What's wrong with Fan Art !?
Updated: Apr 26
Like many artists, I started with art as a kid by drawing fan art - pictures of Batman and Micky Mouse. My Harry Potter drawing was one of the first proper portraits that I drew, in a style that later on evolved to become my signature style. Since then, I’ve continued making fan art. From musicians to actors to sportsmen, to fictional characters, I’ve drawn them all.
As I’ve grown to become a more serious artist who sells her work, I’ve noticed chit chat about the evil that fan art is. I hear stuff like, “Real artists don’t make fan art.” “You will not be taken seriously if you keep drawing celebrities”. I can’t help but roll my eyes when I hear stuff like this. I understand copyright laws, and the fact that you can’t sell fan art, but I can think of so many reasons why making fan art is one of the best things you can do.
It is rewarding. So many times the people I’ve drawn have noticed me on social media and even re-posted my art, which a) feels amazing when it’s someone you admire, and b) gets more people to see your art, which is why we do social media in the first place, right?
It’s truly fulfilling because the subject is not something you’re being asked to make. Instead, it’s something you’re already passionate about. You do it for the process, and it makes you happy.
It helps to create a body of work in your style if you plan to take commissions later. Making all that fan art helped me show people what I can do with a portrait when I opened up for commissions, so they knew exactly what to expect.
It is an amazing way to refine your skills. You practice without it feeling like work, and your portfolio grows in the process too!
It helps in community building. Creating fan art helped me find people with similar interests, and develop new relationships. I connected with Harry Potter fans all over the world, instead of getting sad that there were no more books that were gonna come out.
You do it for yourself, because you want to, not because you have to - and that is the most fun kind of art.
So, continue to unabashedly create fan art without feeling guilty! Just don’t break any laws :)