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December 29, 2012


Replies: 19

Fandoms and creativity

BrandonSPilcher Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
As everyone on DA should have noticed by now, there is a huge fandom culture on this website. Actually, the fandom culture of fan art and fan fiction pervades large tracts of the Internet in general. I for one find very little appealing about this whole fandom stuff. I understand why fans of certain franchises may feel inspired to draw or write about their favorite characters, and I can't really oppose it, but I could never devote the greater bulk of my creative energy to producing fan art or fan fiction. The reason for this is that I don't like to work within the constraints of some other writer or artist's universe. I find much more joy in designing my own characters, settings, and plot lines. At least then I get to write the rules myself and don't have to worry about faithfulness to another creator's canon.

In the rare event that I do write fan fiction or draw fan art, I usually "redesign" or modify the characters or their environment to better fit my own personal tastes. I don't find much joy in simply replicating someone else's design the way most fan creators do. I've even seen fan artists copy entire screencaps, right down to the very last detail. They don't even bother to put their own spin on the copyrighted subjects they are depicting. On the other hand, I could never do without putting my own distinct spin on whatever I'm drawing that differentiates it from the original.

I wonder what it says about my creativity that I don't like participating in the online fandom culture? How do these fans manage to stick to their pet franchises' established rules when writing or drawing their fan creations? How do they muster the self-discipline to replicate a product faithfully and resist the temptation to tweak it to their own liking? As I understand it, being able to work within limitations marks a very creative mind.

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Devious Comments

schris91 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Student Filmographer
Is the end of your original post intended to be sarcastic?
MeganMissfit Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I actually don't like drawing fanart at all. I guess I just simply don't like any series well enough to get a real kick out of doing tribute artwork. It is quite restricting, having to adhere to a character's outfit, personality, setting, etc. Usually when I draw fanart, it's nowhere near as good as my original work. To each their own I guess!

What I do NOT approve of, however, is doing fanart for the sake of popularity. If you actually don't like ponies, but draw ponies anyway because everyone else likes ponies = no
nonecansee Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Hobbyist
Often, fan art is a spring board for artists: to get a job at the studios the characters were created at, to figure out their own style, to practice techniques, etc. Sometimes, they just like to do it to relax or unwind from thinking for themselves for a change. Fan art is also a way of flattering the creators of the characters (despite the copyright infringement, eheh ^^;).

For some people (maybe people like you :) ), making your own decisions comes easy but for other people (haha, myself included), it's more comfortable when there are predefined rules.

Either way, we produce beautiful results after much practice and feedback. If we hit a low point, there's nowhere to go but up. And when we reach a ceiling, there's a limitless sky to achieve.
There's nothing to question about your creativity here :)
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, I guess everybody has his own interests.
I never bothered doing fanart as well, because there are so many amazing fanarts out there already, that I feel I have nothing to add to them. I do like doing fanart of other people's (small) projects, because I like giving my personal interpretations of how characters look and such. And it's often because I know the creator in person then, and I like to share ideas with them :)
operaghost Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012
I believe it's way of saying thank you, when you do fan art, but when one dedicates too much of own talent to re-create someone else's ideas - then it's kind of sad. I have done fan art myself and I like to draw my favourite game characters (i.e. Blizzard Entertainment has a lot of interesting lore characters to try to draw), but every time I do so I feel it is not really my work and there are people who do it much better than i do at 1st place.

But that's just my humble view.
Vineris Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
You have your own interests and obsessions, other people have theirs. This thread reads a little too much like congratulatory back-patting at the expense of other artists.
BrandonSPilcher Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Maybe so, but I was feeling a little down when I typed that.
Vineris Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah, that happens. But it's not really helpful to make comparisons with other people, because that's not what art is about. Art is about pursuing what you find interesting and worthwhile. I find that most of my unhappiness comes from focusing on other people too much, and the most helpful thing I've found is to just get away from them for a while. Other people aren't the important bit. The work is. Sometimes people aren't going to be in tune with that work, and at that point you have to let them go, because otherwise you just get bitter and it starts poisoning everything.
TheArtOfCBYoung Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Not every piece of art that someone makes needs to be a groundbreaking creative masterpiece. Sometimes you just draw or write something because it's a quick piece of fun. I've done some fan art from time to time, and it's seldom to show off my boundless creativity, I drew it because I liked the original, and it was fun. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Not to mention, few and far between are the artists that make a living solely on creating exactly what they want to when they want to. If I want to pay rent, I have to do some replication.
Sachi-pon Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i dislike this idea that fanart is somehow less creative than original art. just because you're interpreting someone else's character doesn't mean you aren't still interpreting them in the way YOU choose.
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