What is fan art?
With the explosion of ‘free to air’ TV and easy access to television shows and movies, it is hard to find an individual who struggles to submerge themselves into their favourite show. With the extreme binge watching and access to downloadable content, streaming online or just simply heading into a retailer and grabbing a copy of it on DVD or Blu-ray, communities and fan bases grow and become more immersed and dedicated.
With this dedication comes tribute. Many fans open chat rooms, discuss theories and divulge more into the world of their beloved shows and movies, some taking it to the extreme more than others.
One of these types of fan culture is fan art. Fans of the more artistic (and sometimes not so artistic) nature draw, create, paint, sculpt and even design artwork that is a homage to what they love watching. But with this art comes the interpretation as to whether it is indeed individual, or something copied.
The fan art community is large, taking over social media websites such as Instagram, Facebook pages and even YouTube with those posting their work online for people to comment on and critique. But, one of the largest and most popular websites that support the growth and development of fan art and exploring the quirky communities that support it, is Deviant art. With the website promoting millions of artists and art enthusiasts, it lets people within the community explore, post and create a wide range of artworks, from wild and wacky, to creepy and somewhat disturbing and then even the most wonderful and beautiful.
Art is such a strong and powerful form of expression, so tributing your work to a favourite show or movie not only shows your interests and places a small piece of pop culture within it, it can help the artist engage with other artists or fans within the internet pop culture community.
Fan art not only explores the different styles and sub genres within the community, but the different mediums and creations of fan art. The make-up community has exploded within the fan art genre, with some artists creating awe-inspiring and jaw-dropping artwork (Mykie, Glam and Gore YouTube, 2015).
Another community that has taken the pop culture world by storm is the Cosplay fan art. With these extreme character dress ups, some members of this community spend thousands of dollars trying to re-create and re-design their favourite characters from television shows and movies. Its origins beginning from the Anime genre then spreading to the more westernised shows such as Game of Thrones and Disney, these Cosplayers seem to go to intricate and undeniably talented lengths to make this art a career path.
With the internet being a host to these large communities and different websites to connect, share and discuss. Fan art and has become such a major link to how successful a television show and movie is. Fan art can help create interest and appeal for a show, it can help advertise it and help show those interested in similar genres its appeal.
Fan art helps fans express their love, passion and interests as well as link communities and engage viewers to a world of creativity and artistic movement.