I remember the excitement (and anxiety) of my first big bang. I was an artist, and had no idea what to expect. Would my author like my art style? Could I capture the scene as they’d imagined it? What if they didn’t like it?
For artists, the Big Bang is a whole different ball game. You’re given a piece of work that you have to make come alive in a very special way, and it can definitely be a daunting task, particularly if you’re assigned a really great story or an author you really admire. In marking our one week mark before sign ups, here’s a list of tips that might be helpful for first artists who are participating in their first Big Bang fest.
- When you get your author assignment, you should have a discussion about the story you’re illustrating. If you’ve read through the draft and have a few ideas on what you’d like to draw or manipulate into existence, that’s wonderful! Share your ideas with your author! If you’re at a loss and can’t really decide on any scenes, asking your author for help might be in order. Settle on what scenes are going to be illustrated before even cracking open your art program. Things to consider when deciding are…
- How many illustrations do you feel you can create within the time frame? With some stories, you only have time to do the minimum- a sketchy scene that goes well with the fic but requires little time or effort (because life is often demanding of our precious time: work, school, social life). If you’re the type of person that knows you’re gonna procrastinate to the very last second, you might want to do only the required two pieces and call it a day. But if you’re on top of things and have the time, feel free to do more, and more detailed- which brings me to the next point…
- How detailed do you want your art to be? Now, when you’re thinking about this, keep in mind your author is creating a massive fic, 15,000 words long at the minimum! And some go longer than that! Putting your best work with their best work is best for a great presentation. Stick figures with a detailed and involving fic is insulting, not mention incredibly rude. Of course, no one’s expecting lifelike realness, and no one’s expecting spot on copies of the anime art. Authors expect nothing more and nothing less than an effort to the best of your ability.
- Stay in contact with your author. Nothing is more frustrating and nerve-wracking as an author than an artist that shows up once and never checks in. Did they drop out? Are they even working on anything? Don’t be afraid to share rough sketches with your author to be sure you’re both getting what you’re expecting. They have shared their rough draft with you, it’s only kind to keep them updated as you go along. A quick preview can save tons of disappointment later.
WHEN YOUR FINAL VERSIONS ARE FINISHED
- Feel free to send them along to your author so they can place the art where it belongs in the fic. DO NOT POST THEM ONLINE UNTIL POSTING OPENS. This is something that can get you and your author in some serious trouble. (I made this mistake once, trust me)
- Once posting opens, feel free to post them anywhere and everywhere, and link back to the posted fic so that your followers and fans can get the context for the artwork you created!
- AUTHORS WILL NOT BE PAYING YOU FOR THESE WORKS OF ART. ANYONE CHARGING FOR ART WILL BE IMMEDIATELY DISQUALIFIED AND BANNED FROM FUTURE ROUNDS WITH US.* This should go without saying, but it doesn’t matter if you’re a routinely paid fan artist that sells art at cons or just a hobby artist. This is not an opportunity for you to make money.
THINGS TO REMEMBER: Your art must be either an original work of art, or if you will be participating as a graphic editor, made using OFFICIAL FMA artwork to manipulate into illustrations. YOU CANNOT USE OTHER PEOPLE’S FAN ART FOR THIS FEST. Not even if you have permission. It has to be art from screencaps from either series, any of the video games, movies, OVAs, or the official art books or promotional images.
You must provide TWO original drawn works or FOUR manipulated illustrations at the bare minimum.
Granted, artists are going to be pretty bored until the end of May. But while you’re resting up and doing your carpal stretches in preparation for your assignments, you can take the time to organize any drawing reference pics you have (for example, I’m terrible at hands and feet and have multiple reference pics saved into easy to access places), create a playlist to help inspire you, get some fragrant candles to encourage calm creativity- basically ready your space to get to work. Authors aren’t done with their fics while you’re working either, they’ll be making changes and polishing their stories with their betas.
Pinch hitters, or artists who pick up the slack when other artists have to drop out suddenly, will be notified if there’s a need for them. In some cases there will be some art already finished, other cases you’ll need to provide all of the art. We’ll be keeping everyone informed as the fest progresses so that pinch hitters are well aware of the situations as they arise.
If you’re coming to this Big Bang with no prior experience, this list may seem very daunting. But it really does work out to be a lot of fun, and you’ll walk away with lots of new friends and fans. And as always, feel free to ask questions, that’s what the mods are here for! Many of us have participated as both artists and authors, so don’t be scared to ask!
*Authors submitting to the 2016 FMABB WILL NOT be paying for illustrations. If the author decides to write a sequel OUTSIDE of the FMABB and desires the same artist for the sequel, the artist can charge for illustrations. As sequels are not allowed in the FMABB, there would be no infraction on the rules at that point.
ONE WEEK UNTIL SIGN UPS OPEN!!!