I know, I know, everyone else has already moved on to 2013, but I'm still making progression posts :p Anyway, this is the second part to my progression post (the first part here), and this part is all about 2012. This one isn't quite as lulzy when it comes to bad icons (I would hope so at least!), but hopefully this is more interesting from a progress point of view? Idk.
Warning: image heavy and rambly. This might get weirdly scrambled if you click the cut, so I'd advice to click the title!
Again, all the icons link to the post containing them, and I'm using the making month instead of posting month if they're different.
January 2012 aka The Glowy, Saturated Month
I started the month with some over the top lightblobby stuff for farscape_20in20 and there's an ugly blurriness and a bad balance of brightness and contrast in the set.
A PLOT TWIST and a really really big step for me - I participated in inspired20in20! This was the first time I tried a bigger multifandom comm! The results were hideous, mostly experimenting with things I sucked at (which was part of the idea of the round, but still...).
Next was another farscape_20in20 set - again super colorful, but I dumped the glow for a slightly grungier style. I like the general look/idea of this set a lot, but there's a technical flaw or two in each of the icons and I find the texture use and lighting especially lacking.
I was really competitive and ambitious (even more than usual) during the whole month, and had more stress than fun :/ This was obviously doing it wrong.
Favorite set: The last one (farscape_20in20) | Least favorite set: inspired20in20
Favorite icon: 8 (I somewhat like the blend) | Least favorite icon: ugliest experiment ever tbh
Icons made: ~90
February 2012 aka The Oversharpening Month
The HP set for inspired20in20 was such a big deal in so many ways; it was NOT FARSCAPE, and the first set that didn't go completely unnoticed as suddenly lots of people were leaving me positive feedback :O I'm not sure if it was the more popular subject or that this set was simply better than the last inspired20in20 one, which I think it really is. I quite like many of the icons in the set; the texts don't completely suck, there's a better control over textures and this was just a really quite good set as a whole.
Then I made a big post with stuff from a farscape_land battle, a farscape_20in20 entry and my first ever big20in20 entry. I suddenly wanted to sharpen everything a LOT. Idek. I had a blast with this batch though, I just let myself be as creative as I wanted, having finally gotten over most of my success stress (major accomplishment, so YAY!), so I went all texture crazy and experimental and did lots of monochromes too. A lot of this batch sucks, but some are quite cool despite the sharpness. I really like 4 and 5.
Favorite set: inspired20in20 | Least favorite set: farscape_land battle
Favorite icon: 2 (the earliest case of me using that particular favorite texture - also the first icon by me that ever made it into a praise post! Aw.) | Least favorite icon: WHY the blue panel why, also really blurry and LQ looking with bright pink shadows.
Icons made: ~82
March 2012 aka 'To Hell With Quality, Let's Experiment Even More' Month
Ok, the icons I chose to show here are ok, but seriously this month had a lot of wtf and just plain ugly stuff.
First I made icons for inspired20in20 and scifi20in20. I quite love the first example, I tried something new with the coloring. Then again the rest of the set has some pretty ugly stuff and hideous sharpening, coloring and texture use. The scifi20in20 set is even worse - the 4th example is the only good one, the rest is goddamn ugly and atrocious.
These only paved way for a freaking HORRENDOUS set of farscape_20in20 and I Am Number Four icons; I have no idea about these really, it was all experimenting but idk calling it that kinda gives a bad name to experimenting cause I've experimented better, right? ._. I like 6, but the set also contained this, this, this, this and this, so... yeah. My worst 2012 batch probably.
This month I started seriously planning an icon journal, but didn't want to do it alone, so I teamed up with the awesome sayuri_x, bizarra and ghanimasun.
Oh and a major step for me: I applied to 20inspirations, my first time applying anywhere! The answer was a no, but I got some invaluable concrit that I think shows in my following sets.
Favorite set: TBBT for inspired20in20 | Least favorite set: those random I Am Number Four icons
Favorite icon: 4th example | Least favorite icon: This is nausea in icon form
Icons made: ~92
April 2012 aka Playing It Safe Month
First I made some Hermione icons for character20n20. I quite like some, but overall this set was much worse than I remembered. It has bad blending/composition, sketchy texture use, some overglowiness and some really, really bad coloring.
Then was my GoT set for inspired20in20, and it's for the most part pretty decent actually, if a bit safe and dull. Lots of close crops, the colorings were soft and pastelly, mostly purple and blue tones. 4 is one of my better blendings, I just wish it was sharper, like a lot of this set - having gotten some concrit on my oversharpening, I think I went to the other extreme here :p
Next up was a really quite boring and lame and weak farscape set (my quickest fs20in20 set to date). I tried to practise lighting, but I'm not sure how well I got that down. These aren't atrocious like the previous set for the comm, but it all looks just meh and blah to me.
I was randomly invited to whedon_elite, which was huuuuuge cause it was the first time ever I was invited anywhere :O 8 was the most memorable icon I made for the comm, and while it's kinda hideous, I have a soft spot for it cause for the longest time it epitomized where I wanted to go with my style.
Favorite set: GoT for inspired20in20 | Least favorite set: farscape_20in20
Favorite icon: None quite work for me, but I suppose 3 | Least favorite icon: KILL IT WITH FIRE. Oh except it looks like someone already has.
Icons made: >94
May 2012 aka 'What the Actual Fuck Is This???' Month
Omg, so many sets this month. First I made some experimental John/Scorpius that no-one liked for farscape_land, kinda wtf but I have no regrets. Then was the BSG set for big20in20, the theme (geometry) inspired me a lot, though many of the results were a bit random (I used math stuff as textures ok). Still, 2 is in my top 5 of the year, I'm super proud of it!
Then were the two of the sloppiest sets ever: Willow for character20n20 and Picturesque round of inspired20in20. I made all of the 40 icons in two days o_O it shows. I went for a vibrant, glowy and horribly blurry style, lots of bad coloring and some real wtf.
I reapplied to 20inspirations (cause they were closing application soon) and undeservedly got in. The round was almost over when I did, so I made another really quick and crappy set, most of the icons are overtextured even to my liking(!!). I quite love the Vulcan pride one, and 9 and 10 are nice, but there's some truly hideous stuff in the set too and I'd rather just forget that this was my first set there :p
As if all this wasn't enough, I participated in turbo_rumble for the first time. I was stupid and literal and thought the icons had to actually look like they're from 2009 or something, and mine sure did. These two embarrass me the most. I really love 11, but the rest was varying amounts of crap.
This month could have been pretty damn awesome if I hadn't tried to to EVERYTHING. Cause the hits here are really good imo, but I was so busy (I even had an exam week this month! o_O) that most of my icons were not quite there.
Favorite set: uggh big20in20 if I have to choose | Least favorite set: it's a toss between turbo_rumble and Willow
Favorite icon: 2, love the composition and coloring | Least favorite icon: The quality astounds me + freaky eyes
Icons made: >124 o____O ok then.
June 2012 aka 'Everything but the Kitchen Sink' Month
Another month with a ton of challenges. First was a Chiana/Sikozu for farscape_20in20, gave me a chance to work on my blocking and blending. This set bores me a bit, but is of better overall quality than any from the previous month.
big20in20 actually used a theme I had come up with :) I still quite like the multifandom batch I made, it has some nice coloring and texture use, but none of the icons are really showstopper material.
THEN, a fugly BSG set for character20n20, these are really sloppy and blurry with bad texture use. I tried a darker, grungier style. Some worked slightly better (and even they are forgettable), some not so well, and this gem even makes it in my top 5 ugliest icons of the year.
I participated in 21tvthrowdown and did quite well with my Faith set, even though most of them were pretty sloppy (again, sigh). The most important set this month however was my 'About Me' set for 20inspirations. This is my favorite challenge ever, cause I like to ramble about myself and pretend it's interesting. I went for complex icons and loved coming up with creative ways of translating parts of me into icons. That's why this set means a lot to me and while I can see that many of them are lacking in execution, I really love the ideas behind them all, and think that with minor tweaks they could be awesome.
I also took part in the first icon battle at icon_talk with dull results, and somehow got nominated for Best Scifi at magicawards, which I really didn't expect but it and all the +1s and votes warmed my heart a lot and made me believe I wasn't far from being good enough, whatever that means.
I also finally created this comm that our little group had been planning for months, lol.
Favorite set: About Me | Least favorite set: Adama for character20n20
Favorite icon: 9, it has the most meaning for me | Least favorite icon: I already mentioned my great love for this -.-
Icons made: ~103
July 2012 aka 'Quality over Quantity, Fucking Finally' Month
This was my least iconful month, which might be why I like most of the icons I made. First was a mini set for 21tvthrowdown, I quite like them all, especially 1 because of the interesting blur effect.
Then was what is probably the best set I've made for farscape_20in20! A lot of effort went into those icons and I pretty much love them all :) Lots of bright candy colors (can you tell that they're my favorites?), some nice texturing and lighting and composition, text that doesn't completely suck, I just love this batch ok! The worst one is probably this, but even that isn't that horrible, just a bit wtf.
I placed third in farscapelims, yay! This was the unlucky icon that got me booted; I still like the coloring and composition, but haaate that I used (nick)name as text, lol. My favorite LIMS icon is 3, the coloring might be radioactive but I love it :>
Another icon battle at icon_talk happened, my set was quite dull save for 2 which a lot of people, including me, seemed to love. I still do, but would like to make the upper part a bit less shiny. Also I unluckily ended up in a super hyper elite team and was 100% overshadowed and felt soooo tiny again, lol.
It's difficult to estimate how many icons I made cause there were a few for flash comms and other random stuff.
Other highlights: theiconquest started, I participated in Ask The Maker (OMG I STILL HAVEN'T MADE ALL OF THE TUTORIALS. I KNOW I SUCK AND SHALL NEVER EVER PARTICIPATE AGAIN. ;__;)
Favorite set: farscape_20in20 | Least favorite set: 21tvthrowdown
Favorite icon: 2 | Least favorite icon: Why didn't this yellow-faced mess get me eliminated from the LIMS?
Icons made: ~67?
August 2012 aka The Relatively Simple Icon Month
This month I challenged myself at farscape_20in20: I decided not to use any textures in the set! The result was lots of close crops, a heavy focus on lighting, really simple icons (for me ;) ) and a kind of Topazed look even though I didn't even have Topaz, lol. I just found out that MQ caps + close crops + trying to reduce the noise by hand and random filters = bad combo :p I'm glad I challenged myself, but this round just made me more convinced that I do love textures and not using them at all takes much of the fun away.
I participated in turbo_rumble with another crappy set, which I adored after making it but again after getting the concrit I really agreed with most of it. I still like 3 and 4, but the rest I want to forget. I did horribly with the voting participation too, and the reason is simply that I was so ashamed to look at the posts with everyone else having gorgeous icons and mine just looking like crap ._.
I also started making icons for theiconquest. I quite love these, especially 6 and its texture use/color combo!
Favorite 'set': the icons made for theiconquest | Least favorite set: turbo_rumble
Favorite icon: 6 | Least favorite icon: why would I ruin a perfectly cute Master cap like this ;_;
Icons made: ~72
September 2012 aka Practising Every Possible Skill Month
scifi20in20 had a technical claim round. I chose text, and my set featured quite a few different ways to use it, and a lot of compositions and colorings I like. The set is a bit 'much' as a whole, but I that never bothered me. The only icon I don't like is this, but all the others look good to me, especially 1-5 here. I always got the idea that others didn't like this set as much as most of my other sets, but I wish they did cause it's definitely one of my favorites!
Next up was a mediocre and pretty safe Chiana set for farscape_20in20. There are lots of fillers in it, but no real fuglies. The ac set with the random lyrics was a bit weak maybe, but I liked some of my theme icons, esp 6 and 7 here.
I then made the rest of the ginormous theiconquest post where I used all my five attempts at once which was against the rules so oops :/ But hey, I loved the set!! I mean that many icons are bound to contain some fillers and I'd like to sharpen a lot of these, but the majority of those icons I'm happy with. My focus was texture use and lighting, and making those DW icons started my short-lived but nice-to-have-had obsession with mutedness and simplicity. ALSO, I think I did fantastic with the Survivor set - you have no idea how LQ my material was. I'm talking images of this quality!
Favorite set: scifi20in20 | Least favorite set: farscape_20in20
Favorite icon: 2 | Least favorite icon: I swear this looked good when i made it D:
Icons made: ~150 o__O
October 2012 aka 'Lighting All the Way' Month
The month started with the Master, which is the best way to start anything tbh. The 'muted' category theme at character20n20 led me towards some, well, mutedness :p and again I focused on lighting above all else, but then I balanced it with a really composed, complex and more colorful ac set which produced one of my favorite icons I made in 2012 - the first example here. I think overall this set is really nice, a bit on the blurry side maybe, but stylewise I like it!
I applied to a_mused</lj> and somehow got in omg. Again the round was almost over when i started making my set so it was a pretty quick one, but it sucks surprisingly little. It's a bit safe, I didn't want to give a bad first impression with something experimental like I did at 20inspirations. There are no stunners in it, but I like them. There are both grungy ones and shiny ones and the the former definitely appeal to me more! I also posted some theiconquest icons, but they were so forgettable that i'll just ignore them.
I wanted to try another text set to get better at it so I had my own little challenge with thyla87. I like what I did with the text in some of them, and the colorings are nice. Also a mini entry for farscape_20in20, can't say it's anything special really but I like 6 for the ominous lighting.
Also lots of icontest participating (scificontest, whedon_elite ).
Favorite set: character20n20 | Least favorite set: theiconquest
Favorite icon: 1 | Least favorite icon: Flattest monochrome ever :/
Icons made: ~86
November 2012 aka The Mostly Muted Month
Basically I like most of the icons I made this month, and some of them I really love.
I had an awesome Master icon battle with spittingfish; I was a bit freaked out when she asked me to have one, my first thought was 'omg I'm just some UTR who barely got into a_mused and she mods it and my icons are going to look like crap next to hers, THIS IS A TRAP'. But then the even larger part of me just thought 'MASTER ICONS' so I agreed :D Her results were a thousand times better than mine, but I can look at mine without being overly ashamed, so that's something at least :D
Then I made some icons for the trope_overdosed final round, not half bad, I liked a lot of the grunginess and texture use; an iconbattling set that did pretty nicely and I quite like the lightings; and some theiconquest wizard icons that are mostly just ok but some I really dig, especially 5 and this one.
Next was a muted DW set for character20n20 and a vibrant one for rainbow_elite, which helped me produce one of my favorites of the year, 8. The character set is quite good too, I like the compositions, mutedness and the grunge. My only problem with the set is some over-Topaz (I finally got it, haha, probably shouldn't have).
The pale round of rainbow_elite inspired some simpler icons and close crops, not as good as my vibrant set but I like some a lot.
Favorite set: Vibrant rainbow_elite set | Least favorite set: Wizard icons for theiconquest
Favorite icon: 8 | Least favorite icon: I don't really hate it, but this one is unoriginal, blurry and LQ-looking
Icons made: >110
December 2012 aka The Colorful Grunge Month
The most important set of the month for me was the first one - DW icons for inspired20in20, omg judging by the comments this set was twice as popular than anything else from me ever o_O I had a love/hate relationship with it when posting it, I have problems with the image quality in some cases and it has some darlings I should have killed cause they looked more awesome in my head (including the topaziness of this one, I swear there was a reason D:). Then again the overwhelming love for the set has definitely made me appreciate it more and I especially love the concepts/ideas of all the icons, the texturizing and the colors too :> This set started this whole colorful textured vintage/grunge thingie which feels like ~'my thing' more than anything I've tried before, so you might see it for a while, until I get bored again haha.
My next set was a Christmas present for thyla87 and made me icon some shows I've never watched. The same candy color vibrancy wouldn't work, so instead I focused on a bit deeper colors or in some cases lighting. I love some of the results, but some feel like going back to a style I'm not really into anymore, and wasn't even while making them.
Then there was the farscape_20in20 set where I tried to continue in the vein of that inspired set, and some results I looove for the texturizing and candy coloring, while some were made in toothachy hell which shows.
Other icons made in December include a wonderous_stuff icon battle with quite nice results, esp. 5; two sets for the7days, neither is very interesting but the quality must be ok cause they did quite well against reaaally fantastic sets, idek; plus lots and lots of weekly challenge entries.
The highlight of the month would be a toss between what happened with the insp20in20 set and being invited to the7days</lj>. I had wanted to get in for sooo long, but refused to drop my own name because tbqh I didn't want to know if I wouldn't get in :p
Favorite set: inspired20in20 | Least favorite set: first the7days entry
Favorite icon: 3rd example | Least favorite icon: I just wanted to see if I could do the whole painty style, the answer is obviously NO.
Icons made: ~114
Icons made during the year: ~1200 WHAT I HAD NO IDEA THERE WOULD BE SO MANY omg I have no life.
Icon posts: 33
So this was my 2012, hope you agree that it was an improvement from the previous year :) Nobody will actually read these rambles, but I really loved writing this if only for the opportunity to scrutinize all my sets. My progress hasn't been very linear cause my style jumps all over the place, but I suppose the slope of the quality curve has been positive for the most part, and I hope I can keep that up! Also making this post really showed me how freaking many icons I've made, which is why one of my icon resolutions was basically to make a bit fewer of them this year in an attempt to focus on quality over quantity.
And now I'm finally ready to move on to 2013, expect my next post (character20n20 + Rose Tyler) in a couple of days :)