In a short time, the furry community has gone from being an obscure subculture to a mainstream phenomenon. Whether it’s the viral trend of dressing up like your favorite cartoon character or the fact that celebrities now support it by wearing fur on the red carpet, people are passionate about the subject matter and the design styles of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
The interest in MLP is certainly not new, as there have been several pieces of media inspired by the characters for years. However, with the recent trend of people identifying as “furry,” the fandom has experienced a surge in popularity, and now, many celebrities are identifying with the fandom as well.
The internet has made it easier for people to find like-minded individuals, and as a result, many well-known entertainers, artists, and writers have jumped on board the “furry” train. Here are ten of the best known “furry” artists and writers.
10. Mark Walton
Mark Walton is a British writer and illustrator whose work focuses mostly on fantasy and science fiction. He began drawing and painting ponies at the age of five and has since developed a unique style that merges Western and Japanese influences. On his blog, Mark shares an insight on the inspiration behind his art and how he came to be a professional artist.
Mark has stated that when he was younger, he always had an affinity for drawing animals and that his experience as a professional artist gave him the inspiration to further explore this subject matter.
9. Marceline Atwood
Marceline Atwood is a Canadian artist and illustrator whose style is often compared to that of Joan of Arc. She began her professional career at the age of fifteen and, since then, has worked on many popular pieces of fan art and illustrations. She primarily draws historical scenes and characters, often incorporating elements of Steampunk into her work. On her website, Marceline shares a little bit about her history as an artist and how she came to be interested in the subject matter of royalty and nobility.
Marceline has stated that she became interested in historical fiction after exploring several historical figures and events during her secondary school years. Her familiarity with the subject matter and the desire to learn more about it led her to the creation of her website, where she shares various resources and articles on the topic.
8. Spike Spiegel
Spike Spiegel is a New Yorker whose artwork often incorporates his interest in literature, music, and video games. On his blog, he talks about his process of creating art as well as the inspiration behind his various pieces, whether it’s video games or movies. Sometimes he even covers the cost of the art supplies himself! As you might imagine, Spike takes his art very seriously and often works on several pieces at one time.
Spike has stated on his blog that he became interested in the furry fandom after being turned on to it by a Twitter friend who is a furry. His Twitter account is a goldmine of information on the subject, and his followers enjoy following his informative updates on animal-related subjects. For example, he recently tweeted about the dangers of horse meat and how it is processed differently than other types of meat. This is in line with his mission to educate his followers about animal rights issues.
7. Michael DeLucca
Michael DeLucca is an American illustrator and cartoonist whose style often incorporates his childhood love of comic strips and cartoons. He grew up watching Tom and Jerry and other classic cartoons and credits the style to the “sense of adventure and excitement” they portrayed.
On his blog, Michael discusses the inspiration for the various drawings and cartoons he shares as well as his professional and personal experiences as an artist. He also posts memes and other fun items related to the fandom.
6. Brian Sella
Brian Sella is a Canadian artist whose work is often inspired by classic Hollywood films. His style is often compared to that of artist Ray Harryhausen, and for good reason. Like Harryhausen, Sella uses a variety of special effects in his drawings, including stop-motion animation! He also creates many of the creature designs himself, using his own personal photography as a reference. His work often takes a while to complete, as he has stated that he works on a project for about two to three months before posting a new piece.
On his blog, Brian discusses his history as an artist and how he developed his unique style. He credits his early love of art to his grandmother, who took him to see movies like King Kong and The Mummy, which served as an inspiration for his artwork. Later on, he was particularly inspired by the works of Harryhausen and the stop-motion animators of the 1930s and ‘40s.
5. Felicia Day
Felicia Day is a Canadian actress, producer, and voice artist behind the popular Day[ß]Night Twitter account. She is known for her comedic roles and has appeared in movies like Knocked Up, Role Models, and Hot Rod.
In addition to her work in film, Day[ß]Night is also an essential source of information for anyone interested in the furry fandom. On her website, she describes herself as a “fur enthusiast,” and in 2014, became the host of FurTV, a television show about the fandom. Since then, she has continued to spread awareness about the fandom through her work. Most recently, she starred in and produced a comedy special about the fandom for Netflix.
4. Keith Haring
Keith Haring is a cartoonist and graphic designer whose work often focuses on celebrities and other high profile individuals. His style is often compared to that of M.C. Escher, and he has said that he strives to make each of his pieces “definitive and unique.”
On his blog, Keith discusses the process of creating his work and the inspiration behind each piece. He has also stated that he became interested in the subject matter after a teacher criticized one of his assignments and called it “low-quality.” This discouraged him from continuing with art, and it was then that he decided to pursue cartooning as a serious career option. Afterward, he decided to explore celebrities, as he found that they provided the inspiration that he needed to create something new and exciting.
3. Jack Kirby
Jack Kirby is an American comics legend whose creations include some of the most memorable characters in the history of the medium, such as Spiderman, The Hulk, and The Fantastic Four. Although he is most recognized as a comic book artist, Kirby was also a professional painter and illustrator who often drew from his own personal experience. He drew from his travels, spending much of his time in places like Italy and France, and incorporated elements of both Old and New World cultures into his work.
Kirby became interested in the furry fandom after being inspired by Walt Disney’s famous animated movie, Dumbo. The artist felt that the elephant’s unique appearance and large size made it a perfect subject for an image. His first piece, “Dumbo Draws,” was posted to his website in 1981, and it sparked an interest in the fandom that continues today.
2. Bill Willingham
Bill Willingham is the creator of the Beastie Boys series of books and many short stories that have appeared in various anthologies and magazines. He is also the author of the Darker Element books and several Sherlock Holmes novellas. On his website, he talks about his interest in the subject matter of Sherlock Holmes and also reveals that he is a lifelong fan of the character.
Willingham became interested in the character after reading several Sherlock Holmes stories as a child and deciding that he wanted to write a piece about the great detective. He began by contacting the BBC in England, seeking permission to adapt one of their Sherlock Holmes stories as a radio play. Unfortunately, the request was denied, but Willingham pressed on and eventually became the host of two radio programs that were devoted to Sherlock Holmes. He also began writing a column for a British newspaper, in which he explored various aspects of the analytical genius’ life and work.
Afterwards, Willingham created a blog where he discussed various topics related to Sherlock Holmes and the entire detective genre. This became the basis for a weekly column that he wrote for an online magazine, The Onion A.V. Club. In addition to writing, Willingham also began pursuing drawing as a hobby and eventually turned it into a professional career. His blog post announcing his transition into illustrating for a living can be found here.