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Submitted on
August 15, 2012
Submitted with Writer


100 (who?)

PE DD Week: Why did an icon get a DD?

Wed Aug 15, 2012, 7:55 AM

Why did an icon get a DD?

Daily deviations tend to be a controversial topic within the community and whether or not a DD is worthy of the feature is, as such, often discussed.
As a CV for Icons & Handhelds I often find it interesting to read these discussions, since that way I can see what the community expects of the features, but the recent negativity on the Icons & Handhelds DDs is something I would like to address, which is why I'm thankful I'm given this opportunity during the Daily Deviation PE-week. I will try to explain why I think icons and handhelds are worthy of the feature and why they may be dismissed just a bit too quickly.

Let's begin at the beginning.

When deviantART first started, it was a site that mainly geared towards customization. Be it wallpapers or icons, if you take a look at some of the first DDs. So how come there's this sudden negative shift when it comes to customization? The works that are being shared are still of the same high standards, some even better and the resources allow for a lot of new user-themes and desktop-icons. It's a gallery that constantly releases new resources either by building on the resources release by others or by making an entirely new path for themselves. This is the first reason why I think that customization is worth checking out.

"If I have seen farther it is by standing on the shoulders of giants" -- Isaac Newton

"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.

icon: KOIFLSH by Kuitsumi Candy-gram for mister ahfemashajamenson... by Crazdude CM- Kyonei by xX-KK-Xx
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. :XD: 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. 

Oat Icon by GrumpyCinnamonster Free Avatar: Naruto Eating Ramen by kawaiihannah Free Icon Base 1 by thelunacy-fringe Owl Flip dA Icon FREE by MoogleyMog

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!

Art Nouveau Icons by LineBirgitte Rolleiflex Camera Icon by bisiobisio Picnic basket by JackieTran

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.

Pixell art in Cross stitch by syosa Link the Brave Bead Sprite by SerenaAzureth Sonic 2x2 Lego Pixel Sprite by Technomancer-Prime :thumb50346167:

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. 
And the people who have the nerves of steel to make these pieces deserve all my respect.

Add a Comment:
TheCameraGirl Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm so happy you wrote this. :tighthug:
Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem! :w00t:
PizzaPotatoNBacon Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Student General Artist
I agree!
I have some pixel art in my gallery, and it's hard to make it look like I want it to. When it does, I feel so much joy! :happybounce: Pixel icons are pretty hard to make.
As for desktop icons, I really love 'em! :love: They're awesome to use, and make your whole experience so much cooler even if they're visual modifications of programs and/or really great icons for this software!
WDWParksGal Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012
So true, so true. deviants who do not do pixel art have no idea how intricate and time-consuming it is. The DDs given not only feature amazing pixel work (that has to be done one, tiny little pixel at a time), but give exposure to a wonderful gallery full of fun works to enjoy. Excellent article and very timely :aww:
Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Late reply is late, but indeed! If only it would be a prerequisite to have tried what you are about to complain over. :noes:

And thank you! <3
Requiemachina Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012
I enjoy pixel art, and i feel you have explained the whole idea greatly.

Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! :tighthug:
Beholdentolove Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Art is anything that the mind creates.
Hardrockangel Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Indeed. :nod:
Nameda Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Professional General Artist
not an artform for me :XD: to tiny and way too much patience needed for *lol*
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