darkmoon3636 began creating emoticons at the age of 14, and continued to make them regularly until she was 17-18. Her interests were originally in animation and pixel-art, since she liked the idea of being able to create without the need for a graphics tablet or additional hardware. She first tried her hands at avatars, which she did not feel she was very good at. She then moved over into emoticons, which soon became her favorite hobby for several years. During the period darkmoon was most active on deviantART (2004-2006), the emoticon community on the site was just starting out and there were not many artists creating in the medium. She found herself experimenting a lot with the direction she wanted to go with style and content.
Inspiration and Tools of the Trade
Although artist hprince329 had left deviantART by the time darkmoon had started emoting, his work had a very strong impact on her and pushed her to become more immersed in the emoticon medium. During her period creating emotes, darkmoon used various programs, including Ulead GIF Animator 5, which she learned how to animate through.
Smiley Style and Preference
During her time emoting, darkmoon3636 predominantly focused on creating small “chat-friendly” emoticons. Her works are known for their colorful shading and crisp outlining which allows the detailing and expressions to be clear and easily distinguishable. While her initial works featured statics and simple animations, her later works showcased more sophisticated movement and special effects.
These days, darkmoon prefers static emoticons that integrate into text unobtrusively or those with simple animations; smaller sizes have always been a great appeal her. During her time in the emoticon scene, she also admired longer animations since she felt they “could often tell stories or jokes in tiny-form”.
Emily describes emoticons as a “kind of like a box of chocolates”, featuring different types that appeal to different tastes. darkmoon3636 created well over 200 emoticons when she was active. Approximately 160 are featured in her online gallery, plus additional emotes can be found in several packs for offline use. Many more of her creations were made specifically for commissions or simply were not uploaded for the public. Darkmoon’s emoticons were (and remain) so popular that many of them have been included in the “legend” on deviantART, meaning that all site members can easily use the emoticons in their messages and journals.
Aside from her popularity on deviantART, darkmoon3636’s emoticons are well-known throughout the internet, appearing on forums, chats, and websites. In July of 2009, Emily gave formal permission for her emoticons to be used freely offsite, with the explicit restriction that no profit were to be made from them. As a result, her emoticons continue to be enjoyed regularly by online users.
Though darkmoon is no longer active in the emoticonist scene, she has a lot of fond memories of her time emoting. Particularly, she feels that the in-depth critiques by fellow artists, camelhijackation and budgieishere, helped her immeasurably in refining her skills. She also fondly remembers many of the other artists who were active in during that time, such as sml-e, eStunt, Zikes and livius. Those artists, and others in the community at that time, provided her with encouragement and support which she appreciates and cherishes to this day. For Emily, emoticons represent not only an art form she loved, but a special period in her life.
Other Art and Moving On
Emily continues to create art, including digital drawings, fan art and other “indulgent things that are low stress”. While she is very proud of her emoticon work, she acknowledges that emotes were a phase for her. As time went on, she started to move away from the genre due to school commitments. As a result, for a period of 2 years, she focused her talents on painting. When her time freed enough to finally return to emoting, she realized that it simply didn’t fit her anymore, and instead began exploring other art forms.
darkmoon3636’s Web Presence
darkmoon3636 does not have a personal website. Her gallery of work can be found on her deviantART page.
Notes and References
|Date Published:||Article has not been published yet|
|Last Modified:||September 16, 2019|
*** This article has been approved by the referenced artist ***