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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 NyRiam
  • 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:
 
:iconmadartistparadise:
MadArtistParadise Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2015  Student General Artist
Curious - is an artwork still considered 'fan art' when one use an public domain source to create original works or interpretations?

Example:
2015 Designs Dump by MadArtistParadise

1. and 2. were inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's works ['Masque of Red Death' and 'The Raven'] and those two were my interpretations of the said work when I read them. Would this still be considered fan art or original ideas? help please...
Reply
:iconrydi1689:
rydi1689 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If the sources of your inspiration are in the public domain your creations based on them are original art and not fan art, since there is no copyrighted material in your new creation.
You can still choose to call it fan art if you want, but if you choose not to, that's fine as well, since it's in the public domain it can be used by anyone freely.

Notice this though, this only applies to how we see fan art within deviantART. This does not apply to other websites nor is it legal advice of any sort. We just help you categorize your works on deviantART.

Also, remember to make sure what material you use in your creations, if you decide to draw the original Alice in Wonderland or based on it (which is public domain) but you use Disney's Alice in wonderland character designs or other materials from the Disney interpretation of Alice, that would be fan art. Disney's Alice in wonderland is copyrighted even if the original Alice in Wonderland is in public domain.
Reply
:iconmadartistparadise:
MadArtistParadise Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2015  Student General Artist
I was curious in general since Otakon have that strict ruling of fan arts vs original work and I was curious as to where the line is now as to how to identify whats fan art and whats original...Thank. ^u^
Reply
:iconastgart:
astgart Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I draw a lot for contest entries, such as contests> "draw my OC"
I categorize it as a manga and anime. because their OC are not related to the preexistence universe. what it is correct?
or is it fanart?
please answer me ~~
Reply
:iconrydi1689:
rydi1689 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Fan Art would still be better since you don't own the rights to the character but it wouldn't be the end of the world if you placed it in manga and anime since the original owner of the OC is giving you permission to draw their characters for her contest.
Reply
:iconastgart:
astgart Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
oh, i see. thank you so much for answering my question ^^
Reply
:iconanimono:
Animono Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Misplaced fanarts goes on my nerves, I hope this journal will help people to sumbit fanart in the right gallery. :)
Reply
:iconrydi1689:
rydi1689 Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The worst is when they miscat their fan arts in purpose to be able to sell prints :facepalm:
Reply
:iconcapnskusting:
CapnSkusting Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2013  Professional General Artist
This will help an abundance of fan artists and fan art groups!
Reply
:iconaegiandyad:
aegiandyad Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013
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: aegiandyad.deviantart.com/gall… . 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?
Reply
:iconicy-ciel:
icy-ciel Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
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?
Reply
:iconpuiei:
puiei Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2013
there should be a digital art category when the manga/anime category is chosen

example 
manga/anime > digital art

so like, sub categories kinda..
Reply
:iconroweniichan:
RoweniiChan Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013
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?
Reply
:iconindigo-serenade:
Indigo-Serenade Featured By Owner 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! ^^
Reply
:iconroweniichan:
RoweniiChan Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013
Ohh... I understand now >W< Thank you so much for telling me!!
I was just a bit confused about the copyright part ^^
Reply
:iconindigo-serenade:
Indigo-Serenade Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're quite welcome! ^^ I'm glad I could help!
Reply
:iconcrystal-enchanted:
Crystal-Enchanted Featured By Owner 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

Reply
:iconssceles:
ssceles Featured By Owner 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
vs
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.
Reply
:iconcatluvr2:
catluvr2 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, about your asking about emoticons, let me tell you what I've done.

In the past, the fan art gallery didn't allow GIF files at all, so animated emoticons (no matter what the subject was, whether it was the TARDIS blinking in and out, a Jedi fight scene, or even Winnie the Pooh just floating along, tied to his balloon) could NOT be submitted to that gallery. I suppose there was a very good reason for that ( ripped GIFs of music videos being the worst offender I can think of off the top of my head), but it's a moot point now, as it allows them currently.

Previously, I've submitted my GIF fanart to either the Emoticon gallery (when it's actually supposed to be used in normal conversation ) or the deviantART avatars gallery ( I made some fanart specifically to be used as avatars here on deviantART, so naturally they'd go there).

The reason that I thought I was qualified to discuss the emoticon aspect of your problem is because I was a volunteer for the emoticon gallery for a bit. That included digging through Miley Cyrus GIFs to find the one legitimate emoticon I could find with the search term of "miley" (okay, perhaps I was asking for it, but I wanted to see if any actual emoticons would show up as opposed to stuff that doesn't belong here).

I hope that helped!
Reply
:iconrydi1689:
rydi1689 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm just going to reply to the last paragraph for now. Fan art > Manga and anime is about style not fandom, fandom is only chosen in Movies/Books/Games etc. The whole paragraph is a bit difficult for me to understand to be honest ^^; too much inside / outside. Can you perchance explain it again? :noes:

Regarding the rest of your concerns, yes, you are most certainly right. I once tried to include Artisan Crafts into Fan Art especially for plushies but the community volunteer in charge of the artisan crafts gallery refused to allow us to include it in fan art claiming that a vast amount of knowledge was necessary to take good care of the gallery because not everybody is able to recognize if the piece is good, if the fabrics used are of quality etc. So adding Artisan crafts to Fan Art was unsuccessful.
Regardless of that aspect, Fan Art is one of the youngest categories on dA, it was created many years later than the rest, so it's still a growing and evolving gallery. You should contact ^KasumiCR and ^Lyricanna about your ideas to revamp the fan art gallery, they are the Fan Art CVs and the ones to go to for these things :)
Reply
:iconcatluvr2:
catluvr2 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I kind of went over emoticons with my reply, so that part's kind of taken care of.
Reply
:iconssceles:
ssceles Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:3 Alright. Thanks for listening, though! I'm sorry for my tone if it came off harsh or anything, I know this isn't your area. It's hard to imagine it as being a young category, since it's been around for over five years. (There are definitely a lot of younger categories!) I'm glad it's slowly getting to be a more organized space, but it's not been a top priority to revamp the categories when there are so many little bugs and cool new features that need attention.  (I suppose it would help if more people offered suggestions to the right people, rather than sit around expecting it?)
Reply
:iconrydi1689:
rydi1689 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's ok though, I used to be a Fan Art Community Volunteer in 2010 so I also know about the gallery. It didn't come off harsh :love: and your concerns are just the ones I had when I was a volunteer there too, but we faced lots of difficulties trying to add new subcats to fan art. Other volunteers and community members said it would overcomplicate the Fan Art Gallery if they included all the subcats of traditional art to Fan Art, or other areas such as artisan crafts, cosplay, animations etc. Right now there's a trend to remove the categories that are redundant or not needed, rather than adding more subcategories to the already existing ones. The aim is to simplify the categorization so that people get less confused about what goes where and thus reduce the miscategorization in the galleries.

If you have something you consider to be valuable and benefitial to the gallery, feel free to contact $Moonbeam13. She's in charge of the categorization system and she can put your ideas in place if she considers them appropriate :love:.
Reply
:iconlimegreenbunny:
LimeGreenBunny Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Maybe slightly off-topic (but related): What is the difference between fan-art and illustration? I would imagine that illustration is only for books, but I could be wrong. Do you have to be a pro to illustrate? Or is it a difference in skill level? Any one have an insight?
Reply
:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Professional General Artist
Fan-art purely covers copyright. So it could be simultaneously an Illustration AND a Fanart if you weren't commissioned by the original copyright holder to create the illustration.

Say you really really like Harry Potter, and you make a full scene Illustration, (not just a little character portrait with some uniform designs or something) it's still Fanart unless JK Rowling or Warner Brothers commissioned you to make said Illustration.

The grey area is things that are out of copyright, Jane Austin, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle etc, then if you were doing an Illustration from the book it's an 'original' Illustration, but if you drew a picture of one of the adaptations (BBC Sherlock, Muppets Christmas Carol or whatever) it's fanart.
Reply
:iconlimegreenbunny:
LimeGreenBunny Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for answering. Your third paragraph makes sense, but the first two seem a little contradictory (probably just my brain being frazzled from work). Sweating a little...
Are you saying that a drawing from a literary work can be an illustration whether or not you were commissioned by the copyright holder? But it's a fanart only if you were NOT commissioned? So basically any art I create from a literary work (but not from a film or other adaption of it) could go into the Illustrations folder here on dA?
Reply
:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Professional General Artist
"Illustration" is simply a word used to describe "picture to accompany text"

Whether it belongs in fanart or illustration depends on whether that text is under copyright or not.

If you haven't been given permission by the copyright holders of whatever text it is you're working from to draw pictures from their text technically it should be posted in fanart. Even if you class it as an "Illustration" not just a "drawing".

Anything no longer in copyright, usually text's pre about 1920 (though you'd have to look it up) you could publish and make money off of any illustrations or animations or whatever using the text (hell you can republish the actual text) but any drawings/illustrations for under copyright work, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, etc belongs in fanart. Even if your drawing DIDN'T look a tv or film adaptation, ie Daniel Radcliff or Elijah Wood etc, it is still a fanart because the original is in copyright. (Neither can you sell prints of your drawing as it breaches copyright of the original author)
Reply
:iconlimegreenbunny:
LimeGreenBunny Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for taking the time to answer, that clears things up a lot! :highfive:
Reply
:iconfionacreates:
FionaCreates Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
No problem. It's a funny thing, but generally if the original is copyrighted to someone not you, it's fanart.
Reply
:iconwintercookies:
WinterCookies Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hm... So, if I created a fan character for a preexisting universe but later recycled that character as an OC independent of any elements from that universe, would it still be considered fan art...? If the question makes any sense... :XD:
Reply
:iconaviscelox:
AvisCelox Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'd say go by a picture-by-picture basis. If they aren't in an existing universe (or have traits/gear from it) in that image I don't think it's fan art.
Reply
:iconwintercookies:
WinterCookies Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Alright, thank you. :)
Reply
:iconthefluffyplushlin:
TheFluffyPlushlin Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013
finally, it gets explained! 

it's sad for people who draw ORIGINAL characters that they're not noticed a lot...
if they're FAN characters, everyone notices it, and go all 'fave fave fave!'. 
this is why i don't draw fan art a lot... just so that people get to know my own characters.

i also noticed that people often draw fan art for attention and faves... -_-' (i do understand, if you like a character, that you draw him a lot to show that you like him.)

i only have to say one thing: that people should give original characters a chance. (not Fan characters, only Original characters) 

that's all.... 
Reply
:iconkitsune0jester:
Kitsune0Jester Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Student
Now that clears things up. Time to go back over my submissions. Thank you for submitting this! :)
Reply
:iconflowerfreak:
FlowerFreak Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Sadly I made what I THOUGHT was an OC. The best one I ever created. Now he's a FC and I can't use him. :cries: I burned my bridge. (I can still write stories about him but can't publish them anywhere.  :upset:)
Reply
:iconrydi1689:
rydi1689 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:O why can't you use him anymore? or why can't you publish it? :O

Fan Characters are submitted to the Fan Art gallery :iconokie2plz:
Reply
:iconflowerfreak:
FlowerFreak Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer

Because he was part of someone else's world. I would have to pay that person to use him in publishing, and he's really not worth reading about anyway. I write for myself. Nobody else gave a crap about him anyway when the art was here. (I no longer do fanart. Lets me know who my friends are. I was watched mostly for Death Note humor. Not anymore. But that's another story. ;) )

I'm not part of the group. :|

Reply
:iconxskyblu:
xSkyBlu Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you i know better now where to sumbit what because i was usually stuck

Thanks~
Reply
:iconrydi1689:
rydi1689 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It gets confusing, so many galleries to choose from :faint: but I hope this made it a bit easier for you <3
Reply
:iconxskyblu:
xSkyBlu Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I usually draw fanasrt and anime so there is the difference that i needed

thanks again :D
Reply
:icondaghrgenzeen:
Daghrgenzeen Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:clap:
Reply
:iconrydi1689:
rydi1689 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:love:!!!
Reply
:icondaghrgenzeen:
Daghrgenzeen Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
<3
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013
:thumbsup:
Reply
:iconrydi1689:
rydi1689 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:love:
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013
:hug:
Reply
:iconim-not-sana:
im-not-sana Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Very informative article! There was a question regarding fan art that I was wondering about earlier, if someone creates a fan art of already existing characters in their own style for example the famous Simpsonzu drawing, are they allowed to copyright it? Because what happens when someone else copies this drawing? Thanks!
Reply
:iconrydi1689:
rydi1689 Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I don't think you can copyright something that isn't yours to begin with (unless you get permission from the copyright owner). But don't trust me on this, as I don't know about copyright laws, I explain what fan art is within deviantART. As I mentioned, I think you're not allowed to copyright the artwork itself but maybe you can copyright the concept? I'm afraid I don't have a straight answer in this case :(

I've heard that $realitysquared knows a good deal about copyright, so if you really want to  know, you can try asking him :3
Reply
:iconim-not-sana:
im-not-sana Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Fair enough, that makes sense.. I guess the bottom line with fan art is that if someone steals it or copies it, there's nothing the artist can do about it?
Reply
:iconrydi1689:
rydi1689 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think you retain ownership of your work but you cannot profit from it. If someone steals your work, regardless of it being fan art, you can take legal action against the thief. That's what I think :)
Reply
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