Peganthyrus' Lair ...misc
[ 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 same.

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

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