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Celebrating Fan Artists

Fandom art is and always has been a thing. From innocent to pornographic, we've got it all. But instead of confronting celebrities with the extreme, why not show them more of that spectrum?

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All fandoms have artists who enjoy creating genuinely beautiful expressions of their love of their fandom with other, well, fans. Some of it is porny or quite graphic (yet still, well executed) but the most extreme examples are often what the media will choose to confront a celebrity with because it might get a few laughs, or force the celebrity into an uncomfortable situation all for the ratings or pageview.

I think that's crap. Not only does it embarrass the celebrity, but it can embarrass the fanartist who likely didn't give permission to be ridiculed in front of a live studio audience. That stuff is generally for the fans themselves to enjoy - and there's nothing wrong with that. But I've seen so many artists or fanfiction writers who were positively mortified when their work was shown, without permission in a lot of cases, to their favorite celebrities.

I'm a member of the CumberCollective. I love Benedict unashamedly. I fangirl over him with my fellow Collectives on Twitter, I enjoy new interviews, new pictures, videos - everything that he publicly releases makes me happy. I am not rabid. I am not a "horny teenage girl" either. I'm 43, I have a career, a daughter, a boyfriend (who benefits greatly from my Cumberlust, I might add) and a life. Benedict and his career is one of the many things in my life that makes me happy.

I have run into so many creative people while I've been in this fandom and I want to highlight their amazing work. Jimmy Fallon once "confronted" Cumberbatch with some amazing fan works and it remains one of my favorite interview segments out of all that Benedict has done. If chat show hosts and journalists are going to bring this stuff up, I'd love to see more of these being shown to him or to Martin Freeman, or Andrew Scott, or Mark Gatiss.

While this article primarily features artists in the Sherlock/Cumberbatch fandom, I encourage you to seek out those artists that exist in nearly every fandom. Reblog their work on Tumblr. Retweet them. Leave them comments and praise because they should be encouraged, not stereotyped/mocked in the mainstream media.

Splunge4me2art

Splunge4me2art / Via splunge4me2art.tumblr.com

This is my friend, Nikki's work. Nikki calls her pieces 'doodles' while I call them 'Things I need to hang on my wall right now.' If you think this is good, keep scrolling for my favorite piece of hers that is not already hanging on my wall.

Splunge4me2art / Via splunge4me2art.tumblr.com

Nikki was looking for her next drawing idea, and I cheekily suggested Martin Freeman's RIII pose from a photo I was really taken with. This is what she did. It took her a month. Look at the detail. The freaking reflection of the ashtray on the desk. Nikki is amazing.

Meike Zane

Meike Zane / Via meikezane.com

Meike's realism in her portraits is truly stunning. Look at this for a minute and just take in the excellent shading work to get those famous cheekbones so perfect.

Alice X. Zhang

Alice X. Zhang / Via portfolio.alicexz.com

I have to include Alice Zhang's "Virtuoso" because it is the first piece of fan art that I have ever purchased. I love this piece so much. And if you know of Alice's work, you know the BBC liked her stuff so much her work is now officially licensed by them.

Clare Newman

Clareiow / Via deviantart.com

Clare is an artist I found because of a retweet. I really liked the scenes from Sherlock she chose to recreate, like this one, and I feel she really captured that look of Sherlock's.

Cumbermon (Shingel)

Pash Arts / Via Facebook: PashArts

This is by my fellow Graham Norton comrade, Shingel (Cumbermon on Twitter.) I know her because she also got to share a hug with the mighty Batch on the Graham Norton show and I was blown away when I found out she is a very talented artist. I seem to be surrounded by wonderful artists in this fandom and I love it. This is Cumberbatch as the tragic James in the amazing film 'Third Star.' I remember her struggles with that scarf, but her hard work paid off!

Enerjax

Enerjax / Via enerjax.tumblr.com

Jackie, AKA Enerjax, is well-known in the fandom for her quick-draw, funny, animated works featuring The Batch. Her stuff cracks me up bigtime, but I think my all-time favorite Enerjax piece is this one.

Cumbermuffin (@Vereentjoeng)

VereentJoeng / Via instagram.com

Pei bounded into the Sherlock fandom with her amazing Cumbercupcakes, usually depicting Benedict's latest appearance or photoshoot and we were all in love with her cute work :) She also has turned her little muffin toppers into clay forms you can buy and a portion of the sales go to charity. How amazing is that?

BakerStreetBriColage

BakerStreetBriColage / Via bakerstreetbricolage.me

This is a new artist that just turned up on my Tumblr dash, and I am really taken with this person's artistic style. The mixed media collage effect is so striking!

Cécile Pellerin

Cécile Pellerin / Via Twitter: @HippoCecile

Meet Cécile Pellerin. This artist is 17. SEVENTEEN. I watched her progress on Twitter as she created this amazing life-size piece of Benedict and I'm just gobsmacked at so much talent in one so young. And she'll only get better.

NaturalShocks

NaturalShocks / Via naturalshocks.tumblr.com

NaturalShocks' work makes me happy when she turns up in my feeds. Look at this piece! Click on the credit link to see more Sherlock studies from this scene. They are incredible. Explore her Tumblr and DeviantArt pages because she'll blow your mind.

Finally,

These small sampling of artists from one particular fandom are just a microscopic glimpse of the creativity that runs rampant within every fandom. These artists run the gamut on the life spectrum. Students, mothers, people with day jobs - and that they take the time to create like this is a gift to fandoms. These are what celebrities need to be seeing and appreciating.

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