The Exercise Of Creating Fan Art


One of the things I absolutely love is when fans produce their own drawings of my characters. It really makes my day to check in and see someone has made another new creation of something based on my cast. It’s not only something fun to do, but also a good exercise as an artist in general to enjoy a fandom and express it in your own way. Have you ever drawn up some of your favourite characters before? Did you use your own style, or the original look of the characters?

That’s what we’re discussing in this weeks Friday Artist Talk. Marty has been on vacation so we will be revealing full details of the Dwarf On Vacation contest winners when we returns and has had a chance to talk to the contest winners.

Fan art of any kind is a good way to broaden your horizons. It encourages you to look at something different and adapt it into your own drawing. Back in the day I used to reference lots of video game art. I was especially a fan of Mega Man robot masters. So how does this help your own art? Drawing different characters tends to delve into clothing or elements you don’t normally draw. Recently I tried out Metallia from The Witch And The Hundred Knight, released in North America by NISA. Things like her witches hat and the design of her shorts really added elements that made me think of how to develop them into the pose I was going for. In doing this, you’re challenging yourself and that’s a good thing! You want to look for new things to draw. Each drawing can give you something you can adapt into your own artwork.

In a way this is why art teachers tell you to do things like just draw hands until you get them right. It’s focusing on different elements that gives you a new perspective on what you may not normally draw. Then when you are creating, you have more to filter through in your mind. It expands the toolbox of features you’ve become accustomed to drawing.

Naturally if you’re drawing someone else’s artwork from the web comic community, you’ll probably want to show them first before making it public. After all, they are a fellow creator. As for the legalities of copyrighted works from huge companies, it’s usually seen that if you’re not making a profit from the creation, then it’s fair game. However, that may not always be the case and you should proceed with caution if you’re going to post your fan art online. Sites like deviantART seem to encourage fan art, so it’s difficult to see an issue with it. Regardless, this article is more focused on drawing fan art for your own personal exercise.

So what did you start with? Have you always drawn your own characters or did something inspire you way back in the day? Let us know in the comments below and lets get talking!

1 comment

  1. Coyote August 10, 2014 10:58 am 

    I love fan art. It’s ego fuel, even if it is done by a well-meaning fan who can’t draw well. In fact, I think I like the amateur attempts the most– someone who ordinarily doesn’t draw is still motivated to draw YOUR STUFF is awesome.

    But great, good, or so-so art, each one teaches you something about your own stuff, because you’re getting an idea about what your subjects look like through the perceptions of others.

    For that reason, I also enjoy doing fan art of others– getting a chance to put my spin on their stuff is a good way to compliment another artist.

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