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29 – What is your current project or projects?

Just counting things for which at least something exists as scribbles on paper or in digital files:

There is the piece I started for the SGA Reverse Bang, where I then had to drop out for RL reasons, and which I then stopped working on. It's a steampunkish team scene, where the team in costumes stands around a table in a library with a map open (they are planning for something), and a lot of mechanical gadgets doing something are arranged there too (like curios). Also for some reason Sheppard has a tiny dragon sitting on his shoulder.

There is that Sanctuary thing where wanted to do a creature encounter diary/file/portfolio for some abnormal (inspired sort of by the credits), and I had decided to do a Mothman (after I did a poll here), but then some similar creature appeared in canon, and my design ideas didn't work with that new canon, and I'm not sure what to do now after being kind of jossed. I.e. whether to continue this, or draw them like in canon so that it fit (though I'm not thrilled with that), or maybe switch to another creature. So that's stalled now.

Then there is the X-Men/Watership Down fusion for which I got the inspiration from a kink meme prompt, and I thought it would be simple, but it turned out rather hard to draw a Rabbit!Magneto freeing another rabbit from a metal trap, and I'm currently still stuck with a ton of thumbnails, a whole pile of photos of sitting rabbits as well as action shots of rabbits, and stupid photos of small, supposed-to-represent-rabbits models I arranged to figure out composition and perspective. Anyway, much harder than I thought, even though this premise already dodges my usual stumbling block of character likeness what with them being rabbits. (I really wish I had an eye for caricature to get likeness right. I think that is the art ability I covet most, but have no idea how to cultivate, short of the extremely labor intensive method of doing thousands of sketches of different faces trying to pick out the distinctive features, which makes my inner sloth recoil.)

The list of potential artworks that so far only exists as text description of ideas is much longer. Looking at my file that is a total of 35 fanart concept ideas in 12 different fandoms, but considering that some of them have been on that for several year now, I can't exactly count those as "projects".

30 – Do you have a favorite piece of fanart you've created? What makes it your favorite? And don't forget to give us a link!

Uh. This is hard. I'm quite proud how my Star Trek Reverse Bang art turned out. I think the atmosphere with the giant statues works and I did a decent job with a group of people. Also it was the first time I tried a painting without ink lineart for clarity, and I like the result.
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27 – Where is your favorite place to create art, and do you use traditional media, or digital ones, or both?

For scribbling ideas my favorite place is actually my bed, because it also functions as my couch, so that's were I sit/lie with my laptop when I read fanfic or watch tv. My initial sketches are always pencil, so that is no problem doing in a comfortable spot (for a while I stuck with a resolution to try to do more life sketches, and drew people on the bus and such but I feel always self-conscious and awkward -- I probably should do more of that, exercise being good for you and all that, but the public is not a favorite place). However it gets rather unergonomic when I do digital inking like that (it probably is unergonomic with paper too, but a sketchbook or pad is easily held, rearranged and not very heavy compared to a laptop/tablet setup), though I still do it for quicker pictures even though neither my back nor my right hand thank me for it, not least because my actual desk tends to be often buried under all kinds of crap. For traditional painting I use said desk with an improvised drawing board put up.

28 – Have you ever collaborated with anyone else, whether a shared art project, or illustrations for story, or having a writer work on a piece based on your art?

I've never collaborated closely. In the ST Reverse Bang a writer wrote a story based on my art, I've got a drabble for a picture once, and I've done ten illustrations for fanfic stories, but I don't ask permission or talk to the authors before I draw something. I show them the illustration afterwards and most authors seem happy to get fanart. Only once did I have an author not react at all when I linked my fanart in a comment. I suppose she could have not gotten the LJ comment notification, though the LJ was still active and in use when I commented, or she could have disliked it and not said anything, but either way, that was somewhat disheartening, especially since it was a fairly elaborate painting.

Anyway, the way I've done illustrations so far hasn't been really a collaboration. I sometimes think it might be fun to do work more closely with a writer, maybe on a comic or something like that, where there would be a back and forth, but comics are a lot of work, and I'm lazy.
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25 – Music – Do you listen to music while you create fanart? Do you make playlists to get into a certain "mood" for art? Do you need noise in general? Or do you need it completely quiet?

In general I need quiet to concentrate and music distracts me. I don't use music to create a mood, don't have playlists, and actually I listen to very little music, because I can't read with music on in the background either. Depending on how frazzled I feel (I'm easily distracted, especially on the computer) sometimes background noise helps, so then I may have some tv on in the background, but mostly not.

26 – What is the oddest (or funnest) thing you've had to research for a piece of fanart?

I don't really draw research intensive things, like historically accurate costumes and backgrounds or such. I look for relevant references, whether screencaps for characters, or pictures of movement or postures or animals, but the closest I've come to "research" was getting a few books on machinery for the steampunk puddlejumper picture. You wouldn't think such a basically whimsical picture needed much research, but I still wanted the parts look like machinery, and the prompt this picture originated from was "Victorian steampunk AU" and I didn't settle on a mechanical pterodactyl right away. It turns out children's books explaining technology are quite good if you want detail pictures of machines. For my HP magical creature series I browsed through google books looking for scans of old encyclopedias to get an idea for the style I'd need to fake something like that. That was fun too.
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23 – When you post, where do you post to? Just your journal? DeviantArt? Just an archive? Your own personal site?

I post to my personal site (since 1999), my art-only wordpress blog (which I use because category sorting there is easier with just art specific labels, than in a journal with everything mixed), my journals (DW/LJ/IJ), and I try to post to communities if I find one that fits. The last two years I've also posted to deviantArt. I would use the AO3 for my fanart (I have an account there for reading locked stuff, commenting and bookmarking) if it already had fanart functionality, but I don't see much sense to archive when I can't even archive the work itself, or have good browsing functionality for pictures. I mean, if I was killed by a falling toilet seat tomorrow and my webspace expired three months later, the archive would be left with a bunch of broken images if I just embedded.

24 – Betaing – Do you use art betas? Do you have a Beta horror story or dream story?

Yes, for more elaborate pieces I like to have art betas, usually to check over the pencils for glaring errors or get help on perspective and such. I didn't use to, because for a while I didn't even know that kind of thing was done for art too, probably because thanks to art betas in art headers are rarer than to fic betas in story headers, and also I didn't seek out more art-centric forums even after I started doing fanart, because all my early media fandom engagement (on mailing lists and such) was fic-and-meta-only.

I don't have any horror stories, or any dream stories either. My experiences with betas so far have been pretty much what you expect. I sent a scan of my pencils, sometimes pointing out an area I have trouble with, I then got feedback, either written or scribbled over the image (I rather like the latter method), and mostly heeded the advice.
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21 – Series/sets – Have you ever created series of connected artworks, and if so, why?

Yes, my HP magical creature drawings are a series, also my DCU/Muppets fusion, though the latter is more on the sketch-side rather than elaborate work. And some others were intended as series, but I haven't (yet?) realized more than one part, like my SGA/ATLA fusion that was supposed to have one for each team member, but I only did Teyla as waterbender. (Sheppard was supposed to be an airbender, Ronon a firebender and Rodney an earthbender.) I like series to show more than one character/thing when the topic is worldbuilding.

22 – Have you ever participated in a fest or a Big Bang? If so, write about your favorite experience in relation to one. If not, are there any you've thought about doing? And if not, why not?

Yes, I've done Yuletart as a holiday exchange four times now, have participated in the [livejournal.com profile] paintedspires prompt fest in SGA, and in the Star Trek Reverse bang once. As that list shows, I like fests that are art-centric.

I can't really recall a single favorite experience, perhaps because for me such commitments are always kind of a mix of the pressure helping me to actually create art, and the increased anxiety of failing to deliver. I think overall Yuletart is the most fun, because I like gift exchanges, and it is run very smoothly. Also it runs while so much of my flist is in Yuletide mode so it makes me feel less left out for not writing fic.

Getting a story written from my art in the Star Trek Reversebang was also awesome, but I couldn't really collaborate as much as I would have liked to with the author, i.e. maybe doing another illustration after seeing the first draft and such, because at the time my father had serious health problems and was in and out of hospitals (and it was the first time that it fell to me to do all kinds of practical stuff rather than one of my siblings), and I barely managed to do the one painting properly and provide some feedback on the story draft. And when I think back to doing that painting I mostly feel the horrible dread, and remember the moment of getting an awful phone call while I was painting. So while I like how my art turned out, and liked getting a story, the whole emotional connotation of that fest is swamped by my memories of the RL mess, and not really "favorite experience" material.

I have thought about signing up for regular Big Bangs a couple of times because I like to illustrate stories, but have always been too uncertain whether their setup could work for me. First there tends to be a fairly long time between the sign up and the moment I can start to do anything as an artist (sometimes the art sign-up is later, but I always see the promotions when it starts with the author sign-ups), and then I worry about what might happen if I didn't like the story I'd get to illustrate.
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Bundling the "bunny" question set.

18 – Where do you get the most inspiration for your art (aka "bunnies") from?

From stories or from prompts, sometimes art also happens because I want to try a technique I've seen. Sometimes discussions and non-fiction posts inspire me, though that happens more for my icons which I use in discussions.

19 – When you have bunnies, do you sit down and start making art right away, or do you write/sketch down the idea for further use?

It depends. If the bunny is for something quick and cracky that is very context and time dependent, like comment art, I just do a scribble. That doesn't happen all that often, but when it does I end up with things like Tim turned into a lesbian centaur, John and Rodney in Woody Allen sperm costumes, or Batman getting a time out. For most fanart however it doesn't go like that, because the impetus to make something is less immediate. So I have a file for fanart ideas, write down my idea and most just land there to rot. I usually think about an idea for quite some time, and just imagine it in my head, and only start drawing if the idea is compelling enough and I keep liking it for some time.

20 – Do you ever get bunnied from other people's stories or art in the same fandom?

Yes, definitely. (Though bunny should not become a verb.) I like illustrating stories. Other fanart inspires me more in the sense that I sometimes want to try techniques.
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First, sorry that the LJ crossposts of a couple of posts all came at once, and some out of order on top of that, but a due to the DDOS a later post was the first to get through, so then some of the earlier ones were crossposted after that on LJ. I hope LJ is back for good now. *crosses fingers*

16 – Headers – Do you post your art with a header describing it, a preview thumbnail, or both? If you use previews, do you crop to an intriguing part, or minimize the whole image?

I started out just with a description, then used proper header formatting and finally started to include previews. Though for drawbles I often use the previews only on my fanart blog and website, not in the journal posts. I always crop my previews to 120x120 px to keep it small (also because then it's all squares suitable for the layout on my own website), and try to pick the most interesting part of the image that still gives a good idea of the whole. I dislike cryptic crops in previews, but I like a good teaser crop better than just having the whole as a tiny thumbnail.

17 – Titles – Do you give titles to your art? How do you come up with them, if you use them?

Mostly I just have titles if a fest or exchange asks for them. I'd like to title my art more often, mostly because I know it makes linking and bookmarking easier for others, but I have a really hard time to come up with anything suitable.
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15 – Warnings – Do you put warnings on your art, and if yes, what do you feel it most important to warn for, and what's the strangest thing you've warned for?

I don't warn on my own website, but in part that is because I so rarely post anything that would need warnings in the first place. In my journal I use headers with a warning field because some of the newsletters and communities ask for that for linking, and overall I've come to see that kind of header field mostly as "content labels" rather than the more negative "warning". And with art that you see all at once there isn't even the issue of spoiling any twists.

What I think is most important to warn for would be anything that has sex/sexual nudity with underage characters, because in some locations such art can count as "childporn" even if drawn, and even if it is teenagers and not young children, so you don't want to download it accidentally. Also labeled IMO should be the fannish equivalent to shock images, and I think if there are preview pictures for such art they should not show that part of the picture but instead use text warnings. So I'd warn for extreme violence and gore, violent sexual imagery, and animal harm in pictures, and probably be specific about what is disturbing so people can avoid specific squicks, e.g. I'd label for "gory medical instrument torture" or "explicit eye injury" rather than just "gore".

Obviously I'd also warn for serious spoilers for the canon, especially if something is still new, as a fannish courtesy.

On the next level of importance I'd put labels for explicit sex, sexual nudity and such that's merely NSFW but not disturbing, and character death. Anything else I'd probably put more under useful, but optional, detailed content labels (anyone who has seen my delicious account will guess that I have a strong preference for detailed labels) to help fans find what they like and avoid what they don't like.

As far as warnings that I have actually used myself go, there haven't been many, and nothing unusual. My art is overwhelmingly harmless. I've warned for drug use once for regular fanart, and for animal harm twice I think in drawbles, and I tend to indicate nudity or sexual activity even when mild, e.g. "PG for clothed, sexual kissing". Really it's all very tame.
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14 – Ratings – how high are you comfortable with going, and is your comfort zone different for showing sex than for violence/gore? Have you ever gone higher? If you're comfortable with NC-17, have you ever been shocked by finding that the art you're making is G-rated instead?

My comfort zone pretty much ends at "teen audiences" level. Visual porn doesn't do much for me, and I'm fairly sure I'd feel ridiculous drawing it. So when I do show pairings I'm more likely to pick a situation that just shows intimacy, like cuddling or an embrace, or moments of tension for example when the participants are still clothed, but eager to change that. That is not to say that my sexual kinks don't show through my art, such as power dynamics, but the end result won't be explicit, because that is not what attracts me. So it's no coincidence that for example kneeling people aren't uncommon in my pictures. I can imagine having an idea that would be higher rated due to violence or gore more easily than doing explicit sex, but it's not that likely either.




Also, I'm aggravated to find that I still can't even post comments on LJ. What are they doing to their site over there? It's been over a day. *grumble grumble*
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13 – Are you inspired more by canon or by other fanworks when you create art? Has creating art for a fandom changed the way you see some or even all of the original source material?

I'm more often inspired by fanworks than by canon, especially if the canon is already visual like live action or comics. Unfortunately I only rarely get a real urge to draw (hello sloth, old friend), and then it is mostly because I wish to illustrate a scene that was vividly described and put an image in my head. So if canon is already visual that doesn't happen all that often. I'm not good at imagining scenarios or stories myself, so if the visuals are already there more often than not I don't feel like doing more. Most verbal stories don't provoke that visual urge either, but some do.

I don't think making fanart changes my view of the source much, except that I pay closer attention to detail.
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11 – Genre – do you prefer certain genres when you're making art? What kind of art do you tend to make most?

I enjoy fantasy elements, which also shows in the fandoms I like. Overall I like art best that tells a story, whether a story illustration, or art that does some sort of worldbuilding going on, like fusions or AU scenarios. I'm less interested in doing portraits, and I'm not that into pairing art, though I have done some, but pretty much nothing that I'd see as porn or erotica, i.e. don't think I've ever shown more than cuddles, kissing or mostly clothed groping. One genre that I really like, but haven't done a lot of myself, is fanart showing everyday ephemera and documents and such from a fandom universe, especially fantasy fandoms, filling in worldbuilding gaps.

12 – Have you ever attempted an "imitation" of an artwork (e.g. a famous painting) but adapted to a fandom?

No, I haven't done something like that myself yet. But I find these often awesome and very impressive. I have imitated styles different from my regular one though.
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Bundling the pairings questions...

9 – Pairings – For each of the fandoms from day two, what are your three favorite pairings to depict in your art?

Pairings aren't really that central for me, and I haven't even done that many pairing pieces. In DC it's probably Bruce/Dick and Dick/Roy. For HP I enjoyed the Snape/Kingsley art I did, but it's not exactly a pairing favorite, I just liked the specific story by Beth a lot, otherwise I wouldn't have done two illustrations for it. The pairings I read most all involve Harry, but so far I haven't drawn any of those.

In SGA I like the team dynamic, and Sheppard with any number of people (John/Teyla, John/Rodney, John/Ronon, John/Lorne, John/Cameron... you get the idea) but that the only specific pairing in one of my SGA pictures is John/Rodney was mostly due to that being asked for my a recipient in a fest, not because I feel more inspired by that pairing, though I read a lot of it.

10 - Pairings – Have you ever gone outside your comfort zone and made art for a pairing you liked, but found you couldn't draw/paint/..., or a pairing you didn't like, and found you could?

Not really. I'm not that hung up on pairings. So far I haven't done any art for a pairing that I dislike. The couple of times I've worked from fest prompts and such I could always find an angle that worked okay for me and with the offered prompts, so I never had to leave my comfort zone. I have a general RPF squick so I don't think I could do actor pairing art of any kind on request, certainly not explicit. I could probably work around my incest squick if pressed, at least for sibling incest, though probably not parent/child unless I was trying for an abuse-themed picture, which I don't count as "pairing". I've done some drawbles for prompts that aren't my thing, so I think I could go beyond my comfort zone in some directions but not in others.
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8 – Do you design OCs? And if so, are they a kind of self-insert/portrait, e.g. a portrait of a non-canon character you play in an fandom-based RPG or a fursona?

Usually I don't draw OCs in fanart, unless you count my icons as a kind of OC. I guess my avatar is a type of fursona, since it is an anthropomorphic creature standing in for me that has fur and a tail. Otherwise I could imagine doing OC pictures in fandoms where I love the worldbuilding, much like I enjoy drawing monsters and magical creatures and such. However I don't really feel much of an urge to design new characters.
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7 – Have you ever had a piece of fanart change your opinion of a character?

Not that I can think of, at least not one of mine. I've probably come across character design choices by others that changed how I visualized previously non-visual canon or even made more sense than visual canon, but I can't think of an example there either. Overall my views of characters are rather malleable, so I can accept a variety of versions both in art and fic, but they usually only last while I engage with that work, rather than causing me to shift my views.

The influence of fanworks and fanon on me are more subtle and cumulative. I mean, I have gone for example from Harry/Snape? no way that works! after reading the books, to seeing how it can be made work after a bunch of enjoyable fic in so far that it doesn't ping me as completely improbable anymore, because I've seen the dots connected so often, but there was no single fanwork changing my mind.
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6 – When you create fanart, do you prefer male or female characters?

I'm sad to say that I prefer to draw male characters, because most of my favorites are male (as seen in my answers to the favorite character meme a while ago). I'm not entirely at ease with my fictional preferences (and have rambled about that in length at times past). While I like many female characters, it is a depressing internal pattern (thank you patriarchy!) that they will only become my absolute favorite if there is no male hero character to latch onto.
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5 – If you have ever had a character try to push their way into your art, whether your "muse" or not, what did you do about it?

I don't think I work in a way that would make something like this likely. Usually the people in an artwork don't change from the first concept thumbnail to the final version, they just get rearranged and such. Sometimes I have ideas for epic crowd scenes and similarly difficult things that I back away from in horror at the effort that would be involved, but otherwise if an idea evolves to include another character, I just add them.
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4 – Do you have a "muse" character, that inspires you more than others, or that tries to push their way in, even when the art isn't about them? Who are they, and why did that character became your muse?

No muses here. I have favorite characters, but I'm not necessarily inspired by characters. I don't do portraits that much, instead my favorite kind of fanart has a narrative behind it, or some worldbuilding idea. I never had a character appear where they weren't wanted either.
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3 – For each of the fandoms from day two, what were your favorite characters to draw/paint/depict/...?

Answering just for the fandoms where I created a couple of planned things: For DC that would be Dick Grayson followed by Tim Drake, for SGA John Sheppard followed by Teyla, for HP I really enjoy doing magical creatures most rather than characters, but numerically as far as characters go Snape is ahead in my fanart, even though he is actually not my favorite character, which is Harry. Whom I oddly enough have only drawn as platypus animagus outside of drawbles. (It was an animagus challenge, so not as odd as it seems, and really platypuses are awesome.) For Temeraire he is my favorite dragon, but Iskierka was fun to paint.
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2 – Name the fandoms you've made fanart for, and how much you've created in that fandom, and if you still create in it.

For main numbers I counted only "regular" fanart, but because I'm not very prolific in the brackets is the number if I include quick drawbles, meme responses, comment pictures and such. I didn't count icons of any kind, neither my own, nor the ones I've made from the sources. Some crossover and fusion pieces are counted twice. I omitted some fandoms for which I've only done a single drawble.

Avatar the Last Airbender 1 (4)
DC Comics 23 (48)
Dresden Files 2 (4)
Farscape 0 (4)
Harry Potter 9 (17)
Marvel 3 (9)
Merlin 1 (4)
Muppets 3 (5)
Sherlock Holmes 0 (3)
Stargate Atlantis 6 (25)
Star Trek 1 (8)
Star Wars 1 (7)
Supernatural 0 (6)
Temeraire 3 (6)
Terminator 0 (2)
Watership Down 1 (2)

As to whether I still create in a fandom, that's hard to say. I never really leave a fandom completely, and for many my interest is somewhat cyclic, i.e. I drift out for a time, then revisit them. For the fandom where I've been most prolific, i.e. DC, I have currently no plans to tackle any of the fanart ideas I jotted down back when I was active there, though I'd still do drawbles in it. I have a partially-finished SGA piece that I have the best intentions to finish at some point, not least because I already put a bit of work in the pencil drawing beyond merely scribbles. Looking at my file with fanart ideas, there are still several I'd like to realize in Harry Potter, Merlin, SGA, Star Trek and Dresden Files, but who knows. I guess It would be more truthful to say that I'd like to have those images finished (bonus points for magically looking like in my head), but the realization part is rather more tricky with my work ethic routinely hovering between "inert sludge" and "sloth".
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I've seen this meme around on my network, most recently from [livejournal.com profile] penknife, and because I don't write fanfic I adapted the questions for fanart. Some of the phrasing is a bit awkward, because due to all the different kinds of fanart I didn't just want to replace "write" with "draw".

1 – How did you first get into creating fanart, and what was the first fandom you made art for? What do you think it was about that fandom that pulled you in?

This depends a bit on how narrow you see what's "fanart". I've been in (non-superhero) comic fandom and drew comics as a kid, but those were more or less original, i.e. I did not use existing characters or copied comics except for style.

Even then I was much better at worldbuilding than plot, so for my first real comic project (that was back in fourth or fifth grade), I wanted to do a comic about these fluffy creatures I imagined (called Wuschels, kind of like tribbles, but with eyes, noses, feet and antenna and not as fertile), but what I ended up with was a sort of background treatise with illustrations detailing how they lived and their society and biology and such. I only managed two pages of an actual comic, then ran out of plot, and strangely enough did another illustrated thing about their version of football. IDEK. I mean, I've never been a sports fan, this just shows how pervasive football is. I did share these with my family and subjected my long suffering best friend to my efforts as well. I was never one much for drawer projects. I still have the drawings and texts from that project in a binder, but I lost the ones I made from yarn. From then on I drew comics all through high school. Some of them are posted on my website.

It took me much longer to try creating fanart in a narrow sense. The first media fandoms I got into online weren't good places for fanart. My first major online fandom was The Sentinel in the late 90s, and there was very little fanart online, and mostly just collage type photomanips that often weren't all that good. Zines were expensive, so I only ever ordered a couple, and even those often did not have any illustrations, and the few that did were all aiming for a very photo-realist style. I know now that even at the time there had been other fanart styles around for tv fandoms, but I didn't know that then. I thought to be accepted as fanart in live action fandoms art had to try for photorealism. So at that time I didn't even realize that anyone might be interested in the kind of fanart I could do.

Eventually there was a Sentinel fanfic for which I couldn't resist drawing an illustration, but the result was really quite bad. I was too embarrassed to attach my internet identity to that, and incidentally was also for a story I did not want to admit to have liked under my regular pseud either. These days I'm much less embarrassed about my kinks, and the author managed to push all my buttons really well, despite that the story was an unfinished WIP, not even spellchecked and OOC. But I still wanted to give the author the drawing her story had inspired (like I said above, I never saw much sense to produce for a drawer rather than public, not even if it's somewhat cringeworthy, I mean it still took time and effort after all), so that led to the only time I ever created a sockpuppet account in fandom. So I actually posted my first piece of fanart as a sockpuppet. I guess it is similar to venturing forth into anon kink memes first these days. Luckily afaik the yahoogroup where I posted the picture in the file section has vanished by now, so I don't think it is even on the internet anymore... Which is really better for everyone. I don't recall even the author responding with anything after getting the art.

The first fanart I posted properly was after I got drawn into DC fandom. I was inspired by [personal profile] cereta's story Secrets, and unlike the live action fandoms I was in, it seemed less daunting to draw comic characters than to have to try for a realist style, and Cereta and some others on my flist were encouraging me to try, so I took the plunge. Also at that point LJ was replacing mailing lists as platform, so not only seemed comic fandom easier to draw for and more receptive and open to art than the live action fandoms I knew previously, posting it was also easier.

The rest of the meme questions, slightly adapted to fit fanart )

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