For the most part, artists and writers see fan work as flattering tributes to the original. Inspired by the original work, they often share their inspired creations with friends and online fandoms. Some critics may look at this and say, "What a shame. They should be doing their own work!" Others see it as a flattering tribute. I see it as a potential promotional tool for the young artist or writer.
This week I wrote an article for WritersNewsWeekly.com about the Pro's of Fan Work (primarily fan fiction) and how the growing artist or writer can benefit. You can read the full article by clicking here.
Here are a few examples of successful fans who's fan work gained them the attention of some big industry names:
Writing fan fiction or drawing fan art can be a simple labor of love, fun hobby and a way for a fan to give back to their fandom or express their inspired fantasies. In many cases, fan work serves a more professional service, acting as a form of practice for the growing artist or writer. Fan work can prove to be a fun exercise in emulating existing styles in drawing or writing. This can lead artists and writers to branch off and create their own original pieces. Fan work also makes great online portfolio bait. Think about how many people Google search their favorite books, shows and characters. Lure viewers to your portfolio website with fan work of a popular subject, and you have a better chance of getting your original work noticed.
N. Matsumoto (aka spacecoyote)'s Simpsons and Futurama fan art that she shared on deviantart.com earned her a job with Bongo Comics, a company created and owned by Simpsons creator Matt Groening. She will be working on a short Simpsons manga and has been contacted by 20th Century Fox to potentially work on the relaunch of Futurama. You can read the full article about Space Coyote's success by clicking here.
Harry Potter fan, Francisca Solar, wasn't happy with Rowling's fifth book in the popular series so she wrote her own sequel "Harry Potter and the Decline of the High Elves." Published on fanfiction.net, her story received positive reviews from all over the world and was viewed more than 80,000 times. Harry Potter publisher, Random House, took notice. The company liked her work so much they offered her a contract to write her own original trilogy. You can read more about Francisca and her series by clicking here.