An Artist’s Story: Ziggy Starpup

Today on Artist’s story we are excited to be talking to Ziggy Starpup. An artist that works in both furry, and non furry art. Ziggy, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’ve been an artist for my whole life. I’ve always been fascinated with anthropomorphic animals, as well as monsters– because of this, the furry fandom had massive appeal to me. Around age 11 I began sharing my art and getting to know people in the safe for work side of the online furry community. I found home with these people, a way to express myself without fear or judgement. At school people would always talk about furries like freaks, and after finding genuine joy in the furry community, I wanted to show people that the community is full of vibrant and friendly people. As a person questioning my own gender and sexuality, the furry community became the safest place for me to be myself– exploring different ways of expressing myself through characters, talking to people who wouldn’t judge me for such things, it really became a big part of my life. I started taking commissions at age 12, giving me valuable experience handling money and doing business which most people would never be exposed to at such an early age.

Once I reached age 18, I gained more interest in the adult side of the community. I started drawing NSFW art of my own characters, and before long, taking NSFW commissions as well. The furry community has proven to almost always be full of people who are supportive and generous, and I’ve had a wonderful time working with the people I’ve done commissions for. I always keep an open mind– as long as a kink doesn’t hurt anyone I will draw it, which I think has really helped to grow the user base I can reach.

For my furry art, I work almost exclusively with a wacom tablet and clip studio paint, an illustration program. Outside of my furry art I’ve explored many mediums– sketching, ink work, painting, muralism, and printmaking– even glassblowing.

I’m going to be attending art school next year, at either the Savannah College of Art and Design or the Rhode Island School of Design. Though I have two separate art lives, my personal more “fine art” style and my furry art I share online, I must say that I remain committed to the furry community, who helped me through so many feelings of being outcast.

Q: Here at Carnal Chameleon we like to drive into the hard hitting questions right off the bat… What is your favorite dessert?

My favorite dessert… If I have to choose, I think I’d go with cheesecake! Ice cream is a very close second, though!

Q: In your story you mention that you started sharing anthropomorphic (Furry) artwork at age 11. How did you come across the furry fandom?

I came across the furry fandom when I found a “My Strange Addiction” episode online about fursuiting, when I was age 10. I thought it seemed incredibly fun, and terribly unfair that the makers of the show were describing such a hobby as strange, even creepy. I started to look more into the furry community and found myself really enjoying everything I found there! I made my first fursuit at age 11, and wore it out in public for the first time on my 12th birthday. As someone who was very shy, I found it incredibly liberating to be behind a mask and expressing myself as a character.

Q: Lilly and I know exactly how you feel, it’s hard to explain to others how exciting fursuiting can be. What was your first fursuit?

My first fursuit was my fursona at the time, an arctic fox.

Q: What sort of things were you drawing in the beginning? How has your artwork evolved since then?

In the beginning, my art that I shared was mainly very shaky mouse drawings with my computer’s pre-installed program, Appleworks. I was drawing fanart of my favorite things (at the time, Danny Phantom, Sonic, and Invader Zim) and a LOT of gift art for my new friends! A little later, around age 12, I started to get more into character design, and joined Furaffinity as soon as I could. I was exposed to some art that I probably shouldn’t have been at such a young age– nothing blatantly NSFW, things that looked innocent enough to me at the time, but were actually kink content. Among these were paw licking, tickling, vore, and macro/micro. Since this was what I was seeing, I started drawing it as well. Around age 14 I figured out that those things actually had a sexual connotation– I continued including them in my art, though, because they were things that I enjoyed drawing and I figured, as long as it’s not porn what’s wrong with it? So oddly enough, I’ve been doing fetish art technically since an early age. I got a wacom tablet around age 13 and from there my drawing really improved. Commissions started to come in around that time, and from then on it’s been pretty much the same routine 🙂 My art has of course improved, and after turning 18 I’ve been able to actually create adult content, which has widened my audience quite a bit.

Q: What are some of the interesting kinks you have drawn? Any favorites?

I would say that the list of kinks I want to draw is definitely bigger than the list of ones I have drawn! I haven’t actually been in the business of adult art for a long time, so I don’t have a large amount of content. But I’ve done macro/micro, vore, paw/tickle stuff (none of that recently, though– seems like interest has gone down in that department), hyper, scat, and of course bondage and other BDSM activities. My biggest to-do is plushophilia– I’ve seen lots of anthro plush characters popping up, and I just adore the idea. I definitely enjoy doing vore, because that’s an interest I share, but I think my favorite part is just getting to try new and interesting things that I never would’ve drawn out of my own interest. Some of the kinks I’ve drawn are things I could never even consider being into in real life, but I still find it enjoyable to explore new areas. And there are so many artists who turn down people with fetishes like scat, and it makes me kinda sad– people can’t help what they’re into, so I don’t want to limit the kinds of audiences my work has! My one hard no is cub porn, I could never draw content like that in good conscience.

Q: Plushophilia is fun and growing trend we have seen as well. There are also some great makers/modders out there for plush-sex toys, have you looked into any?

I’ve definitely looked at them! I think they’re really interesting and I’d like to have one one day, but every time I have money to spend on sex toys I end up buying more Bad Dragon toys instead, haha! I also think the inflatable ones are pretty interesting. I’m not sure if they’d be my thing but they’re definitely cool and I’d love to explore one in person one day.

Q: When you originally reached out to us, you mentioned that you have two separate lives, your non-furry “fine-art” and your online furry art. This is something Lilly and I are very familiar with. Our hope is that our NSFW lives grow so big that we’ll have no need to hide behind a vanilla facade. Do you hope for something similar?

I definitely have the same hope! The NSFW side of my life is such a big and interesting part of who I am, I find it a shame having to hide it in my everyday life. The USA in particular is so hung up on “sexuality is bad”, that even in relatively sex-positive areas, the diversity and depth in the kinky community is just dismissed as “weird” and “gross”. I think it’s a shame. Once I finish college I plan on seeking work in sex shops, fantasy toy manufacturers like Bad Dragon or Primal Hardwere, or something similar– I just don’t want to live my whole life hiding such a big part of my identity from the world. My hope is not only to live my life true to that part of myself, but also to help to normalize sex-positivity and spread quality sex-education.

Q: Those are some goals we can get behind! So you’re clearly a talented artist, and we know that you are sex-positive and open minded. What are some of your non-artistic, non-sexual hobbies?

I have a great love for animals, so I spend a lot of time with them– my day job is at a doggy daycare, and I’ve taken some veterinary training courses in the past. I’m also very passionate about circus arts– I saw my first circus when I was 12 and have been absolutely enthralled with it ever since. I do aerial arts and contact juggling, and once I move out of where I live (where there are sadly no circus opportunities), I plan to expand my performing abilities! I also do some pole dance, which is connected to both the circus arts and my more sexual side. I’m a bit of a drag queen, though I present myself as a genderqueer person, somewhere in-between a drag king and a drag queen. I also collect vinyl records, and one of my biggest interests is David Bowie as an artist and musician, so I have a pretty big collection of his content as well.

Q: Lilly would love to talk with you more about pole dancing, it’s her passion. Personally I’m happy to see the juggling and circus arts as I’m a fellow juggler and unicyclist. I take it you perform in drag? Tell us about your performance.

That’s awesome! I love pole but I’m not super good at it just yet. Similarly to circus arts, there are very few classes in my area so I haven’t had much opportunity to learn other than through online tutorials. But once I move, I definitely want to join a studio where they have pole classes! It’s funny, I’ve never been able to get the hang of normal juggling, I’m a contact juggler myself 🙂 It’s such a satisfying tactile experience as well as looking really cool.

And yes, I perform in drag, to some extent. My drag character is very genderfluid– I wouldn’t call myself a drag queen, but I’m also definitely not a drag king. I enjoy just existing as a genderqueer character– I draw my greatest inspirations from David Bowie, especially his Ziggy era, so that’s definitely the strongest influence you’ll see in my shows. I also perform to primarily Bowie songs– in a way, my drag persona is a tribute, but I’ve drawn on enough of my personal style to also make it my own.

Thank you Ziggy for sharing your story with us! We look-forward to seeing more of your art in the future! Be sure to check out Ziggy on their fur-affinity account . As of this writing they are open for commission so hit them up!

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