Oh! Hi there, my name is Felipe...
(sitting in a rockin chair while drinking some cognac near the fire place)
Today I feel like talking about fanart
, and try to explain myself why have I done it and what do I think about it... after... all this... time. (well that was shitty)
So. You might know I've been doing some fanart over the time. I've done some Star Wars thingies, League of Legends, Super Mario, Megaman X, Tokyo Ghoul, and above all, Pokemon. Even some Dune, Lord of the Rings, Warhammer 40k, Diablo III and Tyrian 2000 are involved. But, yeah. That's pretty cool and all, but what do I think about all of that?
I think some of it's SHIT
and some of it is pretty fun to do you know.
Why do I think some of it is a f*uckin ***** **** ***** pile of **** may you ask. Because I made it with the purpose of getting some attention in the process. D: The horror!
But yeah... accept it. We all have done it.
I think my early fanart was made with that intention, since I wasn't really known in the illustration world or respected by my colleagues (or pretty much anybody). I was seeking for some "company" in this lonely carrier. As a young student, it can get pretty boring and sad (if you are studying alone by yourself in your home, inside a dark room for ages and ages) so you might want to get some attention out there. Also as a young student you get this feeling and idea that to be popular is a sort of objective in life? You look up to all of this artists you get to see around the web, being so popular and cool, and you kinda say to yourself that you want to achieve something like that.
A manner to achieve that is through doing fanart. Everyone loves fanart. Why? Because people have a say on it. No one cares about your original characters or design ideas. Not because they suck... but your artistic skill does. So people are not impressed, unless you do some known character in a different style. Because people feel related to it and it gives something to talk about. So you might get a lot of comments and your little gray soul will start to get the feeling of acceptance and that so wanted attention. Actually this has a scientific explanation. The hormone that's in charge of recognition and status. Seratonin
. Whenever we get social acceptance we get this feeling of pride and so we get a shot of Seratonin in our system. Which is good, because it helps us to make sense to whatever goal we are achieving. The human body recognizes so much more when you have done something, and the community congratulates you and praise you for it, so it feels good. Dopamine
is the hormone of goal and achievement. And it's extremely addictive. Whenever you reach a goal you get a shot of it and the feeling is instant. It's a feeling of pleasure, relaxation and achievement. This 2 hormones are the ones in effect while doing this sort of things. But what's the bad part. That we need another hormone in order to level with this addictive sensations, which is Oxytocin
. The hormone of love and social attachment. We get a shot of Oxytocin whenever we get physical touch. And the cool thing about Oxytocin is that inhibits addiction. So it counters the last two hormones. So bad luck for us, ugly bald and lonely Smeagols
, because the illustration carrier doesn't allows you too much time to interact with other people and worst. Most of the social interaction you are gonna get is through a computer. So it doesn't work. So that's why we see some people fall down so easily into this vortex of fanart and attention seeking. Attention whores we call them. And they might not know it. But they are quite addicted to it.
So yeah... hormones and all. but what do we actually know about fanart is that there's 2 ways to do it. A good way, and a "poor" way (I'm not gonna say a bad way cause this shit is so easy there isn't one). The poor way is the one we were talking about. When the goal is to achieve attention, when the goal is to get the likes, to get the faves, to get the comments. Yeah I get it. It's cool and it feels really good and all. But as a young artist or a young student you shouldn't (IMO) set that as a goal, because you forget about the cool thing it could become, cause you play it safe. And in my opinion, that's boring and a waste of your skills.
The cool thing about fanart is that is a very easy way to train your "style". Is a very nice way to also, train your creativity in a narrow space of action. It's like putting boundaries on the play field. You have this area [_] to play around. Do whatever! Go nuts! You don't have to think about what it is. You already know that. The job's done. It's Mario! It's Zelda! Play with the character. Do the character in a situation no ones as seen before, play with the detail. If it's a cartoony character, maybe try to make it realistic. If it's a realistic character, maybe try to make it cartoony.
Fanart is play field. Is a good way to level up your technique and to train some things you might need to sharpen. And that was the reason why I did some of my own fanarts.
this dude! was created with the only purpose of rendering detail. I could have done Mario, but no. I did a boring goomba for a contests cause I wanted to train my rendering skills.
This guy. Was a part of experiments I started on imagining the Pokemon world in a more creepy, realistic situation. I trained concept and technique. I tried to achieve this night camera vision. And it was amazingly fun. Even when Cubone is a lizard. who gives a shit. And it was the beginning of a small series of other fanarts. Some of them poorly made, and some of them interesting in a way. I stopped when I felt I was doing it for the likes. Cause it just felt void and pointless.
this two guys were made on a favor to a great friend that's organizing a Pokedex Project. Camila helped me previously at the beginning of this year with the Concept Art Workshop here in Santiago. And she was an amazing help. So when she came to me with this proposition I said "sure! no problem". Anybody else? I would have told them to go **** themselves. I ain't doing commissions for free. And I took the liberty on doing these the best I could in my current quality state. So I trained. The funny thing? I'm not a Pokemon fan. I've never played Pokemon, I think the Pokemon anime sucks really bad. I don't hate it. I just think it's not my thing.
I'm doing a last couple of fanarts right now. And they're a rendition to one of the best games I've ever played. Icewind Dale II. With those fanarts I want to be able to achieve my best image composition, color and light ever. I really want to portrait Isair and Madae as dark as they are, and with that send a notice on WHY ARE NOT MORE OF THOSE ISOMETRIC RPGS COMING OUT. They were amazing!!!!! Genius!!!! Baldur's Gate II man! Baldur's F*CKIN Gate!
So yeah. I'm not trying to say that doing fanart is wrong. It's cool and all, and pretty fun too. But if you are a creative person, and if you are a skilled illustrator... I think is more valuable when you do something original and based on your own idea, rather than portrait somebody else's work. because at a matter of fact. These guys, for the detailed they are, they're not going to my portfolio.
If you happen to do fanart! Which is great! Do something interesting, do something new. Play with it. Be bold. be funny, whatever. That's my advise, and boy have I learn from it.
And finally. Try not fall into the popularity contest. I know several artists who are not that popular and man! they are the shit! Why? Because they are industry proffesionals. And they have a bigger goal on their heads. To be useful. To be part of a project. To work. That's in my idea more valuable than anything. And it gives you the respect from your peers. From your colleagues. And you might not have a bunch of fan boys following you around, you might not get retweeted
all the time, or millions of likes on facebook, but you know, that you work. And you are fighting every time, every sketch, every little day dream on to get better and better and better. So if you are a young artist or a student, don't worry about not being popular. Worry about leveling up. Worry about getting better. Set a goal in your head. Tell yourself what do you want in life. That's your fuel. And your friends and family.
So yeah that's a lot of writting, actually I thought it would take less. I'm 20 minutes late for my working schedule and yeah! got to go level up!
Good day and have a lot of funny funs funk fun.