greerwatson (greerwatson) wrote,

Fandom Snowflake 2021 #14

Snowflake Challenge promotional banner featuring a chubby brown and red bird surrounded by falling snow. Text: Snowflake Challenge: 1-31 January.

In your own space, remix an existing work into a new media,....

Not something I can tackle right this minute! And I don't read a lot of remixes. However, I do wonder if something I did a few years ago might qualify. I don't know if it does but....

Is a Yahoo!Group an "existing work"? Not today, for sure, since they've all been discontinued. However, once upon a time ... would a Yahoo!Group be considered a "work"? Not my work, certainly; but I think one could argue that each of them was the collective creation of the fans who were members.

At any rate, over most of 2012 (plus a few more done since), I created a series of icons for all of the Forever Knight factions that I could find. Now, if you were never on FORKNI-L, the FK mailing list, you probably have no idea what a "faction" is. The faction names started as referents for followers of particular characters—and later, pairings—who played as teams in the Wars. (These were basically a series of round-robin RPGs played on list.) However, when Yahoo!Groups began, most of the factions started their own so that they could chat with a cluster of friends about ... well, all kinds of things. Obviously, this would include FK, their favourite character/pairing, and the next War; but also their personal lives, current events, and other fannish interests. Some of these Yahoo!Groups were very active, and developed their own distinct cultures.

This means that the icons that I was making—at least those for established factions—needed to be more than just captioned screencaps. Each icon had to capture the essence of the faction it represented. It had to summarize the Yahoo!Group.

Many icons, therefore, required me to composit a number of different elements.
  • The oldest factions had symbols, which were originally rough sketches put on buttons for a convention. Some factions had later redone them; and new factions had created their own. So I needed to translate these into something that could be matched with the other elements of the icon.
  • I usually included a screencap; and with some characters I had a lot to choose from. I needed to pick one that would be appropriate to the faction: the expression on the face(s) was critical.
  • Other things were included either to represent some aspect of the faction's culture, or to represent something specific to the characters/pairings involved.
At first, I only planned to do the main factions; but in the end the spirit of completism took over. As each new set of icons was completed, I made a post on my journal, with the icons and a discussion of their design. The link was then posted to FORKNI-L. After a number of posts, I started to get a fair bit of response. In fact, the mailing list fandom eventually got down to a bout of factioneering. Not for the first time: it used to be an occasional amusement. However, this time a lot of new names were bandied about—and even voted on, when there were multiple suggestions. So yet more were made!

You can find the whole group of icons here. Most link to a larger version, which was demanded by list members who wanted to see more of the detail.

For established factions, especially those where there were still members on list, the design had to be approved. It is true that some icons hit the spot immediately; but I often had to change things. A lot of faction members really cared about their symbols; so each updated version I created had to be okayed before I could use it. And there were other types of alteration that people wanted, too. For example, the icon I originally made for the Cousins of the Knight had the crossed swords behind a smaller pocket watch; but I was told that this "felt wrong". The faction leader admitted she'd never realized before how significant the symbolism of the swords was, and asked me to reverse it. The icon for the FK Pagans also had to be extensively redone. I still think the original version was prettier; but they felt it was too Celtic. And the icon for the Dark Perks needed a new rabbit head: their leader loved the pic of Tracy; but she said the rabbit absolutely had to be a white one.

So, if translating a Yahoo!Group into an icon counts.... This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
Tags: snowflake challenge

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