I spent the morning un-following a bunch of very talented people on Tumblr.
That feels like a really weird thing to say. And it is.
It was nearly a dozen different artists in all, and they were all extremely talented. Part of what moved me to Follow them in the first place was their skill. In…
I agree with this so much. I watch many different people of varying skill level and focus, but the defining thread is that they produce original work and have original stories in their heads. I like young artists a lot for this reason; sometimes the stories aren’t the best but the feeling and brain power behind them is there.
Fanartists can do incredible work too, but as a consumer of art it’s as significant as the difference between eating a meal and eating someone else’s vomit.
Original storytelling and the forms of creativity you’re talking about is another artistic muscle in itself. Some artists use the hell out of it, and some don’t. It’s great that you prefer original storytelling but calling artist’s work vomit is over the top.
I usually stay out of stuff like this, but for once my WRONG claxxon is blairing loud enough to drown out common sense. I really don’t want to and don’t have time to delve too deeply into bullshit armchair psychology and rhetoric about and benefits of fanart at the moment, but since y’all seem to be content to use outrageous hyperbole I think I will also do so. Other than that, I’ll try to keep it brief.
ADS1’s post makes one massive assumption, that fanart is something made for other’s consumption. That’s what the entire premise of food/puke hinges on, but you know what? It isn’t. Fanart is always an outlet for fans to express their enthusiasm for the things they like in a medium they’re enthusiastic about. Those first two posts make the pretty self-absorbed assumption that every artist creates for the same reasons, which must align properly with the viewers or other creators, else they’re wrong.
Fanart is not for you. I know it’s a cliche to say something “isn’t for you!” but it’s true. Fanart is for the person doing it. Some fans (say, me) lack other outlets to discuss or celebrate the things they like, so they use what they’re good at to draw what they like. The often dubious legality of derivative works aside, it’s the same as drawing a lot of pictures of birds because you like birds. To the artists, birds give pleasure. Drawing gives pleasure. It’s natural to combine the two. Why should a picture of a bird make one vomit? Then why is a picture of Tweety Bird so much worse? What of those contemptable fools who only did Bible fanart; private, public, commissioned or otherwise? Not to mention those losers who somehow managed to get paid to paint inserts of themselves and their friends into pictures with famous people.
I mean, like, OH SURE LIKE YOUR FRIEND MICHELANGELO WAS REALLY THERE WITH ALL THOSE CELEBS. Heh. Stupid Marty Stu fanart.
If you dislike fanworks because of artistic integrity and lack of creativity, that’s a poor argument too. if it’s derivative or original work, it’s still work. Even by tracing, one learns new skills and sharpens old. Didn’t Neil Gaiman say that no matter what you’re writing, bet it Gollum/Frodo slash or staggering works of breathless genius, you’re still writing. True, there’s no reason not to draw original art and it does exercise different artistic muscles as Kakimari said, and there’s no reason not to draw fan which has its own benefits. If it was completely useless, like already digested food, then people wouldn’t do it.
I am sorry that this offends delicate sensibilities.
I agree with a lot of points from the original poster, fanart, especially in places where fandoms roam madly like in tumblr or deviantart, become something rather poisonous. Fanart is by definition and result self indulgent, is somethign you create about anoher individual creative property already established and that it resonated in you, and its ok if you do it in a reallymoderate manner, but the problem arises when it becomes your sole creative output, fanart acts as a crutch both conceptually and in artistic skill, because of the internet, no matter how mediocre or lazy somethign is, theres a good chance that a good amount of people will favorite it, reblog it, like it etc etc etc. ´propagating mediocrity and this “good enough” attitude that even affects really skillfull people, in a conceptual manner, makign them think doing a fucking crossover with whatever cartoon is popular is good enough. Regurgitating and recycling ideas to the point of enthropy, passing it off as beign creative, Art by definition is communication, and what some do is akin to jerking eachother off. This attitude not only affects artists but affects people in a more cultural way too, how many times weve seen idiotic cross overs with videogames, movies, comic books, taking x and making it x with y or xy with z, over and over and over and over.
Regarding the people arguing that integrity and creativity dont matter on someones work is the most self serving apologetic thing ive seen in a while, mediocrity breeds mediocrity, and it will never turn into something good unless you willingly do it. Proof of that is the sheer amount of mediocre artists on any amount of populart art websites like deviantart, for example, where people dream of becomign these big shots and think that making fanart of their ffavorite cartoon over and over and over alone will make them reach that point You may say that fanart is only for the artist, not for the observer but you dont take into account the overwhelming reaction to fanart on the internet to the point where people are put off from postign their own work because no one will give a shit about it, and the observer is spoiled from this and expects artists to churn out fanart over and over, its a vicious circle where two people are maddeningly grasping and stroking eachothers cocks and none of them wants to fuckign stop.
Also i find it hilarious that people are willing to strip of any context and meaning to an incredibly important period of art that happened 600 years ago to somehow justify their rather shitty attitudes towards art. Because obviously “The school of athens” is conceptually and technically at the same level at your run of the mill cartoon and webcomic crossover.
This attitude overall is incredibly unhealthy and over all a fucking intellectual death trap.
I like what Scott Wegener and Andrei had to say.
Personally, it was another alert for me to stop drawing so much fan art. I never did it for attention, favorites, or notes, but I’ve been so immersed that I’ve hardly drawn anything from my own imagination for a while. Too long, really.
Thanks for your post and insight, OP.
Yeah, fan art can be “original” and carry a message, but really, people rarely do this. And really, I feel like this puts a cap on my creativity because I am so involved in another’s idea.