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The intersection of fan art and fan fiction

Fans of various media, whether it be movies, TV shows, books, or video games, have always been a creative bunch. They love to explore the worlds, characters, and stories that they love in any way they can.


Fan art by Jen Bartel
Fan art by Jen Bartel

Two of the most popular ways fans express their creativity are through fan art and fan fiction. Fan art is the creation of visual art that depicts characters or scenes from a particular piece of media, while fan fiction is the creation of written stories that feature characters or settings from that same piece of media. These two creative expressions often intersect, with fans using both to enhance and expand upon their beloved media.


One of the most significant intersections between fan art and fan fiction is that they both allow fans to interpret and explore the characters and stories they love. For instance, a fan artist might create a unique design or reimagine a character in a way that differs from the source material. This can create an entirely new perspective and add depth to the character or the story.


A fan fiction writer, on the other hand, might explore the backstory of a character, fill in gaps in the source material, or create a new narrative that takes place in the same world as the original work. This can lead to new insights and discoveries for fans and help to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the media.


Another intersection between fan art and fan fiction is that they can complement each other. For instance, a fan artist might create a visual representation of a scene or concept that is difficult to convey in words, while a fan fiction writer might describe visual elements that are difficult to convey in a single image.


Princess Leia fan art by Qinni
Illustrated by Qinni

When these two creative expressions are used together, they can create a more comprehensive and cohesive vision of the world and characters that fans love. Additionally, fans can use fan art and fan fiction to create a shared universe that fans can explore, adding new dimensions to the world of the media they love.


One significant benefit of fan art and fan fiction is that they allow fans to connect with each other. By sharing their work online, artists and writers can form communities around the media they love. This can lead to friendships, creative collaborations, and a sense of belonging that can be challenging to find elsewhere.


Additionally, fan art and fan fiction can provide a way for fans to share their work with a broader audience, which can lead to new opportunities and a sense of validation for their creative efforts.


Pokemon fan art by Qinni
Illustrated by Qinni

There have been several instances where fan artists and fan fiction writers collaborated on projects, which are usually conducted online and take place on various social media platforms such as Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram and often take place within specific fandoms or fan communities.


A few examples of these projects are:


1. The "Art for Fic" project, where fan artists created illustrations for fan fiction stories submitted by writers.


Art for Fic is a collaborative fan community project where fan artists create illustrations for fan fiction stories written by other fans. It is often organized by fandom communities or groups, but it can also be organized by individuals.


The project provides a unique opportunity for fans to collaborate and showcase their talents in new and exciting ways. Writers submit their stories to the project, and artists can then choose a story to illustrate. The artwork and the story are then posted online for other fans to enjoy.


Fan art by Beeple
Fan art by Beeple

Notable people who have participated in Art for Fic include:


  • Fan artist and illustrator Qinni participated in several Art for Fic projects in the anime and manga fandoms.

  • Fan fiction writer Maya has written stories that have been illustrated by artists in multiple Art for Fic projects in the Harry Potter and Marvel Cinematic Universe fandoms.

  • Fan artist and animator Beeple has created artwork for several Art for Fic events in the Star Wars fandom.

  • Fan fiction writer and podcaster Rachel has written stories inspired by artwork in several Art for Fic projects in the Sherlock and Doctor Who fandoms.


Illustration: hamletmachine
Illustration: hamletmachine

2. The "Reverse Big Bang" project, where fan artists created artwork based on prompts submitted by fan fiction writers, who then used the artwork as inspiration to writing new stories.


The Reverse Big Bang is a popular fan community project where fan artists create artwork based on prompts submitted by fan fiction writers. The writers then use the artwork as inspiration to writing new stories.


There are usually specific timelines and guidelines for participation, and both artists and writers have to apply or sign up to take part.


The Reverse Big Bang project has become increasingly popular in recent years, with hundreds of artists and writers participating in each event. Some notable people who have participated in the Reverse Big Bang include:

  • Fan artist and illustrator HamletMachine has created artwork for several Reverse Big Bang events within the popular webcomic fandoms.

  • Fan fiction writer Astolat has written stories inspired by artwork in several Reverse Big Bang projects, including in the Sherlock fandom.

  • Fan fiction writer Copperbadge has written stories inspired by artwork in several Reverse Big Bang projects, including in the Marvel Cinematic Universe fandom.


Attack on Titan Illustration by hamletmachine
Illustration: hamletmachine

3. The "Fan Artist/Fan Writer Exchange" project, where fan artists and fan fiction writers were paired together and created works inspired by each other's pieces.


The Fan Artist/Fan Writer Exchange is a popular fan community project where fan artists and writers are paired up to create works inspired by each other's media. It is often organized by fandom communities or groups, but it can also be organized by individuals.


The project is typically structured as a gift exchange, where each participant is paired with another participant and creates work for them based on their prompts or preferences. Fan artists create illustrations, while fan writers create stories, and the resulting works are then shared with the wider community.


Fan art by Beeple
Fan art by Beeple

Notable people who have participated in the Fan Artist/Fan Writer Exchange include:

  • Fan artist and illustrator Jen Bartel has created artwork for several Fan Artist/Fan Writer Exchanges in the Marvel Comics fandom.

  • Fan fiction writer and podcaster Margaret Dunlap has written stories inspired by fan art in several Fan Artist/Fan Writer Exchanges in the Supernatural and Hannibal fandoms.

  • Fan fiction writer and editor Abigail Nussbaum has written stories inspired by fan art in several Fan Artist/Fan Writer Exchanges in the Doctor Who and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fandoms.

These projects are a great way for fan artists and writers to collaborate and create new and exciting works inspired by each other's media. It provides an opportunity for fans to showcase their talents and engage with each other in unique and creative ways. The resulting works are often beautiful and inspiring, and they demonstrate the power of fan creativity and collaboration.


These collaborations can lead to exciting and innovative new works that combine the strengths of both fan art and fan fiction, and they also provide a great opportunity for fans to connect and create together.


Minimalist movie poster fan art by Popate
Minimalist movie poster fan art by Popate

In recent years, the popularity of fan art has led to a rise in online stores that offer fan art prints, posters, and other merchandise. These stores allow fans to support their favorite artists while adding unique, high-quality artwork to their collections. For example, an online store might offer high-quality prints of a fan artist's reimagining of a favorite character, allowing fans to own a physical representation of the artist's work. These stores also provide a way for fans to support the creative efforts of others while indulging in their love of the media they enjoy.


If you are a fan of fan art, you may want to consider purchasing pieces from an online store like Popate. Many of these stores offer a wide variety of fan art, from prints and posters to phone accessories and other merchandise. By purchasing fan art, you are supporting the creative efforts of your favorite artists, allowing them to continue creating new and exciting pieces. Additionally, you are adding unique and interesting artwork to your collection, which can help to express your love for the media you enjoy.


In conclusion, fan art and fan fiction offer fans a unique way to explore and expand upon the media they love. By creating visual art and written stories, fans can deepen their understanding of the characters and worlds they enjoy.


The intersection of fan art and fan fiction is an exciting and dynamic space where fans can explore their creativity, connect with one another, and add new dimensions to their favorite stories and characters. If you're a fan of fan art, be sure to check out our online store and support your favorite artist. And if you're a fan fiction writer, consider collaborating with a fan artist to create a more immersive fan experience. The possibilities are endless!