. But I felt like I needed to push myself; I'm glad it worked.
- (Anonymous)
There are those who will deny that fact *shrugs*

I find the flaws and the dysfunction as well as the love and mutual need fascination and a lot more "real" than what often passes on TV.

The hairporn one will be one of my favorite icon forever and ever. I was actually thinking about using it too, but since it's your default icon I will not. But it's so beautiful! >O<

I also really like 1 and 4 (Although I personally associate fear with ... cold? I don't know) Anyway, love when you use a close crop on Buffy face.

I also forgot to vote on Whedon_elite. My bad! The Springtime icons are really lovely, especially 6 and 8. Please, more flowery icons? I love flower patterns.
Thank you for the wonderful compliments, Kiki! You are more than welcome to use my icon - I will probably be switching my user pic shortly anyhow.

I used to be VERY shy and reluctant to use an icon that someone else already used, I've pretty much gotten over that. Basically, unless it says "do not snag/take", snag away and enjoy. (I had you in mind when I made that icon, you know: color, light, softness and BUFFY HAIRPORN.)

Not many people have commented on 1 but it's one of my favorites. I thought it might win a prize if anything did for crop or creative. Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

FYI - I'm finishing my 20in20 post right now, and I made a Drusilla icon that is going to knock your socks off, hon. Also, I have more close crops of Buffy's face in that set, Tara and Dawn - I think you'll like it.

I also forgot to vote on Whedon_elite. My bad!

It's impossible to keep up with everything. I try to vote in WE even when I don't participate but every once in a while I miss. (And one time I missed participating when I meant to enter. The mods there run a tight ship.)

Please, more flowery icons? I love flower patterns.

Working on it!

I used to be VERY shy and reluctant to use an icon that someone else already used, I've pretty much gotten over that. Basically, unless it says "do not snag/take", snag away and enjoy. (I had you in mind when I made that icon, you know: color, light, softness and BUFFY HAIRPORN.)


But it's your default icon! Now I strongly associate it with you. I can't steal it XD But it's such a beautiful icon and I'm glad to inspire you! I don't know if it's actually a good thing, but I adore this kind of icons XD


Not many people have commented on 1 but it's one of my favorites. I thought it might win a prize if anything did for crop or creative. Not that I'm complaining, mind you.


I love it too, although I associate fear with cold colors. But yes, such a favorite with the close crop on Buffy's face. I also just saw the icons for the other contest. All the close crops! <3

Now I added whedon_elite in the watched communities so I could keep track of it too. I didn't know the community until you posted something about it.
You snagged one of the "expressionist" icons! *SQUEES* I love doing icons where Sarah looks like she's in a 1920's movie. I have no idea why.

But it's your default icon!

I just changed it to a Joyce icon from this round of 20in20, just for you Kiki. I have been wanting to have a good Joyce icon 4evah and I kept making dead Joyce icons or shippy, so it's about time I showed her off. And I'll probably change it again after the current round of contests. Lately I'm feeling like switching a lot. So please, feel free to snag any you like.

I associate fear with cold colors.

You mentioned that before and that's really interesting, I wouldn't have made that association. Is it because of the climate you live in (I assume you're warm in Italy, unless you're in the Alps), because the physical actions of shivering from cold is similar to trembling from fear; or an experience or personal trauma?

But then we're talking about colors - for instance blue is the color of the night, when bad things might happen. But it's also the color of the Virgin Mary's robe, of the ocean and sky, a color of trust and openness.

I also just saw the icons for the other contest. All the close crops!

I thought you'd like!

I didn't know the community until you posted something about it.

I just found out about it a couple of months ago from rua1412; it used to be an "elite" community (closed to non-members but now it's open to anyone. I'm just discovering there are a TON of icon comms out there, but most of the ones I see are 20in20's, and I can only handle one of those if that. I don't know how some people do more than one!


Edited at 2015-05-15 07:58 pm (UTC)
You snagged one of the "expressionist" icons! *SQUEES* I love doing icons where Sarah looks like she's in a 1920's movie. I have no idea why.

They are SO BEAUTIFUL! I actually left a comment in the proper post, I think. And ... nothing, I just found my new favorite icon. But I actually don't know if I prefer this version I'm using now with the violet and red or the all black and white one. Maybe I'll stick with this one because I really love the coloring, but as a person who generally doesn't pick b&w icons that icon is simply amazing. So at this point I'm going to stick with this one as default icon.


You mentioned that before and that's really interesting, I wouldn't have made that association. Is it because of the climate you live in (I assume you're warm in Italy, unless you're in the Alps), because the physical actions of shivering from cold is similar to trembling from fear; or an experience or personal trauma?


Idk, I think because when I'm really, really afraid I start trembling and I get very cold (Which is the natural body reaction to protect the most important organs) But terror could cause also the opposite reaction, when you feel your body on fire because of adrenaline. Which I guess it's correct considering Buffy.

Oh don't ask me how can people do all these icons XD You're actually very productive, IMO!