On the Russian Internet you meet the Kolobok smilie expression more often then the usual smilie designation. Why is it so? I frequently meet forum topics dedicated to this issue. Let's find the answers to those questions: What is a Kolobok Style Smilie and what is is the main difference between a smilie and a Kolobok smilie?
Let's theorize a bit! First of all, you can find the word kolobok quite often. It is in firms', shops' name, you can call your pet a kolobok and so on. We all know the kolobok folk-tale from our childhood. The foreigners have no idea how the fairy-tale character looks like and their ideas are very different and far from the truth. The general conception is a round-shaped donut fellow, like a BigMac roll. Even we can't tell exactly how it looks like. But somehow everyone knows that Kolobok has a true Russian origin and character.
1.The most substantial smilies of "the old world" were coming from Fool. Don't they remind you the kolobok smilies?
The first emoticons were flat, they had no shades and volume though they were important and badly needed at that time. Back then the size of the downloaded information had a great importance. Just imagine a forum page with 30 messages all containing one or two smilies each. Add the size of the page and try to download it with a modem…. In the 90-s, even if you saw a smilie you would never call it a kolobok smilie. Only after the new, improved devices , which allowed to give a smilie more volume and body, could make someone not acquainted to the the Internet see the difference between the styles.
2. The Invision Power Board emoticons are often associated with Aiwan's work, but they are not. The authors are are Oscar Gruno aka Nominell and Andy Fedosjeenko aka Nightwolf.
What was the beginning? It started a long, long time ago. At that time there were no smilies suitable for dark background. Searching the web for smilies I came across thousands of Nominell's IPB forum style smilies which were free and not glitch back then. Each site tried to come up with the best smilie collection, but however they tried they were all alike, noone could create something unique. I had a feeling that they had been all drawn by the same person. The only worthwile smilies were Fool's original ones, but still not answer to my needs. I needed emoticons for dark background. I tried to cut the white edges off and smoothen the remaining pixels, but soon I had to give up. The result was disappointing. I saw all the pixels in the wrong places and all the shadows which were unwanted. Then I started to draw my own smilies. I was not thinking about the fame they will bring me. Neither I thought about naming them. I just draw a few smilies suitable for my new forum and its dark skin. The first ones were not all successful. Diablo was my very first smilie I created all on my own, from the idea to the realisation. Then I created more and more. And after a while I discovered that my works are unique, have no resemblance to any other smilies. I realised that it would be a pity to see them amongst heaped smilies unrecognised and lost. The situation was affirmed by my forum users who treated my smilies as human beings. I was thinking hard how to save them from being grabbed away and treated like the other cheap ones. One day my wife threatened me jokingly that she would tell everyone that her husband, a solid and respectable man is sitting and drawing koloboks all night long. That was it! My answer for how to call them. I signed all my archives with this name, kolobok.
3.The real kolobok smilies by Aiwan.
Soon the word kolobok bacame a common expression. Nowadays my fans offer me remarks when a new smilie even a bit differ from the original style. "Oh, this has a little frame" or "This one is not expressive enough!" The definiton of kolobok smile is a constant debate on my forum pages.
The answer is simple. You can call only my smilies kolobok smilies cause I created them, I gave them definition, and no doubt they are much more artistic then any other trivial emoticons. Seeing the great interest in my art from all around the world, I should give a proper definition stressing the principal difference between a common smilie and a kolobok smile.
The main difference between a common smilie and a kolobok smilie is that the kolobok smilie doesn't depict an emotion, a situation, a mood but the animation conveys it. They are complicated animated pictures drawn by pseudo 3D. If you skipped a single frame the kolobok smilie would look lifeless. Words cannot really give an exact definition, as fans say, every kolobok smilie has its own soul! Many people consider ridiculous to talk about definition in a smilie's case. But if I was not mentioning it at all, my fans would have gone outraged. And they would be right, because the kolobok smilies are ours, Russians', and they are not working without the mysterious Russian soul! Besides they are amusing and funny. These facts make the definition hard. Perhaps the whole popularity of the kolobok smilies is based on the fact that they are delivered with positive energy. And that is the real goal of a smilie. They can lose their essence in the Internet circles mingling with the crowd of other smilies, monsters and other filth.
4. I am waiting for the occasion to redraw and improve them. But I am not the newbie I was three years ago. ICQ inspired me to do it. I am convinced about one thing. The author Aiwan.
An artist's work reflects his inner world and his hidden soul. I think that the day would come when someone draws many evil and bawdy smilies and claims them to be kolobok smilies. But that would never be true. Everyone who draws kolobok smilies swears solemnly: "We are kind and jolly! We give joy to people!" A work that doesn't match to this requirement isn't a kolobok smilie!
5.Mini koloboks. They are used in QIP PDA, Mail.ru Agent, Jimm. The author Aiwan.
You can hardly ever call me a pioneer. I'm not the first who drew a graphical smilie. I'm not the first who gave a smilie an animation. And I'm not even the first who gave some emotion to a smilie. But I am the first who took seriously a thing which cannot be taken seriously at all.
P.S. This topic is open for discussion. The article can be corrected and enlarged, if there is a necessity for it. Write to me!