Fan Art. It can be a messy topic in a legal aspect and often looked down upon by many in the art community as being “not original”. Is that enough to stop people from doing what they love though? Of course not! Sites like Deviantart, Pixiv, ArtStation, and many others are still overflowing with fan art from all skill levels and places around the world.
Fan art brings people together under common passions. Characters people can relate to, stories they can feel apart of. And yes, can’t leave out, the fictional character crushes. 30 years old, and I will still admit Squall from Final Fantasy VIII was and still is my first video game crush, PS1 face and all.
This week, I am drawing (huehuehue) upon a fandom that is very near and dear to me: the World of Warcraft fan base. While the MMO dates back to 2005, the lore itself can be traced back to 1996 with Blizzard’s release of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Many, like myself, are snared in by the lore. For some, its the community. Others, it can be the aesthetics of the game itself.
The first artist I spoke with was GRAVEWEAVER, who created the images you see now, along with a gallery full of beautiful Warcraft, original, and other fandom based works of art.
When asked how she first got into the game, she said “[I] started playing because it was just like the games I’d play on the playground in elementary school- Where I’d pretend to be a warrior and chase other kids around with an imaginary axe.” Once she started playing, however, she realized there was more to the game that kept her interest. She continued, “Playing in a big group got me addicted initially, but also the world was so big with so many secrets it was seriously captivating to me. I remember venturing out of the Tauren starting zone for the first time and being absolutely floored at the giant open field, and the first ride up to Thunder Bluff took my breath away. And that was only the surface too, hearing whispers of things like “Anh’Qiraj” and “Molten Core” on trade chat just exploded my curiosity further. This was before I even knew how to use google, so it was truly like a giant mysterious world open for me to discover.”
When asked what about the game inspired her artistic side, she said “The world itself is my biggest inspiration, second is the characters. I think I could write a 30 page report on how much Arthas means to me.” And who can blame her. With over 500 zones, including dungeons and raids, from dense forests to barren wastelands, it’s harder not to find one that calls to you.
My next artist, curanmor166, hails all the way from Indonesia and created this appropriately dramatic piece of Illidan Stormrage. While he has never had the opportunity to actually play the MMO, he found his love for the story when playing Warcraft II, and Warcraft III. He follows the World of Warcraft story line by watching videos of the cut scenes and cinematic trailers. He says he gets his inspiration from the games story lines. He feels that Warcraft is one of the few games he has played where not everything is “light vs. dark” or “hero vs. villain”. Even after years of drawing artwork based around the series, he believes he will never get tired of drawing artwork from the Warcraft world.
I also spoke with Eithniel, an artist based out of Brazil. Above is her fitting tribute to Ysera, The Dreamer. Eithniel was drawn to the game originally with the ability to play as a shapeshifting Druid, though she now says she loves to play as a Mage. When asked what she likes most about drawing the characters from the game, she said, “I really love to try to reproduce the characteristics that make the characters different, as well as the characteristics of their race. Being able to create the characters, outside of that pattern that exists in the game itself is something wonderful.” She continued, saying that she loves to be able to combine her own personal style with that of the games style.
Last, but definitely not least, I sat down with Blull, all the way from Russia. Above is her personal World of Warcraft character, a troll shaman. While it may not be an exact example of “fan-art” by definition, it is a sunning example of how the game inspires artists. Blull says she first started playing the game in 2009, when some friends invited her to play, and still plays to this day. Unable to name just one aspect of the game that inspires her, she says she draws inspiration from everything from the story, to the characters, and the world itself. She also claims to get inspirations from fellow artists in the Warcraft fandom as well.
It seems pretty clear that artists manage to find inspiration in every corner of the Warcraft universe and they have no intention of slowing down. Next week I will be showcasing fanart from one of the longest running series, Super Mario!
Disclaimer: All artworks (Digital, Traditional, and/or Craft Made) are the property of the artist. The characters depicted in them are the legal property of the creators of the featured fandom. They are displayed for private viewing and the entertainment of our visitors. Artworks displayed are used for promotional purposes only, in an effort to assist in the promotion and encouraged interest in fan created works. Any of these images may be removed at the request of these owners at any given time.