You want to made your own emoticons? Use a great community to start with it. Over at deviantART you can found a lot of information, motivation, and some great emoticon artists where you can learn from.
One of the best emoticon artist, help you a little bit with the start. He wrote a nice article where you can found some nice information about the emoticon community.
So if you’re interessted check it out. You can found me also at deviantART, my nick is sml-e.