As you may know, for my personal project last month, I chose to create fan art. I'd define fan art as any work that is derived from another piece of art that you did not create yourself, such as a book, film, or song. Usually, it is done for fun, as a show of admiration for the source material. Sometimes it can get a bad rap due to issues of plagiarism and unoriginality—but I love it.
For my project, I ended up doing a lot of animation-inspired pieces. I guess that's what happens when you have two young ones. I was pleased with how my pieces progressed as the month went by. I felt my later ones were more developed and had more of my own style. I even started a mini project making Disney princess–inspired surface patterns (which I am still working on). I also collaborated with my sister, Dani Jones, on one of them (The Greatest Showman).
Here's a look at all the fan art I created in March:
So why create fan art? I believe it has some real benefits when done right. In my opinion, here are some tips for creating great fan art:
- First off, do not claim ownership of the original work upon which your art is based, and give credit when necessary. ALWAYS respect other artists.
- Use it as an exercise to hone your skills, such as drawing, painting, composition, typography, portraiture, etc.
- Go beyond copying. Bring your own style and flair into your piece. Make it your own.
- And always, have FUN.
That last point, for me, is the best part of fan art. Even though I love what I do and occasionally even get paid to draw things, work is still work sometimes. Doing things for your own enjoyment is important to keep you going. No artist works in a bubble—at least, I certainly don't. I am always finding inspiration in what others are doing. Let great art get YOU excited to create more great art!