Myenia-Art.com | WereWolf Calendar
~sarahfinnigan was one of the few Anthro artists I first stumbled across way back when. She has always proven herself over and over again that hard work, patience and skill can help you achieve anything. Its been such an honor to watch ~sarahfinnigan grow in her talents.
Thank you ~sarahfinnigan for allowing me to interview and feature your amazing work to the Anthro Community! So without further adue, I want to introduce you to the lovely and talented ~sarahfinnigan!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself! What first perked your interest in the Anthro community and Anthro art itself?
I'm a 25 year old hobby artist who's hoping to take it pro later this year. I have a degree in tuba performance and am currently working in the oil and gas industry.
I think some of the best things in life are those that come together at the same time from many angles. When I was getting ready for college, my parents posed that they wouldn't help with college unless I gave up MMORPGs. While coping with the sudden loss of what used to take up 8+ hours of my days, I hung around the game forums, and started using photoshop to make forum signatures. Soon I started drawing dragons from the game, which, looking back now, came out anthro when I drew them! A friend of mine found out I was drawing and introduced me to deviantart, where inevitably I had a few "Hi" shouts on my front page. I clicked on the first one to see why a stranger was saying hello, and his favorites were filled with the art of and Wolfnymph (). I was instantly in love with anthro art! Since then, I've converted those gaming hours into art hours.
As for the community...a few years after I started drawing, I went to my first furry convention, in hopes of making a little money. At the time I wasn't involved in the community and considered myself "anthro, not furry artist." I was wrong. I've met some of my best friends, have been introduced to a great community, and have been as involved as I can be since.
2. What is your favorite medium to work with? Why?
I do both traditional and digital because this changes! When I get sick of one, I get super-motivated to do the other. I prefer to work digitally with photoshop and traditionally with gouache. I find gouache to be the closest to digital methods, and I started as a digital artist. While most people think acrylics is more similar to digital...you can't "remove" acrylic layers with liquid frisket without poor side effects. Also, I've put more and more importance on color in the last few years, and gouache gives me more control with it.
3. What is your favorite piece from your gallery? Why?
This is hard to answer...I think every artist is influenced over time by the opinions of others, mostly through what sells best. You start to forget what you yourself like. I'll have to pick two...
4. I see that you are quiet involved with a great collaborative calendar you created (or help create?) called "The WereWolf Calendar"! Tell me, how did this start? Was it meant for the Anthro community specifically?
The initial idea was mine, but Zakka () helped further develop the idea and start it with me. Since then Balaa and I have co-managed it. It actually started without any great story...we wanted to create a werewolf-themed calendar, imitating wildlife photo calendars. So...that's what we did! We had some amazing artists really deliver beautifully the first year, which really enabled us to grow it from there. The initial year is the most important for any ongoing project. The calendar was meant for anybody who liked aesthetically-pleasing werewolves, whether furry fans, DA anthro fans, or otherwise.
5. Your art holds such amazing detail and unique portraits. Where do you get the inspiration for most of your work? Do you listen to any music? If so, can you recommend some great tunes?
Not all artists are inspired by music! I have a music degree, and listening often is more distracting than anything. If I listen to anything, its movies I've already seen, but what motivates me is other art, and great stories. While I am much more active on Furaffinity.com, DA is where I go for inspiration...it is very important to be inspired by non-anthro artists! Some of my biggest current inspirations are: , , :iconreal-sonks:, and . These of course change with time, but I'm currently on a color and background kick, and they're amazing artists.
6. Being an artist we always find ourselves improving and growing from our old works. What is your least favorite piece in your gallery? Have you learned a lot sense this piece artistic wise?
There are plenty of things I disliked from the moment I did them, and even one thing that I dislike simply because I'm bitter about it. For the sake of giving a good answer, I'll name my least favorite piece that I liked once.
The Green Sea
This is a fairly recent image, and the background came from a really beautiful place I saw once. I wanted to bring it to life so others could see it...and then I ruined it by feeling obligated to stick a boring, motionless character in the foreground. He clashes, looks unnatural, and distracts from the utterly treeless scene around him. I could simply remove him, but I feel "window" paintings are boring, and putting a character in it can help the viewer feel placed in the world. When he's not in there, it feels like he's supposed to be.
I learned that I should plan my art better than that.
7. Being an Anthro artists what do you find to be personally challenging about the medium?
What's so challenging about it is the sheer variety of it. Look at anime or cartoons for example...or around DA. If somebody isn't an animal or anthro artist, the animals they do look AWFUL, especially in the face. It takes a ton (months of actual-hours, I'd say!) of study and practice just to get one animal solid, and there's countless. A lot of people cope with it by only specializing in one or a few species. Others choose to use "templates," where their canines all look like wolves, their felines are all built on the same face, etc. I suffer a bit from the former, though to be fair, once you gain an audience for a certain thing, you will have a hard time justifying creating something that doesn't sell to that audience. Its a constant struggle...I'm writing a graphic novel now with a hyena main character, and while I've done many hyenas, I still can't do their faces consistently accurately without reference. I don't suspect I will feel comfortable with them for a long time either.
8. How long have you had a passion for Anthro art? Was there someone who inspired you? A group of people?
Since I started drawing, in 2005. I started drawing dragons with human arms and torsos before being aware of anthro art, and then I was introduced to Deviantart and immediately found Wolfnymph () and .
9. Is there anything that you are working on, project wise / art wise, that you want to share with the community?
There are many projects I have that will be announced soon, but unfortunately announcements are best made with visual assistance, like ART! I have two graphic novels I'm working on in 2012...one is collaborative and the first volume is already published and for sale at most conventions, the other is all me and is fantasy themed. We're into our 6th year this year with the Werewolf Calendar, and we'll be publishing a Werewolf coffee table book this year for those who missed any of the first 5 years or just want a book full of werewolf art.
10.Do you have any advice to offer future / current / aspiring Anthro artists?
Sure! Art is nothing different from anything else in life.
It takes hard work and serious hours.I attribute my progress to the sheer amount of time I've put into art. If you find yourself just sitting watching TV, browsing facebook, or ever bored, and you're an aspiring artist, you're doing it wrong.
It takes studying and planning. You have to study the world around you, photos, art, and writing. Never forget that art should tell a story (I'm a bit of a hypocrite on that one)! You have to plan approaches, from collecting references and doing black and white studies to playing with composition and color options. You have to be able to identify what you need to work on and identify how to do it. You have to be your own teacher!
If you want to do more than dabble, you're probably thinking about taking commissions or doing work. It takes professionalism and entrepreneurship. You have to be able to treat any work you get (whether $1 or $10,000) like its a job. Learn how to communicate, talk calmly and professionally, and how to strategize your time. Unfortunately in this community a large percentage of people have the skills but not the professionalism, and they ruin it for the rest of us and end up either burning out or getting chased away by angry fans.