Tumblr, Fanart and Immersion

A little late on the week 5 post, I know, but I’ve been super busy this week arting. Yes, arting is now a verb. I figured if I’m going to be focusing my auto-ethnography on Pokemon fan art, then I might as well immerse myself in the subject and actually have a go at making some of my own fan art, which is something I’ve never done. 

I’m not an artist by any means, but I do like to draw. The last time I did an art class was in year 10, and I haven’t really picked up a pencil (or paintbrush) since.This past week I’ve managed to do a few drawings of some of my childhood favourites and I will be posting these on my DIGC330 Tumblr blog/digital artefact

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My first attempt at making fan art :’)

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Without looking at any academic literature and based solely on this past week’s experience, I’m starting to understand why people might invest so much time and energy into creating amazing fan art; It’s fun! I feel that making art somehow immerses you into the Pokemon world in a way that the games can’t. As I’ve been sketching Pikachu, Mew and Dawn (from the anime series) I feel as though with each pencil line, I am translating my experience of the character into some sort of visual language, something that then other artists or fans of the Pokemin universe will be able to comprehend . Since beginning this excercise, I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for the time and effort that goes into making Pokemon artwork, because, not gonna lie, I’ve spent more than a few hours trying to make art myself!

I’d like to explore this more over the next few weeks and maybe have a look at a few of the genres and mediums used in Pokemon art and see if this says anything significant about the way  people interact with or perceive Pokemon content. 

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10 comments

  1. Amazing sketch! I really like your point that ‘I am translating my experience of the character into some sort of visual language, something that then other artists or fans of the Pokemin universe will be able to comprehend’. It’s one thing to be a fan of something or follow certain fandoms, but to actually be involved by creating your own content must give you a real sense of inclusion. With online communities especially, where anyone can be involved, having your content viewed/liked/commented adds a whole new dimension. By creating your own work you’re being an active ‘prosumer’, as opposed to just viewing what other people are creating. I look forward to seeing your digital artifact.

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  2. Fan art is such an amazing medium, particularly fan art that turns written fan fictions in to art. It really doesn’t get enough credit with the criticism that fan art is just copying images that have already been done so the fact that for you it immersed you more in the show is a testament to how cool and important fan art is.
    As some one who is also not an artist, fan art is awesome because you don’t have to think up the characters yourself you can mimic the images of the show. Especially with anime because the drawings are pretty simple to replicate.
    Props on your drawing too, it’s awesome!

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  3. What an excellent drawing of Dawn! Pokemon fanart is an exceedingly popular medium, and its fantastic that someone is studying ti! your attention to detail on the eyes (the focus of my study) is expertly done! It’ll be good to see what else you have done in your study.

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  4. Newbie here! I know VERY little about fan art, besides what I’ve seen posted to other websites. Your sketch is great! I think fan art really helps create a community and helps people feel as though they are contributing to their own and others experiences of the medium. I’m super impressed that you’re getting so involved in the community and making the art yourself. Have you noticed any trends in the fan art community? Do you think they are extra committed? Some interesting questions to ponder!

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  5. I like how you said, “I am translating my experience of the character into some sort of visual language, something that then other artists or fans of the Pokemin universe will be able to comprehend.” It’s interesting that there’s a different way to connect with a fandom without using technology but then sharing it with people on the internet. I also wonder if it’s just other artists or the general fandom that you interact with? Personally i think it ends up extending to all people who have seen the show and understand and appreciate the artwork. I also find it interesting the time and effort, as you mentioned, that people put in. It shows how one show can affect someone and become such a significant part of their life that they feel the need to take time and make art related to it.

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  6. I love this! Have you really not drawn since year 10! I would never have thought so that drawing is amazing! Fan art and blogging is super interesting as it’s existed on the internet for years. For example I remember back in the early years of high school which for me was 2003/2004 (ehhh so old) I remember making deviantart accounts with my friends and using them to share fanart of anime that we enjoyed and also my more talented friends creating their own art. It’s interesting how fanart has adapted and changed from the early days of the internet to now on blogs and social media platforms such as tumblr. Deviantart still exists – but is it as popular as it used to be? I haven’t been on it in years, should check it out. 🙂

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  7. Brilliant drawing!
    I really like your idea for a personal narrative/autoethnography report. I can understand how creating your own fanart can immerse you in further to the fandom and gain a deeper connection to the fictional worlds. As you continue your project this will be very interesting to see how you progress to further understand Asian culture through fanart.

    I look forward to seeing your end result in your autoethnography project.

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