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July 30, 2013
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PE: Fan Art vs Original Art

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 7:06 AM

Fan Art vs. Manga & Anime: The differences
Many people have come to me in the past with questions regarding whether their work qualified as Manga & Anime or Fan Art, same happened with many Daily Deviations that were placed in the M&A gallery when they should have been submitted to the Fan Art Gallery, oops!

Do you have doubts regarding the submission process? Wonder no more, we'll unveil all the mysteries surrounding the categories! :iconokie2plz:

The basics

  • Fan art includes those artworks that are based on or contain material such as characters, settings, concepts or universes in general that are copyrighted to someone else other than the artist creating said Fan artwork.

  • Manga and Anime art, on the other hand, is home for all the artworks that artists have created from scratch and are not related to any preexisting universe nor contain any copyrighted material. 

Common mistakes

  • When you are hired by the official copyright owner to create art for them allowing you therefore to use their copyrighted materials and universes, then your work is not considered Fan Art. Official art is submitted to the Manga & Anime Gallery or to any of the other root galleries depending on the style of the artwork. [You must be the artist of said official artworks, submitting works that aren't yours breaks deviantART's policies.]
  • One of the things that create confusion the most within the community is thinking that Fan Arts from Manga and Anime shows (such as Naruto, Dragon Ball, Sailor Moon...etc) should be submitted to the Manga and Anime Gallery.  However, that is not correct, fan arts even if they are based in Mangas or Animes, should be submitted to the Fan Art Galleries. 
  • Creating an original character that lives in a preexisting universe, such as a brand new ninja in the Naruto world, your own pony for My Little Pony or your own Hetalia  character, is still considered fan art due to the use of copyrighted realms and elements from the original source and should therefore be submitted to the Fan Art Gallery.

We are Kazuma! by tonemiKill' em all by RiamAzariel
  • Now that we mention fan characters, you might be wondering "What if I draw my best friend's Original Character? Would that be considered fan art?" Not necessarily :D If your friend grants you permission to draw their characters, you can place your artwork in Fan Art or in any other gallery you consider appropriate!
  • Original Characters drawn in Manga and Anime style should be submitted to the Manga and Anime Gallery. Original Manga works (comics) also have their home in the M&A gallery! Now this gallery accepts flash file extension .swf so you can submit your flash manga comics there too :love:
+-Les Belles-+ by TerraTerrificCleared Up Skies by rhymebox

Hope this little guide was helpful!

Learning the difference between Fan Art and Original Art is important for the submission process, to help maintain the galleries clean and in order but also to make sure you're showing your work to the right audience! ;D 

Have any questions? Leave them below! <3

Skin made by Ikue and Redesign by SaTaNiA
Do you have doubts regarding the submission process? Wonder no more, we'll unveil all the mysteries surrounding the categories!
Add a Comment:
CapnSkusting Aug 2, 2013  Professional General Artist
This will help an abundance of fan artists and fan art groups!
I have a penchant for 'badging up' photos , photo edits and manips as 'illustrations' or references to existing works of fiction, music, and so on. I consider the best of it to be 'original', but it is fan art in its own way. I like to dedicate work to Iain, M. Banks, Clive Barker, H.P.Lovecraft and many others. Is this strictly speaking 'Fan Art', or does it count as merely 'inspired by...' ? A prime example would be my Iain Banks collection:… . Can I go on submitting these as 'Abstract photography', 'Surrealism', 'Horror & Macabre', 'Photomanip/sci-fi', or whichever category I've been using up to now... or should it ALL really be directed for the Fan Art gallery?
I see, I learned something new o.o
I've always thought that fan art of a manga/anime based go to the manga/anime category

then how about digital art?
If you're drawing an OC with manga style, does it go the manga/anime or it can pass as digital art?
puiwi Oct 18, 2013  Student General Artist
there should be a digital art category when the manga/anime category is chosen

manga/anime > digital art

so like, sub categories kinda..
Thanks for this useful journal!
But I have something to ask!

how about Gijinka (human form of something)? I have a Shaymin Gijinka and I use her for Role-Playing. When I create art if her, should I add it to Fan art or Anime Manga?
Indigo-Serenade Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi there! You don't know me, but I know the answer. XD 
Because the gijinka was created based on a Pokemon, it counts as fanart, because the original copyright still goes to Nintendo! ^^
Ohh... I understand now >W< Thank you so much for telling me!!
I was just a bit confused about the copyright part ^^
Indigo-Serenade Aug 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're quite welcome! ^^ I'm glad I could help!
Crystal-Enchanted Jul 31, 2013  Student Digital Artist

^rydi1689 Hey so thanks for making this Journal and this is what i think about Fan art its not something i support but for some people its a beginning progress for them but here is the thing ive been an artist for so many years and look its been 2 months since i joined deviantart and i must say Alot of users who draw fan-art,draw them even better that the original makers.


But Fan-art is sometimes to be not the best thing alot of people seem to get the wrong idea of you when you draw Fan-Art

ssceles Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I haven't actively posted art in a while and when I get off my butt I'll make sure to sort through my stuff to weed out anything miscategorized. I draw mostly fanart on this account. But sometimes, because of the format the fanart is in, it doesn't have a good place to sit in the fanart category. Nearly every single category outside the fanart category should be duplicated inside the fanart category - but it's not.

They've corrected a few things, but... it looks down on people's technical skill based on 'oh it's just fanart, it doesn't matter how good it actually looks'/it doesn't deserve to be properly categorized based on medium. But what about actual technical limitations? If I want to submit a flash animation, and there's literally not a category for it under fanart, it -has- to go elsewhere because that file extension is not allowed anywhere under fanart. I think the entire fanart category as a whole needs to be looked at - a lot of times people aren't submitting there simply because they know their work won't be compared to work of similar medium, or, due to technical limitations, they literally can't submit a proper file type (another example might be a zip file containing a sewing pattern for a plushie of a Pokemon - I don't want to sound bitter or ironic here but totally fanart, totally shouldn't be in a Artisan Crafts > Dolls/Plushies > Plushies where all similar non-fanart things are, right?). What about something that should belong in Customization > Emoticons? 

In the end, this is an art site. I'd rather look at things based on what they're made with, not by where the idea came from.

To observe another example of general unfairness
FanArt > Traditional Art > Paintings > book/game/tv/other
Traditional Art > Paintings > a huge list of actual genres including 'macabre' and 'psychadelic'

A closing note - I'm well aware this article is more aimed at trying to weed fanart out of the Anime & Manga category, but fanart either -should- belong outside of fanart or every single category not inside fanart -should- belong under fanart as well. I'd also like to point out FanArt has it's own Anime & Manga category, seemingly unnecessarily? Because I don't see much actually under that category. And is that for FanArt of Anime & Manga or FanArt drawn in that style? It's quite vague.
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