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Full Time Artist: Ep. 3: Fan Art and Such...

What's up folks.
A little late this week. Had other priorities earlier this week getting geared up for Long Beach Comic Expo this coming weekend.
This won't be a long episode as I still have lots of stuff to organize and get ready.
But I wanted to bring up the issue of Fan Art and the Law being that this issue has been popping up quite a bit on social media recently.
I'm at a point where I'm sort of playing both sides of the field on this issue. I love doing fan art. I love drawing my favorite characters, especially Star Wars and Harley Quinn. And people keep asking for more....So what can someone like me do? I don't own the rights to any of these characters. And it's hard to justify this issue being that most artists at your typical Artist Alley at Cons sell Fan Art prints. I've been reading a few articles lately on the issue and they all come down to the same thing; It's Illegal and there's an "unspoken Rule". I don't wanna get into a heated debate. I honestly feel weird about drawing other people's characters sometimes and a make money off it. But then I think to myself, how many times have these characters been re-issued, re-invented and republished? So many variations in styles. Let's take Batman as an example. He has so many looks, outfits, tools, vehicles. So say you take the Bat logo off certain outfits, he could easily become Cat man, Owl man (which exists), hell...even Black Panther. So if I draw Superman without a logo, is he still Superman? People could say he's Superman. But if I just say "he's some dude in a Blue, Yellow and Red suit"? Who else has those colors, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman....I don't know if this is making sense, maybe I'm just talking out of my ass here. Harley Quinn doesn't have a logo.....No, the Diamond is a diamond...yes, from a deck of cards. That doesn't count. So anyone could draw a "Harley Look-a-like", keep the name out of the picture and BOOM! she's someone else.

But in all seriousness and honesty. I want to change my ways. The plan all along was to use fan art as a means to get into the game and build a following, style and a name for myself. Then I wanted to introduce my own stuff as I already have been with my Teddy Bear. This year I will be working on my own book in collaboration with Russell Nohelty at Wannabe Press. And that will mark a new era for my work. I obviously still have a good stack of fan art prints to get rid of. And I will continue to sell them at cons while they last unless someone sends me a letter and tells me to stop. And apparently doing one-off sketches such as custom blank variant sketchcovers is legal. And from what I've gathered, giving fan art prints away (let's say along with a piece of original art) is still legal as well being that you are not taking money for the fan art itself. So I will shift a lot of focus to one-of-a-kind originals. And I won't stop taking commissions. So we need to find a way to bend the rules, not break them. This is America and there are loopholes in everything, LOL!


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