Princess Fanart

Every fandom will inevitably have an endless amount of fan-made creations all over the internet. The Disney Princesses, in particular, seem to be an obsession among artists. They have been "re-imagined" in countless different styles, timelines, and alternate realities. In fact, the trend got so out of hand that roughly two years ago, a website called LuckyPeach posted pictures of Disney Princesses reimagined as hot dogs as a joke. The post went viral. It was everywhere. People just can't get enough of Disney Princess reimaginings no matter what form they take on. One of the most famous princess fan artists is Amy Mebberson, who is known for her ongoing comic series, Pocket Princesses.

What I love about Amy's art is that she shows the princesses interacting with each other, like in the above Acme Archives lithograph where Merida, as the only non-singing Disney Princess, is annoyed by everyone else's singing. I met Amy at the D23 Expo in 2013. She had a fabulous accent and told me that she started her Pocket Princesses comic to prove to the world that girls can be funny. The series reads like a sitcom in which all of the princesses are sharing an apartment together. Their different lifestyles and personalities clash hilariously. For instance, Ariel is often shown living in a giant fishbowl, and Cinderella has an obsessive-compulsive tendency to clean everything. The series also pokes fun at current pop culture events, such as award ceremonies, fan conventions, and new movie releases. Her art style is simple and fun. Pocket Princesses became so popular that Amy was even hired to do artwork for a few official Disney Princess comics.

The most recent Disney Princess reimagining is from Chilean artist Fernanda Suarez, who drew the Disney Princesses as modern-day women. Fernanda's series is the most recent in a long line of modern-day princess reimaginings. Since so many of us see ourselves in the Disney Princesses, it's fun to see what the princesses would look like if their lives were closer to our own. Some older incarnations include Disney Princesses as college students by Rubén and 21st-century princesses with modern career goals by Anoosha Syed. These series are a lot of fun because they get us thinking about how the Disney Princesses would dress if they went clothes shopping at Target or Forever 21. Five years ago, artist Claire Hummel did this concept in reverse by drawing the princesses in historically accurate attire based on the time periods when their movies took place. Her artwork incorporates many of the classic elements of princess fashion along with some extra details that make them look more like relics of an era long past.

Some people also like to imagine what the princesses' lives would be like if they existed in alternate fantasy universes, such as this piece from Cartoon Cookie of the Disney Princesses as Marvel superheroes. There's also this popular series by Drachea Rannak of all the Disney Princesses as Magical Girls, or more specifically, sailor senshi. Emily Heller from College Humor drew a series of Disney Princess drawings that took place in the same universe but showed how different the lives of the Disney Princesses would have been if their moms were still alive. Spoiler: Their lives were a lot better. Eira1893 on DeviantArt put a magical twist on the Disney Princesses by turning them into Hogwarts students.

There are also a few artists who are known for drawing the Disney Princesses in very unique styles that would be too detailed to animate into a Disney movie. For instance, the Thomas Kinkade Company features incredibly gorgeous Disney oil paintings with tons of hidden details hidden in the background, including one of one of my favorite Little Mermaid images of all time. Jirka Vinse Jonatan Väätäinen does a series called "Real Life Disney," in which he draws photo-real Disney characters, possibly based on real-life models who he alters to have the characters' features. Another one of my favorite artists is Mandie Manzano, who has a gorgeous and unique style of creating Disney Princess artwork that looks like delicate stained glass windows.

The joy of fanart doesn't have to only be for fans, though. There are several professional artists who worked on princess movies and now draw the characters just for fun on their Facebook or official pages. Chris Sanders, an artist who worked on Lilo and Stitch and How to Train Your Dragon, recently decided to tell his own stories with his wife, Jessica Steele-Sanders, in the independent mermaid book series, Rescue Sirens. The cover art is reminiscent of his style, and the novel is an interesting take on mermaid mythology.  Artist Steven E. Gordon, who worked on The Swan Princess and the TV series X-Men: Evolution, posts original artwork of his characters on DeviantArt and sells prints of his work at fan conventions. Philo Barnhart, who worked The Little Mermaid, loves sharing new custom Ariel sketches and discussing what it was like to work on the film on his Facebook. Finally, Disney artist Steve Thompson regularly posts adorable Disney sketches on his Facebook art page. Check out his most recent drawings of Ariel and Tiana below!

Talent comes in many forms. It is always a pleasure to see my favorite characters with new designs, outfits, and styles. Princess fans are extremely creative and believe in their dreams so much that they are able to turn them into a reality using a pencil or computer. Thanks to the magic of the internet, their talents can be shared and appreciated among all of us mere mortals who can only dream of creating artwork this beautiful. In the meantime, I will continue to make my own mark on the world through my writing.


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