Julie LaRue is a digital artist based in Exeter, NH. She works as an event photographer, social media manager, and is the fellowship student with the Collaboration, Arts, and Technology Lab. Her breadth of work has been featured in The UNH Museum of Art’s On The Edge show, and many online publications, such as Nerds and Beyond, Nerd Alert, MomentoCon, and GalaxyCon. She researches and uses the cultural phenomenon of fan created works to create her own interpretation of pre existing tropes and universes. Julie’s work challenges the centralities and priorities of Fine Art. She wishes to open up a dialogue around pop culture inspired creations, including movies and video games. She also engages with these online fan communities to understand others interpretations and implement their voices within her own work.
“I was 12 years old. I was an isolated kid who struggled to make friends. My primary source of joy at that time was the tv show Supernatural. However, I quickly realized that my interests lay not in the main characters but in the background cast, particularly those who were comedic reliefs with limited screen time. That show was long, with over 300 episodes in total. My favorite characters were in 10 of those episodes. I felt like that plot device in other people’s lives more than I ever felt like a hero. What does that mean? That I have no worth unless I am propelling others?
Through my discovery of an online community of like-minded fans, I found solace in the creative outlet of fan art. I saw how many others felt the same as me. I read their ideas for where the character could go, where we, as fans, with writing and art, could take them. This body of work has many characters from video games with less than 10 minutes of screen time who often have insignificant roles, serving only as plot devices for the main characters.
While my art is undoubtedly inspired by the media I consume, I firmly believe that it is still deserving of recognition as an original piece of Pop Art. I stand by the importance of fan communities and the creative work they produce. As such, I am committed to defending two fundamental ideas: the appreciation and respect of fan communities and the recognition of their work as worthy and significant.”
What is Fanart?
Fanart has a long history dating back to the 18th century when fans of popular literature created their own illustrations inspired by their favorite characters and stories. Today, fanart is a vibrant and creative form of expression that spans many different genres and mediums, from drawings and paintings to digital art and cosplay (when people dress up in costumes to represent a specific character or idea from a movie, TV show, video game, book, or other form of popular culture.)
Fanart is created by fans who are inspired by a particular character, story, or fandom. It can be used to explore and interpret different aspects of a fictional world, to express admiration for a particular character or story, or to create new narratives and ideas within the context of an existing work. Fanart can also serve as a way for fans to connect with each other, sharing their work and engaging in discussions about their favorite characters and stories.
In the age of the internet, fanart has become more accessible than ever, with fans from all over the world able to share their work online and connect with others who share their interests. While fanart has faced some legal challenges in the past due to copyright infringement concerns, many creators and studios have come to embrace fanart as a way to engage with their fanbase and encourage creativity.
Overall, fanart is a dynamic and creative form of expression that has a long and rich history. Today, it continues to be an important part of many different fandoms and communities, and serves as a way for fans to connect with each other and express their love for the stories and characters that inspire them.