Fan Art/Fine Art and Printmaking Project 4

Hello Printmakers!

You’re getting a two-for-the-price-of-one sampling of blog posts this week because I feel Project 4 needs some clarification based on the thumbnails I’m seeing from everyone. This is an assignment that not only allows but embraces pop culture imagery. However, simply drawing, *insert favorite character here*,” isn’t enough to meet the project goals.

Why?

Because rendering existing creative content without significantly modifying it through your own point-of-view is fan art not fine art.

Don’t get me wrong. I love fan art.  In my rare bits of free time, I make fan art of egomaniacal, dragon-obsessed teenage CEOs and depressed anthropomorphic horse actors and rampaging black-eyed witches who flay people while quipping the light fantastic .

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Seto Kaiba: how can you not want to draw someone who so thoroughly rocks pointy coat shoulders?

Nonetheless, it’s not fine art I make when I spend a day in Photoshop with my favorite characters because the creative core of the work is not my own. That’s key, so let me repeat: fan art is not fine art because the creative core of the work is not your own. Someone else did the heavy mental lifting to develop the characters, the aesthetic, the themes, etc. Sure, you might add an interesting pose or develop a unique style or even place the character in a shiny new location or situation, but you aren’t substantially altering the original intent. What fan art primarily says is “I love you,” to something that touched your life, and that is a beautiful thing to express. It’s just not an artistically meaningful thing with regard to this assignment.

The bottom line is that Project 4 is not about picking a who, what or it from your favorite show or movie or book and making a picture of it. It’s about using popular culture to say something deeper. From the Project 4 Guidelines:

(Y)our print must intersect with popular culture in a meaningful way…use subject, style and composition to express a point of view. For example, you might create a print that draws our attention to the beauty of an everyday object we would otherwise never notice. Or perhaps you design an image that comments on our obsession with celebrity. Go creative!

And remember, you don’t have to use pop culture subject matter at all. Also from the guidelines:

For Project 4…(y)ou can choose subject matter from movies, tv shows, comic books, pulp novels, advertisements, products, signs, graffiti, memes, celebrity culture, etc. Or you can adopt some of the aesthetic qualities found in these types of materials (colors, shapes, compositions) as a means to bring fresh interpretation to another type of subject matter. As usual, our theme is intentionally open to interpretation.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to comment or e-mail. I know this is tough, and the distinctions are fine, but I believe in you! Let’s rock Project 4 every bit as awesomely as we did Project 3!

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