For the month of May, Wool Wolf Comics is featuring Ellen Natalie’s webcomic, “Furry Experience!” Furry Experience is a long-running comic about three roommates working toward their college degrees in Mormon country. The comic is a slice-of-life with drama and comedy. To celebrate the feature, Wool Wolf interviewed Ellen Natalie about her comic and her experiences with motivation and inspiration for creating comics.
"Some days I can't. Regularly producing art takes a lot out of you. Sometimes the world outside your art makes it impossible to have the presence of mind needed to create... I'm still figuring out what works, but one thing I know is that it always feels better to finish a project than to walk away from it."
1. Can you tell us a little about your comic "Furry Experience," its genre and themes?
Furry Experience follows three roommates and their everyday adventures, as they attend college in the heart of Utah Valley.
The series shifts perspective to each roommate and their friends - exploring how their personal beliefs affect navigating college, their animal quirks, and the unique conservative culture they're immersed in. Sometimes it's hilarious, other times it's tragic. But it's always an experience worth having.
2. What was your inspiration to create Furry Experience? Were you influenced by other comics or webcomics, or even experiences in your life?
I was in an artistic slump when my fiance introduced me to his favorite comics: "Better Days" and "Circles." I was fascinated by how having cartoon animals in a real-world setting made it easier to shift between comedic and dramatic story arcs. Experimenting with this storytelling idea was exactly what I needed to get out of my slump! I started creating my own cast of furry characters in a world based on where I grew up. The experimental pages got good reception when posted online, so I made more. Thus, the comic began!
3. How would you say Furry Experience has changed over time- from it's original inspiration to now?
Nearly everything has changed about FE since it's beginning. The comic started as an experiment, anything I wanted to try I would test in FE. Go through the archive and you'll find a variety of art styles, page sizes, and updating schedules. However, the biggest change that affected the comic was when it started being printed - something I didn't believe would happen when the comic was an experiment. Knowing these pages will go to print someday now affects how I plan every level of their creation.
4. How do you stay inspired and motivated to keep creating your webcomic?
Some days I can't. Regularly producing art takes a lot out of you. Sometimes the world outside your art makes it impossible to have the presence of mind needed to create. This is actually something I'm struggling with right now. And like when FE began, I've been testing different methods to take care of myself and keep the comic updating. I'm still figuring out what works, but one thing I know is that it always feels better to finish a project than to walk away from it. When I struggle with motivation, I can start getting it back by reminding myself Furry Experience is a project I want to see completed.
5. What advice do you have for anybody out there interested in creating a webcomic, or even just getting involved in the webcomic community?
To do it!
No matter what your story is, you'll find an audience. No matter what your skill level is, it will improve as you continue updating. If there's a tool you don't know how to use, someone else has already used it and posted a tutorial.
There is no reason to put it off.
You are good enough to start.
We can't wait to see what you create.
Wool Wolf comics thanks Ellen Natalie for her participation in this interview!