This is my third year in a row doing this year-end meme. As previously, I just copied the old stuff I wrote and tacked on the new stuff for the latest year at the end. Just to explain why the last three years are all written present tense. I always put this in my private LJ before, but this seems like a better place to put this!
These aren't AWFUL, but that's only because I hadn't really figured out how to do anything yet. A cropped image + some text will never be terrible. Also, I had a bit of an advantage artistically, as I had been doing digital art for a while off livejournal before getting into icons, so I already understood things like aspect ratio and levels and stuff. I dabbled a bit in textures, but we'll see in a moment that 2005 is really when I let textures take over my life. But wow @ my captions, lol. And the borders. SO MANY 1 PIXEL BORDERS.
2005 was clearly THE YEAR OF MASSIVE IMPROVEMENT. And also THE YEAR OF INCREDIBLE TEXTURE ABUSE. Text on icons from this era were generally song quotes, and I had a severe obsession with uneven borders. The 'artistic cropping' was one of a batch of mockery icons that I made to light heartedly poke fun at the trends at the time. Since those trends are now old as hell it's funny to look back on them, because it seemed like ALL the iconmakers were abusing them at the time.
But back to the icons: seriously girl, those textures. What were you thinking.
This was the year of Stargate, I guess, because going back through my archive, I discovered that I only made TWO non-Stargate icons in all of 2006. Woowww. BUT ANYWAY. We're getting into somewhat subtler techniques here. Also, starting to move away from text, and embracing black and white pretty hard. I have to say though the one of Weir at the door window is probably one of my favorite icons I've ever made. :)
This is about the time I discovered LIMS, so it got me to try some new styles and techniques. I also got into some more interesting fonts, and did my first big batch of text-only icons. And yay, different fandoms. :)
This was a bad year for iconning. I only made two icon posts, and they weren't all that inspired. I reverted back to some severe texture abuse. The other icons are pretty blah, basically just crops of comics from xkcd.com. THE YEAR OF NO CREATIVITY! YAY! This is also about the time I lost all ability to put any sort of good text on my icons, and I have yet to regain it.
Starting to get back into it again, although my style was still floundering here. Although I finally figured out that when I cut out a person, I didn't have to put them on a SOLID GREY BACKGROUND! I COULD PUT OTHER STUFF BEHIND THEM! WOW! This was also another extremely unproductive year. :/
Back to massive, massive productivity! I have landcomms and LIMS communities to thank for this. <3 Also Fringe, obviously, because my first set of icons after about 800 years of not doing any were Fringe ones. Woo for new tv obsessions to inspire me. These days I'm into simpler things. Profiles, isolated characters, colors, movement, clean lines.
I made so many icons this year. So many. But I've enjoyed it. :3 I think I've carried through my new love of colors. I've also enjoyed experimenting, pushing myself to try new things. Some experiments didn't work so well, but some did. And I totally rediscovered textures. I used them a LOT this year. My go-to crops were generally one of three: far-away center crop, super close-up crop, or stuck-in-a-corner crop. Lol. The super-close up is my favorite. It can't be done with every cap obviously, but when it can be done, it looks so good to get right up in someone's face. But I really love my work this year (although I do every year because I'm always improving!), and hopefully 2012 will be as productive and educational. :D
Hey look, I kinda figured out how to text again! :D I pretty much picked out my best text icons to include here, but there were certainly lots of text missteps. But I was determined to get good at it again, and practice makes perfect of course, so I kept at it. And I think I did improve on my text quite a bit.
Apart from text, I got pretty creative this year, if I may say so. I experimented a LOT, probably even more than last year. I tried my hand at all kinds of techniques. (The biggest fail was probably the whole painting thing; I tried it on a few icons to mixed results, but I think overall it's just not my style.) I think I got a lot better with textures, and also, COMPOSITION! Looking back, I haven't really been this adventurous in my iconning since 2005, and I really had so much fun with it. Putting two or more elements together in one little box? Omg. I love the challenge. :D
I think the biggest thing that has carried through from previous years is my love of profiles and silhouettes. I basically never get tired of a good profile image.
One downside: apart from that one Star Trek pop art set, I basically forgot how to do bright/vibrant colors. Buuuut I really like the muted and sedate colors I generally have going on anyway. Still, I want to try more bright colors next year!
I've rambled quite a lot so I'll shut up in a second. But I just wanted to point out that I put more icons in the meme for this year because 2012 has been my most prolific iconning year ever. If you're a nerd like me and like numbers, here are some for you:
Total icons posted in 2012: 1162
Total icons posted since 2004: 3331
Percentage of icons made in 2012: 35%
So even though I've been iconning for 8+ years, I have made over 1/3 of all of my icons in the past year. Wow.
I would say "how the hell did that happen??" except I do distinctly recall many caffeine-fueled sessions where I made icons until the sun rose. Uh.. I have a life. I swear.
Here's to 2013! :D