On Fandom, Fan Art, and Being a Big Dorky Fangirl
Wednesday, June 20th, 2012
I sometimes think I’ve always been a fan of something. I remember getting into reading Star Trek books when I was maybe 12, but before that it was Stephen King and my big horror phase at 10, and before that I read every Nancy Drew book the library had, and all the Oz books (did you know it was a series?), and the Narnia books, and… Yeah.
I’ve always lived best in other people’s worlds. Even though every one of the things I named above, and every one of the things I’m a fan of now is problematic in some way, that doesn’t diminish my love for them.
As an artist, it’s always been a calling to me to draw or paint the things I was a fan of. I remember when I was younger, drawing ridiculously detailed pencil art from posters of the bands and actors I swooned over as a pre-teen. And now I’m nearly 40, and I still draw and paint things out of other people’s worlds, other people’s imaginations.
Transformative works are everywhere we look these days. From Sherlock to The Avengers, the new anthologies of stories in the Cthulhu Mythos and the explosion of unlicensed fanworks online (note: yes, the stuff here goes in that category), people are looking back through the things that came before, rifling through the imaginations of the past to build a foundation for the things they make now.
I love it.
Every once in a while I roll my eyes at the endless sequels and remakes and book-to-movie adaptations, but in truth it’s more Sturgeon’s Law (90% of everything is crap) I’m disparaging than the desire to depict Shakespeare as high school drama or make stylized movie posters for films from a different era.
So, I’ve embraced my dorky fangirl heritage, and in amongst the abstract salt paintings and tentacles you’ll find cartoon monsters out of someone else’s imagination and other pastiches of my favorite things.
I’ll just try not to do too much that falls into that bottom 90%.