I've had my fursona for quite a long, long time. Ever since I joined the fandom! I've often said that she is a fursona I will keep forever, and never change from. She's very bubbly and energetic, being a small and enthusiastic bunny, and goes by the name crypsalis/cryp (which is my online username most of the time).
Recently, I've felt like I've been stuck between a rock and a hard place in regards to deciding what path to take on life, since I've recently turned 18. With this indecisiveness, I also question my fursona. She is so wholesome and pure, and sometimes I cannot relate to her because the pain I experience just feels so distant from her. This kind of distance has made it feel like I'm not really looking at myself whenever a friend draws art of my fursona with their own.
I've been playing around with some alternate designs for a fursona. One is a female rabbit who looks more anthro/human than my original, and is a bit more calm and like me with my anxiety and whatnot. I see myself in her, but I struggle to draw her as bubbly as Cryp. She is like a reality check through the skull when it comes to how intense my anxiety is, and I'm not sure I want to represent myself in the furry fandom so closely to my insecurities. Another is a male rabbit, who does not resemble me at all, but I love drawing him and even just looking at art of him lifts my spirits. Heck, he doesn't even pertain the same sexuality as me! Though, what he lacks in his physical relatability to me, I feel like I can really see myself as him, or see myself in him. I don't think I have dysphoria, as I've been comfortable being a female my whole life. Though, it's so strange to me that I relate so much with this male character I've come up with that I share no physical resemblance to whatsoever.
Is it healthy to change my fursona to match the struggles I am experiencing in person or to change them so far from any identifiability from myself? Should I be aiming to be more like the bubbly fursona I've had for so long?
Thank you for reading, and much love to you! I hope you are doing well.
* * *
Thanks for your good wishes, and I wish you happiness and love right back. Perhaps unfortunately for you, you have caught ol' Papabear in a chatty mood, so here we go . . . .
I could write a book about fursonas (oh, wait, I AM writing one!). The fursona sounds like a simple concept, but it really is not. The word is a portmanteau of "furry" and "persona." Now, "persona" comes from the Latin word referring to the masks that used to be worn by actors on stage. Miriam Webster's dictionary defines it thus: "an individual's social facade or front that especially in the analytic psychology of C. G. Jung reflects the role in life the individual is playing."
Fursonas first developed in the furry community online and in gaming. People would adopt personalities and characters to use in games with other players, and these became fursonas. At this stage in furry history, a fursona was just a character, and people had few compunctions about having multiple characters of all types. As the years went by and the fandom evolved, a fursona became a furry's alter ego, so it became something much more personal to many people and not just a mask worn in a game (this, please note, is not universally true; for some furries their fursona is still just a meaningless facade.)
As far as I've seen, one's fursona can represent a couple of different things:
Many furries get anxious about picking and designing their fursona because they are the #1 type listed above and they want to get it right. Sounds like that is where you are currently in some aspects. Not to worry. If you are a Type 1 fursona, your fursona can change as you do as you grow older. A furry who is 12 will be different from a furry who is 18 or 27 or 55. I, for example, was not a bear until I discovered the gay bear community and found that is where I felt I belonged. Before that I was a dragon and before that a wolf.
What about being different sexes or genders? That happens, too. I've spoken with a couple of furries whose fursona is a different sex from their own. It doesn't necessarily mean they are gay, either. Sometimes, they just want to try to understand better what it means to be feminine or masculine in a world that imposes arbitrary gender standards on people. You can be a feminine male and still be hetero, for example. Or, you can be a girl who likes racing cars and boxing but still marries a man. All these ideas about what is masculine and what is feminine have no basis in biology but are merely societal.
To get back to your specific case, I suggest this: be all three fursonas. Be Cryp when you're feeling bubbly and fun, be the other doe when you are feeling more mellow and in control, and be the buck when you are in the mood to explore your male side. That's the wonderful thing about being a furry. You can be one fursona or three; you can be your own sex or try another, or try on a different gender; you can have a personality close to your own or completely the opposite.
Melting into your fursona can be something that is just fun and playful, or it can be often be a type of therapy and a tool for personal growth. This is one big reason why I so love the furry fandom as opposed to other fandoms. So, don't worry so much. Be anything you want to be. Try anything you want to try. It's all good.
IHey! I'm back and with a question, does it matter if i have for instance: a non- binary sona, or a trans one? - even tho I'm cisgender, does it change anything, i wanna stay christian, but its just a fursona! right? ?? (no offense to anyone lgbtq, i support you.)
Lacra (age 11)
* * *
Fursonas are a way of expressing yourself and/or experimenting with different identities. Sometimes, fursonas express who we would like to be in an ideal world; sometimes, they express who we really are but are afraid to be or are too shy to express; sometimes, they are a way to experiment with other identities of all types. I've known furries who are male but their fursona is female (and vice versa), and furries who are straight might explore being bi or gay in their fursona.
Fursonas are just playful ways to experiment and explore and rejoice in being you or to take a break from being you. Oh, and you can be Christian no matter what your gender or sexuality, so don't worry about that. Anyone who says you can't has not listened to what Jesus really said.
Create a fursona who is whatever you like them to be. That's the fun of being in this fandom. And while you do that, your fursona might surprise you and teach you things about yourself you didn't know or want to admit.
Be what you wanna be, dear. And have fun with it!
I want to escape myself. I feel trapped inside this damn shell of a human that is myself. I'm cursed with autism and I just can't take it: the sensory overload, the harder time learning, the fact I will never be understood properly or understand others. It feels painful. I find myself on the ground begging for it all to end, frequently, but I know I can't fix anything. I just wish there was a clear way out. What can I do to just stop feeling like this and become a normal human and not what I am right now?
* * *
Thank you for writing. I know several friends and a family member with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and many of them are in the furry fandom. The bad news is that autism is not a curable mental condition. The GOOD news is that there are ways you can help yourself feel and function better in the world. One of them is to interact more with animals, and another is connecting to the furry fandom!
There have been numerous studies that show that people with ASD benefit greatly from owning pets, whether that pet is a dog or a cat or even a guinea pig, gerbil, or hamster, or big animals such as horses (there are a number of nonprofits that teach kids to ride and socialize with horses). Pets offer unconditional love and are not judgmental, which eases the stress of interacting with them versus with a human being. They offer comfort and physical touch, which are also very soothing and beneficial. They teach you about how to care for another living being, too, making sure they have healthy food, exercise, and medical care when needed. This, in turn, has been shown to improve social interactions with human beings as a result, whether they are peers in the classroom, family members, or people at work. You can read more about this at the Human Animal Bond Research Institute page at https://habri.org/research/child-health/autism/.
In a manner similar to human-animal bonds, people with ASD who interact in the furry fandom have had similar positive results. I believe that this is because of two reasons: the association of furries with animals and the generally welcoming and nonjudgmental environment of the furry family. Being a furry can be helpful because of the way that having a fursona or a fursuit or both can help create a safe buffer between people that eases the stress of social interaction and communication. When you are interacting as your fursona, you feel the relief of not being you for a while and being who you would really like to be. People with ASD have also commented that wearing a fursuit is comforting, like being wrapped in a protective blanket.
Although I don't have ASD, I can attest to this effect, too. For example, when in fursuit I was able to do karaoke on stage at a furcon, something I would be too self-conscious to do as myself. It sort of gives me a little insight into how this would work for someone such as you, BX3.
What can you do to "stop feeling like this" then? If you don't have a pet, I would highly recommend you get one (I prefer dogs myself, but whatever you enjoy is fine). I think you would also do well to interact with the furry community while in your fursona character. Both of these things can go a long way toward easing stress and improving your ability to interact with others in social situations.
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,
* * *
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.
Hey Papabear! I'm a new reader but I've had a dilemma for awhile that hopefully you can answer. I've been in the fandom for about two years now, and I can't seem to stick with one fursona. I know you've probably answered tons of questions like this, but I've been struggling with this for a long time and it's just so frustrating! I've looked at just about every "how to make a fursona" article that I can find, and I still don't know what to do! The main problem I'm facing is I can't match what I want my fursona's personality to be with a design I like, and I feel like buying an adopt or custom isn't really personal to me. And to top it all off, my design and personality preferences keep changing, so I can never stick to one thing! Any help would be appreciated.
Anonymous (age 13)
* * *
Step 1: Be more bear. I don't mean be a bear literally; I mean, chill. Relax. Don't panic. There is no law you have to pick your fursona right now, and, even if you do, you can always change it later. Or! Another option, have several! No law says you can't have 3 or 6 or 27 or 2,408 fursonas if you choose. Furry is about breaking the rules, not adhering to them.
The likely reason you are having such difficulty is because you are in your developing years still. Your fursona is a reflection of you, and when you haven't figured out who you are yet, your fursona remains malleable. I was the same way as you, in a way, although not quite so drastic. When I was a kid, I was a wolf, probably because I wanted to be part of a pack and have friends (I was a loner). As a teen and young man, I was a dragon, wanting to be beautiful, strong, and fierce. Then, after I discovered (finally) my true sexuality (gay bear), I naturally became a bear, which is where I plan on staying because it fits who I am so well and I am unlikely to change.
For now, don't worry about changing your fursona. Instead of fretting about it, have fun with it! Try lots of different stuff. Experiment. This is actually great because you are opening yourself up to new things. Eventually, you will settle into your own spot, something that will parallel your own personal growth and, hopefully, self-realization and acceptance.
I'm a 16 year old male that lives in Kwa-ZuluNatal, South African, and I found you on FurAffinity. I need your advice on how I can find my fursona. And if you don't mind. How do I tell my family about this?
All the best,
* * *
Since you don't offer much in the way in details in your letter, it is hard to give you specific advice. Each person is different, and that affects everything from fursonas to how you explain this to your parents. So, please take advantage of the categories on my website, browse the letters, and hopefully you will find something helpful. If not, write again and give me some details on your particular situation.
For advice on fursona design, go here: http://www.askpapabear.com/letters/category/fursonas
For advice on "coming out" furry, go here: http://www.askpapabear.com/letters/category/coming%20out%20furry
* * *
Sorry I wasn't clear in my last letter I'll try to do better in this one.
I'm not myself right now and I think the furry community can help me find myself again.I try talking to my mom about this and she is a bit scared because she has never heard about the furry community and I don't blame her.Its just me my mom and sister,I don't have someone to talk to about this. I'm just so confused right now and would like advise on how to go forward from this point.
* * *
Pardon me for responding in generalities, since I don't know all the details about who you are, but I do like the way you phrase the question: How can the furry community help you find yourself again?
The first question coming to my mind, then, is: Did you once know who you were in the past? How did you lose yourself?
It sounds as though you are seeking identity by finding a community to which you can belong; a group of people that accept you as you were apparently once accepted but no longer feel accepted. Reading between the lines makes me wonder whether this is because you have discovered something about yourself that is not socially acceptable, such as something to do with your sexual identity. I only say this because that is a very common problem among people who feel rejected by society, especially when it comes to your teen years when you are discovering your sexual orientation.
But in order to find acceptance anywhere, my furiend, you must first accept yourself. Do you accept yourself and who you are? Probably not, since you say that you have lost yourself. How does one accept oneself?
Once you have achieved self-acceptance and actualization, that is the time to seek out community. Many furries make the mistake of doing the opposite: seeking a community that validates who they are rather than validating themselves first. The problem with doing it that way is that the furry community--like any other community--has some bad people in it who will troll you and attack you and say things like "you're not a real furry," and too many furries take this to heart. They then complain that the furry community has rejected them (it has not, only a few bad eggs have) and the next thing you know they start posting online about how furry drama is rampant and it is all the fault of the furry community.
But the self-actualized furry (or whatever you consider yourself to be) will have the confidence and self-respect to find good people, as I have done, and form their community around them. In other words, you become a seed for a cloud of like-minded, like-spirited people who will then become your personal community.
Another wonderful effect of being self-actualized is that you will no longer have to seek your fursona. IT will find YOU. For example, once I figured out and accepted I was a gay bear, well then! Grubbs Grizzly walked right into my life and wrapped me in his furry body.
As for telling Mom about your interest in furry, the best way to approach mundanes with it is to compare it to other fandoms, such as superhero fandoms or fans of Star Trek or Star Wars. It's not a perfect comparison because you and I know that the furry fandom is unique, but most non-furries won't get that. Therefore, just tell Mom, in terms she can understand, that it is simply imaginative fun similar to dressing up as a superhero or pretending you're Spock on Star Trek, only it is about anthro animals like the ones in Zootopia (use popular movies and don't talk about underground furry art and such; relate to things with which they are familiar).
I hope these tips help you. Thanks for writing.
What are some reasons why furries commission art of their characters? I just commissioned some art of my fursona for the first time--which is something I've always wanted to do--but it was certainly an investment! I'd love to commission more art in the future, but I want to find out if it's something I can justify.
Here are some of my reasons for wanting to commission art:
Thank you so much!! (:
* * *
Congrats! I think this is a question I have not gotten before, so let's have fun answering it, shall we?
The easiest way to start is to explain why I commission art for Grubbs Grizzly. Of course, first of all, I am not a great artist, so it is better to have quality art by someone else. I, too, enjoy supporting furry artists, especially those who are my friends, such as Dan the Bear. Like you, too, I enjoy seeing how others interpret my fursona. The first time I commissioned a drawing, I was at Further Connection North (now Motor City Furcon) in Michigan. This was one of my first cons and I didn't really know anyone, so I was in the Dealers' Den and saw an artist I liked. She was drawing badges for $5, and I had no badges, so I had her draw it so I would have a personal badge for the con.
I've had other badges drawn for me since then. I use them as avatars for various furry social sites, I use them for this website, and I am using them in my book. I also put one on a custom T-shirt. You can do lots of fun things with fursona art. For instance, if you follow this link you can buy Ask Papabear merchandise.
You can get even more creative than this. For example, you can commission a spot in a Your Character Here (YCH) artwork in which an artist has several fursonas in one artwork and furries buy a spot in that art. In another example, there are skilled people in Second Life who create custom avatars you can adopt for role-playing in SL. OR! If you really get ambitions, find someone who sculpts and they can create a figurine you can use for anything from simple display to playing D&D or some other board games. Heck, these days, with 3-D printers, there are companies that will create these figurines after taking pictures of you in fursuit.
Having art of your fursona is simply a way to help you to get into the fun, imaginative world of furry.
While I realize you have received this question a multitude of times and I have, admittedly, read through every last letter, your responses to them, and any possible comments, I cannot help but wonder if you may have some advice for me too?
To start, the question is rather obvious: I am struggling with keeping a singular fursona and was wondering if you had any thoughts on how to keep them and remain sane in the process, based on the experiences and things I have done below?
For example, every time I think I am happy with my critter, I go through what I refer to as a 'Honeymoon Period'. It begins with my being completely in love with everything about them... but then I turn around and either turn them into a character (exceedingly rare) or completely discard and sell them (too common). I can honestly list on one hand my longest lasting 'sonas-turned-characters, while those who have a few days, weeks, or months, only to be sold, would take far more fingers than we naturally have.
I have attempted a shifter as per the recommendation of... well, everyone I have come to this issue about, but I feel so incredibly uncomfortable with the idea. I have made also 'sonas that are just like me, are who I want to be, who are nothing like myself, based them off of species I love, made numerous original species, hybrids, chimera, full-on synthetics and blatantly obvious robota, mythical, alien, amorphous blobs or shadows, Dullahan, primordial, horror, bestial, creatures. I feel like I have attempted everything, including seeing what made year-long sona's stick and attempting to finagle that mess out into something coherent, only to be discontented.
I have also tried bringing them about through free writing, meditation, seeing animals out in the real world, etc. At times I feel like I have done everything humanly possible and that I am just not meant to ever have someone or something that represents -me-, that I can draw and write, and it is... far more disheartening than I would care to admit.
I will say that I have been diagnosed as autism level 1 and with generalized anxiety, so I imagine this impacts my decision making and indecisiveness to some level. At the same time, I do not want my mental health issues to prevent me from being able to create something that makes me genuinely happy and that I can show off to the world and say 'here I am'.
It's positively maddening.
Thus I am at my wits end. While I am logically aware that I'm overthinking it and that the solution will likely be something rather simple, I am failing to find it. Not in the above, not in totems or spirituality, not in quizzes or even my dreams, though admittedly the latter all have the commonality of me flying through them on feathered wings--which is the one feature that has also stuck with every single prior 'sona or character made.
I feel like this letter is a bit scattered.
With that said, regardless of whether or not you have advice for my situation, thank you for your time and for putting in the effort you have into this blog. It means a great deal.
* * *
It certainly seems as if you have tried many things to create a fursona. The problem might be this: when asking for advice from people on how to choose a fursona, you are taking advice from non-autistic people. Such people do not think in the same manner you do, being autistic. Autistic people, as you likely know, have a different thought process, and the part I'm about to write now is more for my column readers than for you. For example:
The solution for you, as an autistic person, is to approach fursona design from your point of view.
Step 4: Don't try to imagine a complete fursona (i.e., a category, such as "sparkle dragon"). Instead, start by compiling a bunch of parts that appeal to you. Anatomical parts. Colors. Textures. Clothing that interests you. Don't even limit yourself to biology if you don't wish to. Perhaps your fursona is part machine. Perhaps it is merely a spiritual energy being. Do not try to associate these parts with each other. Keep them separate and individuated. Use as many or as few parts as you like.
Step 2: Go do something else for a while that has nothing to do with the fursona.
Step G: Have a little fun with being literal. Do you have some favorite expressions? Try illustrating them. "He's making a jackass out of himself." "She got the lion's share of the meal." "Don't be pig-headed!" "It was a wild goose chase." "Crazy as a coo-coo bird." "Wise as an owl." Just play around with it. See what inspires.
Step ϑ: Don't worry about what anyone thinks of your fursona or character. This is all about you and who you are or what you love or want to be. Don't worry about what is popular or what other people do with their fursonas or how they create them. Don't even listen to my advice here if you don't like it. Create your own original process.
Finally (or Firstly): Don't worry. Don't rush. Don't even be upset if you never create a fursona. Let yourself go. Leave anxiety and self-doubt in the garbage bin where it belongs.
And then, just let it happen.
Dear Papa Bear,
I've been a furry for a very long time. Almost 15 years now! And during that time, I've had a lot of fursonas. I'm looking to finally settle into one that's really me, because most of my fursonas have been adoptables or customs - made by other people, so I feel like I can't connect to them as well. I've read through a few fursona confusion related questions on your site, but I have trouble narrowing down what I really like (because I like so many things). When making a fursona, is there a to make choosing easier? Or should I just wing it and see how it goes?
Thanks for reading,
Scatterbrained in ATL (age 27)
* * *
Dear Scatterbrained *grin*:
One of the coolest things about the furry fandom is its creativity and its lack of connection to commercial franchises. People who are fans of, say, Marvel comic books and want to dress up accordingly are kind of stuck with the superheroes and villains portrayed in that literature and in the movie and TV adaptations. Likewise, if you love Tolkien, you have a narrow choice of elves, dwarves, hobbits, wizards, humans, and monsters, and that's about it. Same with Star Trek or Star Wars.
Furries don't rely on other creators to imagine for them. They ARE the creators. Even so, you might think you are limited to animal species of the present or the past, or perhaps mythological creatures.
For one thing, you can create a hybrid. If you can't decide if you connect more with a wolf, a bear, or a moose, combine them! A Woboose! LOL. You see this quite a lot in the fandom, and I'm sure you're familiar with some hybrids that are becoming common, including folfs (fox/wolf), cabbits (cat/rabbit), and ligers (lion/tigers, which actually exist in real life). You can go even further than hybrids, though, and create your own species if you like. Probably the most famous example of this would be the Skiltaire, an alien species created by Mark Merlino for a series of science fiction tales he wrote.
I can see that you are one of those furries, like me, for whom your fursona is very personal and not just a hobby. You aren't just picking a fursona to use in RPGs or to design a fursuit--no, this is going to reflect who you are and/or who you wish to be. Super! It is my belief that younger furries can have problems picking a personal fursona because they are still evolving themselves. That is, it is difficult to pick a fursona that reflects you when you don't know who you are yet. That happened with me as a cub and young man as I evolved from wolf to dragon to, finally, bear (bear is definitely the one for me now that I am confident in who I am in my 50s!). You might still be settling in on this identity, even in your late 20s. That's okay. But it's still fun to work on your fursona and try to figure out and narrow down the aspects of your character. My prime advice to you is to try not to limit yourself. This is an exercise in imagination, so throw away all your preconceptions about pretty much anything. Heck, you could even throw some tech into it and create, say, an android cheetah or a Borg bear (which would still be a borg lol, or maybe a bearg). Or combine animal with a non-living substance, such as they do with the Vulptex in Star Wars, which is a creature that is part canid and part crystal. Or how about a Rastafarian lion whose mane grows marijuana instead of fur? Convenient, eh? Imagine the dreadlocks! Or, to be less controversial, maybe the lion's mane is made out of strawberry Twizzlers....
This might seem a bit overwhelming, so a good way to start might be to look at specific features, one by one--and I do mean one by one: eyes, nose, fur or scales, type of tail, colors, horns or antlers, bipedal or quadruped, bat wings or butterfly wings, insect features or shark fins, etc. etc. Are you familiar with free form writing? This is an exercise in which the writer sits down at a keyboard or writing pad and just writes whatever comes into their head. Try the same thing with your fursona design. Sit down one day and just write out all the various things that appeal to you, including physical features, personality, clothing, time period, literary genres, etc. Just write them all down, quickly and without self-censorship. Then, save the file or set aside the writing pad for a couple of days. Return to it later and thin out some things that actually don't thrill you and narrow down your absolute favorite things. Take those and assemble them into a fursona and see what comes out. If you don't like the results, toss 'em and try again in another week. Eventually, you will get something you really like and that suits your inner furry the best.
Hopefully, I have not repeated myself too much from previous columns you read.
* * *
Hi Papa Bear,
Just a followup from my recent letter! It didn't take too long once I sat down and really thought about my favorite things I decided to combine my love of cooking with my fursona, and came up with Cassia, a cinnamon colored skunk. Thanks so much for your advice, it was really helpful in narrowing down my interests to something more manageable! The free writing was really helpful and had some unexpected results - I thought for sure I'd end up with something really exotic, but all my writing came back to what reminded me of home.
Not So Scatterbrained in ATL
Hello, so I've considered myself a furry for many years now. However, only since last week did I start taking more part in the community by attending my first furry event. While it was great, it was a bit overwelming, and afterwards I started to feel depressed.
Figuring out what to do with it, I decided to try to make my first fursona as I wanted to get a fursuit for a convention that is coming up in a few months.
However, no matter how much I try, I can never get anything to look good and properly reflect me. Feeling like time was running out, I gave up and decided to go towards an artistic liberty fursuit, only applying the species and one of the colors I want. The reference sheet the maker made was awesome, but the problem is that it isn't really my fursona 100%. Therefore I feel like it's wrong to wear it at the convention and that I might be judged for taking the lazy route.
My plan was to take more time and really think about my fursona. After which, once I've saved up again, I'll go and get a new fursuit and use it for future conventions.
The problem is I don't know where to start. I'm horrible at matching colors and choosing patterns.
So not knowing where to start on a fursona, and the fact I'll be wearing a fursuit which wasn't my idea, is causing me to feel depressed and stressed out.
Am I worrying too much about? How should I deal with all that is going on?
* * *
Goodness, you're making yourself miserable about something that should be fun! I've encountered furries like you before. They tend to worry too much about what others will think and they are overly self-critical, believing they have no good ideas.
A fursona (and fursuit) is a very personal thing. It should be about what you like and who you are, not what someone else thinks you should be. Wowser, that's what the fandom is about, man!
Start with the basics: species (real, historical, mythical, hybrid, whatever floats your boat). Do you have a favorite animal? Most people do, or if you have a couple of animals you like, you might design a hybrid. What's your favorite color? That's also something that most people can easily say with some assurance.
So, for the sake of this discussion, let's say you love kangaroos and your favorite color is blue. Suddenly you've got yourself a blue kangaroo (or if you think all blue is a bit much, you might go with tan but throw in some blue aboriginal patterns). Okay, now keep going. Keep adding things that you like. Maybe you think wings are cool, so now you've got a blue kangaroo with wings.... And you really like detective stories, so you add a fedora hat and a crumply tie and a Sam Spade personality. Now you need a name... Oh, you really liked the TV show "Knight Rider" because you thought the talking car (Kitt) was cool. Guess what? Now you've got a detective kangaroo with blue aboriginal markings and wings named Kitt Kangaroo as your fursona. Voila!
Get the idea? Try not to envision your fursona and fursuit all at once. Take it bit by bit and slowly assemble them into what you love--something that is a personal expression of who you are.
You likely don't have time to get a new fursuit done before your first convention, so just wear what you got and have fun. If people ask you about your fursuit, just say it's temporary until you get the new one, but in the meantime you just wanted to have some fun with fursuiting.
Last word of advice, which I love to give to anyone who will listen: be more bearlike. Chill, relax, and enjoy.
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.