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My entries: 1 - 5 6 - 12
Yes, I duplicated a few images; you noticed? I have no idea why Starry let me get away with it, other than she was being super-generous.
This was a special challenge for me in a lot of ways. When it began, I had just lost a friend in fandom (how is neither here nor there at the moment) and I used this challenge to push myself through a period of intense grief.The person I'm speaking of had been very supportive of my artwork and so I had them in mind the entire time and kept asking myself, "What would she think? Would she approve of this?" I tried out new-to-me techniques and came out with a set of entries and alts I'm immensely proud of. (That this person had not passed away in fact is neither here nor there now.) I decided to focus on Buffy, my favorite fictional character, and dive in deep. (That this person was not a Buffy fan, making this an altogether strange "memorial" is neither here or nor there either.)
1 - 2 ) Probably the simplest icons I made that round, so the 2nd and 3rd place awards stunned me. The Dawn icon I literally threw together at the last minute because I realized I wanted to do something with Dawn in it and I liked the image. #2 is the only cap from that heartbreaking scene in Listening to Fear that I could make a decent image from. I had wanted to depict Buffy crying but had to go with this. I also had to make the scene look like daytime light in order to make it visible; the caps are incredibly dark and this is deceptively warm and sunny. But I like it that way.
3 - 4, 12) The one moment in BtVS when a character shattered the "fourth wall"; it's been done as a gimmick countless times before and since (Garry Shandling, anyone?) but this is one of the few instances I can think of when it's genuinely unsettling. The camera is uncomfortably close to Sarah's face and we are "in her space" as she calls us out on our passive complicity. As viewers we are "enjoying", are "entertained" by her pain and trauma; and unlike her friends we've been in on the secret from the beginning. I love Sarah's face as Buffy (and specifically as Buffy); and unlike so many caps for the series, this image is relatively good quality, clear and well-lit.
5) Another image that I've reused in other projects and dearly love, Buffy in her own dream at the beginning of Nightmares; I layered two photographs my sweetie took of New England sunsets over Buffy. Yes, the clouds were really that brilliant and fluffy and I only slightly adjusted the saturation.
6 - 7) These Joyce & Buffy icons were two of my favorites going into the challenge; I absolutely teared up while I making them. And made tons of alts, which were nothing more than small tweaks to coloring, sharpness etc. I made versions that included text (see alts) from The Gift, "I just wish my mom was here." What Buffy says to Giles (again) in Intervention, that she feels that being the Slayer is turning her into stone, was also on my mind. I wanted to compare/contrast Joyce who is dead, "cold as stone" but very much alive in her daughter's memory; and Buffy who is alive but feels herself to be a dead thing. Her depth of feeling indicates to me that nothing could be further from the truth but it's what she believes about herself. (I have strong words for Xander Harris and Riley Finn and their entitled manpain but I will keep them to myself at the moment. In the interest of the children.)
"Sing" on number 3 and it's alts refers both to Buffy's lament "Something to Sing About"
and "Sing" written by Joe Raposo
(1971) and made famous by the Carpenters, a song I grew up with thanks to Sesame Street and probably had on my CD player when I was making this set.
9) Another of my favorites, "Normal Again grune wall" is still in my userpic gallery. The look of this icon was inspired by tempertemper
's 1st place Willow/Tara icon for slayerstillness Challenge 32
from Oct 2014, believe it or not. I even asked her how she got the look of the icon, attempted to duplicate it to the best of my limits and got something completely different. I'm still really pleased by the balance of sharpness and blur and how palpable it seems: Buffy dirty hair, her gritted teeth, and tensed muscles are all very sharp, contrasted with her hand flapping impotently against her attacker. It's an incredibly sad image; that the girl who went up against Angelus ("Take all that away and what's left?" / "ME.") is reduced to this, even if it's an hallucination, and that she should find this state of affairs preferable. Of course it also speaks to Joss Whedon's fascination with tearing characters down to a state of complete powerlessness and then seeing how they react. Which he does over and over and over.....ad nauseum, ad infinitum
11) I actually had snogged
on the brain for this one, due to the rivulet of blood effect. Sarah's hair reminded me of a needle piercing her skin; the effect was surprisingly easy to create. I probably should have kept this one to myself but it was just weird enough that I decided, what the heck
. It's weird. I'm weird. And that's ok.
But OTOH, I thought 13 would be "too weird" to submit, although it's one of my favorites. Go figure.And I did promise a treasure trove of alts. Challenge 37 was a special free-for-all: we were allowed to enter as many as we wanted instead of the usual five. My habit at the time had been, 5-9x the number of alts per entries needed. I entered 12. You do the math, Gentle Reader. This only represents a fraction of my alts btw. You're welcome. (And I wonder why it took me nearly a year to post these?)