I seem to have tumbled into one of the nicest, most insane fandoms of all time.
I’m not stranger to fandom culture. I have a Harry Potter/Star Trek/Stargate tattoo. Trust me, I’ve been this nerdy for a while. I usually try to remain an outlier because I just don’t seem to have the necessary amount of time to devote to the cause and when you have an addictive personality you tend to get hyper focused on that one thing. This will lead to slacking on the important life things and I just can’t afford to do that. For me it means that I am being too obsessive with another person’s creative work to create work of my own and let’s face it, I can’t compete with the time commitment of the people who get to be obsessive for a living. Or the 15 year old girls who are BAMFs at running full fan communities. Seriously. How do they do it?
Through teaching and through my fan community fringe drifting I have seen my share of amazingly talented kids. Smart, witty, thoughtful and driven kids. I have recently found myself so envious of them. They can create these social circles and connections that produce a multitude of art and interaction. It’s a beautiful thing and it just seems to come so easily to them. I’m sure there’s a scientific reason for this and that their access to the internet and current social tools has a lot to do with it. The one thing that can’t be attributed to access is passion. People have always been passionate about things. Without passion there can be no creation (double entendre intended) and creation is, to me, the purpose of living.
The plight of the obsessives
I don’t think the world gives enough credit to obsessives. These women/men who love something so much that they are driven to create things and discuss all things surrounding it. There was a period of time in which people dismissed or hated these people. That whole period in the 80’s and 90’s where geeks were vilified simply for being so passionate that it would intimidate people. It was and still is intimidating and it can be off-putting if that person comes on too strong but that doesn’t mean that passion should be cast aside. Passion when harnessed is what leads to greatness.
The first fan community that I finally caved and participated in was The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I am passionate about a lot of shows but LBD was the least intimidating and I found my foothold in the Reddit group. I now have internet friends that I keep in contact with for things outside the LBD community. They are smart, dynamic people who love to be creative and share their passions too. Who knows, some of us may end up collaborating down the road. After all, when it comes time to start a big project I have this great new set of connections with specific talents and similar interests that I know I can collaborate well with. It’s a beautiful thing.
How fandoms can facilitate art
The fan group I have recently found myself in is for Haven (as you probably could have guessed). Haven fans are so welcoming and eager to share their love of the show with you. The insane part is that they seem to always be online. They are always sharing and creating and discussing and it’s wonderful and beautiful and terrifying. Terrifying because I can’t keep up but wonderful because I am always welcome pick up where I left off. Television has been such an intrinsic part of my life for so long and I finally have a creative outlet to express what it has meant to me. The sense of community is the foundation of all of that.
I firmly believe that mankind has always experienced this in regards to the arts. Renaissance painters studied the works of their mentors in close-knit schools trying to emulate their styles in hopes of being allowed to help the master’s create their work. We do the same thing now. We just happen to have lost the spatial boundaries (why, thank you internet!) and gained convention centers! Even better, people who create work love having fans. Fans are the people who truly appreciate the work and that’s all any of us want really. To find other people who love the same things and to create things that inspire them and help them understand that they aren’t alone.
I guess what I am saying is, don’t be dismissive of obsessive fans. That’s where all of the creativity is happening. Being creative about things that you love helps you to get better at the things that you do. Once you’ve honed those skills you will be better able to communicate your own unique concepts. It makes everything else less daunting and far more worthwhile.
All right. That’s enough of me justifying my obsessive nature. Have these other fan art promos I’ve been working on. If you have anything that you’d like to share I would be honored to see it.
Note: I get my images off of a standard Google image search. I don’t own them and I take no credit for them. The photo manipulation is what I do.