The Joy of Fanart
I’ve blogged a lot about fanfiction over the years since I think it is an invaluable tool for new writers, a fantastic outlet for all writers, and a huge part of my history and childhood.
I also adore fanart for many of those same reasons. I’m not particularly talented in art myself. I’ve dabbled and can sometimes draw something that turns out well enough without tracing, just eyeing and tweaking as I see fit, but I can’t draw wholly freeform or repeat an image/design the way many dedicated artists can.
Which is why it inspires and amazes me when someone draws fanart of one of my characters, because I admire the talent of artists so much, regardless of their experience, level, or style. It’s all amazing to me.
Recently, a fan, Sick Bastard, created these beautiful images of a yet to be released character of mine, Zen. He’s a darkling, my version of a half-Drow, for those familiar, so half dark elf, half human. The story is very Dungeons & Dragons inspired, particularly inspired by the adventure Curse of Strahd – aka D&D Dracula.
Zen is a darkling – half human, half dark elf – in a world that hates him, protected only by having been raised by the Order of the Sun to become a priest. He continues to fail to rise above being an acolyte despite having come of age and longs for a different life, one he only glimpses in dreams when he is with a mysterious, beautiful man he wishes was real.
After encountering an adventuring party made up entirely of other half-races, Zen is drawn to accompany them on their quest to find and destroy a fabled vampire lord. However, the pull he feels toward those lands might be more fated than he realizes.
I’ve only just sent the story to my publisher, but even if it isn’t to their style, I’ll still publish it eventually. Since I first started sharing stories online and elsewhere, I’ve had fanart of my fanfiction and my original work, and I’ve often commissioned art as well. It’s long been a practice of mine to get at least one commission when going to conventions, since there are so many talented artists in attendance.
I don’t know if I could pick a favorite piece, but every new one is a joy. The story I have with the most fanart is probably my Incubus Saga, and I’ve collected many of them in my overall Incubus Pinterest board here.
Let me speak on behalf of ALL writers – there is no greater gift than someone wanting to depict our characters off the page into some form of physical medium. It is always appreciated, it always makes our day, and all you wonderful artists out there should absolutely tag us/mention us/let us know, so we can gush with everyone else.