Let’s assume you are here because you already know what fanart is and all you really want, are cool fan art ideas because you’re getting a little dry in the ideas well, is that correct?
If so then you’re at the right place because I am about to show you not only a stack of ideas from A to Z but I am going to show you how you can use various free tools to generate not only fan art ideas, but also which ones are trending and in demand. I have also updated this article to include AI fan art prompts to create cool Fan Art ideas using ChatGPT.
Before we go and explore cool fan art ideas, let’s just cover one little topic that you may already know the answer to but I want to make sure for those who do not know, the legality of fanart.
Firstly, Is fan art illegal?
In it I cover all the usual questions fan artists have about selling fanart.
Then in this post called How to get permission to sell Fan Art I cover the high level steps you need to follow to get permission to sell fan art.
I will let you know now that getting permission is very difficult unless you sell on sites such as Redbubble.com (the link takes you to the Redbubble Partner Program which explains how it works).
Redbubble have taken some steps to obtain permission on artists’ behalf and then paying royalties on your behalf to the copyright holder.
As they say on Redbubble’s page – “…only create fan art for brands that are in Redbubble’s Partner Program. You can find a full list of authorized properties here on our Current Brand Partnerships page.”
If you do not want to sell your fanart and just want to create it and give it away or exhibit your work then I believe you do not need to worry about copyright.
I’m no lawyer so do not take my advice as legal fact but as someone who has sold fanart, I have only been asked to take work down a couple of times.
Never have I been asked to pay any compensation, but I also do not sell fanart on a large scale.
Keep that in mind when making fanart.
Ok, now that I have scared you a little, how about we cover the reasons why you came here in the first place.
Let’s look at how you can come up with your own fanart ideas ok!
How do I come up with my own cool fan art ideas?
The easiest thing you can do is to create fanart based on popular culture that you love and can relate to.
I know many artists create cool fanart for their social media pages or for people they think will be interested in buying their artworks.
The problem with this approach is that if you do not personally relate to the subject matter as a fan yourself, you tend not to do as great a job putting your own spin on the work.
You end up just creating copies of what other people have done and not creating fanart that has your own personal touch and identity.
When creating fanart you want to stick out from the crowd and make something that fans of those characters will look on in amazement and say “I want that!”.
Where can I find cool Fan Art Ideas?
The great thing these days is that there are so many places where you can get fanart ideas, from websites to forums to conventions.
The first thing you need to do as a fanartist is scratch your own itch and look for subject matter that interests you. If you are struggling in that department that’s ok, have a look at the following sites and see what is popular and top rated on each site to give you an idea on the latest trends.
Speaking of which, let’s start with AI fanart prompts using ChatGPT.
AI Art and ChatGPT (probably the best fan art ideas generator)
The burning topic of the moment is AI art and the language model system that makes it all happen which is Open.ai. Open.AI is also what makes ChatGPT work. Have you heard of these websites? If you haven’t be prepared to blown away. If you have heard of them did you know you can train them via fanart prompts to give you fan art ideas?
After using ChatGPT to enter my fanart prompts I now believe that this will destroy all the existing fanart idea generators out there. Especially when you can ask ChatGPT to create a fanart prompt for an AI tool.
Use ChatGPT to generate unique prompts: You can use ChatGPT to generate unique prompts based on your favorite fandoms, characters, and settings. Simply input a few keywords or phrases, and ChatGPT will provide you with a list of ideas to inspire your fan art. After you use it, tell me it is not the best fan art ideas generator.
Here are a few ChatGPT fanart prompts and the results that it came up with.
Fanart Prompt: “What are cool fan art ideas?”
The initial list is not bad, not that original but you will see in my subsequent fanart prompt that it gave us something a little more unique.
When I gave ChatGPT a more specific fanart prompt of “please give specific examples of unique fan art ideas” it provided some unique examples of fan art ideas.
Fanart Prompt: “please give specific examples of unique fan art ideas”
I then asked ChatGPT via an expanded fanart prompt to expand on the gender-swapped example it provided in the earlier fanart prompt by applying it to the DC universe of characters – remember it suggested Marvel.
Fanart Prompt: “for gender-swapped character give me more examples using the DC universe”
Now that you have an idea you can ask ChatGPT to create an Artbreeder prompt so I picked the Aquawoman example and created the prompt and you can use the output as a reference for hand drawn art, digital art or you can just enjoy the AI art that was created.
Fanart Prompt: “for aquawoman, create an artbreeder prompt”
Utilize AI image editing tools: There are several AI-powered image editing tools available that can help you create stunning fan art. These tools can help you to enhance your images, add filters, or even transform your images into different styles or mediums.
Experiment with AI-generated imagery: Another way to generate cool fan art ideas is to experiment with AI-generated imagery. There are several AI-powered image generation tools available that can help you create unique and original artwork. For example, you can use style transfer to blend different styles of art together or use generative adversarial networks (GANs) to create entirely new images.
Collaborate with other artists and AI tools: Collaborating with other artists and AI tools can help you generate even more cool fan art ideas. For example, you can use a tool like Artbreeder to collaborate with other artists and generate unique and interesting fan art ideas together.
AI tools and ChatGPT can be powerful resources for artists looking to generate cool fan art ideas. By using these tools and techniques, you can unlock your creativity and take your fan art to the next level.
Next let’s take a look at Google Trends. Bet you haven’t heard of this one before.
Now most artists do not use or even know of Google Trends but what it shows is all the trending topics of words people type into Google and then tells you where these searches are coming from, how many people are searching for that topic etc.
What I have done in the link above is started a search on Google Trends for Fanart.
You can do your own search, even refine the topic and see if anyone is searching for that topic or related topics.
I’ll break down what each section means and where you should be looking for FanArt ideas.
Interest Over Time – The Numbers represent search interest for the given region (here USA) and time.
A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular.
A score of 0 means that there was not enough data for this term but that does not mean people are not searching for this topic.
Interest by Sub-region we won’t worry about right now.
What is important to us is the next lot of information: Related Topics and Related Queries.
Related Topics –
What Google says: “Users searching for your term also searched for these topics. You can view by the following metrics:
* Top – The most popular topics. Scoring is on a relative scale where a value of 100 is the most commonly searched topic and a value of 50 is a topic searched half as often as the most popular term, and so on.
* Rising – Related topics with the biggest increase in search frequency since the last time period. Results marked ‘Breakout’ had a tremendous increase, probably because these topics are new and had few (if any) prior searches.”
What this means: You can sort by Rising or Top. The default is Rising. This shows the search word is rising in popularity. You can use this information to see if the topic is popular or getting popular.
Because we searched for Fanart, Google is now showing us that Spinal Gemstone and BEASTARS are starting to become popular topics.
If you have no idea what these are like I don’t then you Google these words and start looking for Images to get some samples of the FanArt already being done.
I’ll show you some examples below.
We also see Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is a hot topic with over 1000% increase in interest. So you then click on that word in the list and it breaks it down even further.
No need to keep drilling too far down, you just want to search for the words in Google after you see them in this list and then Google the Images and see what people are doing.
Related Queries –
What Google says: “Users searching for your term also searched for these queries. You can sort by the following metrics.”
What this means: While you searched for Fanart for example, people also searched for the following words in the list.
As I scrolled through the list, I saw searches for Piggy which is a Roblox game based on the characters from Peppa Pig but it has a cult following.
It also showed Cinderace, which is a Pokemon character.
Let me know if you found Google Trends useful.
As with Google Trends, the Pinterest link above is already tweaked to search for Fan art ideas to make things simpler for you.
What I love about Pinterest is that it has the finger on the pulse of what is the latest and greatest and returns results as an image.
For someone looking for fan art ideas you can clearly see at a glance what is trending, the quality of art works being produced and what you should be comparing your work with.
Let’s start by going to the Pinterest website and typing your search query.
From the image below you will see I did the Fan Art Ideas search.
You will see that already as you type, Pinterest will start to auto complete the sentence for you and this is the first area you should look at for ideas as Pinterest is showing you what others are also searching for.
Pinterest gives you further results in two sections, even though most people look at just the images or Pins as they are called.
The second search results are just below the search bar and in small ovals. Here Pinterest is showing results such as Five Nights at Freddy’s, Pokemon, Kpop and Harry Potter as examples.
The next results are the actual pins. Ignore the ones that say “Promoted..” as these are paid ads.
Look for other Pins and see what is trending.
You will see Baby Yoda is trending as of today, so is Divergent and The Legend of Zelda. Tomorrow it could be something different.
Yes, Tumblr is still alive and kicking within the artist community. Here you will find a massive amount of independent artists pumping out fan art on an almost daily basis.
Again, I have created a link to Tumblr with the search for Fan Art Ideas already embedded.
Here you will see that Tumblr will ask you to create an account if you do not have one. You can actually skip this bit and start performing a search as I did.
Tumblr’s search is not as sophisticated as Google or Pinterest so it will just show you Tumblr pages based on Most Popular.
Now what you need to do is not only look at the popular pages that come up in the results, but my trick is to also look at the hashtags used on each image or page.
That will also give you an idea as to what is trending, is most popular etc.
Let’s check out some Tumblr examples.
And now let’s look at the Hashtags that are listed for some of the more popular fan art pages.
You can see we have found a few more popular Fan Art Ideas using the Tumblr method from #Overwatch, #Reaper, #Snom (another Pokemon), #draco etc.
FanArt Ideas Generators
There are a lot of fanart generators out there and from what I have seen, they are pretty clunky and not worth your time or your money.
Personally I think they are garbage and you should just skip ahead to the Redbubble topic.
If you really must, then try out some of the free ones out there, just google FanArt Generators and see what comes up. I disliked them so much I refuse to link to any.
At this time of writing I found they just create a mash-up of ideas based on what everyone else is doing.
Chances are every other hack is doing the same thing.
Other FanArt Generators just generate a random number and then get you to refer to a topic that corresponds to the number you just picked. Pretty useless.
My advice is to steer away and look for what is trending and create some fanart with your own signature look.
Redbubble is one of my favorite sites to not only sell my art on but to also get inspiration from.
It is also one of the few sites that has agreements in place with copyright owners so you can sell legitimate fanart as long as you follow the guidelines and pick brands from their Partner Program to get your fanart licensed.
The list of brands is growing so keep an eye out for what is being accepted.
Now do a search on Redbubble to see what other Fanart is being created.
This is a great source of FanArt Ideas – have a look! The link will open in a new tab and will automatically search for FanArt on Redbubble.
With Redbubble, all you can do is look at the titles and the art created by people to see what is trending.
So now on Redbubble we find that Rick and Morty fan art is popular, Ewoks, Daleks, More Cowbell (from SNL), Pride and Prejudice as a few examples.
Etsy is another goldmine of Fan Art ideas. Again click on the link above in the heading and have a look at the results.
From this basic search we see that Fallout is an idea, so are Sopranos, X-Men, Avatar etc.
Lastly, let us have a look at eBay. The cool thing about eBay as that we can not only search what is for sale but what people actually have purchased.
So let’s take a look at how we find Fan art on eBay.
Click on the link for the eBay heading and I have already ensured it filters on Fan Art.
Next you need to click on Advanced because eBay will show you all sorts of results, and most are for unsold items so they do not give you a realistic view of what is being created and sold (a proxy for popularity and demand).
In the next screen, ensure you tick the Sold Items check box then click Search. That will show you only the items in the fan art categories that have actually sold. This shows that people are willing to purchase these items.
Now we want to filter out anything that is not art related. Where we have the search bar, click the All Categories drop down list. Select Art and click Search again
Now you will see more relevant search results, showing us Fan Art that has sold and you can also see how much people have paid if you are intending on creating fan art to sell.
Now we can see that people are buying (so there is demand) fan art for Overwatch, Naruto Uzumaki Shippuden Battle Damaged Fan Art Poster, Bam Box Gamer Gaming Exclusive God Of War Fan Art Print, THE JOKER FAN ART Print and Sword Art Online Asuna Kirito SAO as examples.
Ok, so we have looked at how we can generate Fan Art Ideas and as promised, here the is A to Z of fan art ideas.
A to Z of Fan Art Ideas
Fan Art Anime
Fan Art A Hat In Time
Fan Art Batman
Fan Art Bob’s Burgers
Baby Yoda Fan Art
Bam Box Gamer Gaming Exclusive God Of War
Fan Art Captain Marvel
Fan Art Cinderace (from Pokemon)
Fan Art Disney Princesses
Fan Art Divergent
Draco Fan Art
Fan Art EXO
Fan Art Fortnite
Fan Art Goku
Fan Art Harry Potter
Fan Art Hunger Games
Fan Art Haikyuu
Hamilton Fan Art
Fan Art Ibuki
Fan Art Joker
Fan Art Kakashi
Fan Art League of Legends
Lilo and Stitch
Fan Art Marvel
Fan Art Naruto
Naruto Uzumaki Shippuden Battle Damaged
Need More Cowbell
Fan Art Octane
Fan Art Pokemon
Pride and Prejudice Fan Art
Fan Art Piggy (Roblox based game)
Fan Art Queen of Pain
Fan Art Roblox
Rick and Morty
Fan Art Star Wars
Fan Art Stranger Things
Fan Art Sonic
Spiderman Fan Art
Sopranos Fan Art
Sword Art Online Asuna Kirito SAO
Fan Art Twilight
Fan Art Undertale
Fan Art Venom
Fan Art Voldemort
Fan Art Wow
Fan Art Wolf of Wallstreet
The Walking Dead Fan Art
Fan Art X-Men
Fan Art Yoonmin
Fan Art Zelda
The Legend of Zelda
Joseph Colella (Joe Colella) is an Editor and Writer at WastedTalentInc. As a frustrated artist with over 40 years experience making art (who moonlights as a certified Business Analyst with over 20 years of experience in tech). While Joseph holds a Diploma in Information Technology, in true wasted talent fashion he spent years applying for various Art degrees; from the Accademia di Belle Arti (Napoli), to failing to get into the Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) at the University of Western Sydney. While he jokes about his failures at gaining formal art qualifications, as a self-taught artist he has had a fruitful career in business, technology and the arts. His goal is to attend the Julian Ashton School of Art at The Rocks Sydney when he retires from full time work. Joseph’s art has been sold to private collectors all over the world from the USA, Europe and Australasia. He is a trusted source for reliable art advice and tutorials to copyright/fair use advice and is committed to helping his readers make informed decisions about making them a better artist.
He also loves all things watches (ok it’s an addiction) so show him some love and visit his other website https://expertdivewatch.com