Creating Fan Art can be a fun hobby to show your love for a film, series, game etc. Like with most side projects, it can also be an excellent way to hone your skills, share new work and gain attention.

In this post we will explore some brilliant Fan-Art projects and provide some handy tutorials to help you improve your Illustration Skills.

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Why Fan-Art Grabs Attention

People love seeing their favourite characters portrayed in new ways. They are more likely to stop that scrolling and look at your work if it is a person they recognise or feel a connection to. Then if they like your style you could gain a new follower, collaborator, client or opportunity.

Fan-Art is usually most successful when the character is either very current and popular in modern culture OR is a bit of a cult classic who everyone will immediately recognise.

You should post any kind of personal work you create and would love to work on professionally. This will get you one step closer to that goal. You never know who will see it especially if you tag the actor etc into the post!

Creative Projects

Stranger Things - Robin & Steve

1. Artist - Chorkung

If you have not seen series 3 of Stranger Things where have you been hiding?

These two characters are central to the plot but not the main stars sometimes it's great to focus on a character people may not expect.

Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson)

Typically Fan-Art is of a Character but that is not a rule it could be a building, famous scene or in this case The Grand Budapest Hotel! Such an iconic (fictional) building and interesting way to celebrate a beautiful film. This project was easy to turn into a cool product to sell as part of a side hustle. 

Harry Potter - Hermione 

Artist - Silvia Brunetti

Hermione Granger is stuff of legends and is the perfect type of character for fan art.

She has a complex personality so you can play with expressions and stance but a very specific look/style so people immediately know who this is!

Once you have started with one character why not do a whole set and upload it too Behance as a full project?

Hone your Skills

All of the projects above show passion and commitment. They also show that a person enjoys the creative process and just wants to make new work because they enjoy it. These are all characteristics which will attract employers, clients and collaborators. 

Fan-Art is also the perfect way to practise and hone your illustration skills while creating something fun, this makes learning and developing your style so much easier! It's always good to be creating personal work no matter if you are just starting out or if you are a seasoned professional you never know what you will discover or learn! 


Illustration Skills

Feeling inspired to create fan art? Perfect we have plenty of tutorials created by YES Founder Martin ready to teach you new skills and show a little of his own work and working process. 

18:00 Minutes

Portraits

In this tutorial Martin talks about the art of portraiture and the way artists are required to capture the physical likeness of a person as well as their characteristics.

 Join him as he explores realistic VS stylised paintings, try to decide which is better and take a look at plenty of Illustrators who create out of this world work which is bound to leave you feeling inspired.

If you are interested in Character Design, Illustration, Concept Design or even Game Creation you will find this tutorial useful! 


1:00 Minute

Tom Hardy

This tutorial features an illustration of Tom Hardy...enough said!

Fan Art is also a great way to practise storytelling. Watch as Martin uses mobile app Procreate to develop a dark and mysterious illustration of Tom Hardy's character in TV series Taboo. Be on the lookout for added detail which helps the illustration itself tell a story to the audience.


1:00 Minute

Reference Image

How can anyone resit this cute face! Here you can see how useful it is to use a reference image while you create a Character. Reference images act as an amazing starting point for your Illustration and are good to refer back to for the proportions of a character or object. 


1:00 Minute

Minimalist Design

Finally we have more of a minimalist approach to creating portrait illustrations in Adobe Illustrator. Learn to create a geometric portrait of Martin Luther King. Using simple geometric shapes to create illustrations has been a popular style for a while now and we think it is here to stay! 


I hope you found this post useful and now feel inspired to create your own fan-art which will grab attention. 

Once you have peoples attention it is so much easier to open up a conversation about how you could wok together! 


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About the author 

Shumi Perhiniak

Shumi is a self-taught graphic designer, in 2012 she took one-year sabbatical career break, where she devoted her time studying Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. In just after 6 months she started freelancing and within a year become a Certified Photoshop Expert. Over the years she worked both in-house and in agency roles as a retoucher, artworker and moved on from junior to senior design roles.

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