Amalgamating his long-standing passion for footwear with the stunning beauty of Mother Nature, Filfury’s illustrative work is scattered with social commentary and abstract metaphors. Backed by his enchanting sense of ‘what-if?’, he meticulously crafts his ‘sculptural’ creations using bits and pieces sliced and diced from iconic sneaks. Welcome to the world of British artist Filfury, where the soles become one with the soul and a cease and desist is never too far away!
Hey Phil, what sneakers are on your feet right now?
The latest drop of OG Nike Cortez Nylon. Love the shape on them – makes a change for me too. I am usually a heavy Air Max wearer but I gave my son the middle name Cortez. True story.
What was the moment of inspiration that set this whole style of sneaker art off for you?
I think it was around the time my first son was born a couple of years ago. I was worried that having responsibilities would restrict my sneaker copping. I started thinking how could I still get my fix. I’m a graphic designer by trade so it was natural to start playing with the objects around me as art.
Have you ever had a concept that just couldn’t be pulled off? What was it?
Birds. I’ve tried a couple of times. Too much detail to pull off how I want, digitally at least anyhow. Physical sculpture would be the way.
Who do you admire creatively and why?
Well not necessarily other graphic artists. I love music, so feeling what Skepta is doing creatively and how he is reminding me of my ‘council estate of mind’ youth. I love anything that reminds me of my 90s youth, so British photographer Ewen Spencer is a great reference for that too. His images take me right back. That’s where I love to have my headspace when being creative myself, at home, in my carefree days. Music, trainers, birds and the lads.
Has anyone asked for your designs to be physically recreated? Although incredibly difficult, it does seem it would be possible with a couple of your pieces?
I’m on it. It is just taking a lot longer than how I work digitally! I’ve had some fun cutting up elements previously to photograph parts I needed. The next phase of my art is to definitely make things bigger and realer.
What’s the story behind the banned Air Max Uzi?
I can’t say. It’s BANNED. Cease and desist… (cough). Funny story though, as it did lead to official colabs with Nike Basketball. Funny old world it is.
How do you protect yourself from being ripped?
Just do your thing. You can’t protect an image, but everyone knows what’s sincere and the real deal. I just gotta do me, no one can mimic that. It did bother me at the start, as you are trying to do something unique and then you see some blatant rip-offs, but I’ve learnt it’s all about being positive, no hate here. Good luck to them.
Any advice to the young bloods coming up?
My only advice to anyone being creative would be to keep active. Make sure you find time to have fun doing what you enjoy, pretty simple really. Do it for the love and if you love it enough it will bring you success. If success equals doing what you love!
What else are you working on?
Loads. Directing commercials is kinda the day job so that keeps me busy. I also have a children’s brand I recently launched called sleepymonsters.com and then more filfury.com artwork. Bigger, more bonkers ideas. Watch out for these real sculptures though!