I don't make graphics too look "cool" or "popular" or to show off, but I make graphics for my graphic watchers and graphic lovers, which are a certain group of people. They (such as sailormewmew and angelhope99) think that a simple base is cool, or just a few words of text slapped onto it, from a name to a quote, is good, they think that all those lighting effects and stuff make the icon hardly seeable (if that's a word) or less enjoyable b/c it takes away from the icon. That's why I added Inuyasha to my main fandoms, and kept Fullmetal Alchemist and Will & Grace when I didn't like them - my graphic watchers and graphic lovers still loved them so I decided to continue to do them whether I like them or not. Even if I don't like the shows themselves, I still like making graphics of them, b/c I know I'm making people happy. That's also why I'm not big on "icontests" - the only reason I got that one trophy from tmm_stillness is b/c no one else would enter, and the owner was getting mad, so I just threw something together, not expecting to win, but with so little competition I got a trophy. If it does turn out to be "cool" or "popular" then that's good, but like I said, I noticed people who make icons to look "cool" and "popular" tend to not take requests, especially of things they don't like, and if you do enter icontests and things like that and still take requests I am not referring to you. But I always take requests, given I have access to the correct images. And I do still have a life - for instance, look at when this request was made... and look how long it took me to do it. Patience is another thing that my graphic lovers and watchers seem to have. I do them in my spare time/when I'm bored/have nothing else to do/feel motivated to do them/etc.
I might take a tutorial if I can find one, but I will not try to look "cool". I will also put on the cut if it does have lighting effects and words that have nothing to do with the icon like "All your base are belong to us" even though the actual scene had nothing to do with someone setting them up the bomb or w/e (unless someone actally requests it, but to date, I have recieved 0 requests like that, nor have I ever felt like it, can't pinpoint things like that). The only communities I present my graphics to are those of the corresponding fandom, but I always say they're just names, b/c I just feel like doing ones of names on them, to show a transformation sequence or something. But in the case of my only nonanimated one, Will & Grace, sometimes I'm watching an episode I downloaded and I see a funny quote like "Up yours, Count Drunkula!" or Will singing the Night Before Christmas with "hiney" as every 5th word. Now putting lighting effects on something like that would totally ruin the icon IMO, it works better on an anime or cartoon, it doesn't seem right on a liveaction show IMO, since what's there is supposed to be there if you know what I mean. But if someone did ask for one like that, I would do it, but once again, no requests or feeling like it, no icon. I've treated Will & Grace like an anime enough and it kinda looked pathetic, and it's bad enough that I download the episodes anyway.
And like I said before, this journal exists b/c my LJ was being too cluttered with graphics making it hard for dialupers to comment, especially since I shoved all my fandoms into one post (on a regular LJ it doesn't seem right doing it seperate), and I would just start in a community but I need a place to get the HTML right, so that's why this exists. I only post them in communities b/c... why not if I'm in the community? Then perhaps I can recieve constructive criticism from fans of the fandom who want it in a particular way, along with more requests. Also, for some people like lankyanimelass who seem to love all my graphics regardless of the fandom.
However, I do admit one thing - I was afraid of those communities like colorbar_elite b/c listening to them messed me up once - that was a big mistake, letting one experience get me down. I might try again, but I think there's a contest involved in that, and I don't care if I win, as long as I learn something and can make people there happy.
...On second thought, maybe not... maybe I should just stick to designated fandom communities. I know I'll make the most people happy there. I'll think about it.