After being around ADISC for a while, you may have seen a lot of members with avatars of animals. Perhaps you have already read the "Furry 101" article and have decided that you would like to create a fursona for yourself. This article will discuss creating a personality for yourself in the Furry Fandom, otherwise known as a fursona. It will then lead on with what you can do with your newly found fursona, such as getting artwork or, if it has caught your eye, a fursuit.
As you begin making decisions about your fursona, you should consider recording them. A form such as this one will help keep track of what you have decided.
Creating Your Fursona
Choosing a Species
Choosing what animal you want for your fursona is probably the most difficult thing a furry faces. Popular species amongst furries are canines, wolves, coyotes, foxes, tigers, lions, and cats. However, there is no animal that is off-limits, and your imagination is the only barrier. While by no means an exhaustive list, consider some of these types of species and note the wide range they span.
- Favorite animal
- Animal that you relate to
- Pokesona or a Pokemon fursona
- Birds, reptiles, sea creatures, insects
- Fantasy creatures: Gryphons, dragons, unicorns
- Hybrids: traits from multiple animals: Liger = lion + tiger, Folf = fox+ wolf
Going beyond even hybrid species are created species. As the name indicates, these are species that do not otherwise exist. One example is a Sergal, which is a mix between the creature from the Aliens movies and kittens. What makes creating a Fursona so great is the ability to mix and match, create a new species, choose a real animal, or do whatever you like.
Design and Details
Once you have selected a species, you need to figure out what you look like. Like with selecting a species, everything is up to you, and nothing is off-limits. What is so cool about animals themselves is that fur patterns are almost always different and sometimes can create illusions, so let the animal kingdom be your inspiration. Here are some things to consider:
Do you have stripes, spots, other markings, or do you not have markings?
Do the stripes or spots make any shapes?
Are you realistic or cartoonish? Do you like more exaggerated features like big eyes, nose, and teeth, a la Wile E. Coyote? Or, do you prefer the face of a real animal?
Are you feral or anthro? Do you like being more animal than human? Do you prefer walking on all fours like Balto, Bolt, or Simba? Or, are you more human than animal? Do you prefer walking upright and wearing clothing, like Robin Hood or the Great Mouse Detective?
Are you digitigrade or plantigrade? A digitigrade fursona walks with weight on his or her toes, and the heel is slightly elevated off the ground. A plantigrade fursona walks with feet flat on the ground with no curve in the leg, much how we as humans walk.
How old are you? This will also help you to decide if you are a babyfur, littlefur, or an adult fur.
What eye color do you have?
If you are having trouble describing aspects of your fursona, try drawing them out. Furaffinity has several blank and free templates that you can use (if you post art based on a template, be sure to give credit to the artist who created the template). Even if you do not draw well, this can help avoid a lot of frustration between you and the artist you hire to draw your first reference sheet.
Once your design is complete, you still can fun with color. As before, it is up to
you. You can pick colors you love or use natural colors. Some colors just seem to go great together, including black/lime green, orange/teal/white, black/white, and red/black/white. It is a good idea to only use a few colors. Otherwise, your fursona will seem cluttered and hard to look at (referred to in the fandom as a "sparkle dog"). There is nothing wrong with having a brightly colored loud character, but note that the complexity of the character will dictate prices for art and fursuits.
No fursona is complete without a personality. What are your likes? Dislikes? Strengths? Shortcomings? Nobody is perfect, and you should try to make your fursona relatable. Give your fursona a backstory. If you have a scar, tell about how it got there. Adding details is key to making your fursona interesting. You can even use your personality or borrow elements from a TV or novel character. You want something that people will look at and go "Hey, neat!" instead of "oh, uh cool I guess."
Does your fursona wear clothing? Be it a sports jersey, hat, coat, shoes, pants, swimming trunks, sunglasses, or a cape and a mask, you can dress and accessorize your fursona with just about anything. Or, maybe your fursona likes to prance around in just his/her undies. As before, your imagination is the only limit!
This is the last step in creating a fursona fit for a furry. This is perhaps the most important bit of information. Your fursona is going to need a name. You can use your name, pick a name that you find interesting, or one that has meaning to you. If you're having trouble, you could even pick an adjective that describes your fursona and then refer to a thesaurus. Other ways to help find a name are to look up baby names, which will give you thousands of options, or to pick names with origins in different ethnic backgrounds.
Remember that the name you choose is not permanent like the ones your parents gave you when you were born. It can be changed at any time. Just refrain from doing it too often or you risk confusing people.
Now that you have created your fursona, it is time to get some artwork done. If you have you have some money saved up and are looking for artwork, a great source is the Black Market on the Furaffinity Forums. Commissions generally cost $15 to $25 for full colored, shaded, full body pieces. It is highly recommended that the first piece of artwork you buy is a reference sheet, which is a front, side, and back view of your character. These run anywhere from $15 to $50, depending on how many views you want. There are also several great artists here on ADISC as well. Take a look around and find what you like. Several well-known artists who are babyfur-friendly in particular include Marci McAdam, Furry Jade Fox, Tavi Munk, Kalida, Blue Ferret, StrawberryNeko, and Reva the Scarf.
If you don't have any cash at the moment, the Art Exchange is a place you can ask for free art or requests of your character. Make sure you have all the details ready, as you don't want to make the artist dig and search for a reference. Most importantly, say "please" and "thank you" before and after. Do not be picky about what you receive; nothing is worse than criticizing an artist for giving you a free gift. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
Getting a Fursuit
If a fursuit has caught your interest, there are several things to know about them and how you can go about getting one made to your specifications.
Partial Suit or Full Suit?
First you must decide whether you want a partial fursuit or a full suit. A partial suit includes a head, handpaws, feetpaws, and a tail. A full suit includes all of those components, plus a body. A partial suit will typically cost from $500 to $1,500, while a full suit will at least $1,500. Prices will vary depending upon the maker. A full suit will also require a Duct Tape Dummy, which eliminates the need for you to take measurements and will allow for a form-fitting suit.
Finding a Maker
Your second step in getting a fursuit is finding a maker that suits your particular interest. Each maker has a unique style, and most suits can be easily identified as to who made them. MadeFuryou, Donthugcacti, MixedCandy, BeastCub, Onefurall, and Lacy of Fursuiting.com are all makers trusted throughout the fandom. There are many more talented fursuit makers out there, so feel free to browse and choose one that suits your interests.
An alternative to buying new from a maker is to look online at websites such as Ebay, Furbuy, Fursuit Auctions Live Journal, and The Dealers Den. Although a suit from one of these sites might not be new from a maker, it is possible to find a quality suit at a fair price.
Ordering a Suit
To make the process go smoothly, you need to make sure you have everything ready for the maker before you order. All makers will require you to first fill out a quote form. This will ask simple questions such as how many fur colors, what kind of markings, whether you are cartoony or realistic, digitgrade or platigrade, and four- or five-finger paws. You may also need to send in a reference to receive an accurate quote.
Once you receive a price, most makers will require a nonrefundable down payment. The common amount is 30 percent, as it covers the material costs for the suit. Once payment is complete, the maker will give you an estimated completion date and will do their best to get you your suit quickly.
Once you have completed your fursona, you are ready to take your place in the furry fandom. By no means are fursuits or artwork required, although they certainly are of interest to some. One can even attend a furry convention and meet other furs. Of course, have fun with it!