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Is It Even Worth It to Do Fan Art/Fiction?

Discussion in 'Small Talk' started by Mr.Munchlax, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. I mean no disrespect to anyone when posting this thread, but this is something I've wanted to discuss for a while. I've always been a big fan of fan art and fan fiction and I've even posted tons of my own stuff over the years. I was even considering doing my own fan fiction comic after reading the amazing Myths of Unova series by Ky-nim. However, something happened that's now caused me to rethink this whole thing.

    I admit that I'm a Brony (though not an uber Brony) so like many others I was crushed and upset when JanAnimations (someone who makes high quality non-pornographic fan videos of the series) was given a CnD from Hasbro and forced to remove all of his videos due to copyright infringement. Ever since then, I've been wondering if it's even worth it to do any kind of fan work since it's technically using copyrighted material and could easily be at the same risk. Plus, since I'm an artist and my brain wanders off when thinking like this, I started to wonder what the benefits of fan art and fan fiction are since they're using other characters and keeping you from creating your own original ones.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm still a big fan of fan art and fan fiction and I will support it 100%, but I wanted to hear from other people on why they think it's even worth it to do this kind of stuff

    EDIT: Before anyone calls me a hypocrite for submitting fan art in the creative corner after posting this, the last few posts convinced me that it was ok to do fan art and fan fiction & I'm now planning on using them to test &/or experiment with different mediums, as well as improve my writing skills. I left this thread open in case anyone was feeling the same way &/or wanted to discuss this, but if any of the moderators feel that this thread should be closed I'll shut it down immediately
    #1 Mr.Munchlax, Apr 1, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
  2. Shiny Lyni

    Shiny Lyni 2016 Singles Football

    I tend to not care, I guess. I cover mainly Vocaloid songs, and a lot of the times we get copyright infringements on Youtube and other places simply because the background music we used or something was copyrighted. Usually this doesn't happen because the Vocaloid producers like it when we cover their songs, but there are some songs which, for one reason or another, would land us with an infringement, and too many of those would end up with our accounts getting locked.

    Notice how I use first person plural pronouns? Yeah, it's happened before, not necessarily to me, but to a LOT of my friends. We end up account jumping a lot, but we're singing and thus, creating art, for others to enjoy. I'm not against Youtube and other companies telling us to stop, because technically some of these songs we don't own the rights to sing and, therefore, we shouldn't, but many times we just don't know which songs are "legal" and which are "illegal" to cover. I guess in this case I support both sides; I enjoy listening to covers as much as I enjoy listening to the original Vocaloid song, sometimes even more, but I also understand why accounts might be closed sometimes due to copyright policies.

    I have mixed feelings about other kinds of fanworks, though. AMVs always rub me the wrong way no matter how well done they are, and I think that's just because more often than not they're using videos, songs, and images from other people and not crediting them properly. While Vocaloid covers usually (not always) have the singers crediting the original creators of the song and even linking -back- to them, many times I see AMVs with just a "credit of videos and images and songs and puppies to their original owners!" which, while fine for most people, just spells out laziness to me. And speaking of images, several times I've seen people use art made by friends who're upset that they're being used without permission. Yeah, I guess overall AMVs and the like just kind of upset me since it looks like they're using what other people made, mashing them up into one video (or a series of videos), and it just... yes the animation took effort, but overall I just feel like it lacks -something-. Don't hurt me, that's just how I feel.

    Other fanworks like fan art, fanfiction, etc. are usually okay with me. I have nothing against people posting up a picture of Ash and Pikachu if it's their own artwork, even if Ash and Pikachu are owned by Pokemon. Same with fanfiction; the writing is theirs, and, even if the characters aren't very in character or the writing is dreadful, I would still be okay with it. There's nothing wrong with drawing inspiration from things already created for the sake of it, because really, who here hasn't, say, changed their writing style, art style, music style, fashion taste, speaking style, etc. just because they thought something they saw/heard/whatever was neat? It doesn't hinder our creativity, but rather boosts it in some ways.

    tl;dr of this is basically I like fanworks, I see almost nothing wrong with them unless they blatantly take from another source and don't credit it.
    Psycho Monkey and Shocari like this.
  3. I'm pretty awful at drawing/painting/what have you, but I -can- speak on fanfiction--particularly Pokemon. As you can tell by my signature, I write plenty of that (currently three of the four are 50+ pages long). Aside from gym leaders/E4 members, I've never used a character from the series or manga; shoot, the idea of using ASH in any of my stories makes me a little ill. To me, writing fanfiction isn't necessarily about using someone else's OCs but about using the universe with your own characters and storylines. Let's face it: some universes are more conducive for that than others. So I can't really say that fanfiction prevents people from creating their own original characters.

    Overall, I agree largely with Shiny's last paragraph. We can draw inspiration from existing and putting our own spin on things. Sometimes we admire a writer's world-building so much that we want to explore things, ideas, or concepts that didn't necessarily make the main storyline. Am I really the only one who wondered what it would be like if you were Muggle-born and ended up in the Slytherin house? (Okay, maybe that was just me.) We might not profit from it, but fanfiction still a nice creative outlet for some people and serves as inspiration.
    Psycho Monkey likes this.
  4. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    I agree with Carmen 100% on this. When it comes to fanfiction some universes like the Pokemon world offer tons of opportunities for OCs to do just about anything. With occupations such as Trainers, Coordinators, Rangers, or being a member of a villainous Team along with 721 monsters and counting, and over six regions to have for your setting, the possibilities are endless. Even if you write about your adventures through the games, the main character is a blank slate for you to put your own spin on the journey. Look no further than Twitch for examples of that.

    Of course other media also have their outlets for fanfiction now matter how wide open or focused their universes are. There will always be room for an OC to either see the action from the sidelines or be in some other area of that world away from the main story doing their own thing. I'm sure now that HIMYM is over, someone somewhere is going to write a story from Mother's perspective called "How I Met Your Father".

    As for fan art, I see nothing wrong with drawing your favorite character from your favorite show/movie/book/whatever.
  5. Of course it's worth it-- fanart and fanfic are still art and writing, and practicing such skills helps you improve at them. If your fanart/fanfic/fanvideos get taken down, well, a) you should have them backed up, because technically any site or forum or what have you could delete what you've posted, and b) you can still enjoy that work for yourself. One effective way to strangle your creative drive is to be like "No! I must do X!" when you're feeling inspired to do Y. Work on your original ideas if you have them, but if you're feeling inspired, go with it.

    Here's the thing though-- it is extremely rare for rights holders to actually CnD sites and get fanworks taken down. In terms of the MLP situation you mentioned, to be quite frank the "brony" fandom has forced Hasbro's hand. The majority of fandoms are ignored by the rights holders of the work; they can't/shouldn't look at it for legal reasons, but plenty of authors are glad that it's there since it increases interest in the canon, or even wink at and engage fans in a strong way (see Hannibal and Sleepy Hollow fandoms on tumblr/twitter and their fanworks).

    Bronies are a feral fandom-- because of the sheer size of the fandom and the amount of people for whom MLPFIM is their first fandom experience, there is a lot of bad behavior, and worst of all, bronies don't hide their porn or adult fanworks. They've ruined google images even with safesearch turned on.

    Hasbro has been CnDing MLPFIM fansites and such because the fandom as a whole has crossed the line-- not only did they ruin a nice show for little girls by making it revolve around adult men and their boners for colorful cartoon horses, but they monetized their videos/etc. Porn and money are the things that rights holders can't ignore, especially when you're starting with a show for children.
    Carmen Lopez and Mr.Munchlax like this.
  6. I like watching MLPFIM because it's a truly enjoyable show. While I knew bronies had a pretty bad reputation (mostly for standard bad fandom behavior), this is the first time I've heard about this particular offense. That's indeed crosses the line and I really hate it for the people who are a part of the fandom that don't engage in this behavior.
  7. Fanfiction and fan art (which is sort of the same, really, if you want to get what I call "sleepover deep" on this) is totally worth it. Like others have said, there's so much that can be done that's just amazing compared to the original works. Not gonna lie, I've read and have seen Pokemon fan fiction/art that's better than the original games (and obviously better than the anime because melting butter is better than that, imo) and have read things that original writers of whatever show it belongs to would weep tears of joy after reading. It's healthy because it gives people an opportunity to explore places that the original writers are legally unable to explore or just haven't thought to speak about or expand on too.

    That, and fan fiction can more often than not help with creating original works too by having other series sort of work as a framework for molding their characters or other things, and can inspire truly amazing original stories. Don't believe me? Here's a random factoid that you can google for yourself:

    50 Shades of Grey was originally a Twilight fanfiction.

    While I don't particularly care for either, it does prove my point, that fanfiction can mold your own stories, and can help you become a better writer in the process (and obviously gives us hope because apparently ANYTHING can and will be published).

    You can look at it like a hobby, making that episode that you always wanted, practice for anatomy, whatever, it has multiple benefits that can help you emotionally, mentally, nerdily, or physically in the long run.

    As far as copyrights go... a lot of the time, the original owners or whatever won't care or actually encourage it somewhat. Plus, let's look at it like this: Has anyone ever drawn a picture of your OC/FC for you? Let me tell you, one of the BEST feelings in the world, so imagine how Game Freak feels seeing all of these amazing works of art of their creations. I'd be giggling like a little school girl, let me tell you.
  8. Well, I'm quite the brony. I've only every written one pony fanfiction, but there are several ideas floating about my head. Why do I write fanfiction, or even think up the ideas? Like others have said, the universes are just so much fun to play around in, providing so many ideas. I like pony fanfiction partially because it is an interesting challenge adapting human experiences to pony ones, as well as thinking up things about pony biology and sociology, such as reproductive strategies, ex., herds versus pairs.

    I understand what you mean, Mr. Munchlax. It could be thought that fan works limit creativity by having an already produced universe of characters and rules. It could enhance creativity by encouraging the creation of new characters or settings in those 'rules' of the universe, or it could stifle it. It could perhaps even be a bouncing point (like Doubled has said) to not only learn how to create within some boundaries at first, but then create original works. I, too, am of this opinion. For me, pony fanfiction has encouraged me to stay logically consistent with the limitations of the universe and the limitations I have logically concluded are present until otherwise disproven by canon.
  9. Yoshimitsu

    Former Moderator

    Look at it this way.

    Every classic piece of art is fanart of the bible.

    Did people turn around to Da Vinci with his Last Supper painting and be like "Sorry it's not real art, gotta have your own OCs"?
    Delphox, Secad MS, Valin and 8 others like this.
  10. If you enjoy doing it, then yes, I think it is. Fanart and fanfiction often promote whatever it's from and the person creating it can have fun using characters from their favourite franchise in art/literature/whatever. Being an artist myself I personally have a lot of fun when I do fanart, as it's like being given a person and a canvas to draw them on. You're only limited to your imagination in what you can do really, just because you've been given a person doesn't mean you can't have fun with it and add a little flair.
    Just because copyrights exist it doesn't mean you can't draw or write about said thing, there'll always be fanart and fanfics around and more often than not popular franchises don't really care because of the sheer amount of stuff made, and also because, like stated before, it can really help to boost the fandom's popularity. A good example is the anime Attack on Titan; practically the only reason it thrives so much is because of the sheer amount of fanart, fanfiction and memes made of it.

    So basically: It's worth it because it's fun for the creator of the fanart/fanfiction, and usually promotes the subject matter (whether the company likes it or not).

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