Need a banner? A background? How about a blinkie or button? Or maybe just want to look at all the pretty?
After all, the graphic artists are what makes our fandom so lovely to gaze upon.
Can you imagine the fandom without the graphic artists? I shudder to think what my site alone would look like. I am not artistic at all.
I've been very lucky though. I have met, befriended, and gushed over some amazingly talented and generous women in the fandom. I do have a gorgeous site and amazing segment banners. All courtesy of these phenomenal artists.
And yes, I constantly gush and fawn over the artists, why shouldn't I? Have you looked at my site?
I smile like a Cheshire cat every time I look at my site or one of my segment banners. Again, why shouldn't I? It's amazing work.
It's art pure and simple.
And that's how I feel about the graphics. Pieces of art and I love collecting them from the artists that I love and admire. And even if I leave the fandom one day, I will still have the artwork created for me personally.
Thanks and gushing are truly warranted.
And that's all these amazing artists want. A thank you and a credit. An acknowledgement. After all, there is no monetary charge for the time, effort, and talent these artists offer.
But...did you know that more times than not, there is no thanks given? Did you know more times than not, the graphic is not even acknowledged? Did you know more times than not, the graphic is never used? Did you know more times than not, the graphic created is manipulated in to some one else's work?
Sounds insane doesn't it? Not so much. It happens...a lot.
Now, I am outsider looking in. I am not a writer or an artist, obviously. But I am friendly with quite a few of the artists in the fandom. We chat, I gush, and from time to time grovel for some of their artwork. And when I am generously gifted, I always immediately post what has been created for me and follow up with a post thanking them.
It really isn't that difficult to acknowledge a gift, to say thank you. It is common courtesy. Something we all learned as children I like to believe.
One of the first slaps, yes I call them slaps, I witnessed was for a banner requested by a blog host who was interviewing a writer who's story at the time didn't have a banner. And it's not uncommon for a site host to request one for their posts either. I have in the past and have never been refused.
As a blog host, we always want a banner to make the post look pretty. So a graphic artist the host was friendly with was asked and the artist graciously created one which the blog host posted on the interview and gifted the banner to the writer as well. Some time later, the writer actually posted the banner without credit to the artist, said she couldn't remember who did it, but could remember the interview.
I don't know, maybe that's what happened but when did we get so passive about acknowledging a gift?
Because that's what the graphics are, a gift.
Another huge no no is requesting a banner from multiple artists. I don't get that one at all. First it is just rude and inconsiderate. The artists are also aware when this is done. They do know one another as the fandom really is a small world and there aren't that many artists that they wouldn't all know who each other were.
So why do it? I suppose the writer is looking for the best outcome. Well if that's what you want then as the writer be clear what it is you are looking for. Work with the artist, not give them vague ideas and then wonder why you aren't happy with the product. That is your fault, not the artist.
You should also look at their portfolio's before making the request. Each artist has their own unique style. And some you can immediately recognize their work. Look at previous banners they did, find one you like or even love, then make your request, and tell them what work of theirs you loved, it helps with the process.
Exercise some due diligence. Artwork is a creation. Time, effort, and love were put in to the creation. It's a give and take relationship and that will not work unless both sides are invested in the process.
Mind you, this is not the norm and thank goodness for that, but there are enough shenanigans towards the artists that many no longer take requests unless specifically for a cause. There are even some who have left the fandom all together.
Have you noticed that? I have.
I am seeing it more and more on graphics sites...
"Not Accepting Requests At This Time"
I find that so unbelievably sad. It is also a tremendous loss to the fandom.
To not be able to enjoy the artwork, for the writers to be limited to where they can request banners, the un-artistic blog hosts struggling for segment banners, or the artists still taking request to be inundated and not be able to give the time that they would like to their creations.
And all because of a basic lack of common courtesy.
And while many feel the fandom is coming to an end with the last Twilight movie coming out, I don't feel that way at all. Many sites have been converting to a multi fandom genre and the ones that are not, they will keep going on as long as the writers are out their posting their stories.
So let's do the right thing by remembering to say thank you to the artists in the fandom and support them as they should be supported.
What would be worse than a nekkid fandom? A colorless fandom. That in my opinion would be the end of the fandom.
And so not to make this a total rant, here are my favorite fandom artists that have done work for me that I absolutely love!
AnIllicitWriter - Exclusive Fandom Fanatic site designer, blog banner maker, and segment banners.
PMU - Sister Site and creator of Wolf fic rec, Slash rec, No Boundaries segment banners.