As James Cameron’s wildly successful film Avatar continues to bulldoze box office records and rake in awards, a fanatical legion of “Avatards” continue to grow. If you’re wondering what an Avatard is, it is a nickname assigned to so-called super fans of Cameron’s epic tale.
The name itself seems to have derived from the Twi-hards, a popular fan following of the recent Twilight films. One can speculate whether the term is derogatory by those who don’t consider themselves nerdy enough to be a part of the movement, but fans who proudly claim the title will tell you that it simply means “diehard” fans. Hence the term, Avatard or Twi-hard.
Photographers, makeup artists, and Photoshop artists have wasted no time creating their own version of the popular looking blue characters of the Na’vi tribe in the film. Self Portrait renditions and makeup tutorials are all over popular photography networks and YouTube, and the number of uploads is growing at a staggering rate.
The film has become so popular that one Photoshop artist (one that I know of anyway) has dedicated his entire photo stream on Flickr to creating Avatars of popular celebrities. You can check out the Avat’ized Photostream here.
A quick browse through YouTube and you will find many video tutorials by makeup and graphic artists showing off their techniques to convert models, or themselves, into their blue alien alter ego. Of course you will have to wade through a bunch of Avatard-created parody films and spoofs, but there are some very well crafted productions to inspire you. If you look hard and long enough.
The increasing number of Avatar inspired images online is surely going to spark a wave of young artistic models and photographers who want to do a photo shoot based on the characters created in the film. So while photographers start to decline requests from models (or vice versa) who want to do a photoshoot that involve angel or fairy wings as being cliche, a whole new blue wave of Soon-to-be Cliche will be flooding portfolios everywhere. The question is, how long will the staying power of being an Avatard last?
Writer’s Note: Of course I had to do a self portrait (pictured) with an Avatar flair. While I could have made myself look more like the characters in the movie, I chose to keep the integrity of my facial structure intact instead of stretching my nose and converting my eyes to a cat-like shape. Hey… I gotta be me.
Interesting Related Links
Avatar Makeup Tutorial
Na’vi Language Wiki