I have a shitload of icons. I have 11,164 images at my new image hosting site. 524 of those are award/participation banners. I created over 10,000 icons in 10 years. *jaw drops*
Unless I'm mistaken I posted my first set of six icons on August 26th, 2006. Original LJ Post
Of course, as the post links to Photobucket non of the images are available, but still.
My last icon post on LJ is from March 24th, 2016. Here on DW it's actually December 26th, 2015 so I didn't actually stay up to date with the crossposting. Although, it appears that it's only that one post.
This is why I count 10 years. And even if it had been 11 - 10,000 icons is still a mindblowing amount.
While the overall quality improved in that time, I remember feeling too much like mass producing them while the first icons were more creative even if I lacked the skill to really make them better quality. I developed an eye for cropping, for colouring and even for text placement (to some extend), but I had some beautiful composition attempts in my early icons.
And while I loved photography before, I think it also influence how I took my photos. Mind you, I also took plenty of photos with the firm mind that I'd turn them into icons or icon textures and I very rarely did that. Especially on the texture front.
And okay, that also makes me feel old as it makes me remember how long I've been in fandom in total. I'm sure I wrote it down somewhere, but off of the top of my head: I'd say my first contact with fandom was late 1990s or 2000. I'm fairly certain I wrote my first English story in spring 2001 and I had some German tries (incl. finished ones) before that and I had been readong for a while before I first started writing. That's at least 17 years as part of fandom.
Man, now I feel old. I spent more than half of my life being a participant of fandom in one way or another - from reader to writer to icon/art maker. I even once tried my hand at making a fanvid (I gave it up after I realised how much work it was to create a half assed, badly cut, badly matched to the music fanvid. Still, it gave me a new appreciation for the fan creation that fanvids are!)
To think that it accompanied me from school to university to my first job to where I'm now. I'm also very grateful that I only ever heard of fandom wars, but never experienced them myself. I also think I only ever got one flame on my stories and the few critics I got on icons (outside of lims and rumbles) was constructive criticism. And in a way, I feel as if I saw fandom grow. I saw it grow from a few websites and some mailinglists to I don't know how many websites, to blogs, to entire communities. Sure, I've also seen fandom die somewhat with websites that disappeared, with authors that disappeared (and sometimes taking all of their stories with them) to fandoms just kind of dying as their tv shows come to an end, as movie series end or as movies are replaced with newer and shinier ones.
And this post was only supposed to be about the amount of icons. Instead it turned into trip down memory lane. And why not? Fandom has played a huge part in my life. It's been as much a comfort to me as music has been. I could sink my emotions into it and find something to resonate with it. Whether it was something to make me cry, to make me angry, to let my anger out (hello character bashing fics), to giving me confidence, to finding hope for the future.