Then I began to find the peeps whose icons kind of "defined" a fandom for me - carmendove for SPN, literati for HP, duskicons for SV etc.
Recently there've been a surge in Fandom Quality Icon communities. They claim to accept only the creme de la creme of icon makers and I must admit, when I don't obssess over a fandom's icons, I don't mind being picky- good_hpicons for instance is a lifesaver for a fandom with way too may icons.
There is still the odd icon journal or two which I stalk for gorgeous icons - timorousbeastie for instance- and the fandom icon communties that allow ANYTHINGOMGTOOMUCH - supernatu_icons, super_graphics, stickettes etc.
But I think the top three which I could not live without are basicbases [for true hidden treasures], animeicons [for all my anime needs], and takenote_icons [for the best of the best and for ALWAYS having new blood coming in].
But how the hell do I figure out what icons to pick? In the end I decided that while pretty is as pretty does, I wanted stuff that resonated with me -stuff that *emotes* what I was feeling like "omgSQUEE" even if it didn't expressly say it. So yeah, I think message and the vibe I get makes the decision.
What about y'all?
P.S- My current icon means "look at ME! I want your attention!!! I'm making a statement and you can't do anyth- omg don't hate me"