I don't really know who else to ask this, as not many people listen or respond or don't really know. I'm 16 year old furry from the Czech republic, striving towards being artist.
I'm looking forward to moving to the US when I'm older and I was thinking.. how possible is it to work full-time as an artist/fursuit maker? I don't know how my degree is going to help me because degrees here in Europe work differently. I will leave with woodcarving degree.
I'm more than willing to get a job outside the furry fandom, but being a furry is big part of me and art is one of the only things I genuinely enjoy and value in life. I really want to like my job.
I worry there's already too many artists/fursuit makers, so there's no need for me to do the same thing and provide the same services. And also I'm worried if the fact that I wouldn't have art degree would make a difference. A lot of people say that I'm talented and could already make living off of what I do, but I'm honestly very unsure. I'm afraid there's no possible way to fulfill my dreams. Then, also, I have friends who would gladly help me out.
I'm feeling a little lost about this issue; it keeps me very unmotivated. So, thank you for advance!
Mika Kay (age 16; Czech Republic)
P.S ; I love what you do, its very wholesome to help people like this.
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Dobrý Den, Mika Kay!
In the fandom, you will find that pretty much all fursuit makers and artists are freelancers and do not work for a corporation of any kind. Even the larger, more successful fursuit makers are small operations that aren't, generally, seeking new employees. This is because, unlike many other products, fursuits are pretty much all custom-made to match people's fursonas. Therefore, fursuits are not made on an assembly line, which would make such a business more conducive to becoming larger and hiring more people. Now, there are costume companies (many in Asia) that make standardized costumes, but these are all quite inferior in quality. Yeah, they are cheaper, but they are terrible. Odin Wolf has posted a couple of hilarious videos about counterfeit and fake fursuits from companies like Alibaba (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP_u3HaFYyM) and even Walmart (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDPX4t-8zdQ). You are not going to get quality from such places, and you do not want to work for them if you have any self-respect.
No, fursuit makers are typically individuals or, sometimes, small family operations, and it is very difficult to make a living at it. Even my maker, Beastcub, who is extremely talented and sells quality (and not inexpensive) fursuits, has trouble getting by (I highly recommend her, by the way, to any of my readers). Similarly, there are not companies that put out tons of furry art like some kind of firm that hires starving artists to paint oils for hotel lobbies. No, artists are freelance individuals, too.
Your concern should not, however, be a fear that there are too many fursuit makers. One can never have too many quality makers in a fandom in which waiting queues for fursuits are typically 6 months to a year or longer. If you're really excellent at making fursuits, then you will find customers. You will, of course, need to advertise your services, which is a whole other subject.
With your background in woodworking, you're going to need to be a freelancer for that, too, unless you want to do something such as architectural carving. This is a really cool field to get into, in my humble opinion, and there are companies you can work for who do it. What this entails is making carvings for things such as corbels, columns, mullions, staircases, brackets, and so on that are used in high-end construction. If I were you, I would look into it. See if companies such as Art for Everyday, Inc. (artforeveryday.com) are hiring (note: most such companies that I've seen are in Canada, not the United States). Another option is making wooden furniture. Again, there are many good Canadian companies (are you dead-set on moving to the United States or might Canada be an option for you?)
Anyway, when it comes to the arts such as painting, fursuit making, and wood carving, most people go freelance and/or open their own small companies rather than work for a large corporation. My recommendation for you would be to research how to start your own small business. If you are asking about U.S. employment because you want to obtain a work visa with employer sponsorship, then, again, I would recommend Canada over the United States, especially in your field of work. If you can find a Canadian firm to sponsor you, this will help you a lot in getting a Canadian visa, and, as I said, there are more opportunities in woodworking in Canada than in the United States. Another way to get a visa, of course, would be to become a student here. That would have more possibilities for you, if you were interested in attending university in the States.
In the meantime, I would recommend that you work on your carvings or fursuit design in the Czech Republic and build your portfolio. You can also start building your reputation in the furry fandom by accepting commissions from Americans. Because of our internet culture, you don't have to live in the United States to sell products here.
I hope this was helpful. Good luck!
I know you likely get many questions like this but I've been struggling with making a fursona for a few years now. I've been too many sites and even looked through a few of the articles here about fursonas but nothing seems to help. Also because I love mythology I wanted to have a goblin, troll or similar creature as my "fursona" if it can even be considered a fursona using any of those creatures, but i'm afraid too use them thanks to the negative stigma such creatures have in modern media or the fact they are too "human-like". I even attempted trying to emulate said creatures by using real world animals that look like them. But I honestly don't know what to do at this point.
Thank you in advance,
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I apologize for the lateness of my reply. Okay, so, the subject is fursonas. First of all, don't forget that you don't have to pick just one character. So, my first suggestion is to have two: one that is more furry, and one that is a troll or gargoyle. Now, bear in mind that some gargoyles look more animalistic than others (e.g. Brooklyn looks very animalistic vs. Demona, who looks like a female elf with wings). Trolls, on the other hand, definitely look more human, but they vary widely. Are you talking the cute little trolls from the modern cartoons and movies, or the classic trolls of Norwegian origin that are big, ugly, stupid and eat humans? Either way, I wouldn't regard them as very furry.
Another possibility for you is to participate in more than one fandom. You could certainly go to Comic-Con as a troll or gargoyle, no problem, and then have a fursona to participate in that fandom. If you aren't already doing so, you could try RPing in MMORPGs or board games (WoW, D&D, etc.) The point is, don't limit yourself. You can have multiple fursonas, you can have hybrids, you can have fursuits, and you can cosplay as a troll or a character from anime.
Next point: STOP worrying about "stigmas" and what other people, furry or otherwise, think. This is about YOU and what YOU enjoy. If you just worry about what others are going to say about your fursona, fursuit, costume, or whatever, then you have completely defeated the purpose of the imaginative world of furries and other cosplay and fandom groups. What is the point? The point is to escape reality for a while and just have fun being you and doing what you like.
I think that you will find that once you free yourself of the shackles of outside opinion and judgment, you will quickly decide on a fursona or other character you wish to be.
I've been a long time follower of your advice site, and have asked a couple of questions a couple of times. This time I have a little bit of a problem with my current mate. You see both of us are into kink and we've indulged in some things a couple of times, but breakdown in trust and communication on her part made me feel uncomfortable about bringing up things that are part of me.
Example, I was and still am questioning my gender and when I brought it up to her (a trans woman herself) she met it with disinterest and a small trace of hostility.
Example 2, both of us are into gaming, it was something we bonded over. But when I was getting into Warhammer 40K and learning the lore, of course I wanted to share it with her so we could share this too. I was met with a roll of her eyes and sigh with an exasperated "Oh god." Also try to share MtG (Magic the gathering) card game with her but when I'm playing online I'm cut short when I talk strategy to myself, it's the way my brain works.
There's so many more examples of why I don't bring anything up to her anymore or even try to share interests. So you can see my hesitancy to bring up the subject of something so personal as a kink. Just to put it out in the open, I'm into leather and pup play. I think of it as a big part of who I am and I want to explore that side of myself. I was thinking of just buying a pup hood and tail plug just to get it out in the open, like ripping off a band-aid. There would be no hiding it and it would bring up my kink, but there's also the risk of her throwing it away or me having to return it.
Now please don't have a negative view of her, we get along just fine otherwise. I love her and she loves me. We're friendly with each other, game with each other, joke, play around and everything that comes with a relationship. It's just my trust in bringing up things to her is a bit wounded.
What can I do? She's a sub too so I think that would be a problem, but we're poly so I think she would approve of me finding a handler/trainer, in theory.
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Many people believe that when you have a mate you should share all your interests together and do everything together. This is not true. It is okay for a couple to have different interests and explore different sides of themselves while also sharing other things. To be compatible does not mean you have to be clones of each other. In fact, it is better if you are not. Imagine doing everything together and having the exact same interests and activities. What would you talk about at the end of the day? "Hey, this morning I...." "Yeah, I was there, remember? I'm ALWAYS there!"
When I was married to Janet, she was way into crafts, including cross-stitch and quilting. I was never into that stuff myself, but I supported her in her interests, sometimes going shopping with her, but never to a quilting convention (yawn). It was great that she loved that stuff and would go on a trip by herself or with a friend and have some fun outside the marriage. Later, when I was with Jim, his passion was radio broadcasting and sound editing. I learned some of this myself and even, briefly, hosted a radio show on his station. But I was not passionate about it. I supported his love for the radio and did what I could to help. Now I am with Michael. He is into playing the organ and piano. Here, we have a little more in common as I am learning the piano, but really am not all that interested in the organ. I am having his mother's piano refurbished as a present this year.
In return, my spouses and mates have also supported me in my interests. One year, long ago, my wife paid to send me to a writers' conference in Maui. Later, with Jim, he was very supportive of my being a furry, as is Michael. Michael is helping me start my publishing business, even though he is not a publisher or writer himself.
And so, you see? Partnership is about complementing one another, supporting each other in the things that you love and do as hobbies or for a living. You don't have to do everything together. So, let's take your interest in pup play and leather kink. Does your girlfriend have to do these with you for you to enjoy them? No, she does not. Now, that said, she shouldn't be rolling her eyes and being dismissive of you. She might not like such things herself, but if she loves you she should be supportive and encourage you to explore this side of yourself.
You sound like you two have a pretty good relationship. I think, though, that you should talk to her about this and say something to the effect of what I have said above: she doesn't have to like EVERYTHING that you are into, but it hurts you when she looks down at you or judges you for liking things she doesn't like herself. (Is there stuff she likes that you don't? You can use that as an example of what she should do for you).
With patience, love, and understanding, I'm sure you two can work it out, and this whole experience can help you grow closer as a couple.
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