Filfury Turns His Sneaker Obsession Into Crazy Works of Art

“I think it’s my own insecurity around not being perfect that makes me want to create perfect work. I have a broken nose, wonky teeth… When I look at an insect it’s symmetrical, its form is beautiful and aligned.”

British artist Filfury is making waves in the art world with his digital and three dimensional sculptures built from the fabrics of popular culture. Gold watches, sneakers and tape recorders are manipulated to form skulls, weapons and insects with an emphasis on perfection and symmetry. We caught up with Filfury to gain insight into his process and history.

When and how did your creative career begin?

My creative career started in about 1996 making fake IDs at school.

I’ve always loved to draw, but didn’t realize it was a real career. Fortunately I left school with no ideas until the lure of rave parties, badly designed club flyers, UK street wear and a good time focused my direction on being creative again.

I then studied Graphic Design and graduated as the New Designer of Year 2003. I spent time developing myself as a graphic designer, to a live-action director and then returned to my true passion of art.


Where did you grow up? How is creativity celebrated in your culture compared to other places that you have lived and worked?

I grew up in Birmingham, UK. I’d answer this by saying creativity isn’t celebrated in my culture. That’s why it took me some time to find it.

However in reality it is there – it just wasn’t speaking to me directly yet subconsciously influencing who I was. From music and club life, to football iconography, branding, skateboard graphics, and escapism in US cartoons, sports and fashion.  All of these things were the celebration of creativity that got me hooked.


Where did the inspiration to make sneaker sculptures blossom from?

I love sneakers. I love art. It was a natural fusion. The first artwork I made was just after I had my first son. I think it came from the thought that I was transitioning to a new person – and that I’d be saying goodbye to spending money on my (sneaker) obsession. The art was a way of preserving my obsession and gave me an opportunity to enjoy sneakers in a different way.


What are the challenges that arise when making sculptures from these materials?

I make both digital pieces and physical sculptures. Both have their challenges.

Initially when making things digitally it was about getting the right angles and enough of a particular material panel to create new shapes and form. I never use anything more than it is naturally used on the shoe, never scale things past 100% and keep everything in true ratio. So that has limitations when being ambitious with new form creation – such as making wings or legs…

AM90 Spider 4040

For the physical sculptures it’s been a totally different challenge. I always start with a mock-up to work to, however this seems to change much more when getting to grips with the physical form. I’m learning new things everyday.

I’ve realized the best way to create is to align yourself with people who can help you. I have to admit I get help sewing!


A lot of your sculptures are of insects and animals, what is the inspiration behind this, and the other subjects that you choose?

I like perfection. What is better than nature as inspiration? I think it’s my own insecurity around not being perfect that makes me want to create perfect work. I have a broken nose, wonky teeth…

Beetle_Square_Blue When I look at an insect it’s symmetrical, its form is beautiful and aligned.

Have you collaborated with other artists before?

A dream collab for me would be with a musician or an artist from a totally different field. Something that really makes my work explode in a new direction. If Pusha T or Jeff Koons or Robert Zemeckis wanna link, let’s make something special!


What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

Keep your eye on the ball son.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to a young artist?

Superstar 50Love it.

That’s what drives me and makes me work. I love doing what I am doing and it’s only happening because I’m throwing love at it.

What is next for you?

I’m working on an amazing project at the moment that sees me creating 15+ physical sculptures for a luxury fashion brand. It’s mental. Some really awesome pieces that are pushing me creatively, technically and emotionally. They are raising the bar for me personally and I can’t wait to share them.

Keep up with Filfury at


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