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  • Fan Art Ideas & Tips

    Fan Art

    Feeling the creative pull to dive deep into fan art but aren’t sure how or where to start? Let this be your guide on your journey to greatness. Whether you’re just looking to form a new hobby or want to turn it into a side hustle, building an understanding of the basics will get you well on your way there. In creating this foundation, you’ll then have a solidified platform to launch from. So let’s get started on some tips and tricks of the trade.

    Fan Art Ideas & Tips

    Fan Art defined

    First and foremost, let’s break down fan art a bit. Basically, fan art is a vast and wide-ranging form of artistic expression. If it’s not obvious enough by now, it is defined as artwork designed by a fan (exactly as it sounds). It’s a work of unique creativity and fiction. Both fan art and fan fiction had their initial moments sometime around the 70s. Color television had finally emerged and, soon after, fantasy and science fiction followed. As technology progressed, so did the details of fan’s works. Soon enough, fan art landed firmly on the internet where it would continue to grow and evolve.

    Fortunately (and maybe even unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), it is no longer necessary to have the skills you once needed in the 70s to succeed. With the new programs, editing capabilities, and technology we have now, it’s become easier than ever. If you’re a beginner or just getting started, this may put your mind at ease. So let’s look into how to get started.

    Hardware and Software to install

    Whether you want to draw traditionally or digitally, you’ll most likely need some sort of program or tablet. Now is the perfect time to download Photoshop if you’ve always wanted to dive in. You can even get older versions of it for free and there are endless YouTube videos to guide you along the way. You can also go for the more modern packages that are pretty inexpensive. Some examples are SAI and Clip Studio Paint. You can always download a few to play around in to determine what resonates most with you and your style.

    Pro tip: If you have an Omaha Public Library card, you can access a variety of online training resources, such as Gale Courses and Linkedin Learning, to learn to use Photoshop and other software.

    If you want to draw digitally, investing in a graphics tablet may be the way to go. The good news is you can get them as low as 20 bucks. If you’re dipping your toes in and not quite sure you’re ready to take the plunge, these tablets will work perfectly for you and make your life much easier.

    Execution Tips

    Fan art is a skill just like anything else. The way you picture a scene in your head may not come out exactly the way you intended on the first try. With this in mind, it’s important to have patience and perseverance on this journey. Here are some tips to help you along.

    • Start small. Focus on one character and one character only initially. Once you nail this character, start incorporating more to create your scene.
    • If you’re drawing traditionally, perfect your line art and save shading and color for further down the line.
    • When searching for tutorials, draw the character you have in mind instead of the one you’re looking at.
    • You don’t have to freehand! Instead, you can use reference photos to get the face/body/pose right. You can even trace if you feel the need to. Give yourself some grace here. Practice makes perfect.
    • Play around. Make sure you’re having fun. Try out filters on Photoshop, study other artist’s work you enjoy, and don’t be too hard on yourself.

    Diving into the World of Fan Art

    The lovely thing about fan art is there are essentially no rules when you’re creating. Did you want the last Avengers movie to end differently? Draw out your perfect ending. Are you an avid Spiderman fan? Draw him how you’ve always imagined him. Do you have an insane love for both Tim Burton movies and the DC cinematic universe? Go ahead and fuse the two. The comic world is your oyster. The only thing standing between your next masterpiece is that first step.

    Additional Information: 14 Best Fan Art Websites

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