There is a particular evil in every fandom and this is it...
So lets do Paintbrush!
Not my favourite subject, fan mades are fan made characters for a series. My first encounter with them was back as a Beyblade fan, though at the time the standard was to use paintbrush as a "catch all" for editing. With Adobe the main paint program and access by many, the fan mades have improved slightly and moved on from paint brush. But still they EXIST.
I have no problem with fan made characters overall, my problem is their existance is routed around bad fanfiction and my previously mentioned editing in an art program. Most fans lack the skills to draw their own character so just take an image of an already established character and edit over it, change black hair to... Pink or something... Anyway, you can find these kind in EVERY fandom. I've known people to turn round many years later and say "I'm ashamed I ever did that!" simply because they know they didn't exactly be creative on their fan character creation. Some of the more daring of the fans try to edit the image which can either be okayish but normally looks horribly bad for one reason or another. :-/
And even if they don't just recolour an existing image its personelity that fails!
The term "Mary-Sue" or "Gary-Stu" (or whatever the male version is called) crops up in many forms. Their the perfect character and every fandom has a vast library of fanfiction of such characters. No depth to personelity, an object of love for the offical characters, a tradic background with no sense of direction for their future... Every little thing to make them annoying or 2D is there. And there are ARMIES of them, some fanficiton writers write a whole cast. What most fans who avoid them call them are "avatars" to represent the author, since sites like Fanfiction.com banned self representations within the pages of a fanfiction.
Then there are the stories themselves, romance dominates the fanfic market especially when it comes to fanmades. Most of the stories barely follow on withthe storyline of the series and then there are those that do but simply rewrite a storyline with their character in it.
Next, theres the fan's use, reaction and placement around the net. Every image has to have their character in it. They ask for fanart, they often beg others to love their character and/or get emotional when you call them out on their bad design. I once got banned from a site years ago (8 or so I think) because I gave a detailed response to why a fanfiction fails because the fan cried to the admin that I was being "horrible" when I only gave some productive crit. But she had 12+ responses telling her how good the fanfiction was... I just wanted to help stop folks like me throwing up at reading bad writing. Still at least it avoided subjects like rape of underaged minors like that yaoi fanfic did, *shudders*, so I won't completely discredit her.
At the end of the day, if you must write a fanfictional character, try to make them more unique and don't rewrite already established characters. I can see any number of such characters around the net that should be burnt at the stake but every so often I see one worth praising. Usually, its the one that slips through quietly because the owner thinks its not that good. What many fail to understand, is that I cannot love fan characters anymore because after over a decade of the internet... They are simply annoying.
And on Final Note
No I've never created an OOC (Own orginal character) like what I've described above, I never thought it was worth it afterall, theres a ton already on the net as it is. I did however write stories where the original characters were in different scenarios to their series and I was noted to pull it off well. But in contrast, because I didn't write how folks wanted to read stories (see this whole article to sum things up), they were never popular.
As Beholder-Sama once said, "Many fans didn't buy the last chapter of Beyblade, because they didn't want the characters to grow up".
There are two types of folks who actually study a series "Fans" and "Admirers" and both end up being called "Fans". Fans though try and learn their series while Admirers only love elements within the series. For a series like Naruto, the cute characters, ninjas, action are the 3 attractions for "Admirers" wherein a "fan" loves many elements within a story. A lot of "Fans" don't like "Admirers" because their usually a lot of hassle (13 year old brats are usually in this group), when you say to them "Ah but that character wouldn't do THAT" they argue they would. Because in their world, anything is an excuse for a set up of events, personelities mean nothing.
I wrote a story about a sexy vampire once... But I defined her "sexy".
She wasn't youthful looking or a "Sex-goddess", but her sexiness was in her charm and age. She was the kind of woman who dressed smoothly, avoiding revealing clothing yet was so well groom, her dress code was "perfection" and it so perfect that alone made her seem like a woman above all others. When she spoke she was firm and commanding, not soft or motherly. If she walked into a room, the men stood up and went to splash water on their faces, and staring into her eyes was like staring into death in a dress and lipstick. When she walk, it was a stright walk, no tilting or waving, as if nature dared to ruin her perfection. But she seemed to know what you were going to do and say before you spoke the words, as if she could see into the future and she used this was turn the various mental switches on and off inside a person's mind based on experience alone. If you tried to talk love, she would switch off a switch and change the subject, then without warning when she trapped you in a conversation switched it back on catching you off guard.
It was hard to write her and avoid the slutty sterotype and it WAS fanfiction. She was the very last character I created for a fanfiction and despite all my build up, she was merely a character that lasted 1 chapter. I didn't want to let her hang about and become more then what she was intended, least I fall prey to the fanfiction writer's sins.