There have been a bunch of ranting about the popular community, iconrants and well I feel like I should say something... or not should, but rather want to because everyone wants to comment or the like especially in an online venue.
I love making icons, it's the most fun that I can have that doesn't involve RPing with shuufish, watching anime, or going to Wal-mart with pimp_kitten. I enjoy the practice and the fact that with every time I icon, I can feel that I am improving. I don't make them for the general populace but if I store one over at soylent_icons, everyone else is free to use it. I overall make them because I like to do it, I'm no longer worried about following trends, I icon what I want to icon, if someone crics me, well that's their perogative.
There are certain people though who take joy in undermining the efforts of others by ruthlessly and viciously attacking the things that others have made. I've never been one who has ever or will ever support this. Because while my icons are slowly getting decent, there was a time when I put out icons that looking back weren't very good, but by damn it, I was proud of them. And those icons are still on my computer because they are little stepping stones, all of my past work is.
People should be encouraged in wanting to do something creative, so if they want to make icons.. then they should.. they should put their hearts and souls into it and importantly they should like what they put out... because each icon is a tiny little universe, buillt out of thoughts, lyrics, inspiration. I've seen so many good icons that people have done. And I don't know what thought processes go through them... but I can see that there was a whole realm of thinking that had no part in empty icon making.
Next time you post on icon-rants, remember that icon making isn't about stroking your bnf icon cock, but rather putting your soul into something pretty, something that is almost like a child to you. Exclusion layers, tiny text, saturation.. it's all good.. just as long as -YOU- like what you are doing.
I'm lucky that I've had alot of icon-sensei's along the way. To help build up my confidence to patient crit and suggestions, but they've always allowed me to branch off into my own venue, and that is what is the most important thing.. that you slowly develop your own sense of what works for you, without being afraid of expirentation.