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Fanart Inspired by YA Books

2014 May 23
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Image by deviantART user AstridRodriguez

Image by deviantART user AstridRodriguez

One of my favorite things to do with YA books, series especially, is to wait until all the books are out and then devour them in a manner of days or weeks. I’ll admit I did this with Harry Potter when I started reading them in . . . 2007, after the final book was finished! When you read series like this it lets them take over your life a little bit. Soon you are thinking in phrases from the books and seeing images from them everywhere. Even if it’s not a series that is finished, if it’s a book I like, I catch myself envisioning the books intersecting with my real life. I’ve wanted to have magical pigeon friends ever since reading Michelle Tea’s Mermaid in Chelsea Creek and I can’t see wishbones or puppets the same after reading Laini Taylor’s Daughter Smoke and Bone (one of the Top Ten 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults selections).

If I was more artsy, I would allow these book obsessions an artist outlet, but I’m not. Luckily, there this great thing called the Internet and wonderful artists who endeavor to make it more beautiful with art and more inspired by YA books! Fanfiction is a great way to respond to books as well, but I like how fan art opens up many different avenues of interpretations of your favorite characters. It allows us to stretch our visual perceptions of what those characters may be and maybe even help to us envision a world more clearly.

There are tons of places to find great fan art and other visual responses to YA books – even tattoos inspired by YA books as the website Forever Young Adult highlights. Other great places to look are deviantART, a place for digital artists inspired by anything and especially friendly to lots of fandoms. Tumblr is another great place to browse, but be warned that both places, like the unbridled and unexpected wilds of the Interweb, is not always safe for work or school.

Check out some other examples of fanart that I find really lovely… 

The tormented and complicated Ronan Lynch from Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle books (Raven Boys is a 2013 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults selection).

Image by deviantART user allicynallen

Image by deviantART user allicynallen

Hazel and Augustus from John Green’s The Fault in our Stars (2012 Teens’ Top Ten):

Image by Carlos Lerma

Image by Carlos Lerma

Madrigal gleaming souls in Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series.

Image by Cecilia Hillway

Image by Cecilia Hillway

And finally, a different kind of visual response to YA books that is super awesome: cosplay! Check out this Eleanor cosplay from Rainbow Rowell’s 2014 Printz Honor book, Eleanor & Park.

From the meels on tumblr

From the meels on tumblr

Do you have some favorite fan art? Do you or teens you know make fan art or cosplay as book characters? Share it with us!

-Anna Tschetter, currently reading Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kristin Cronn-Mills

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