I want to talk a little bit more about the ‘concept’ of fanart, since I realize that some of my readers may not have been exposed to it that much. To me, the point of fanart is using images from a television or movie to create a new picture, some kind of original vision, and convey that thought to other people who are already familiar with your fandom.
There are lots of different kinds of fanart, and I’ve only tried a few. Some people do original paintings or sketches, and some can do very elaborate manipulations using programs like photoshop and superimposing images that originally didn’t have anything to do with each other into a coherent image. I’m hoping to help with a manipulation fanart sometime soon, but I’ve been finding that even my part, finding the right pieces to put together, is much harder than I expected. Mostly, as I’ve explained, I just work with fairly simple techniques – DVD captures or promotional images, simple cut and paste graphic software, and so on.
And fanart can have lots of different messages that it’s trying to convey. There are some that are very simply calling back to a moment from the original canon, like my Simon/Kaylee wallpaper, or a few that I’ll be sharing later in the series. Some are meant to raise awareness for a particular site or event within the fandom community, a bit like virtual advertising flyers, like the signature banners from two weeks ago.
And then, there are fanfic cover banners, which are a bit like movie posters for somebody’s original fanfiction story. These are possibly my favorite, since I’ve been a very prolific fanfic author in my day, and it’s a great feeling to be able to show somebody a picture that kind of sums up thousands of the words that you’ve put down.
So, without further rambling, here’s a few banners that I made in the early summer of 2010 for two of my Firefly stories. First, “Passing through the storm:”
There’s a lot that this banner conveys to a firefly fan. First, it shows the ensemble of main characters in the story, and how they mainly relate to each other – River off by herself, Kaylee with Simon, Jayne with Zoe, Mal with Inara. To many fans, that roster will also suggest the timeframe of the story, particularly because the missing characters match with some who are no longer around after the movie ‘Serenity’. Also, most or all of the pictures are taken from the movie, not from the TV episodes.