[ Later note: reading over this makes it sound like I think I'm the
greatest thing since sliced bread, which I don't. This started with me
contemplating why a very large percentage of the people who've noticed
and love my furry art are artists, not average fanboys. ]
Okay. I may as well admit it, and puff my ego up a little.
I seem to be viewed with no small amount of awe by lots of the folks who
draw furry art. Well-known long-standing furry artists have been known to
go into full drooling fanboy mode in my presence.
This tends to make me rather uncomfortable, even as it strokes my
undersized ego - I'm intimately familiar with what's wrong with
my art, what I need to work on solving, and think about that much more
than what's right about it - that's just an oh-too-slowly growing
list of problems I've learnt how to solve.
Nevertheless, I seem to be one of the most distinctive artists working in
this weird little subgenre.
Why? Because my influences come from outside of it. I was never a fan of
Steve Gallacii. Nor of Michele Light. Or Ken Sample. Or any of the other
artists whose (largely anime-influenced) styles form the underlying bedrock
of styles in furfandom. Likewise, although I enjoyed Tiny Toons in my
adolescence, I never felt compelled to draw them myself, or to attempt to
integrate that into my stylistic palette.
I think this is a large part of why furry artists love my rare work: it's
different. I'm influenced by a much more graphic and stylistically
diverse crew than most: Windsor McCay. Brian Froud. Mike Mignola. Matt
Howarth. Edward Gorey. Walt Kelly. Ralph Steadman. Phil Foglio. A touch of
the old 1920's Felix/Fleischer look. Roger Dean. My former room-mate has called
my art 'European' in flavor, mostly because it's neither influenced by
mainstream American comics and cartoons nor by Japanese stuff. (I
loathe most anime and manga. Melodramatic, three frames per second,
samey garbage. Another way I'm different from the furry crowd: most seem to
adore the Japanese cartoon style, and try to appropriate it.)
Why? Because I'm willing to experiment, to take risks, to try new things. A
look at the images on this site, on Velar, or even moreso through my
sketchbook (should you be one of the priveleged few I'll reveal myself to
iRL) shows me happily stealing looks from artists I like, filing the serial
numbers off, and finding a way to plug that into my palette of syles; I
haven't settled into one comfortable rut of a style. I don't so much even
have a style as a range of styles. Some things carry through
all of them - my instinctive, and learned, feel for lively, active poses
and expressions, mostly - but I don't use the same hammer to pound every
idea home, like so do. I actually do research, too - that's why, for
instance, my raccoons are so distinct from most, because I spent some time
at the zoo drawing them from life, and letting the shapes of their markings
filter through my style, instead of stealing someone's fourth-hand variant
on a domino mask.
Why? Because, unlike many furries with my skills and training, I do furry
art for myself, not for the fans. When I do erotica, it's designed
only to titilate myself, or certain special people, not some perception of
the furry art consumer, and never goes out to the public. I know enough
folks who easily pay their way to a con on spooge to know that I could
likely do the same, but that the hassles involved really aren't worth it.
My soul is my own. A lot of those who draw for the fans don't feel the
Experiment more, people. Lift your noses from each others' bottoms: there's
whole worlds of design out there to appropriate. Read. Think. Look. Feel.
-jul 26 1999