The furry fandom is a large and welcoming space where people can express their creativity and passion for anthropomorphic animals. If you think you are interested in this community, you have no reason to be embarrassed. This article will walk you through the steps necessary to become a passionate and respected “fur”.
Part 1 of 5: know if furry fandom is right
Step 1. Educate yourself
There are videos on YouTube that tell you what furry fandom is. Although most are in English, you will also find a few in French. Basically, the furry fandom is characterized by a group of people from various backgrounds who like to dress up as anthropomorphic animals (eg like those seen in the movie "Zootopia").
Step 2. Think about your interests
You have to find them a connection with this community. The group is centered around anthropomorphic animals, that is, animals that have human characteristics. Even if you just enjoy the concept of werewolves, you might find something you like in this community. If you don't like anthropomorphic animals, think it's childish and silly, or don't like animals, you're not going to like this community.
Step 3. Learn about community members
There are many subgroups in the furry fandom, and you can likely find yourself a group of friends with the same attitudes and interests as you. However, most of the members of this community support and interact with each other. There is a strong bond between the "furs" (the members of this community), because they all have a common interest which defines a large part of their personality.
Step 4. Realize that this has nothing to do with sexuality
While some furs like to explore aspects of their sexuality through the art or literature they create within the fandom, that doesn't mean that to be a part of it you have to participate in certain sexual activities. Many furs like to create and participate in fandom in a friendly, family way while some like to explore the sexual side of fandom.
Step 5. Decide if you want to be a furry
If you want to create your own characters or enjoy wearing costumes and role-playing (usually innocently) with animal costumes, you should join the furry community. However, it is you who decides whether you want to join or not.
Even if you don't have a strong interest in anthropomorphic animals, if you want to join the community, its members are likely to welcome you with open arms. On the other hand, if you're into anthropomorphic animals a lot, that doesn't necessarily mean you have to be a furry. You decide and there is nothing that forces you to call yourself a furry or participate in the community
Part 2 of 5: Create a fursona
Step 1. Realize that most furs have one
Normally, this is not required, but it is highly recommended. Fursonas are imaginary characters who represent you.
Step 2. Choose a species
Many furs choose canines, felines or dragons. However, you have no limit in the species you choose. You can be a bird, a hybrid, or even an imaginary species like a Dutch Angels Dragons. If you want, you can even make your own. There are no rules for choosing your character.
Step 3. Choose colors and brands
You choose them. You should try to do your best to create your character. Saturated light neon colors could hurt people's eyes. However, you can design any character you want. If you really like neon colors, don't hesitate. If you prefer natural colors, go for it! As with the choice of species, there is also no rule for the choice of colors and brands.
Step 4. Make sure you don't copy other fursonas
If your character has many unique similarities to another fursona, you should change it. Fursonas are very dear to their owners and if you steal the ideas, you will seem lacking in originality and you could get in trouble too. You can take inspiration from other characters, but you can't steal one just because you like it.
Step 5. Draw your own fursona
If you don't know how to draw, you might consider hiring an artist to do it for you. You can also use free databases for example on deviantART or FurAffinity. There are free models that can show you what other people have done with their fursonas.
- Don't just take pictures on the internet and say you did it. They are other people's fursonas and often these people have paid to have these pictures drawn. This is plagiarism and you could get yourself into trouble by doing it.
- Never claim to have drawn a pattern that you found on the Internet. You should always mention the person who made it in the descriptions of the photos you post and never say that you drew it yourself if you didn't. You colored it, but an artist took their time to make the base model that you colored.
Part 3 of 5: Consult fur sites and join communities
Step 1. Join online meetings
Most of the furry activity takes place on the Internet. There are many websites that you can join within the community, for example Furry Amino (it's a mobile app) and FurAffinity. However, there are other places you can use to join the community. / r / furry on Reddit is a very active subreddit and it's easy to start participating in conversations. There are also many “furry” servers, Skype and Telegram groups for sending instant messages to each other. You can find a good list of them at / r / furry.
Step 2. Take a look at other platforms
Tumblr, FurAffinity, and deviantART are great places to find furry drawings, literature, and other content. You can also talk to other furs on these sites and develop friendships over time on these platforms.
Step 3. Get involved in local groups
Many cities have their own furry group. You can often find one by searching online to connect with people who have the same passion as you. You can also use features on community sites to find furs near you and start the conversation.
Be careful when you meet. As with any other community, it can be dangerous to meet people you have met online in real life. Use your common sense and don't meet anyone in secluded places like their homes or hotel rooms. Many furs prefer to meet at conventions because it is a safe environment and you can express yourself freely
Step 4. Meet at conventions
One of the best ways to get involved in the community is to attend gatherings. The world's largest fur meeting is called “Anthrocon” and is held in Pittsburgh, USA. There were 7,300 participants in 2016. These conventions are fun places to meet other furs, socialize and participate in the many events that take place there.
There are vendors selling art, cues, props, badges, fursuits and more. In many gatherings there are friendly fursuit games, dance competitions, fights, concerts and many special events which may vary from meeting to meeting. You will also often find a parade of furs here where most of the convention attendees walk with each other. Even if you don't have a costume, you can still watch the parade furs. You can also watch a number of these events on YouTube if you are curious about what is happening there
Part 4 of 5: start your fursuit
Step 1. Know that not all furs have fursuits
This is a common misconception, but in fact less than a third of furs (around 20%) have a fursuit and some don't like it. However, it is an essential part of the fandom. It's a fun prop for most furs and they are just as fun for people who see them.
- The fursuits are very photogenic and a large part of the photos of gatherings are of fursuits. There are lots of pictures online of people attending meetings all over the world, which makes it look like only people on the run. In reality, people on fursuit are in the minority.
- The fursuits are the main part shown in the media. All information regarding furs comes from fursuit members and it is rarely mentioned that there are members without fursuit.
- There are a large amount of popufurs (furs celebrities) on social media, most of them fursuit and film themselves or take selfies wearing them at home, in public and at gatherings.
- Even though they are in the minority, fursuiters are a huge part of the furry subculture. If you want to buy a fursuit, you are going to have to save a little, because in general, this kind of costume starts at 1000 € and can cost a lot more (for a complete costume, it is not impossible to count € 2000 and beyond).
- If you don't want a fursuit you can skip this part, but if you're interested don't stop!
Step 2. Learn to behave with the fursuit
In fact, it takes a lot of time and energy to bring your character to life. The fursuit gives the character some personality and all the time you spend in the costume you have to be acting. There are many videos you can watch to teach you how to behave well with the fursuit. You can watch for example “Fursuiting 101” and other channels on YouTube to learn the basics.
Step 3. Make sure you can afford it
These costumes are a luxury and you don't have to break the bank by purchasing one. Save the money to buy one, but if you have money or health issues or your living conditions are precarious right now, these are more important things than your costume. You don't need a fursuit.
Step 4. Try to find an assistant
If you only want to wear your costume at conventions, parties, and other safe places, that doesn't really matter. However, if you want to wear your fursuit in public where most people aren't familiar with the fandom, you're going to need an assistant.
You need to find someone who can help you when you put on your costume. Have someone with you at all times who can help you identify possible problems with people (for example rowdy teenagers or children who get dirty) and who can speak for you if you cannot.. It will be your eyes and ears as your senses will be smothered in the costume and it will help you get out of problematic situations and find a more private place if you start to suffocate in the costume. Heat stroke is very dangerous and it is not a pleasant experience
Step 5. Decide what kind of fursuit you want
- Partial fursuits are a type of costume with a head, hands, feet, and tail. The accessories are minimal and they are made to wear clothes that will make the character appear to be wearing them. This is a good solution for people who get very hot very quickly, as they are easy to remove, they are better insulated, as there is less fur to cover you and there is no additional padding.
- Plantigrade fursuits cover the entire body. They're warmer and harder to remove, but they help show all of your character's markings and bring them to life in a more real way. The feet are flat with the ankles at a 90 degree angle (like a normal human foot).
- Digitigrade fursuits are also full-body costumes, but they feature extra padding at the paws that give them a better animal appearance. When done right, her costumes really give the character the illusion of life. Digitigrade feet really look like the feet of animals (they look like the hind legs of an animal when standing).
Step 6. Decide on the character for your fursuit
If you only have one character this is going to be very easy, but if you have multiple characters you are going to have to decide which one you want to see as a costume. Make sure it's a character you like and think you will stand out in the costume.
Make sure you have at least three different reference views for the character that you drew, colored, or had a professional artist do. It is very rare to see a fursuit maker making one without any reference
Step 7. Decide on the manufacturer
There are hundreds of them that can make your costume, each with their own unique style. You can find a lot of them on the Makers Database site.
- Check if the manufacturer is still open. Fursuit makers are typically only in business one to four times a year and when they are, they don't take all orders. Typically, it takes several months to craft a fursuit, which is why you shouldn't expect to have yours within days of placing your order.
- Do not forget also the prices and the conditions of the service. Many manufacturers do not accept orders from minors and most require a deposit of at least 30%. However, this can vary, take a look at their website. Read the sales conditions carefully before placing an order.
- Decide on other options. If you like the work of a certain manufacturer, but they haven't made a fursuit in a year or two and they look inactive, you might have a hard time asking them to make your own.. Take a look at the database for other options in case your top pick isn't available.
- Check the reviews about the manufacturer (if any) on FursuitReview.com to get an idea of the job they do. Some make very good fursuits, but are much less good at communication. They can also sometimes forget details about the costume. It is better that you know this before choosing a manufacturer.
Step 8. Place the order
- The process is going to be slightly different depending on the manufacturer, but for the most part you are going to have to send them the part numbers and costume details on their website so they know what you want.
- Do not get upset if he does not answer you or if he declines the order. He probably receives many orders and he cannot accept all of them. Just wait for it to be available next time to order.
Part 5 of 5: Being active in the community
Step 1. Find out what your interests are
Stay active. There is a place for all interests in the furry fandom. Artists, musicians, dancers, comedians, actors and other creative people can come together to celebrate the furry. Find things you love about the community and start a hobby or learn more.
Step 2. Make Friends
It might sound terrifying, but sometimes furs can be the most affordable people and it will be easy for you to make new friendships. Furs who comment on your posts or whose posts you comment on and those who have similar interests to yours are the kind of people you want to be friends with. Sometimes a furry might just want to chat with you and over time that might turn into a friendship. The more active you are in the community, the more friends you will make.
Step 3. Learn about important members
Use it as a source of inspiration.Even if you don't have to like everyone, it might still be helpful to know some well-known members of the fandom. You can search the Internet to find recognized local artists for inspiration.
Step 4. Stay open to requests and exchanges
Whatever creative work you do, you could market yourself and your work by accepting requests or exchanges with other members.
- These requests imply that you agree to do free creative work for other members of the community. They might send you a picture or description of their character for you to draw or make up a story. You have the right to accept or decline these requests and you should not feel pressured to do so, as they are free gifts.
- An exchange means that if someone asks you to do something, you can ask them for something in return. It is a mutual agreement that each party gets something from the other. Unlike requests, you are obligated to complete what you have agreed to do, because you will receive something in return. Don't accept a trade without doing your part.
Step 5. Accept orders
This means that you are offering to sell your work to others. Someone can give you money (either for a fixed price or on demand) for something you are going to make for them. Once you have developed this skill, you can make a living selling your work exclusively within the furry fandom. Your job is great both for you as a content creator and for the people who commission you. Be aware that these are commercial orders and you might get in trouble if you don't complete them. If you accept payment and refuse to deliver the order, this is called a “scam”.
- Choose a price range. You can also ask other furs to help you price your work if you are not sure what to ask for. Take into account the time you spend on each piece and indicate the different styles. For example, a drawing of the bust of a fursona without shadows will cost much less than a drawing of the whole body with light and shadows.
- Prepare the information page. This will let your customers know if they have the right to request changes after placing an order, if it can be transferred, if there is an option for a refund, if they need to pay you before or after and when. other important information about your job.
- Let others know about your work. You can post on forums, leave a link to your pricing page on your profile, and mention your activity in a chat that allows advertising.
- You will find a lot of information on the Internet. Please feel free to research the topics of this article further to find more information. Also be careful with your sources, as many media pass furry off for what it is not (eg sexual fetishism).
- Don't expect everyone to know what furry is. You can try to educate others, but they might not understand right away or not understand at all.
- Be careful when interacting with the media. Some journalists describe the furs as perverts. Read up on the Internet to find out how the media work and how to interact with them.
- When you are in your fursuit, try to stay as well as possible in the skin of your character. Does your fursuit have a cranky expression? You could really bring it to life by tapping your foot and looking irritated. Are the eyes of your fursuit big and cute? Behave like a puppy or a kitten with touching movements.
- Try not to stand still in your fursuit. When you're in your costume you have to act out, so do your best.
- Be nice to the children! They are always excited when they see a cute animal like a furry which is why you have to be nice to them.
- You shouldn't immediately tell people that you are a furry unless you are sure it is okay for them. Many people (especially parents) might have misconceptions about furries that could affect the way they see you later on. Pay attention to who you talk to and find out who doesn't mind before you talk to them.
- Call ahead if you want to wear your costume in a private location. Most people won't know that you're just wearing a fursuit, and security guards might look weird at you. There is no reason to wear your costume in a store except next to the pet store (where your presence might be welcome if you have the right costume). However, you should still make a call ahead of time. Do you want to wear your fursuit in a mall? Check with security in advance. You need to have permission before deciding to wear your costume because you look like a brand's mascot. Accept their refusal and don't argue with the security guards.
- Never wash your costume in hot water. Always use hot water. You will destroy your costume with heat and the fibers will melt.
- Choose signs to communicate with your assistant if you cannot speak. Most people in a fursuit cannot speak, and if you do, you need to choose hand signs to communicate with your assistant. Some signs are universal, for example imitating a fan with your hand means you are hot and need a break.
- You could try a fursuit (if it's clean) before investing in your own. It can be over 40 ° C in the suit in a few minutes. It can also be difficult to move once inside, especially in the case of a digitigrade costume. Not all furs support the costume, but over time it can get used to.
- Take breaks in secluded areas every now and then to refresh yourself, to drink water, to chat with your assistant, and to do whatever you have to do before returning to your character. The time needed is different from person to person, but in general you should take a break every 15 to 30 minutes if possible. Some people can stay in it for an hour, others only ten minutes, so you need to experiment to find out how long you can handle the costume.
- Clean the head of the fursuit thoroughly from time to time. It is a more rigorous cleaning that allows to completely disinfect the entire interior. Ask the manufacturer for advice on how to do this, but there are also online tutorials on how to clean it properly.
- If you are a minor, you need to think twice before purchasing a fursuit. It's a significant investment and your costume, which cost you several thousand euros, will not grow with you …
- Even if you are a furry, you still need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you're having trouble functioning at work, managing relationships, or living normally because of your obsession with furry, you should limit the time you spend there. It's a fun hobby, but it should never take over your real life.
- Always educate yourself very well before purchasing a fursuit. There is some important safety information you need to know if you want to wear a costume at a convention or in public.