I’ve loved Sailor Moon since I was in elementary school. For many years, I wanted to make my own Sailor Moon doujinshi after seeing the work of Japanese fans who drew and published their own stories. However, I had never really been completely comfortable displaying my art publicly. I don’t have any formal art training beyond two summer art classes at my local community college, so when I look at works by trained, more advanced artists I feel like my work is comparatively unworthy of being shown.
Although my confidence in my art skills has improved over the years, my passion for Sailor Moon waned during college. By now I knew I’m the type of person who would only finish something if I can maintain a passion for it, and I didn’t want to start something I might not be able to finish *cough my Blue Rose Renaissance fanfic* >_>
Then around February of last year Kodansha started releasing the Dream Arc of the Sailor Moon manga. This has always been my favorite arc, and I bought the re-release for nostalgia’s sake, as well as to see what changes had been made in the new edition. Somewhat to my surprise, going through the re-release kindled my love for Sailor Moon. After seeing a few high school AU fanart of Helios and Chibi Usa on Pixiv, I started developing ideas for a plot where Helios and Chibi Usa meet in the 30th century as students. I drew a fanart for it, thinking if I put it down on paper I can get the idea out of my head and move on. But after I posted it on Tumblr, I was surprised by the enthusiastic response I got.
A part of me was still hesitant that the story will be clichéd, the art will be amateurish, I will give up less than half way through, and it would be a poor work that I will regret making years later. But thinking about it some more, while these things may still come to pass I realized the bigger regret would be that I never attempted it at all. The doujinshi will have its flaws, but I wanted to make something that my 14 years old self would happily read.
So, I guess my TL;DR answer is in short: I was inspired by other artists’ work, and I was inspired to not regret never trying. :)