Art memes

Art memes

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Art memes or drawing memes are a type of challenge in which artists must follow a set of instructions and share their results. This kind of meme is popular on the web among artists as a means of excercise.


The term "art meme" was first used when user nyu posted his art meme on DeviantArt on september 27th 2007.[1] This format quickly became popular there, spawning many variants of this meme, some of the more popular being the pokémon type meme and the Character Age meme.

NYU'S Art Meme 1. Give me an introduction of yourself! 2. I see...Do you have an avatar of yourself? 3. Just for fun, try drawing the same picture with your opposite hand! 4. And now, with your foot! :D 5. How nice! So you like to draw? What do you enjoy drawing most? 6. Ooh..I see! What inspired you to draw first? 7. What do you have most difficulties on in drawing? (Ex. Hands, humans, coloring...) 8. Yeah...Drawing ain't easy. Why don't we give it a little practice? Try drawing one thing that you see around you now. 9. Any personal tips you can give to others? 10.I have one little request...Draw me in Your style"! I1. Any last comments you want to say before O this meme ends? TAG! 12. Finally, you're done! Now, tag three (or more) people!


On september 15th 2008, Pixiv launched the Illustration response feature which allowed users collaborate on artwork. This feature was mainly used to share exploitable templates such as Expression Practice and the Bottle Meme.
In 2009, artist Jake Parker started Inktober, a challenge in which the artist must make a drawing in ink according to the theme of that day during the month Oktober.
On March 17, 2020, Twitter user mcapriglioneart posted the Six Fanarts challenge, in which the artist must draw fan arts of the six characters nominated by the artist's followers.
As of september 2021, searching "art memes" on deviantart shows over 500k results.[2]

Notable Examples

Expression Memes

Expression memes are a series of illustrated charts in which a fictional character’s facial expressions are altered to convey a wide range of emotions on a template grid. These are often used as references for fan artists learning how to draw facial expressions.

Bottle Meme

Bottle Meme is an image exploitable series in which fictional manga and anime characters are drawn within the confines of glass bottle containers. Since emerging through the Japanese artist community pixiv in April 2009, the meme has spawned at least 1,200 derivative artworks on the site and elsewhere on the English-speaking web, including Tumblr and deviantART.

Six Fanarts

Six Fanarts is a Twitter Challenge which involves artists asking their followers for characters to draw, with the artist then drawing fan arts of any six of the nominated characters.

Search Interest

[1] DeviantArt

[2] DeviantArt

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