Vox has done it again and it's pretty awesome this time around. Vox is currently helping to host the HP Themes Contest, an event that's being shared between some of the biggest (and best, in my opinion!) blogging sites around: TypePad, Vox and LiveJournal.
I got pretty psyched when I heard about this event because it reminded me of past contests Vox has hosted. Back in late 2006, we hosted our first banner contest, and the winners of the contest got the chance to host their winning banners on Vox so other bloggers could use the designs on their own blogs. I wasn't yet a part of the Vox team then so I was legible to win-- and I did! Two of my banners were chosen ("Beads Love" and "Bubblegum Skies" as seen below) to be used by other people, and I have to say: knowing that other people appreciated what I had to offer, both artistically and bloggingly (tee hee), made me feel pretty awesome. In fact, Team Vox back then liked so many of the banners so much that the team extended the winning number! That just shows how many talented people we have here at Vox. And now that the site is even bigger than before, I think we can expect even more spiffy entries. ^___^
Like I mentioned above, the HP Themes Contest at Vox is a little different. Not only will the winner get his banner chosen to be used on TypePad, Vox and Livejournal, but cash prizes are going to be given out to the three favorite banner winners-- $1800 worth! *dances* If this event would have happened back in 2006, I think I would have been antsy with anticipation to see how my banner was doing with the votes, haha.
Here's a confession. One of my favorite things about blogging at Vox is visiting the Design page. Even though I often host my own banners for my own blog, it's fun to see where Vox likes to go with the designs it hosts. Plus, I get pretty inspired by other peoples' banners, which sparks a lot of creativity with my own designs. Some things that I'd really like to see pop up on the Design page someday are the following:
- More banners containing photography (we have so many talented photographers here)
- More banners made with homemade art, like drawings and paintings
I guess what I'm really looking forward to seeing is the raw art that people can come up with. I like knowing that something digital like a blog banner can be made using tools that are both modern and traditional. I think a lot of people might immediately jump to banner ideas with fun ideas involving work done in Photoshop and Illustrator, which are great programs to use for something like this contest. Something that we don't see very often though are the talents found outside of the computer world, like using stencils or paintbrushes. As long as you have a scanner and a simple image/art editing program then, you can crop the images down to the right size.
What matters most is the inspiration that comes out of whatever a person enjoys doing. For instance, I'm fascinated with color-- how colors work together, how lack of color exists, the brightness or dullness of colors, etc. Being able to experiment with with my hobbies for a contest like the one going on for HP Themes is not just fun to do, but it's an opportunity for me to play with new ideas. I've used my photograph, my love of kawaii and even my favorite hamster ever, to create pretty banners. Some of my favorite hobbies have produce really wonderful results:
Of course, anyone who wants to enter will probably want to read the rules before entering a banner. I'm not sure if any of these would work because of the credit (kawaii.vox.com) I put on each of them. ^o^ The ones above are in my private little Kawaii at Vox database, but I'd still love to create a new banner (even though I can't win since I'm a Six Apart employee...) just to show how much I love the contest idea.
If anyone who reads this post submits a banner to the contest, please, please, please let me know. I'm anxious to see what my friends are coming up with. Also, if anyone needs help with any design ideas, I'd be happy to throw some ideas out there or give my personal feedback. And if anyone has questions about the HP Themes Contest, definitely submit some feedback by contacting the Vox team.
I guess the thing I really wanted to say about the contest is that winning something like this really is possible. Whenever I see a contest, I get pretty overwhelmed with the possibility of not winning but knowing that I've won something like this in the past, and seeing a lot of my friends win at the same time, makes me realize how possible winning this contest really is. If anything, have fun when you submit a banner entry. I can't wait to see what everyone makes!