Fan Art: Why We Love It and What Makes It Good

Fandoms are a big part of life for most of us–many millennials, but people outside that generation, also. Reams of fandom discussion boards, shipping theories, and arguments populate the Internet. Pinterest bursts with fandom and fandom crossover Pins, including fan art. More people begin creating their own fan art every day.

Fan art may be fairly new, but it’s a beautiful and creative way to show appreciation of your chosen fandom. The question at hand is, how do we judge fan art? What, in the opinions of various people from various fandoms, makes fan art good? Are crossover examples (e.g., Disney princesses sorted into Hogwarts houses) good or overkill? What makes a "bad" fan artist, or a "disrespectful" piece of fan art?

  • Oh my, you'll certainly open the proverbial can of worms with this subject! I agree with your comment about fan art (in general) being '...a beautiful and creative way to show appreciation of your chosen fandom', but I think the answer to your following question might well be reliant on a personal preference expressed by the fan of a particular story. What some will love, others will hate; it's human nature. I've seen what I consider to be some superb examples of fan art based on various anime stories, even if they haven't always been technically brilliant in their execution - it's the spirit of the piece that will pique my interest. Having said that though I do dislike the deliberate sexualisation of certain characters when that depiction is completely at odds with the character being portrayed. Such is really little more than the sexual fantasy of the artist and I would prefer it didn't appear on the Internet. In my opinion as long as fan art stays true to the official canon or even playfully experiments with shipping then I have no problem with it. – Amyus 5 years ago

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