Fan Art, a topic that a lot of people tackle from many angles. Some focus on a legal standpoint, while others focus on how it can help you build or grow an audience quickly and get you a lot of likes.
There are a few ways I look at it. First off, there’s a difference between doing fan art and sharing it online for free versus selling prints of fan art.
Second, most people aren’t selling their fan art at outrageous prices that could provide them a living. Plus, there is always the option of getting your fan art properly licensed to sell. That’s not something I know much about but plan to look into.
Another way of looking at fan art is free advertising for the company that owns the property. Sometimes doing fan art can get you noticed by a company as a potential talent to hire. I remember hearing an episode of a comics podcast where they talked about a guy getting hired to write Transformers comics after seeing his Transformers fan-fiction series. I think it was from the Comics Experience podcast or its predecessor the iFanboy Podcast.
Let's boil art down to its core of creating things simply because it's just what you enjoy doing. If you approach fanart from this perspective it can be used as a vehicle. You can use fanart as a way to push through a creative block or do exercises to experiment with styles you're inspired by. I think this can be especially helpful if you're not working on your own IP's or want to take your learning a step further than doing master studies.
Question: Do you think fanart is law breaking or is it simply what the fans want?
Izik: “I think technically it’s both. There’s copyright “law”, and then there’s the reality that fanart is this huge positive thing that helps every aspect of the industry. Google Spider-Man and you will get a bunch of cookie-cutter mainstream crap. Google Spider-Man Deviantart and you will get inspired. Just sayin’.”
Here are the thoughts of a few other artists on fanart.
What’s your opinion of fan art? Let me know in the comments.