Fan Art And Self-Expression – A Ramble

Well, I thought that I’d talk about how fan art can be a valid form of self-experession today. This was because of an experience I had with making fan art shortly before I originally prepared the first draft of this article (several months ago). But, I should also point out that this article contains some SPOILERS for “Blade Runner” and the original “Ghost In The Shell” film too.

Although it is all resolved now, I’d been having something of a stressful evening on the day that I originally prepared this article. In short, what I’d thought was an annoying long-running problem with my computer (which kept slowly getting worse) turned out, upon closer inspection, to be a much more serious problem. The capacitors on the motherboard had begun to degrade.

Even though I’d been preparing a backup computer, the idea of my main computer slowly dying was deeply disturbing. This was a computer that has been by my side for over a decade. It was the best birthday present I’ve ever had. Even after all this time, using it still felt futuristic when compared to the Windows 98 machine I’d previously used. It had been there during some of the best and some of the worst times of my life. It was what this blog was started on and what my art was scanned and edited on too. It has, to me at least, become more than just a mere machine. It was more like a cherished treasure or a beloved pet.

Still, the computer worked intermittently. So, I wasn’t going to desert it. Even though I was setting up a second backup system (eg: another classic mid-2000s computer 🙂), I thought that I would stick with my main computer for as long as I could. Or at least until I could find a way to put the hard drive into another computer or something [EDIT: This is exactly what happened the next day. It’s now inside a computer from 2004 with a faster processor, but less RAM and VRAM, than my old machine from 2006]

Although the original “Ghost In The Shell” movie would probably be a better parallel, a scene from “Blade Runner” slipped into my mind during all of this. It was the scene near the end of the film where, with Gaff’s words about limited lifespans echoing in the background, Deckard and Rachel get into a lift and decide to spend the rest of their days together. The scene suddenly took on a new poignance to me.

So, that evening, I decided to draw it. Here’s a preview of the finished drawing:

This is a reduced-size preview. The full-size picture will be posted here on the 30th August.

Although it was intially just a quick and easy way to distract myself from all of the stress about the computer, the drawing ended up being a lot more expressive and creative than I had expected.

Firstly, this was because I decided to make a monochrome drawing rather than an “accurate” full-colour painting. Initially, this was both for time reasons and to minimise the amount of editing time after I scanned the painting (in case my computer failed whilst editing). But, it lent the picture a hauntingly stark quality that seemed to reflect the mood I was in very well. Not only that, not having to worry about colours meant that I could focus more on detail and shading, which seriously improved the picture.

Secondly, the scene in the picture doesn’t technically appear in the film (or at least the DVD of the 1992 Director’s Cut that I used as a reference). Yes, Deckard and Rachel get into the lift – but, despite what I had thought, there isn’t actually a shot of them standing next to each other.

So, of course, I had to pause the DVD at various different moments during the scene and come up with a composite picture that isn’t actually in the film. Originally, this was just out of necessity (since I had a clear idea of what my drawing would look like). But, it’s also an example of how fan art can actually include creativity.

So, in conclusion, fan art can also include self-expression and creativty too. Yes, original art gives you more creative freedom – but you can still be fairly creative with fan art too.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

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