Search F News...

The ‘Dream Tiger’ is Coming for You

A brief overview of the latest art challenge

By Arts & Culture, Featured, News

Have you heard of the “Dream Tiger?”

It’s an illustration of a tiger by Korean artist Govy, posted first to X, formerly known as Twitter:

Govey’s original tweet introducing their ‘Dream Tiger’

Govey said the haunting tiger came to them in a dream, hence the name “Dream Tiger.”

Govey, known as @theFireseal on X, stated that few of their other works feature such iconic and haunting qualities, instead focusing on detail, texture, and muted color palettes.

Despite these dissimilarities, the “Dream Tiger” quickly caught on as an art challenge. Hundreds of artists on X started redrawing the tiger:

Tiger by X user @BakaUnico

Tiger by X user @fruitblush

Tiger by X user @itsmeishmi

Tiger by X user @kyleculpart

Tiger by X user @monarobot

Tiger by X user @mossacannibalis

Tiger by X user @SUIamena

Tiger by X user @TobyFoxArt

Reposts of these X “Dream Tigers” and even more recreations of the tiger are running rampant on other sites, such as Instagram, Reddit, and Tumblr. Even people on TikTok are talking about it and recording speedpaints.

“Dream Tiger,” across multiple social media platforms, is a populated hashtag.

This trend isn’t the first of its kind; artists of 2020 will remember the Sailor Moon trend, where artists would redraw the same frame of Sailor Moon in their own styles with their own characters.

The artists call it fanart, a redraw, a drawing challenge, or even a tulpa, which is a sentient being created and residing in the mind. They say the “Dream Tiger” is a thing that must be drawn, that will haunt an artist. Something about the dreaminess, the way it stares, it draws them in until it is recaptured.

Additionally, artists are using the challenge as a place to try new things, like new textures or color palettes. They’re spinning it together with other fandoms like “Kung Fu Panda” or Mario. One of the highest posts in Tumblr’s “Dream Tiger” hashtag is a redraw of the tiger in animated pixel art. People make the tiger look scarier, more tied down, sketchier, isometric, or even completely reversed in aesthetic. They play on the Korean elements or they back off of them, creating something new entirely. There’s even a pride “Dream Tiger,” and “Dream Tigers” that aren’t tigers. The interpretations are limitless.

The “Dream Tiger,” now that it’s been depicted so many times, is a case in virality. It says something about how humans consume art, characters, concepts, and ideas. Why did the “Dream Tiger” go viral? Why do so many artists feel compelled to recreate it?

What is the nature of these kinds of trends? They aren’t quite memes, they aren’t quite challenges. Why do they go viral? Why this “Dream Tiger,” and why not any other character or illustration?

Ponder this as an artist, and ask yourself:

Which is your favorite “Dream Tiger?”

Alex Lee (BFA 2027; any and all pronouns) started writing for Fnewsmagazine in 2023. He mostly copyedits now, so watch out for her rare articles!
This user account status is Approved

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 × 2 =