Werewolves: Anthro or Not Anthro?
(Dedicated to all the anthro artists giving us their feedback)
Because, you know... It has always been a bit confusing how to sort the werewolves in the deviantART Gallery System: Some artists label them as anthropomorphic creatures and upload them in the Anthro Gallery, some others label them as fantastic creatures, then upload them in DigitalArt / Traditional Art > Fantasy. To try to clear this issue a bit, let's review the situation:
Werewolves & Anthropomorphic: Definitions:
- ...from Wikipedia:
Werewolves, also known as lycanthropes, are mythological or folkloric humans with the ability to shapeshift into wolves or wolf-like creatures, either purposely, being bitten by another werewolf or after being placed under a curse.
Anthro: a synonym for anthropomorphism in the furry fandom.
Anthropomorphism is the attribution of uniquely human characteristics and qualities to nonhuman beings, inanimate objects, or natural or supernatural phenomena (...)
Anthro Art and may be any fictional work that employs the concept of animal characters with human characteristics. For this reason, any work, in any medium, may be considered part of the anthropomorphic genre simply by inclusion of a fantastic animal character, although such characters are most often seen in comics, cartoons, animated films, allegorical novels, and video games. The science fiction and fantasy genres make frequent use of anthropomorphism, and as a result, are especially popular in furry fandom. Since the 1980s, the term furries has come to refer to anthropomorphic animal characters.
- ...from WikiFur:
Anthropomorphic is a word meaning "like a human." It is used to describe a well-known concept called anthropomorphism: ascribing human characteristics to a non-human being or object. (...) the word can apply to any non-human thing, including animals, plants, and inanimate objects.
Since the 1980s, the furry fandom has used the word to refer primarily to bipedal animals. Anthropomorphic animals are sometimes called anthro or morphic for short, and art featuring furry characters is sometimes called anthro art. This is somewhat ironic, as anthro ultimately derives from the Greek anthropos, a word that means "human being."
Werewolves have always been a grey area (Grey Area is a term for a border in-between two or more things that is ambiguously defined, a border that is hard to define or even impossible to define, or a definition where the distinction border tends to move). If, all in all, an Anthro Creature is (as it is in this case), an animal with human features, a werewolf would be just the opposite; A human with animal features (since it's an human cursed, getting animal abilities and skills). So that's why I never thought they were "properly" anthro art, but Fantastic Creatures (even mythological). However, I must recognize a picture featuring a werewolf is, for sure, looking just like an anthro wolf, so, that's the difficulty.
deviantART is a placed created by artists for artists We have always thought rules should be flexible, and the Community Relations team encourage the artists themselves, if not the whole community, to take part in these decisions and help us to sort these issues. That's why a couple of months ago I set a journal entry (getting more than 100 comments) and a poll (getting 531 votes and almost 200 comments), asking everybody for your feedback and opinions, so we could figure out how to set this as a rule to encourage.
We received all kind of suggestions, comments, ideas and opinions, and a lot of constructive feedback, so we can't quote everything here, but I will summarize it for you to get the main idea:
334 deviants said "Yes, werewolves are anthro"
152 deviants said "No, werewolves are not anthro"
45 deviants made another different comment.</b>
.Contradictions everywhere, most of the comments say "no", but most of the votes say "yes"...
And a few of the comments received .
xXShiranuiXx said: No. Just no. Anthro's are pretty much just drawings of people with fur, a tail and a deformed face. They walk upright, wear cloths, and talk about retarded stuff blah blah ect. Werewolves actually LOOK like wolves. they're able to stand upright a little bit, but not the extent anthro..things do. They don't(try) act like people ether, they just run around slaughtering everything until they go back to normal. Aside from limited bi-pedal movements there isn't anything anthro's and werewolves have in common.
OrientPaladin said: I usually classify them as Anthro because I go by White Wolf rules for werewolves. It's hard to tell a Crinos-form Werewolf from a plain Anthro-wolf anyway. Also...if we're going to split hair about Fantasy Vs. Anthro...Technically Anthros are fantasy, sine they don't really exist. They're only based off of real creatures. And even then, I see alot of Anthros that are unrealistic hybrids/mixes.
bah-zero99 said:I know it's a contradiction to the definition of anthro (Something with human features, not otherwise), but I find it easier to think of werewolves as anthropomorphic creatures rather than humans with animal features, and I think they should fit anthro even if they're supposed to be human for the same reason Catgirls, Dogboys, etc. don't fit in anthro, even if some are supposed to be "cats and dogs with human features". The wolfman, for that matter, wouldn't fit anthro at all either for the same reason, even if he's another kind of werewolf.
katerina said: I think they fit in both anthro and fantasy. They were the first Anthros weren't they? They just happen to be the kind that fit into the mythology of many cultures. I think that because there is such a great gray line there, that it's open for interpretation anyway.. so it might as well be the artist's interpretation that you go with. I dunno.. it's a really tough call to pick one or the other and that's when I just have a tendency to let the individuals decide
RedRodent said: I say the answer is generally no. Generally A werewolf is a fantasy creature which is created by some sort of supernatural means (drinking from water collected in a wolf's pawprint, certain rituals, or a simple bite or bloodletting injury from another werewolf). It all depends on what the artist *does* with the werewolf to make it anthro. I think we let the fantasy genre interweave with anthro a bit too freely. Sure, there are 'furries' or even plain anthro fans with were-creatures, but these are more intelligent animals. I say it depends on the situation.
savagebinn said: Considering wherewolves look pretty near identical to a lot of the other generic anthro wolve's you see around here, I wouldn't really complain if people uploaded them to the anthro gallery. Same crap with a different story behind it. I think it could go in either fantasy or anthro.
zarry said: I'm not sure if this pertains to the categories presented to us here on dA or not, but quite frankly I don't think the division between "Anthro" and "Fantasy" will ever be easy to determine. Afterall, a lot of creatures in fantasy art have anthropomorphic features (Such as a dragon that is bipedal, or has the ability to smile, etc.)
Nonayourbeeswax said: I don't think that Werewolves are an anthro race. But as far as anthro art goes, it depends on how much were (man) and how much wolf.
Think of it like this:
A picture of a man transforming in to a wolf (or vise-versa): I would put this under fantasy. It isn't a picture of a man or of a wolf, but rather something in between. It is also not a picture of a wolf with human traits thus, it is not anthro.
A picture of a werewolf with human traits: This would be anthro. Even though it is not a real animal, it still has human traits.
A picture of a wolf that the artist says is a werewolf: Either Animal or Fantasy. Depends on what else is happening in the picture.
And the wise reply came here:
Tygepc said: I've found the best way to handle "grey cases" is to look at them individually.
What it comes down to is perspective and the artist's intent. Are they drawing a mythical creature based on ancient lore or are they drawing something that possesses wolf-like qualities?
If the intent is to show a human transforming into a wolf then it should be mythical. If the intent is to show an anthropomorphic wolf-man (I define as an undefined wolf with human qualities or human with wolf qualities or alien race that happens to have features in common with the terrestrial lupine form) then the artist should have a choice to place it in Anthro of Sci-fi, mythical or fantasy.
The main question that I have come to, in order to solve the case, is to ask the artist if they know about the subgenera of furries/Anthro or not, and what their definition is of the art in question.
I've come to this conclusion because I've worked for fantasy & wildlife artists and have asked them what they felt about the subject. They said they didn't care about anthro because if the person was transforming it should be called a "Werewolf" and placed under the mythical section. They have no idea that Furries even exist and wouldn't like the rules that say werewolves because that might not be what they the original meaning of the art is.
I see no reason why artists can't be given a choice as to where they post their art.
The system fails when things become too black and white or codified.
If you want a historical view point, the most likely way people will classify Anthro is as an off-shoot of totem animal culture that has nothing to do with traditional mythical creatures aside from maybe "sharing a spirt with" or "having a close association with" a particular animal. They won't question that werewolves and anthro wolves are two completely different things (unless it is a sociology student writing a term paper, ^_^).
The bottom line:
Give that artists a choice as to which gallery their work should go in. To code it to one gallery will take away from what makes DA such a great place.
Conclusion is there's not a conclusion But that's a conclusion itself!!! If we set "Werewolf = Anthro", or the opposite, "Werewolf =/= Anthro", we will be trying to sort something hard to sort by nature. We can't set a rule for everything, and sometimes we don't really need to. Besides, as said at the first lines of this article, deviantART is made by artists and for the artists we host here. And we think the community feedback is the main source for the guidelines we set. That's why we have decided to allow werewolves in both the Anthro Gallery and the Fantasy Gallery, no matter if it's digital or traditional art.
Yep, both Galleries will be a suitable place to upload your werewolves, as a general rule. And we are not going to say if a werewolf is an anthropomorphic creature or not because we don't need to. We wanted a way to sort art in the gallery system, and I think this is pretty fair, giving the artist themselves the chance to label their own art in this grey area
So, unless there are other factors to count or value, deviations featuring werewolves in the anthro gallery don't need to be reported as miscategorized submissions neither deviations featuring a werewolf, uploaded to the fantasy gallery. Both will be suitable, and we hope this works well to solve any kind of discussion about this
Again, thanks for your feedback, because without it, we would have never been able to figure out how to sort this issue. You all are great!!!!
PS: Thanks to Pixel-Spotlight for her help editing and polishing the article
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