Fanartivation Interview with Reapersun

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Fanartivation Interview with Reapersun
Interviewer:
Interviewee: Reapersun
Date(s): January 1, 2013
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Sherlock (BBC) and others
External Links: online here; archived link
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Fanartivation Interview with Reapersun was posted to Fanartivation in 2013.

Reapersun is "an artist for Gaia Online who also dabbles in Sherlock (and other) fanarts in her spare time."

This interview contains examples of the artist's work and their comments about them.

Part of a Series

See: Fanartivation Interviews

Some Excerpts

What has been your most ambitious or challenging work of art so far and could you tell me some of the challenges involved?

The whole of "Wreck", my Sherlock fanbook, took me several months to complete, working on it almost every day. I'm actually not sure how I managed it, it's kind of crazy to think about now. A tough part of it was keeping it secret actually, so it looked (to my tumblr followers) like I just wasn't drawing anything for days and days, when in reality I was more obsessed with art and Sherlock than I ever had been, or have been since. It made the whole process… kind of lonely, strangely. I had decided to do it in a more painted style rather than clean lines, so I think another hard part was figuring out a technique that didn't take me ages. The style evolved as I worked too, so I ended up having to go back over the first few pages and actually make everything rougher and less clean to match the later pages. I saved the cover for last too, so maybe you can see a bit of how exhausted I was by then in that art, heh.

You do a lot of collaborations, art requests and the likes. What has been your favourite thing to become involved with or asked to do?

Reapersex, my nsfw RP thing with Sexlock, was definitely the most fun thing. I felt really challenged by it, trying to come up with the next thing, trying to read cues and Sexlock's intent through the art alone, it was almost stressful but in an awesome way. Drawing requests almost every day for months last year was also amazing, I really miss being able to do that. It was incredible practice and I think it helped me improve a lot as an artist.

I also really really like doing fanart for fic, even though those aren't exactly collabs because I'm a shit and don't always ask first, but there's something thrilling about finding these spectacular stories, and paying homage to them in the best way I know how, and hopefully getting more people to read them in the process. This fandom has some spectacular writers and I'm always wildly impressed with the level of quality those guys bring to it.

What has fandom fans added to your life?

Hm, fandom in general is already amazing; I've been in and out of different fandoms since I was a teen, and it's always been crazy to me, seeing people come together over something they all love, and especially, creating so many brilliant works based on something just because they love it so much. It's addictive. I hear about things like promises of more strict copyright laws, authors/filmmakers threatening fans over fanworks, a potential future where fan art and fic isn't allowed to exist, and it breaks my heart, because those fanworks add this invaluable extra level to the original, and I can't imagine liking the original the same way if I could never read a crazy AU fanfic of it, or see some weird fanart of it. In a way, it's ruined me, because there's no way I can ever enjoy something again the same way without fandom. I loved Sherlock when I first watched it, yes, but I only fell truly head over heels when I met the fandom. I never want to give up that feeling of collective passion.

As for fans of my fan work specifically… It's always kind of nuts having people tell you they enjoy your work. And definitely, the Sherlock fans have been the most supportive of my work in my history as an artist. It's been immensely encouraging, and made me feel a lot more confident as an artist, and the desire to make things for these people has helped me improve.

Lastly: do you have any wisdom or words of encouragements you'd like to share with budding artists out there?

I'd probably point back to question 5, and especially the part about letting your work be out there. So, so often, I'll see an artist delete their own artworks, or a writer delete their fics, works that I like, works that others like, because they feel like they don't meet their personal standards. And I think it's fine to criticize yourself like this. But I also think you don't fix it by deleting the work. It just hurts the people who liked the work in the first place.

This is of course my personal opinion. My stance on my own work in the past year or so is that even if I create something I don't think is as strong as other works I've done, I'll still post it. And if the reception is negative, or if I still just never like the work, I still leave it up. It's my way of progressing, of completing my process. Once it's out there, it's in the past, and it's part of me and part of my work and I never want to change that. It's part of how I learned, and I'm not ashamed of that. I could get hung up on painting one piece and trying to make it really really good, or in the same time I could do several pieces and probably learn a lot more from them.

I know this kind of method won't work for everyone. But I'll still hold to the original thought, that you shouldn't try to hide works that you feel are embarrassing or below par. Because it's still something you made, something you cared about, and that's awesome. Don't be ashamed of anything you create, ever. Just take the crit, and apply it to your next thing, and your next thing will always be better.