Fan art is artwork created by fans of a work of fiction (generally visual media such as comics, film, television shows, or video games) and derived from a series character or other aspect of that work. As fan labor, fan art refers to artworks that are neither created nor (normally) commissioned or endorsed by the creators of the work from which the fan art derives.
Fan art is a work based on characters, costumes, tools, or stories created by others. This term can also be applied to works created by fans of fiction characters, but is usually used to refer to secondary creation from visual media such as cartoons, movies, and video games. It usually refers to the work of an author who has not earned reward for an amateur writer or its secondary creation. Thus, for example, the commercial cartoonization of the movie “Star Wars” is not considered fan art, but the one that cartoonized by an unrelated fan is fan art. This distinction can not always be clearly decided, it is often in the gray zone whether a particular work is actually considered fan art.
A fanart or fan art is a concept from English commonly used to name those works of art, mainly visual, which are based on characters, epochs, costumes or others that the artist takes from universes previously created by a third party. The term usually refers to the images constructed by this medium, created with the aim of generating new narrations – either through comic drawing, illustration or photography – with the elements of previously existing stories, usually belonging to mass culture and the media (television, books, videogames, comics, Anime, etc.)
Some people use the term fanart for any art made by adopting a certain style or visual strategy, for example manga or anime drawing, however it is an incorrect appreciation in view of the fact that a reference to a certain style does not necessarily imply an appointment and study of aesthetics that are necessary and important in the creation of a fanart, elements that also make it recognizable and shape its identity.
A different, older meaning of the term is used in science fiction fandom, where fan art traditionally describes original (rather than derivative) artwork related to science fiction or fantasy, created by fan artists, and appearing in low- or non-paying publications such as semiprozines or fanzines, and in the art shows of science fiction conventions. The Hugo Award for Best Fan Artist has been given each year since 1967 for artists who create such works. Like the term fan fiction (although to a lesser extent), this traditional meaning is now sometimes confused with the more recent usage described above.
Fan art can take many forms. In addition to traditional paintings and drawings, fan artists may also create web banners, avatars, graphic designs or web-based animations, as well as photo collages, posters, artistic representations of quotes from a work or artistic representations of characters in new contexts or in contexts that are in keeping with the original series.
The fanart or fan art designates any work done by a fan and inspired or reproducing one or more characters, a scene or the universe of an existing work, whether literary, pictorial or audiovisual. This term is not limited to drawings as many may believe but to all types and all media. The fact of recreating the costume of a character to wear it is called cosplay, the amateur films taking scenes from the series are called AMV in the case of anime or more simply amateur videos.
Classically, the fanart may be inspired by the description of the original author of the book or the image of the actor or character of the film or animation in question. An example is the Harry Potter book and movie, whose fanarts do not necessarily look like actors, but only take on the character traits: Harry Potter’s glasses and scars, blond hair and aristocratic traits for Draco Malfoy. The prerequisite of a fanart is above all to be recognizable (to know who is who, what is the place if it is a place of the cannon, etc.)
Due to the nature of fan art, there are many debated facets of the topic. One of the most prominent controversies surrounding fan art is its validity as art at all. Some people in the art community believe that since fan art is based on someone else’s original content, it doesn’t deserve to be considered “art.” Their definition of art entails that it must be an expression of the artist, and artwork that is derived from already-existing content cannot fulfill this. A counter-argument to this statement is that fan artists add their own individual style to the art they create. Although the concept may derive from someone else’s work, the content equally as individualistic and expressive as any other form of art.
According to the intellectual property laws of most countries, the fanarts whose creation was inspired by other drawings or images with copyright (such as the fanart of manga characters, anime, video games, etc., as well as the actors of series or movies) They are considered derivative works and their distribution or exposure is illegal without the consent of the author.
There is a subtle problem in the legal state of fan art in the United States due to the ambiguity of the United States copyright law.
The legal status of derivative fan made art in America may be tricky due to the vagaries of the United States Copyright Act. Generally, the right to reproduce and display pieces of artwork is controlled by the original author or artist under 17 U.S.C. § 106. Fan art using settings and characters from a previously created work could be considered a derivative work, which would place control of the copyright with the owner of that original work. Display and distribution of fan art that would be considered a derivative work would be unlawful.
However, American copyright law allows for the production, display and distribution of derivative works if they fall under a fair use exemption, 17 U.S.C. § 107. A court would look at all relevant facts and circumstances to determine whether a particular use qualifies as fair use; a multi-pronged rubric for this decision involves evaluating the amount and substantiality of the original appropriated, the transformative nature of the derivative work, whether the derivative work was done for educational or noncommercial use, and the economic effect that the derivative work imposes on the copyright holder’s ability to make and exploit their own derivative works. None of these factors is alone dispositive.
American courts also typically grant broad protection to parody, and some fan art may fall into this category. This has not explicitly been adjudicated with respect to fan art, however. Moreover, while parody is typically afforded protection under § 107, a court must engage in a fact-intensive, case-specific inquiry for each work.
This is a legal gray zone, legality often can not be decided until the court decision is declared.