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Furry Art

Lofty Goals

Another creative person we came across at Midwest FurFest: Foxfeather R. Zenkova is a multi-talented artist and crafter from the American Midwest. “I have an enduring love of all things feathered, furred, and scaled. I feel a particularly strong connection to birds of all kinds (especially vultures, corvids, and owls). As a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and conservation educator, animals are a huge part of my life; I hope to help share this connection, respect, and awe through my artwork. My art business, Foxloft Studios, fully supports my volunteer work helping creatures in need.” At their web site you can see their art prints, shirts, dolls, and even animal-themed jewelry they create to that effort.

image c. 2023 by Foxfeather R. Zenkova

Original Art and Original Creatures

More cool people we met at Lightbox this year! Amber Aki Huang is a character designer employed at Dreamworks Animation. According to her web site, “Aki mainly works in Character Design and Visual Development for Pre-Development and Production for feature film and TV. However, Aki has also been known to design for toys.” To that latter end, she has her own brand, Deercat & Friends. It features both art and plushies of two of her original species, the deercat and the snoo, plus more general (often furry!) artwork for sale.

image c. 2023 by Amber Aki Huang

All The Pretty Little Furry Things

Karen Alleluia is a book illustrator and character designer. She says this at her web site: “I am a Filipina-American freelance illustrator who creates charming art that inspires learning and shares messages of positivity. I began my career by having fun with my two chihuahuas, Bandit and Fatboy, and after a year of drawing their funny and relatable adventures, my obsession for storytelling inevitably grew beyond my home setting.” To that end she has created an extensive collection of pins, stickers, charms, plushies, and other original crafts featuring a variety of cute funny animals. Spend some time there.

image c. 2023 by Karen Alleluia

Art Is Not Dead

Another artist we met at Lightbox Expo was Megan Brain — yes that’s her name. Her specialty is an unusual one: Cut and folded paper sculptures. Sounds simple enough, but wait until you see what she does with it! She has been creating amazing and unique works for customers big and small for a while now. And more recently she’s been recreating some of her paper works as collectible pins too.

image c. 2023 by Megan Brain

All the Pretty Animals

This weekend we made a quick stop by the Lightbox Expo, an annual animation industry trade-show in Pasadena, California. Lots and lots of artists showing off their talents there, and lots of animation studios looking for help. Among the former was an artist all the way from France named Julie Mellan. Her specialty is traditional “funny animals” drawn in a very sweet style and colored in traditional inks and watercolors. (She even created the cover for the book The Last Rabbit by Shelley Moore Thomas, which we’ve reviewed here before.) You can see a lot of Ms. Mellan’s work at her web site — or, you can pick up her book Instants — The Art of Julie Mellan, and hold the art in your own two paws!

image c. 2023 by Julie Mellan

Gotta See ’em All

We came across an article at The Nerdist about the artist Joshua Dunlop. He’s been working on a project he calls Pokemon Zoology, trying to create realistic portrayals of what various well-known pokemon might look like out here in this world. To that end he’s set up a Kickstarter campaign — which has already surpassed its goal, even though it’s running through the end of this month. “My name is Joshua Dunlop; I’m a Senior Freelance Concept Artist from the UK. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some amazing companies such as Disney and Netflix, and I’ve had amazing success over the last 7 years with my personal project, Pokemon Zoology! And now I’m thrilled to present this unofficial collection of 151 realistic digital concept art pieces depicting the iconic original Pokemon from Generation 1.” Looks like it’ll be available in hardcover real soon.

image c. 2023 by Joshua Dunlop

Every Planet Has One

Chloe is an artist and crafts-maker that we met in the U.K. They sell their interesting wares around the world under the name of Pin & Tonic. [Oh we love it!] That includes not just an ever-expanding line of custom enamel pins (obviously), but also pin-displaying bags and a new line of t-shirts and wind-breakers. “Run by the artist, Pin and Tonic was started to bring fun, colourful, quirky and sparkly designs to life. Each illustration is thoughtfully produced with love and care in the hope you will adore it.” All available on their web site.

image c. 2023 Pin & Tonic

Around the World, Around the World

Joe Strike is back with his second book exploring the world of Furry Fandom — after the award-winning Furry Nation, this one is appropriately called Furry Planet. “Furs are the creative subculture of people who identify with animals. You can find them at furry conventions, furfests, around the world—tens of thousands of people donning their most elaborate fursuit. In costume, at conventions, with friends or alone, furries unleash the animal within, letting their inner beasts roar and their inner cats purr, aware of the power—and joy—to be found in bringing forward one’s animal side and encouraging others to do the same. In Furry Planet, long-time furry Joe Strike dives deep into this compelling subculture to share its appeal and rewards. Strike and a wealth of interviewees trace the history of the subculture and its various iterations today, in the process covering conventions, media, art, storytelling, community resources, costume creation, and advice for newcomers, and addressing stigmas and misconceptions head on.” Look for it coming soon from Apollo Publishers.

image c. 2023 Apollo Publishers

Books and More

Another artist we met at ConFuzzled: Johanna Tarkela. From her personal web site: “I am a Finnish-born, currently UK based digital artist who specialises in realism and creating visually believable, atmospheric paintings in Photoshop… I am heavily influenced by the natural world around us, both the creatures and environments – there’s something about all the different textures especially on animals that keeps me hooked and feeds my attention to detail.” In addition to free-standing illustrations and prints, her works have been used by book publishers like Harper Collins and for games like Zoo Tycoon.

image c. 2023 by Johanna Tarkela