Why Digimon fanart is great, and other thoughts RE: imitation, cuteness, identity in relation to fanart and the appropriation of characters

So I made this post on Facebook addressing my frustration at the dominant perception at what is and isn't work/research/art. Being on Facebook itself is seen as a frivolous activity, and sure, it is primarily a place of casual social interaction, but its functions allow many other things such as event organisation, debate and academic discussion, and I've seen Facebook pages used as artworks or exhibition spaces themselves (e.g. Chloe Flores, Ian Aleksander Adams).

This perception of certain things being arbitrarily "proper" is the main focus point of modernism and post-modernism, both reaction movements to the established "proper" of the time. Since the popular reactionary work which falls under these terms inevitably takes the place of the establishment itself, I imagine modernism is set to continue indefinitely, into post10 modernism and beyond, although perhaps with a different name by then. It's a process of transition, really, that could be endless, and looping.

This brings me to fanart. Its a form of art which has little prestige (although there are exceptions: a blend of originality and technical skill will make popular fanart - pixiv has a lot of very skillful fanart works based on anime series and games). DeviantArt.com is often a source of unintentional humour thanks to an abundance of art which is eaither poorly drawn or incorporates bizarre scenarios. I thought I might find some really nice examples from DeviantArt of drawings which have elements of (and in many cases are) children's drawings, or the drawings of someone who is not very experienced in drawing.

What I really like about the drawings below and others like them is the aesthetic of slightly off colours and slightly off lines, and the texture of the unpolished. An imitation which isn't exact, meaning it carries some personality - it transports something of the artist via the world they have chosen to replicate in some way. I suppose it is a sort of collaboration, in the sense that it's a reworking of existing artwork. It's a way of expressing yourself by injecting your own personality into existing work which you feel a connection to. And I think any artist who has ended up creating their own characters probably remembers making wonky drawings of Bart Simpson at 7 years old, or something very similar. We need to project ourselves onto something else before we can understand how to make something similar on our own, and I think that deserves to be celebrated.

Digimon by DarkDragon77
Digimon by cameragirl123
Digimon by Kirval159

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