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Fan Art and Creativity

Thoughts last night while hot bath soaking on Fan Art, and my contemplating doing some, yet wanting to be original. Fan Art is pretty much (a loose definition?) defined as art representing characters or scenes from stories in publication by other writers or creative artists. Some artists who create the universe where favourite characters play understand and encourage the group of people known as 'fans' to play in those universes, others do not. We've pretty much done this a long time anyway, as children, played in the universes of favourite stories. Herself tells me stories of she and her siblings and neighbor friends playing Star Trek from watching the syndication replays of that series. Star Wars drives much the same interest, as does Firefly. And more. Those are simply three of my 'fandoms' I suppose.

This is part of what drives fan art. We want to continue spending time in those universes.

At the same time, I've held back from making any such for a long time, since my early teen years and those being stories I wrote based on a favourite television show of the time. No, I won't tell you the name of the show, nor even any of those pieces. Not sure any of them still exist, anyway, and that's just fine. Part of my rationale for not making Fan Art is that bit of being original. While I believe that all art we see or read influences us, I also feel strongly about honouring the copyright someone else may own on the artwork. So I've stayed away from Fan Art for a while, though the concept is bouncing about in my thoughts a lot recently.

Thus, I contemplate making artwork that includes the ship Serenity from the Firefly universe, INSS MacArthur from the far future in the Co-Dominium/Empire of Man universe of Jerry Pournelle (and Larry Niven). I research these pieces. And I debate how to do this. Some things will be fairly easy; space battles in the Empire of Man series were described in some of their work; building off other artwork I've seen, historical artwork of naval battles, a space battle could be quite nicely done. The hardest part is identifying which ship in that representation is which, since using their Langston Fields they would all look like black spheres or eggs (depending of course on the amount of energy currently being absorbed, radiated, dealt with) and the ships within those Fields not actually visible.

Started re-reading one of the Ringworld books by Larry Niven yesterday before getting into the tub, and his forward describing how the Ringworld grew from one book into three (plus a possibility of other references in his works) describes this as well. He never planned on this many stories. Fans played with the concepts he put forth in the original, Ringworld, and things grew from that. Questions raised that needed answers. Answers led to other questions. All because fans played with the concepts, with the future universe described in the story.

As I said, though, other artists do not encourage people from we shall say 'publishing' their fan art based on other 'universe' creations. Copyright comes to play, or simply a desire for some creative control, consistency within the universe. Such desires should be honoured.

What to do then. What to do.

This entry was originally posted at http://madshutterbug.dreamwidth.org/165292.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

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