A few weeks ago, social media users saw some of their favorite artists post their own takes on six fictional characters, accompanied by the hashtag #SixFanArt. Fan art is nothing new, but something about the challenge, accompanied by the template, encouraged artists across the world to take part. Maybe it took off because artists needed a distraction from the world outside their doors in the time of COVID-19. For whatever reason, the challenge blew up and the result of that was a flurry of fan art from new creators to some of the biggest names in comics. 

The Beat thought it would be fun to speak to the individual who launched #SixFanArt and include some of our favorite contributions from comic book artists and other illustrators. Read on to learn about the launch and soaring growth of #SixFanArt and to view some spectacular contributions to the social media sensation.

@sixfanart creator

The creator of #SixFanArt is Melissa Capriglione. She’s an artist who specializes in stories featuring women who love women, and other LGBTQ+ representation Even though she only graduated from Herron School of Art and Design in 2017, she’s already written a number of comics, including work for publishers Action Lab and Arledge Comics. She’s currently working on the webcomic Falconhyrste, which is nearing the end of its first arc. 

Art by Melissa Capriglione

Like everyone else, Melissa was stuck inside all day, bored during the stay-at-home order. She wanted to draw but felt really stressed. She needed a relaxing project and decided to make some fan art, so she quickly created a template and shared it on Twitter. She stuck a hashtag on it just in case some friends wanted to join her in the challenge she created, never expecting it to blow up like it did.

#sixfanart Walsh
Art by Michael Walsh

It wasn’t for another few days that #SixFanArt took off. When Melissa logged into her social media one day, she noticed a healthy jump in followers and that #SixFanArt was turning into a huge hit amongst artists. She posted the template on Instagram and paid for a small ad for a day or two to get more eyes on it.

Art by Becky Cloonan

Plenty of eyes were definitely on the challenge, and many were excited to add their own contribution to #SixFanArt. Melissa saw her followers on Instagram grow from 2,000 to 10,000 followers and that #SixFanArt turned into a full-on sensation. Clearly Melissa’s challenge struck a nerve with creators because thousands of artists across the world participated in it.

#sixfanart Loish
Art by Loish

Melissa described seeing her idea take off in such a big way as unreal. She was delighted to artists that she’s looked up to and admired for years to take on the challenge. Melissa said she nearly leaped out of my chair when she saw Loish post her contribution to #SixFanArt. But her favorite thing about the experience was simply seeing people creating again, during a time when a lot of creative people don’t have the energy or motivation to make new art. She was moved by all of the people who commented and messaged her to share how #SixFanArt inspired them to pick up a pencil and draw again.

Art by Mahmud Asrar

To view more than the images shared in this post, readers can find more contributions to the challenge on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media networks by typing in the hashtag #SixFanArt. There’s plenty of beautiful art to pore over.

sixfanart patreon

Follow Melissa Capriglione on Twitter and Instagram to see if she starts a new movement on social media. You can also support her on Patreon where she shares behind-the-scenes artwork and tutorials!