Hmmm, I found this artist confession using some fanart I drew a while back…even though I didn’t have anything to do with putting together the confession, I guess I agree with it. I do think sometimes people get too uppity and worked up about people who draw a lot of fanart. I see nothing wrong with making it, and people enjoy doing it for fun, (including a lot of people who merely draw for fun and don’t want to make a living out of it).
I think there’s some sort of “bitterness” that stems from the easy popularity that is gained from drawing a lot of fanart…but for the most part, the type of popularity garnered from drawing “mediocre” fanart is probably not often helpful to someone who wants to work professionally. But a lot of the time the people drawing that art are just drawing to have fun, which I think is totally okay. That being said, if someone is drawing genuinely good ART, fanart or otherwise, people with the eye for it will recognize this as well.
As for mixing fanart with a professional portfolio, I’m not sure what the consensus is at all. I’ve always kind of believed it to be a no-no and kept fanart out of my portfolio, however I’ve talked to more than one professional who has told me that if the fanart is good (or perhaps unique?), it can totally be shown in a portfolio. Some studios also seem to want to see a confirmation that you can “do their style” and perhaps on-model fanart could work for this as well.
But either way, I think people should be happy to draw whatever they want, whether that’s just being a casual “for-fun” fan-artist or working towards developing a professional illustration career. Obviously it’s harder get recognition as the latter, but that’s part of the challenge I guess.
(Source: artist-confessions, via balthasarlinks)