Fan Art :: How it Affects and Inspires Our Art

Art is something a lot of people appreciate. Whether you enjoy fine art painted by masters long gone, comic panels drawn by satirist in your newspaper’s funny pages, or art that stems from your respected fandom. We all enjoy art in one way or another. For some people, art inspired art. Favourite TV shows, movies, or books get our creative juices flowing, and make way for some considerable talent. A few of us Gazetteers are artists ourselves. And a lot of our work is inspired by pop culture media that we enjoy, or even artists who are considered fan artists themselves.

Join Kaymonster, Virginia, and Kristin. 3 talented artists, who talk about how Their favourite artists, and fan artists have affected their artwork, and their artistic careers.

Kailyn (KayMonstar):

Fan Art can take many forms such as drawings, costuming, music and filmography just to name a few. And even though fan art has many vehicles the driver is still the same. The passion for the subject matter is what makes fanart such a huge part of pop culture today. I would go so far as to say that fanart is pop-culture as we know it.
Have you ever watched a movie or show, or just experienced something so awesome it stirred something inside of you? A feeling so strong you had to get it out in any way possible? This to me is the true essence of fan art. It washes over you from a moment of wanting to show the creators that something they made gave you feelings to wanting to explore every inch of the rich worlds that have been created.
Perhaps most folks think that fanart is mostly just drawings, when in fact it overflows into other mediums. Cosplay and costuming are fantastic examples. The time and dedication that is put into crafting costumes based on characters you love is fan art.  Whether or not you are a beginner or at Yaya Han  level it doesn’t matter. What is important is that it took time to create these costumes and it shows creators that people love the characters.
Another form would be music. Adam Warrock  creates songs that reflect his passion for things. The first one that really pops in my head is Gravity Falls  and then there is Schaffer the Dark Lord’s  Ode to David Lynch Films. They’re love songs to shows and movies that inspire them. The Protomen and Megaran have created whole albums devoted to megaman.

Lastly I want to talk about fan films. They take the world that was original and expand it. They pay homage to or parody the games and movie tropes we all know and love.  When I think of fan films I think of things like Nuka Break or No Escape.  Minecraft: The last Minecraft  explores the ambiguous world that notch created. These are dedicated fans.

Fan-created projects generate more fans and inspire others to take up their own mantles of appreciation. Fan art has become a perpetual cycle of creation. Movies,TV, videogames, and music they all inspire us either by changing how we view the world or giving us the motivation to keep going when things are tough. Fan art is our way of saying thank you for letting us be a part of that experience.


Ed “Big Daddy” Roth represented a very specific sub-genre of hot rod culture called Kustom Kulture. He had many contemporaries such as Von Dutch and Stanley Mouse, you couldn’t call Roth the sole artist of the Kulture movement, but his work is the most distinctive, enduring and delightful as far as I’m concerned. His graphics work focused on frenzied energy, grotesque body distortion, and intricate mechanical detail. Curiously, much of his art seems simultaneously lively and very still and contained, bizarre figures riding improbable vehicles appear frozen in place, paused for an instant in the middle of a breakneck race. Ed Roth is iconic, and his work heavily influenced the movement of art in the 60s and 70s that was more DIY and counter culture than anything that had been going on in America’s art world before that time.

I have made a few Ed Roth ‘style rip’ images…

This is Artwork Virginia did of Fellow Gazetteer Kristin

This is Artwork Virginia did of Fellow Gazetteer Kristin

But Roth’s influence runs deeper than that in my own work. I discovered his work as well as the joys of earlier generations of Mad magazine when I was in my early teens but I didn’t truly respect them as art forms until I was in my twenties. I realized that there could be a blissful perfection one could achieve through the grotesque. I strive for that in my art now, whatever I happen to be drawing.


Bill Wray, Christy Karacas, R. Crumb, Takashi Murakami and Lane Smith all tickle my fancy in the same way, but the next artist I want to discuss- Junko Mizuno- Had a much more significant impact on my art. Junko Mizuno, much like Ed Roth, revels in the bizarre, but her art was the first indication I ever got in popular culture that femininity and grotesqueness could go hand in hand.

image00Some of Junko Mizuno’s comic art is charmingly simple, and some of her illustration is incredibly complex and baroque in its excessive decoration, but its common theme is almost always the female form, shown in a myriad of incredible, distorted ways. Legs are long and thick and hair is intricately styled, but mouths can drip vile substances and little delicate hands can clutch weapons and vital organs. Mizuno’s vinyl figures are all the more disquieting for their physical presence, her comic art can be graphically flat and seem to only be able to exist in 2D, but somehow translates incredibly well into 3D. I first discovered Junko Mizuno in high school. This is a ten year old drawing inspired by her work I did.

image02And her influence is still present in my work today, as I portray female characters in ways that highlight anatomical function and horror and making those aspects just another facet of their beauty.



I have been a full time artist for about 3 years now. I make a decent living off of my artwork, be it original paintings,prints, graphic art jobs, or other related merchandise. I have been in countless shows, and had my work appear in galleries and businesses across the USA. Some may consider me a success, I say my career has just begun. I wasn’t always an artists, for awhile I was a bartender, barista, manager, and retail slave. It took a lot of soul searching to cast off my corporate zombie badge and start working for myself. But I won’t say it was easy, and it certainly had a lot to do with artists/people whom I truly admired. Seeing their success,especially in a field I so desperately longed to be apart of was the big push. I needed to go down this path.

The artists I tend to admire the most, and the ones who inspired me to really become who i am today could easily be considered fan artists. They are artist who take pop culture, and media around us and offer their own unique vision and perspective to that genre.

Artists like Megan Lara, a terrific artist who I am sure you are all aware of, has been capturing the hearts (and wallets) of just about everyone I know. She is responsible for those amazing art nouveau inspired shirts of beloved characters you see everywhere, as well as original creations of her own.

She’s got Science by Megan Lara

Her work is a level I would love to be able to achieve, and with every new piece she is an amazing inspiration. Some fan artists paint what is popular because it is what gets them recognition. And to that I say they are not truly “fan artists”. Megan Lara is not the case, and that is another strong reason I admire her so much.

I could go on and on, give you examples of such amazing people like Evan Bryce, Hillary White or Nicky Barkla, but I’ll leaving the extensive gushing out of this.

Ok I HAD to include an Evan Bryce Batgirl in here!

Truly it is because of fan artists that gave me the confidence and courage to really jump out of my shell and tackle the subject matter I have always wanted to do. If it wasn’t for people like them, with their talent, passion and skill, I might still be selling mattresses in a mall somewhere. So if you are reading this guys, Thanks!

Bunsen and Beaker by Kristin Frenzel

Bunsen and Beaker by Kristin Frenzel

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