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Ok, so I'm not a big fan of fan art, especially not in a professional portfolio. That said, Blizzard is having a contest that sounds kind of cool, and given how HUGE Blizzard is (and I would love to work on their CCG) even placing in the contest could be great exposure. The concept I'm considering would be a lot of work, and I'm not sure how I feel about spending a month on an elaborate painting that I DON'T use in my portfolio.
Does anyone have thoughts on "fan art" and how it relates to professional portfolios?
Personally, I tend to drift away from pre-conceived concepts. I think that a unique portfolio is much more valuable if you sent it to them for regular hiring than special contests. Not to mention they might take you a bit more seriously. I see alot of artists that just draw super heroes and pre-conceived characters/ environments/ creatures over and over again. I like to wave as they come into our internship program and leave swiftly afterwards
Have you seen Jason Chan's WoW fanart? Do a search and see what you think.
Fanart like that can be impressive to individual clients, but I can't imagine you can keep it in a portfolio for large companies. I do contests from time to time 'cause it can look good on a resume and gives me some fun art to do for a change. There's a massive amount of competition in those WoW contests so I don't know that I would hang all my hopes on it and do a long-term project.
As for the CCG, I have sent a regular portfolio to them, and it's all full of paid work I did or original concepts. Certainly no fan art. I guess my thought on it was that having a major piece done on that property might help grab their attention, as long as it was with a portfolio full of other things. The CCG is produced by Upper Deck, so it's not even the same company, but I couldn't help but think at the very least this is one potential client I could show the piece to and have it be appropriate.
I'm just looking for ways to justify the time commitment. Usually I like to do projects that can be used in the portfolio if they come out well, and I just don't want to see this time wasted if I decide to do it.
Hey, if you think it'll be fun and keep your artistic juices flowing then I say go for it. I just don't want you to feel like it was "wasted" time after the fact.
Dangit, how do you embed a youtube video? The prefab codes don't seem to work . . .
(EDIT: Like this)
Anyway, I think you should go for it. If nothing else, it'll be good to compete and sort of "see where you stand." Plus you'll do something kind of fun and have a chance of grabbing your favored company's eye. So, I guess what I'm saying is, you've posted reasons that sound compelling enough to me.
Last edited by Elwell; May 13th, 2008 at 09:24 PM.
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Elwell, thanks for the input. Your thoughts have really helped me decide that it isn't as taboo as what I was fearing. I know a portfolio FULL of other people's ideas and characters would be a warning sign, but this would just be one piece among others. Besides, there's only going to be one pre-existing character in the piece (as required by the contest rules), and the rest will be my own designs using the Warcraft environment.
Thanks, everyone, for the well rounded advice.
Heh... I know that this thread is a few months old at this point, but I have to chime in:
I think fan-art, in and of itself, is fine for an exercise or for "something to do"... and if it is a specific fan-art contest? that's fine too. BUT I agree with you that fan-art does not belong in a professional portfolio.
As an update, I never did get off the ground on it. I ended up with paying work that took up my time, and even if I hadn't ended up with paying work I probably would have entered our very own CA's "Deep" contest (which I was sadly also not able to compete in due to the work). Now that the winners have been announced for Blizz's contest I kind of wish I had the time to enter. There were some very nice images submitted and it would have been cool to possibly see my work in there as well.
I normally don't like fan art in portfolios, but what I had in mind would have been a fairly massive image with 11 characters and (hopefully) dramatic background, and that kind of work would have to end up in my portfolio if it came out well, even as fan art
Ah well, next time I have some free time I really need to get a website up anyways, and I have a half dozen personal images waiting in line to get painted
I understand your feeling about Fan Art, but I have to offer my counterpoint. I think that fan art can be detrimental to a portfolio if that is ALL you do. If all you ever paint is warcraft stuff, then you are really limiting your portfolio. Unless the only thing you want to do in the world is do illustrations for Blizzard, it isn't wise to have a portfolio filled with nothing but orcs and warlocks. That said, I completely disagree that a single piece of fan art is bad in a portfolio. Depending on the kind of work you want to get paid for doing, it can only help exposure as far as I am concerned and may also draw people to your site/artwork that also have interest in that character. I have a Transformer that I painted in my stupid little deviant art page, and I swear it's the only one anyone cares about. Kind of annoying actually, because it's old and I think it's one of my weaker paintings, but I am not going to complain if people like it.Does anyone have thoughts on "fan art" and how it relates to professional portfolios?
I can't imagine doing a single Warcraft piece of art on your website would be anything other than yet another great example of your work. I've visited your myspace page, and it looks like Warcraft would fit well with your style and a piece with that as it's subject matter would fit well in your illustration portfolio.
Just don't make your ENTIRE portfolio Warcraft and you are golden, imo.
Edit: Doh, I didnt realized this thread was necro'd a bit...hehe, oh well.
Fanart may not be for a pro portfolio, but doing something popular will get you A LOT of attention very fast. Some of that attention is employers.
I'm glad this post got necro'd a bit because there are some really useful thoughts being shared on the topic. I suppose really, anything that's good and gets attention is a good thing!