About the Funguise

Funguise (“Fun-Guyz”) are enchanted mushroom creatures that assist in maintaining the balance of magical energies on earth!

Similar to how a mushroom breaks down a log in the forest, Funguise use their psychic hyphae to break down the bonds of energy locked in magical beast sheddings, spellwork, or rituals that has become inactive - which is also known as “magical residue."

However, they have also adapted to survive by absorbing energy from lesser-charged acts of magic such as cooking, cleaning, and creating. For this reason, Funguise generally survive longer in cohabitation with humans, making them excellent magical companions!

To read more about the biology, behavior, and culture of the Funguise, look out for WkdWest's four-part zine seires "Fantasy Field guide on Funguise Friends"

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1. When did you start making the "Funguise"?

I made the first figurines in April of 2018.

The memory is very vivid because my significant other was sick with the flu at the time so I remember sitting on the couch pinching and pulling at clay anxiously while he was in the other room with a fever. 

2. What inspired you to make them?

The idea of little mushroom creatures had been bouncing around in my head for a long time -- longer than usual. I've had a history of being pretty erratic with my artistic focuses so for one idea to keep popping into my head was pretty significant to me. Especially considering I had recently finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert's BIG MAGIC, which I recommend to all of my creative friends!

(I like to give a nod to a few artists who I was following at the time -- their work no doubt contributed to this sub-conscious messaging that mushrooms were my destiny. Please go look at Hannakin, Faunwood, and yinyue_duzii!)

Once I made the first set I just fell in love! I experienced a curiosity that I had never encountered before in my own work, and I wanted to just keep trying new shapes and colors. Having recently re-discovered my love for sculpting after a 10 year hiatus I really enjoyed the challenge of trying to recreate the various textures that are present on different mushrooms. 

However, it wasn't until I started researching mycology to help write my zine series that I became deeply passionate about these creatures. The fascinating world of fungi is so incredible and full of some really amazing organisms. In my spare time I love reading books on mushrooms, mushroom hunting, and about how mushrooms have influenced human culture!

3. So why are some shaped like people and others more like animals?

Well, this ties into their "biology", which I recommend you read the first volume of my zine to understand better. But to give you a taste, it's their diet influences this morphology!  (Volume 1 available HERE!!)

4. Are they social creatures? Do they do better in groups or are they ok alone?

This is a complicated question, that again is tied to their "biology" and I'll explain more in the second volume of my zine series. In short, they prefer to be in groups but as long as they have a companion (like yourself) they're ok.   (Volume 2 will be released Spring 2020!)

5. Do they have any natural predators in the wild?

Yes! Funguise have many natural predators, magical and natural but the only one I'll tell you about outside the second volume of my zine series is CATS!  Cats absolutely love to hunt Funguise - so be careful if you have them in your home! (Volume 2 will be released Spring 2020!)

6. Do they like being in human captivity?

Funguise really enjoy the company of humans because it means a steady stream of food! Learn more about the relationship between humans and Funguise in the second volume of my zine series.  (Volume 2 will be released Spring 2020!)

7. Can they get sick?

Funguise don't get sick like most organisms do however there is an affliction they are prone to called "ROT" -- this is a complex and dangerous "illness" which I will go into more detail about in the third volume of my zine series! (Volume 3 will be released Fall 2020!)