It all started when I saw this blog post about how Google had some trouble designing a favicon for their site that was both pretty and functional (across platforms). So I got to searching around and found a great, simple, sleek tool for making favicons online right at http://www.favicon.cc/ (I didn't know any .cc sites still existed!).
It took about 30 seconds for me to think about what to use for a favicon (the website has a very nice "import a photo" tool that favicons your fave fotos). I needed something simple, maybe just a group of solids... so I picked a painting by Piet Mondrian off his Wikipedia page -- it was a painting I had written a paper about in an undergrad class.
Now, behold! A favicon!