balamm is a Canadian smiley-artist that has been making smileys since 2003. He is also the main artist and developer of the SmileyGenerator.us website.
One of the first smileys that balamm created was of Don King (the boxing promoter). Sadly the old forum where it was posted is now long gone, and he doesn't have a copy of it. However, he has since then created a new one.
balamm makes his smileys in classic "IPB Style," using a combination of IPB and custom smiley parts. He also accessorizes them with additional items. Apart from his standalone smileys, balamm also makes "smiley sets" for use with IPB boards, which conform to the IPB standard set of expressions.
Due to Invision Power Services (IPS) changing their licensing terms and trying to claim ownership of anything that resembled an IPB smiley, he uses a custom-made smiley base. Also of note is that balamm's custom base is designed to work well on both light AND dark backgrounds.
"The creator of the first few images gave up his rights, but that only applies to about 20 of the images contained in the original distro. But IPS believes that their terms should apply to anything even resembling those first few images. We developed our own style because of that. If you zoom in on the IPB originals, and then zoom in on ours, you'll see a difference in the colors and quality of the image base... Most people don't have a clue there even is a difference. [But] I can recognise it anywhere now though."
balamm used to use a large number of animation effects on his smileys, but now he is moving away from that again. See the "Future" section for more info about why.
balamm's smileys cover such a wide range of topics. However one of the more common themes of his smiley, are children. And a lot of his smileys manage to capture that childlike innocence and naivety.
Apart from his children smileys, one of the other things that balamm has a knack for is making car smileys. Especially sports cars...
balamm has also created a number of smiley generators and image tools, to help people to make their own smileys with little or no effort. These are discussed further in the SmileyGenerator article.
One such tool is the DnD Animated Sign Generator, which can be used to superimpose a smiley onto another background.
He also sells scripts to include smiley generators on your own website, and provides technical support for these.
balamm had this to say with regards to where he sees smileys going into the future:
"I've really been uncomfortable with the direction people are going in with these new "smileys"... it's time to get back to basics, simple IPB style smileys without all the added fluff. I think there's too much focus placed on fancy animation effects and movement at the expense of simplicity and getting the idea across.;)"
It's interesting to note that after having been down that road, his tastes have now come full circle.
The Smileygenerator website contains thousands of free smileys, as well as free smileygenerators, smiley sets, and screensavers. There is also a forum attached, which has an active community of members.
July 2015 (update)
The Smileygenerator forum is currently offline due to it "no longer [being] compatible with modern software on the server," and balamm has no idea when (or if) he will have it up and running again. The website still works at the moment, although it will also likely break sometime in the future too.
Notes and References
|Date Published:||Article has not been published yet|
|Last Modified:||May 15, 2017|
*** This article has been approved by the referenced artist ***