Bookish Discussions: Fan (or author) Art and Character Inspirations

Today’s Topic is Fan (or author) Art and Character Inspirations.  I’m talking about how the casting directors find their perfect actor for the part.  There’s so much fan art out there depicting characters how we interpret them from the page and they can be as different as night and day.  Authors also may release drawings of how they see their characters or release a cast of dream actors for the book made movie.




These are everywhere!  Here’s some from The Lunar Chronicles:


Up top from left to right there’s Cinder, Scarlet and Cress.  Then on the bottom left to right is Prince Kai, Wolf, and Carswell.  These are some of the more popular images.  My question is, do you ever look at fan art or any of this kind of thing?  Does it ruin your image of the character if you imagined them a different way?

Personally, I don’t really ever look at fan art or author inspirations.  I have a certain picture in my head and seeing these just screws me up.  They just feel… wrong to me.  I have no idea why…

Here’s one from the book Legend of Tess that the author, Marie Lu, actually drew herself:


Seeing this, it’s nothing like I pictured Tess.  Does seeing these mess you up too or does it actually make the characters clearer?

The thing is, generally, I really like the model on the cover of the book in the sense that they portray the character really well.  I usually picture the main character (or whatever character is pictured) as the model on the cover.  For example, in The Selection, I picture this model as America because in my mind, she fits her perfectly!


Or in the Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series’.  I picture the characters how they appear on the cover!


Do you picture characters as the front cover models/art, make your own image, or picture them like the fan art?

0 thoughts on “Bookish Discussions: Fan (or author) Art and Character Inspirations”

  1. I tend to make my own assumptions about a character's appearance, but sometimes the cover model is spot on. It frustrates me when I read little-known or older books that don't have a cover model, and I can't give a visual to the readers of what they look like for my lists on Sunday, so I've been known to Sim some into existence (I use the character tool in Sims the video game and then take a screenshot, instead of having to actually draw something). Fan art never seems to ruin a character for me, because most people will, like me, have a different idea of how a character looks.Great discussion post, Laura!~Litha Nelle

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  2. I don't make fan art or fan fiction and I don't look at it too often. I think I look at fan art for video game characters more than literary characters. Maybe because they're already visual for me and I know the drawing will look how I envision the character to look. I do like some fan art of thing like Harry Potter. There are some amazing artists out there. I'll essentially look at the art if I come across it but I won't go looking for it….unless I'm in a super obsessive mood and then I might tool around on Deviantart getting my fix for a character!Vicarious Caytastrophe

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  3. Ugh that is frustrating! When I read the Eragon series (not necessary little-known but still), I couldn't picture Eragon except that he didn't look like the movie casting. I'm still figuring it out…Seriously? That's some skills!

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  4. Thank you someone else! I thought I was the only one! There are amazing artists for sure! When I was browsing the internet looking for pictures to feature in this post, I saw some seriously awesome stuff. Haha I totally know what you mean! You read this super awesome book/series and there isn't going to be another one so you just gut the internet looking for stuff related to it! That was me after reading Eragon 😀

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  5. I always like to imagine the characters exactly how they are in my mind. Movies usually ruin that, except believe or not The Mortal Instruments cast was pretty darn close to what I imagined.

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  6. Occasionally I'll come across some fanart and I don't think it ruins how I see the character even if they don't look how I imagined them. I also don't really pay that much attention to cover models so that I can picture the character for myself and I'm also drawn to books that don't have a person's face on them.Great post!Erika @ Living for the Books

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  7. I like the drawings/sketches more so than dream casts from authors. But once I read a book, I definitely get an idea of who I'd want to play the characters in a movie. So a mix of both? I am totally with Erika, though I don't pay any attention to cover models. To each their own!

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  8. I do as well actually! You must be really familiar with actors as well then! I know there's probably the perfect actor out there to portray different characters but I don't know their names! For sure!

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