I find video game fanart especially interesting because it's a chance to see primarily digital characters in an analog medium. And you can really see Rachel Elm's hand in her manga and video game-inspired artwork—as well as her original images. Her inking and colorwork offer an energy that lifts the characters off the screen.
A couple of weeks ago, we showed you Abigail L. Dela Cruz's fabulous retro Sailor Moon designs. But Dela Cruz also plays with her own original characters and those of her fellow artists working online. Among her most striking characters are a serene koi spirit and a fox spirit who loves to toy with the moon.
One of my favorite corners of the Internet is Project: Rooftop, where artists redesign their favorite superheroes and try their hand at caped costume design. Randy Bishop is a frequent participant in redesign and fanart challenges at P:R and other art sites, which is good practice for his own project, which involves reimagining gods and mythical creatures from all over the world.
It's easy to see that Cale Atkinson comes from the world of animation, a world of carefully selected colors and deceptively simple shapes, where dark shadows alternate with childlike joy. Whether he's trying to deliver the brief but immersive sensory experience of his Little Red Riding Hood animated short or just having fun with monster illustrations, Atkinson's work is marked by a strong sense of visual language and a striking lack of cynicism.
If you want to get better at something, you've got to practice, practice, practice. Adam Thompson wanted to improve his Adobe Illustrator chops, so he gave himself a fun task to do: illustrate one superhero a day in Illustrator for 50 days. He learned a few new tricks, and came out with a fun set of heroic illustrations.
It's easy to get a bit of tonal whiplash while perusing Nicolas Nemiri's art blog. On the one hand, he draws gigantic, tattooed men who look like they could easily crush everyone else on the page. His women run the gamut from fashion plates to spacefaring adventurers to a gal being pleasured by an octopus. And interspersed are the illustrations featuring sleeping babes, kind-hearted kids and school girls with enigmatic expressions.
Stephanie Pepper (formerly known around some corners of the Internet as Kippery) maintains an incredibly fun art Tumblr, that pulls from pop cultural icons as disparate as Carrie and Clifford the Big Red Dog, and contains portraits of beautiful (and occasionally banged-up) women as well as incredibly surreal illustrations.
Benjamin Wright is an artist who works in a variety of media. Sometimes he transforms old Playmobil toys into Wookiees and gang members from The Warriors; sometimes he builds his own toys. He creates installations of hidden corners from alternate universes. And he makes comics and illustrations, from sophisticated globetrotting women to a version of Batman with much sadder rogues.