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19 July 2009 @ 08:15 am
 
No new icons today, sorry, but what I do have is a few new developments:

+spnlandis a new community much likewhedonlandbut revolving around the characters from the Supernatural universe. You can join one of four teams: teams Dean, Sam, Castiel and Lucifer and you get to compete against the other teams in various challenges. Join up now!

+ I joineddrankmywar's awesome new challenge commversicolors. It's an elite challenge community for people who make icons with crazy colors, ideas, textures, etc. so if you're interested you should go apply!

+ Not so exciting, but I bought a road bike and it's bright red and I'm really anxious to get out and go on some long bike rides!

Anyway, the real point of this post is to take a look back at how my iconing style has changed over the past few years. I noticed a few other icon makers doing this sort of thing and I figured that I might as well try it also, maybe it will even inspire me.

Warning! Lots and lots of images so it could take a while to load. Also, this post is more for my sake than anything else so I don't expect anyone to actually read it.

I'm not going to start off with my first lj post because I had been making icons a little while before that as well. I don't remember the dates of the posts beofre lj so I'm just going to guess. Let's start during my Smallville days (my first fandom) when I was posting at Kryptonsite.


2005


As you can see, my first few icons born from PI were less than great. At this point I was just playing around with color settings and brushes. I actually thought that to use brushes (like on the Jess icon) you had to erase the parts that you didn't want. This idea did not work well.

2005


Behold the joys of the soft light layer! I'm seriously cringing just looking at these icons. I found out how to use the lasso tools to cut people out and I also discovered textures as you can see.

2006


I got a little less trigger happy with the textures but then I started using icons tutorials because I actually thought they made my icons more original. Also, the tiny text bush rears its ugly head.

2006


A little improvement but I relied too much on tutorials and I couldn't get enough of those little light blob textures. My cropping was also pretty boring because I didn't know what to do with the rest of the icon.

2006


Hahaha I finally got photoshop and, as you can see, I couldn't get enough of selective coloring. Also, I thought those scratch textures were utterly fantastic.

2006


I think this post was a small step forward. I was starting to understand how to add a texture without having it just sit on top but blend instead. My cropping got a little better as well, but the coloring remains dismal.

2006


Holy cheese on crackers, these icons are scaring me! As seen in the first icon, I was into completely blurring the subject because I wanted a "soft" look. I was still going strong with selective coloring and I then stumbled upon exclusion layers.

2006


I'm a little bit proud of this post. Not only did I get a little bit more creative but I also made my coloring a little more subtle, at least for now. As you can see, Jensen Ackles and Tom Welling remain my two favorite subjects. I wonder why? haha

2006


It looks like I found out aboutelli 's textures. I still use these textures to this day, but I just use them in a different way.

2006


My trial run for photoshop ran out so I resorted back to PI. This batch actually came out nicely. The colors were a lot crisper than before but you could also see the start of a new obsession of mine which was the use of grainy textures.

2006


All of my icons started to look the same so in my next batch I decided to expand my creativity a bit.

2006


Still using heavy textures but finally taking a step forward creatively. My text use improved a little as well. I kind of wish I could be as creative as I was back then.

April 2007


When I started watching Veronica Mars my iconing actually took a step forward. I wanted to improve my text use so I could put the quotes from the show on my icons. These icons were included in my first post to lj.

May + July 2007


I'm still a little attached to some of these icons. My cropping improved a whole lot and I was willing to try out new arrangements and coloring.

July 2007


Text icons FTW! I had a lot of fun making all of those VMars text icons and I think that working with all of those colors and textures greatly improved my skills.

September 30, 2007


My coloring and cropping jumped way forward here. I started to notice subtleties but again I relied too much on the grainy textures.

October 14, 2007


I don't rememver how I did that Logan icons bet I still love it. I haven't really improved much from my last post except with my text.

October + November 2007


Some of the icons from this batch kind of hurt my eyes because of the saturation, but iconing Pushing Daisies allowed me to try out new effects and I also began experimenting with minimalism. Finally!

November + December 2007


Improvements galore! Yay! Apparently I was feeling rather creative and I made a batch of Supernatural icons that I still am jealous of. I can't remember how I made them!

January 2008


When I first got my drawing tablet I used it for everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. Bad, bad idea. sometimes it helped but I don't like my handwriting in the first place so I don't know what I was thinking when I wanted to put it on my icons. Oh well, at least my coloring and cropping were slowly improving although I didn't make much progress with textures.

February 2008


Sadly, I decided that using the same coloring over and over again was the cool thing to do so not much happened in these posts. Although, I did start experimenting with light textures.

April 15, 2008 + June 25, 2008


I don't know what I was thinking. Seriously, I continued using my tablet for almost all of my text and I made no progress with the coloring. However, I do believe that my style I have now was beginning to emerge.

July 13, 2008


I hit a creative low point with the Supernatural icons in this post. They were completely too dark and grainy because I was stuck on that one coloring. The Firefly icons came out well because I was getting used to blending people into the backgrounds and using minimalistic techniques.

July 17+18, 2008


The magic that is Dr. Horrible finally made its way to the interwebz and I was actually inspired to do a set of text icons. I definitely improved my text skills.

July 23, 2008


I think I found my style with this batch. My coloring wasn't too overwhelming as it had been in previous sets and I didn't rely on too many light/grainy textures.

August 07, 2008


I tried a lot of different techniques in this batch that I hadn't tried prior. I softened my coloring while throwing in some icons that were completely one color and I focused on composition.

August 11+16, 2008


At this point I was just going icon by icon and focusing on the coloring that way. I didn't want to stick to one coloring for the entire set. I started to combine different types of text in an icon and started to use colors that were part of the icon to begin with.

November 16, 2008


This was the beginning of my love affair with side bars on icons. If I wanted to focus in on my subject or if I had unwanted space I would take the easy way out and just add bars on each side of the icon.

November 23, 2008


It's an addiction! I can't help it, those damn bars will rule the world some day! Anyway, despite using bars in practically all of my icons I continued to improve. I experimented with using the lighten mode to blend pictures together and I also continued to expand parts of pictures that weren't there. For example, in the first icon the top of the tree didn't exist but I created it so I could have more space.

January 2009


I think it's safe to say that I finally tamed the beast that is selective coloring! I started using color balance more often now and enhancing the natural colors of the subjects.

February 2009




I think I realized that my icons were too crowded and so I took a new approach by stopping my abuse of textures and going for a more simplistic look. I used a lot of subdued colors like dull yellows, oranges and pinks.

March 01, 2009



Continuing my use of subtler colors in this batch but I also found some new textures! I was going for a softer look by lightening the blacks and brushing over the icons with a soft, white brush.

March 24, 209


I decided I wanted more intense colors so I focused on color themes throughout each icons and enhanced the colors that way. Not much else to say except that I found quite a few helpful textures.

June 07, 2009


I went for bold colors and I played around with the sharpening and blurring functions. I also tried to return to text use a little more because I had been neglecting it a bit.

June 14, 2009


I used a lot of magentas and oranges in this set which I had never really played with before. I really wanted this set to be more creative than I had been because I hadn't hit that level of icon making that I wanted to reach, but I think I did with this batch.

July 2009 (I haven't posted a few of these yet)


I feel like I have come a long way since I started making icons, but the funny thing is I only realized that now that I have finished this post. Before this I thought I wasn't all that bad a few months ago but honestly I was a lot worse than I thought. For this batch I focused on being creative with what I was making and trying new techniques. I used a lot of textures and tried to find interesting caps to work with.






 
 
 
Marion: pimpageentwashian on July 19th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
Wow, some of those early icons are pretty bad. (I only feel a little bit guilty saying this, because everything you've been making for the past couple years is gorgeous).

Yay new bike! My little sis just got one for her birthday. :)
lucky_penny01: BtVS walllucky_penny01 on July 19th, 2009 11:36 pm (UTC)
I know! I'm embarrassed looking at them. Yay for improvement! And thank you :D
Marion: pillow fortentwashian on July 20th, 2009 02:48 am (UTC)
You shouldn't be embarrassed, you should be very proud. :)

I hope that in a couple of years I'll be comfortable enough with my cumulative works to make a post like this.
egotists: J2 → Sam lovesegotists on July 19th, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC)
Your level of improvement is amazingggg. Great job, hon. Seriously, you've got super skills.


I suck at making icons or I'd join it but I'll probably keep an eye for pretty icons!

And I'm on team Sammy +D Yay!
Deej: [design] create something newdeej on July 22nd, 2009 01:13 pm (UTC)
I LOVE these Making of an Icon Maker posts, it's so interesting to watch the progression and see how personal styles develop. Ah, minimalism ♥ Many iconners struggle with it because they have so much to say and only 1000 pixels to say it in! But you've definitely nailed it: less is more.