I do, and I feel like it’s a (quote unquote) unpopular opinion but that’s the way I feel!
There is NOTHING wrong with getting recognised because you draw fanart of a popular movie, book, television show, comic series - whatever. And I don’t understand why so many fellow artists are vehemently against this, or why so many artists have to justify to so many people, all the time, that they are drawing what they draw because they like it.
Look, I’m going to reveal what might be a really shocking fact: I don’t think any artist will draw anything they don’t wholly enjoy. And that is a good enough reason for me for anyone to begin drawing fanart. I don’t require that they jump through hoops to prove to me that they really love whatever they’re paying homage to in their art.
I just don’t think that artists need to justify themselves or have to completely reject the obvious fact that yes, some artists get really popular off their fanart, but no, there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the recognition, either. You are still getting recognised for the work that you do.
This brings me to another point, which might also be shocking but: I believe that you should be allowed to use any means available to you to get recognised. And there is NOTHING wrong with using fanart as a platform to get recognised. I don’t know why some artists have such a superior attitude; as if you decide to take 5 years attempting to make people care about your original characters you’re automatically better than the person who took 5 months to get recognised because they drew fanart for something they really love.
The fact is, people relate better to characters they already know & are familiar with. It doesn’t mean that you can’t, or that it’s impossible to make someone care about your OCs as much as you do - it’s just that you can acknowledge that drawing something people are already familiar with is a good platform to get them interested in something unfamiliar.
I love drawing my OCs, I love them to death. I also love drawing fanart of things I really enjoy. I don’t like feeling that the fanart I draw is less valued than my OCs. I don’t like feeling guilty when I do draw fanart, thinking that people will dismiss what I draw simply because of the subject matter. I don’t like the wrongful assumptions about artists who draw fanart. I don’t like feeling that I can’t fully enjoy the praise I get for fanart simply because it’s fanart. I don’t like that artists are often forced to continually justify why they draw fanart. I don’t like that it’s taboo to admit that perhaps it IS nice to get recognised for your work, even if it’s from fanart.
I don’t like the bitter attitude that some artists throw around to other artists who might draw a lot of fanart and who might be recognised for it. Why are you even angry? Why are you angry at another fellow artist’s success? What are you really mad about?
When it comes down to it, most of us, as artists, probably drew things we liked when we were first starting out. We probably drew fanart. We probably started drawing Disney characters, or Neopets, or characters from shows or books. So remember that. Stop griping about other artists, embrace fanart, remember you don’t have to justify yourself to anyone and draw to your heart’s content.