PHILLIP WOLF (@silly_phillip)
Welcome and thank you for interviewing with us! Who are you and what do you do? Describe yourself in a few sentences.
Hello, my name is Phillip! I'm a 26 year old from the Netherlands currently studying law at university and with a small job for income. In my spare time I draw, game with friends, and like to both watch and play sports, preferably handball. Characteristically I'm usually a quiet person who opens up more and more over time, although I think my introversion is getting much better as I meet new people!
So what art do you create and when did you start?
I usually draw semi-realistically and traditionally - portraits and fullbodies - and while I don't have much experience with digital medias, I'm willing to learn! As for when I started, If I remember correctly I began drawing/creating art back in 2012 when I was inspired by drawing tutorials and later by oomizuao (Elise M. Syvertsen) on dA. At the time I believe she was working on her story named 'Spike'.
What would you say drives you to do art? To sit down in a moment and be creative?
Most of my inspiration comes from music. Sometimes it's just the title, and sometimes it's the lyrics. Then, some idea about the title or subject gets stuck in my head and wants to come out onto paper. Sometimes real life events make me sit down and get creative as well!
Are there any other artists that specifically inspired you?
I've only really gotten inspiration from others for a few months, and that feeling of 'Yeah, I want to create something (at a little faster pace)' is definitely a good thing - like some kind of flame that has awaken in me, so to speak. Other than drawing, I tend to do a little writing. But I'm not sure as where the inspiration for writing comes from!
I mentioned oomizuao (or Elise M. Syvertsen, if you will) before, and all I can say is that her art dragged me into drawing anthro characters! After that I got discouraged by other people's artworks a bit, feeling as though it were better than mine, but this also helped me learn by analyzing how to draw better in another way, after time. After joining Kiko's (@KikonineArt) Discord server in June, I feel like I got an inspirational kickstart again after some years of not being really creative, and it's via the server that I met others who inspire me - additionally Doppelfoxx's Jakkie and Gabe!
Let's get to asking about the fandom! When did you first hear about furry? And, secondly, what made you have that moment of identifying with the fandom?
I was around the age 14-16 when I read about the term furry, if I remember correctly. I believe it was basically wandering around on dA, before I eventually looked up what the it meant on Wikipedia. After that, I think I had already made some steps of identifying with the fandom before I actually did - creating a fursona at the age of 21, joining FA in 2019, and surrounding myself with fandom content since then. In this way, and strengthening my identity as a furry, I think the COVID pandemic has had a positive outcome for me - I've come to full terms with myself being a furry, and truly begun to enjoy the community!
How would you describe the fandom? How does it make you feel?
It's hard to describe the fandom as a whole, because it has so much to offer. But to give it a try, I'd say the furry fandom is a fandom where people with the interest for anthropomorphic characters meet and stimulate each other to be creative with their creativity. What defines the fandom is quite broad, and like all online spaces it has it's darker, argumentative sides, too, but furries in general are very accepting, loving people. More so than normal people, really.
In this way, the fandom makes me feel welcomed and appreciated with the littlest of gestures/things. I've met new friends, and I think the inspirational power of popular personalities and artists in the fandom is brilliant; they stimulate others - especially younger generations - to be creative, which is very important especially nowadays, and more importantly to learn to be okay with themselves. I know there are a lot of people who are for example trans or gay and have found acceptance within the fandom of which they can't easily find elsewhere. That's something truly rare and I'm proud to be part of something that completes people so well!
What do you think about the phenomenon of fursonas, and the affect of fursonas and being a furry for one's own mental health and social development?
For me personally, it feels like a missing piece that's now fitting in the puzzle of what makes you up as a person. Bottom line, I'm more happy with myself while I'm actively being part of the fandom and having a fursona, and many others feel the same It helps make new friends through possessing these common aspects of ourselves, and people are more able to relaxedly communicate with each other when they probably couldn't have been so friendly with a complete stranger before. Certainly to the friends I've made, I'm more open than I actually have been.
Any messages you want to send to people who will read this, and anything you want to say about the community as a whole?
The furry fandom is a very welcoming community, the likes of which I feel like I should've stepped in earlier in my life. Most importantly, don't let others tell you that being yourself is invalid, and be happy with who you are (this sounds horribly cliché, but it's true. The only person controlling who you are is you.) And, most of all, thanks to Doppelfoxx for the opportunity!
Phillip is on Twitter as @silly_phillip, and on FurAffinity as enzovoort. Check out his work there!
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