Why did an icon get a DD?
Let's begin at the beginning.
"There are so much better pieces in this deviant's gallery, why was this tiny pixel featured?"
The short answer would be because a DD is also a feature of an artwork which is outstanding in its own media. not only the deviants gallery.
The long answer is that as the CV for Icons & handhelds, I'm tied by the boundaries of my gallery. I can not DD traditional or digital art, nor can I poke my nose into the anthro gallery. Every CV is assigned a gallery which they applied for in the confidence of doing it justice and being able to pick out the best works. While this doesn't mean I don't like traditional or digital art, it just means I focus on a very specific part of digital art and that I only pick DDs from that specific gallery. And when it comes to featuring DDs, I look at the entire customization gallery, not just at the gallery of one single person.
Community Voices: What is a Daily Deviation?DDs: The deviantART definition
So, as the title says, What in the world IS a Daily Deviation (DD), anyway?
You know what deviantART says about it, right? Under :faq61: it says:
A small assortment of submissions are chosen each day by a select group of staff/volunteer members who wish to showcase an image which they found impressive or otherwise interesting enough to deserve being brought to the attention of the community-at-large.
That says nothing about a DD being a perfect specimen of art-- in fact, it doesn't even use the word "art" at all. Basically, as CVs, when we are giving a DD, we are doing so because we think the image is interesting and well-done and deserves your attention. It may be technically exquisite. It may be technically quite good but exceptionally thought-provoking. It may be exceedingly creative. It may be all of these things! Above all else, it should stand out in some way from others in that medium or gallery.
Pixel iconists are true miniaturists
First of all: most icons I feature are pixel art which, by definition, is art made one pixel at a time. You could essentially compare it to pointillism, but at a much smaller scale. For those of you who've ever tried pointillism, you will undoubtedly know that it's time-consuming and takes meticulous planning of colour and composition. When you relate this to pixel icons, not only are you working on a canvas that's at most 100x50 pixels big, you are also having to fit in tremendous detail and in most cases an animation on so small a scale. While the image can be zoomed in on to make it easier to work, you still have to make sure the image looks good when you zoom out and that all the details read correctly. This can often mean hours of working and reworking until the image looks simple enough to be recognizable, yet detailed enough to make the piece stand out.
I am of belief the amount of work that went into it should not be dismissed simply because it's a small piece. You wouldn't look at a Medieval book-illustration and dismiss it simply because it's tiny, so why do the same with pixel art? Instead, try to look at the intricate detail in the pieces, the animation which is often pretty complicated and try to imagine how long it would take you to make something like that on such a small scale.
It's like pointillism on a canvas the size of your thumb with a pencil the size of a needle, or as $Moonbeam13 put it: "It's like micro lego.".
This dot: . is the size of the brush you work with. Pretty amazing, no? If you haven't tried pixeling yet, I also suggest you do. It is not something that is easy, but it is extremely rewarding when you finish such a small piece completely.
So what about those desktop icons?
Desktop icons, as the name implies, are made to freshen up or to customize your desktop. While they may have a more functional nature to them, that doesn't mean they can't be art.
When you stop to take a look at the many different ideas people come up with, you can't help but be blown away by the creativity of the people who constantly work to allow you to change up your electronics to what you want them to be.
These people work with watercolors to make the icons, or vectors, or pixels. Almost any medium is used and the results are always phenomenal!
I still think icons are unimpressive, what now?
While I can't change your mind if you truly do not like pixel art or icons, I would like to end this article with several types of art that tie in with pixel art, be it in different mediums.
When you're cross-stitching, the chart you're using is pixel-art. When you recreate a sprite from a game you like with Hama-beads, the beads you are using are like the pixels in pixel art. When you make a Pikachu out of lego-blocks, based on the Gameboy game-art, you're pixeling with lego. And when you're making a mosaic, you are basically making a work of pixel art as well.
While all of these examples may seem a bit unconventional when compared to what most people recognize as pixel art, it is in a way reminiscent of the art made with a 1ppi brush on a small canvas.