Designer and activist Jack Mackenroth is no stranger to being in the public eye. I caught up with him recently to talk about some of the fan art that he’s been on the receiving end of.
What does it feel like when you see or get sent fan art?
It’s a huge compliment.
Usually they ask me ahead of time via social media, so I check out their work, but I almost always agree to it. It’s flattering that anyone would take the time and use their talent to recreate my image.
How do people let you know about fan art that they’ve created?
Now it’s almost exclusively on Instagram. I used to get some things mailed to me, but no one really uses snail mail anymore. Plus, because I have so many followers, they want — and usually deserve — the exposure as well, so I share it widely. Before Instagram it was Facebook.
What’s the favourite fan art that you’ve seen about yourself?
Ever had any super-weird fan-art? Anything that’s crossed the line?
I don’t have very many lines left to cross. I have no issues with nudity or sex. I have had several nude drawings sent to me — they’re almost always digital, so I don’t have the actual art — but nothing really bothers me. I had a Tom of Finland style illustration sent once where I had an enormous penis, but it was more amusing than anything else.
I think the weirdest experience was finding out that I have a huge mural of me painted on the outside of a gay bar somewhere in Mexico. I had no idea it existed until a friend sent me a photo. My brother almost died laughing.
What do you do with the fan art that’s sent to you?
I could probably have an exhibition of fan art. I’d have to do some digging to find a lot of it. Some of it isn’t very flattering or doesn’t look like me. I keep most of it, but I don’t display it.
I do have two framed pieces. One is an artist that I posed nude for, so it’s not really fan art, and the other is sort of a comic-style drawing.
If someone was thinking about creating some fan art of you, do you have any advice or tips for them?
If someone wants to create some fan art for me, I’d suggest they contact me first and work from a photo that I like and really try to make it look like me. If I like it, I’ll post it all over social media. It’s always appreciated and flattering in any case. Keep them coming!
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