You’re talking about two different kinds of fan art, hero.
1. Dude-approved work-safe cis-het mainstream fan art. Quality and coolness guaranteed. 80s and 90s nostalgia optional. Passes muster at comic book conventions when scrutinized by chinbeards. Sometimes called “mashup” or “remix” or “here’s my minimalist Dune movie poster.” Your bro friends won’t make fun of you for it. Your pals and buds and platonic besties will ask where they can get the t-shirt. Artists sometimes make this kind of fan art “just for fun” when they’re “in between other projects.” Usually sold at places like Threadless and Gallery1988.
2. Actual fan art. Featuring the unapologetic and unironic female and queer gaze. Here’s a quick folder I threw together of some of my fave actual fan art.
This this this. When dudes make fan art, they can get jobs and book deals and t-shirt printings and gallery shows from said fan art, they are respected for their creativity and “reimagining” and “mashups.” When women make fan art, it’s written off as frivolous and embarrassing and a waste of time and talent, something that gross silly fangirls do that potentially ruins shows for dudes (note: unless they make dude-approved “non-embarrassing” fan art.) (Gee, I wonder who the self-appointed tastemakers and gatekeepers are here.) It’s bullshit.
why many male gaze pin ups are more respected than tasteful queer character art.
not even gonna start talking about how female sexualization is more generally accepted in daily life as opposed to male sexualization played off as uncomfortable and generally as a gag by most
^ Agree with these comments.
That pin-up thing is SUPER TRUE. The kind of feedback I get for drawing Nicki Minaj in a bikini versus the kind of feedback I get for drawing Destiel (tasteful, fully-clothed, not obviously ship art) from men is like night and day. They approve of Nicki and call it pop art. They hate the Destiel and wonder why it’s there.
And not even specific to that art—I always gets messages from guys who think I need to draw things for them. Anyone who’s followed me long enough has seem some extraordinary examples of this kind of entitlement.
Basically, it’s okay if the art is for guys and guy-approved. It’s not okay if it’s not. Or maybe it’s okay, but it had better not threaten us. Keep it amongst yourselves, etc.
Even right now—even right as I’m typing this—my followers are dropping like flies, and my inbox is filling up with angry messages. I guess people are shocked or something. Like yeah this is our experience.
The worst part of this scenario is that many women (including yours truly) self censor to appeal to the beards that make decisions about who’s being hired under disguise of having ‘professional’ look to their blog/portfolio website. How many times I was told to not do fanarts, because that doesn’t appeal to powers that are, while in truth, those were always men giving that advice and by “fanart” they meant the kind of art that doesn’t cater to them.
And then I see men doing fanart on conventions, going with sexy pinups to portfolio reviews, doing exactly the thing I was advised against and being praised for it. It puts things into perspective- just likes panels about women in comics without any female panelist; and it’s not good.
Thing are changing, but way too slowly, you know.