[Note: Papabear apologizes for not posting more frequently this month. It has been a busy work month for him as he edits books for the fall season and prepares for the Good Furry Award presentation on June 3 at BLFC.]
How does one make arms/hands for a skull furry? I have been struggling for some time now to finish making my characters head and tail, but now I’m stuck on how to cover the arms and hands without making puffy paws since the character is… well, a dead thing. I’m very new to the furry scene and this is my first ever character. I want it to look kind of mystical and creepy, not as cartoonish as I’ve seen with others. Do you have any tips that could help me?
* * *
Usually, when I see skulldogs, they either have no paws on or they have floofy paws. But sometimes one sees variants like the attached image. You can make paws however you like. Another alternative is to buy some skeleton gloves, which you can do at places like Amazon.
As with most things furry, there really aren't any rules. For skulldogs and related critters, you can go as ghastly or foofy as you want. A lot of people just have a skull head and the rest of the fursuit is pretty normal, or you can go with part furry, part skull, and maybe wear some wizard or Goth clothing to add to the image.
Since it sounds like you are making the fursuit yourself, you can buy or make some form-fitting gloves and paint on or sew on carpals and metacarpals to your heart's content.
Basically, what you need to do is break out of the mindset that furries need to be, well, furry. They don't. Dump your preconceptions and let your imagination run wild.
And, as always, have FUN with it!
I’m new to the furry fandom. I joined when Covid started to get my mind off the pandemic. So I did not know how to get a fursuit, so I bought one from eBay. I was just starting. I did not know what to do. Is that bad? What are the best places to find a real fursuit maker? It is 2 years since I joined the fandom and I love it. I found you out by Cassidy Civet. I’m going to my very 1st fur con soon, and I will be wearing my fursuit I got, but I will be getting a real one soon. I hope, from Thunderhowl Studios. Is that a good place to start?
* * *
Sorry for the delay in my reply, and thank you for your excellent question. You are correct that there are good sources and bad to contact when it comes to commissioning a new (or purchasing a used or premade) fursuit. You need to be careful on sites such as eBay because there are a lot of disreputable companies out there. There are a few--especially coming out of Asia--that show photos of beautiful fursuits, but when you order it and receive it, it's actually a piece of garbage you wouldn't wear at a cheesy Halloween party. You can learn about all the fursuit scams out there by going to YouTube and typing "fursuit scammers." You will see various vlogs there from good furries like Ash Coyote, who, by the way, made a vlog, especially about eBay scams. You should also be wary of other online merchant sites such as Etsy.
If you want a new fursuit, the best thing to do is research research research. Find a legit maker with a track record whose style you like and contact them to see if they are open for commissions. You can also ask any fursuiting friends you have about who made their fursuits and if they had a good experience with the maker. I hired Beastcub to make Grubbs because I had seen a lot of her work, so I contacted her directly.
Sounds like you have already picked Thunderhowl Studios. Yes, that's a good maker from what I've heard. I'm going to add some more information below for the benefit of my other readers.
If you don't know where to begin, there are a couple of database sites you might find useful. The Fursuit Database is great because you can search on species and types of fursuits, see real-life examples, and contact the maker of the suit. (Here's the listing for Grubbs, for example). There is also the Fursuit Makers Database, which lists the works of nearly 500 makers.
Commissioning a full fursuit new is a long, arduous, and expensive process. Don't be surprised if it takes up to 2 years to complete the purchase. Top-notch designers are in high demand and will cost you a mint ($3,000 and up, easily). The easiest way to cut expenses is to get a partial suit. These are also good because you can wear regular clothes and stay a lot cooler than a full suit. You can also look for makers who start their work using head bases (pre-molded heads of various species that you can customize). And, of course, the best way to save money is to make a fursuit yourself, but that takes a lot of skill and dedication on your part. Finally, you can buy a used fursuit. The best place to find those is The Dealer's Den. There used to be other sites such as FurBuy, but they appear to have closed their doors.
I'm looking to buy a Bad Dragon toy; I'm a gay furry bottom. What toys do you recommend? I would like something that fills me yet can fit easy and feels good like not a bunch of weird surfaces. Thanks :). New to fandom. How do you cool down in suit in 103 F Louisiana air? It's humid and hot.
* * *
I don't know if this will shock you or not, but I have never purchased a Bad Dragon product. Not that I wouldn't recommend them (they seem like a good company and are very popular with many furries), but I'm not into sex toys. Even if I did use their products, I wouldn't know what to recommend to you, given that I don't know anything about your needs, so to speak. I would therefore suggest you contact their customer service people by following this link: https://help.bad-dragon.com/.
As to your other question, keeping cool in a fursuit is important, indeed. Even experienced fursuiters will have trouble staying in suit for more than a few hours (my max is about 5 hours). But this max is while being in an environmentally controlled room such as a hotel lobby. I would not recommend going out in 103-degree, humid heat and fursuiting. At least, not for very long.
To stay cool, fursuiters do a number of things. Number one on this list is wearing a cooling vest or other cooling suit tech. There are a number of them on the market (just search for "cooling vest"), including one invented by the furry community's very own EZWolf (EZcooldown.com). Other things you can do include having a small fan installed in your fursuit head (I have one; it helps), wearing a balaclava to help direct sweat away from your face, wearing heat gear (e.g., Under Armour athletic wear), and, of course, keeping hydrated. Be aware of your body and dehead and cool off as often as necessary to keep from overheating.
Now go suit up and have fun!
Recently, I went to a job interview where the interviewer has asked me if I have something "unique" that I have, which I responded that I don't. However, after that, I had something that popped into my head that would've made a great answer to that question. Later that day, I shared this with my dad, and he mentioned that costumes/mascots (fursuits) would be it for me, since the job requires looking after children and wearing these things would make them get a kick out of them, as it would (supposedly) entertain them a lot. (It is a job as a youth group leader at an organization. It involves watching kids as part of an afterschool program.)
After hearing about that, tons of crazy and mixed feelings were going through my head, such as anti-mask laws, reaction from others to public fursuiting (or wearing mascots/costumes out in public that cover the entire face), and knowing that he knows about this thing of mine sends chills down my spine. I've seen and read stories of people getting busted or harassed for public fursuiting and know about the stigma that surrounds the furry fandom/community. Additionally, I fear that I may be mistaken as a child molester or other things related to it that might end up getting me fired from my job. Even though I ask permission if I could do these things at a later time, I feel that my supervisor would view me differently in a bad way for even bringing it up in the first place. I also don't know what'll happen if other people knew about it, especially my relatives and friends, such as their reaction or a chance of bullying or discrimination for having it in the first place. I don't know if an anti-mask law exists where I live (the one where it's illegal to cover your face, not the COVID-related one).
Any thoughts about this? Should I have not shared this with my dad?
* * *
It is impossible to make generalizations as to how people will react to your being a furry. All people are different. Your dad, from what I can gather from your letter, doesn't seem to have a problem with your wearing a fursuit since he noted you could have talked about this at the interview. As for the rest of your friends and family, that has to be taken on a case-by-case basis.
The same goes for fursuiting in public places, such as schools or elsewhere. This can be affected by everything from local laws and ordinances to policies at public parks. For example, you would not wear a fursuit mask into a bank or into a federal building such as a courthouse because you would be instantly detained. Things get a little complicated because of mask laws these days. Everyone is (or should be) wearing masks for health reasons. But a fursuit head covers everything and makes you even harder to identify. For this reason, no matter where you might be going, always check with the business or venue before you fursuit there.
As for the job as a youth group leader, you probably wouldn't fursuit all the time. However, you might offer to do so at a special event for the group, which can be fun and rewarding. Make sure, again, you always have approval from those in charge of any event before you fursuit.
Will you be subjected to harassment or bullying? Maybe, maybe not. Don't worry about it. You're entertaining kids for a good cause. If people have a problem with that, it is a reflection on them, not you. You are doing something nice for kids, and you are doing absolutely nothing wrong, so you should not give a crap what a bunch of twits say when they are just being bullies. Do not react to bullying or harassment. Just focus on bringing joy to the world and on being yourself.
Remember, normal people are boring. It's the weirdos and freaks of the world who make life special.
I recently made my own fursuit, and hey! It's not too bad! But ... where can I fursuit? I fursuited on Halloween, and it was fun. Everyone liked it! Yay! I had some other ideas. are these good?
1: Wearing it whenever we have a yard sale
2: Bday parties
3: Making funny YouTube videos
4: To friend group's Christmas parties
5: To the city park
6: On a walk.
Those are just my ideas, but I really need your advice!
Ozzy the Party Parrot (age 13)
* * *
Congrats on making your first fursuit! Is it a parrot like your fursona? Neat :-) Let's start with a look at places NOT to wear a fursuit, first. Because your face and identity are concealed, the first thing to remember is not to go traipsing into a bank or government facility because you'll be tackled by security guards! It is also not advisable to wander into a place of business with your head covered without the business owner's permission for pretty much the same reason (this is why you might see furries wearing ears and tails but not a head at a store). Now, if you inform a business owner ahead of time, and they say okay, that's fine. Public parks can be hit or miss. For example, the San Diego Furries meet and fursuit at places like Balboa Park with no problem, but I have a furiend up in the Bay Area who once got approached by police for suiting in a park there because someone reported a suspicious person. So, when it comes to parks, do a little research up front or go with a group of furries who have organized an event. I would check ahead, too, before suiting at fairs and festivals to make sure the organizers knew I was going to be there (e.g., I've been thinking of fursuiting at the Palm Springs Street Fair, but I would check with them before I did so). Wearing what is essentially a mask in public has a history of issues related to what's going on in our society. For example, the rise of terrorism has made authorities very suspicious of people concealing their faces in public places; on the other hand, with COVID around everyone has to wear a mask. Wutcha gonna do? It's confusing. So, rule of thumb: always plan ahead and make sure it's okay before you fursuit in a public place or business.
Let's move on to ideas for good places to fursuit. Besides furcons and meets, going to related activities is a great alternative. For example, a lot of furries suit at Renaissance Faires. Comic book conventions are also a sweet place, as are related cons like anything related to anime, sci-fi, and fantasy. Wearing your fursuit on Halloween is also perfect (as you found out). Of course, anything to do with fursuiting on your own property or in the homes of friends and family is absolutely fine, so that covers your ideas about yard sales, birthday parties, and Christmas parties, as well as doing anything online like making YouTube videos. Taking a "walk" in fursuit kind of depends, as noted above, as to where you are walking. If you walk around your own neighborhood, that's probably fine, and I have never heard of anyfur getting in trouble for doing that.
Thanks for your question! Happy Fursuiting!
I got into the furry fandom about 6.5 months ago. Ever since I joined I always wanted to have a fully drawn out fursona, Tippy (Deer/Buck), but I’ve never had the art skill to do so. I recently have been super interested in getting a reference sheet via commission. But, I have a bit of a problem, I have no idea what I’m supposed to say/do when it comes to telling them how I want it to look. I don’t wanna be to vague so it doesn’t look right or way to complicated to the point where they don’t know what to do. If you have any advice about the proper way I should communicate my thoughts into their drawings I’d be so grateful!
* * *
Good question, and thanks for submitting it. This is how I handled communications with the ref sheet artist for Grubbs. When talking with the artist, think of the drawing in terms of what the fursuit maker will be sewing. Figure out all the things the fursuit maker will be doing and then describe those to the ref sheet artist.
First, decide the overall feel of the character. Are you going for a highly realistic anthro, or something cartoony?
Do some research on fursuit makers based on fursuits you've seen and what appeals to you with a maker's style. If you have already chosen a maker, point out some of the fursuits they made that you want the ref sheet artist to emulate (artists have their own style, of course, but a good artist can emulate other styles). You can also suggest looks you like from movies, TV shows, and cartoons. For example, when I was coming up with how Grubbs should look, I told the maker, Beastcub, that I thought the bear suits in Disney's The Country Bears were superb and I wanted something along those lines.
What is the overall personality/occupation you are trying to convey? Is this going to be a fat furry? Skinny? Will clothing be worn or will the fursuit be skyclad (naked)? Perhaps armor will be worn because it is a warrior, or a wizard's robe, or there will be jewelry or native wear. Maybe your fursona is a tomb raider or a gamer or an athlete. Maybe they are a musician or skateboarder (maybe you want inline skate wheels installed in the feet! I've seen that... cool!).
Pick out particular features that you want. Do you want realistic eyes made of glass or acrylic, or do you want cloth mesh? Do you want horns or wings or something animatronic? Do you want soft claws or perhaps something made of polyurethane that looks real. Where do you want the zipper (back or front)? Do you want a detachable tail? Should the ears wobble or be static? Do you want a moveable jaw so you can appear to be talking? Should the fur be shaggy or short or felty? Or do you need claws or feathers? Hooves on the feet but human hands? See if the maker has options for how the head is constructed (there are various approaches to head construction (foam heads are more typical of cartoony heads, while resin is often seen in more realistic heads). Ref sheet artists often don't go into mechanical details, but if you can get them to sketch out a lot of the specifics, it can be helpful to the maker.
The ref sheet should, obviously, have a color palate. Make sure you are clear on everything from fur color to paws to claws to eyes to nose to inner ear, etc. etc. etc.
A ref sheet is essential because this is where you work out all the details of your fursona before it goes into production (much cheaper to correct things in a drawing than after it has been sewn!). So, take your time and make sure you have exactly the look you are going for before you give the okay to the maker to start sewing!
Hope this answers your question!
I have an animegao mask and a fursuit. However I usually wear them only on the conventions, and at home for pictures and video chats. Last year though, me, my little brother and my mom did a photoset (I also made him a fursuit head).
However, I want to fursuit more, outside of the conventions. I'm alone, only with a little brother, and I am afraid of exposing my things to children who aren't even aware of what anime or furry is. All they see, is just a group of cute characters, and to them, every animation is a cartoon even if it's South park or Death note - though I don't like them both, and none of my characters are from these shows. They're mostly into Soviet cartoons, and very rarely Disney and Nickelodeon.
Parents would think that I am a professional actor who charges for money for pics, and nothing else. But I am not. I really want to play for free, gently, not rough, just like in Disneyland resort.
That's why conventions to me are more preferred even though nobody understand that kind of cosplay... Conventions are usually attended by the guys who dislike children's entertainment, fandoms portrayed there are usually for adults and teens only. Very rarely you can see kids cosplaying Pokémon, Card captor Sakura etc. Which is what I luv.
Yet my friends and those who call me a stalker, they fursuit in public freely and have fun. They don't need any rationalising. They're using the fact that kids don't care and only see cute characters to the mutual advantage. They just have fun.
I guess I can't have fun anymore. Maybe it's because I took too much Risperidone as a kid/teen, and the mesolimbic pathway just can't let dopamine in, which is something that prevents me from having fun.
Please tell me how come.
* * *
There are opportunities to fursuit in public outside of furcons (and meets), but I would do so in an organized fashion. These days, with parents afraid of stalkers and kidnappers and with the fear of terrorism (you're wearing a mask), there are some restrictions. For example, don't walk into a bank or government office wearing a fursuit LOL. Unless you want to be tackled to the floor by security.
Some public parks can also be restrictive, and some not. I used to go to a park furmeet near San Diego where furries were in suit and everyone was fine with it. On the other hand, I've heard that a fursuiter once got in trouble with police at a park in the San Francisco area (he wasn't arrested, but was told not to do it again). Therefore, one thing I would do is always check.
At public parks, contact the local Parks and Recreation Department and ask them about costuming on their grounds, what their policies are and such. Cosplayers are common in many parks (e.g., Lord of the Rings cosplayers at Griffith Park), but other parks are fearful of them. Check a few parks in your area. Another place is at events such as festivals, the Renaissance Faire, etc. I have often seen furries at Ren Faires, so they are pretty cool with that. I've been thinking about contacting Palm Springs City Hall about fursuiting at the street fair they have weekly (although I have done it before without complaint). I also once had a local business hire me during Halloween to dress up and promote their ice cream shop. Oh, and Halloween and Mardis Gras are great places, too.
You can also do volunteer work. A number of fursuiters I know do that for various charities, especially kids charities. You can also do so at children's hospitals; just contact their Volunteer Service department and inquire as to whether they are looking for entertainers and what their policies are. Doing it for free, of course, is often persuasive to charities. And don't forget things like animal rescue and wildlife conservation societies who could be open to your services.
Hope this gives you some ideas. Happy Fursuiting!
Hello, hope you’re doing great!
I’ve been part of the furry fandom officially for around a year now (at least four years if you count before I discovered the fandom) and I’ve been wanting a fursuit just like almost every other furry for a while. The only problem is that I’m pretty chonky and have thick thighs, hips, belly and bottom, so I’m nervous about how that would look, I’m super self conscious about my weight and stuff. Also, I’m not the most heat-tolerating person and I don’t think I have the stamina to fursuit for very long. So I’m thinking of getting a partial instead. However, I love the look of digitigrade legs and that’s not really achievable with a full partial. I don’t want to get a 3/4 suit because I feel like for the price I would just get a full suit. My question is, if I got a full partial (head, handpaws, arm sleeves, feetpaws and tail), would I be able to get some big pants and put some padding in them to still get that digitigrade look without having to buy legs? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
* * *
I wouldn't worry about weight being an issue, as fursuits look great with padding and you have natural padding :-) But if you have problems with not being able to handle heat well, then yes, a full fursuit is going to be an issue and a partial is the way to go.
If you are trying to save money but not getting digitigrade legs, I don't thing big pants with stuffing are the answer. For one thing, they will just look like baggy pants; for another, you're going to have quite a tough time keeping everything in place so it doesn't slip around and look odd.
If you are going to get a head, paws, arm sleeves, and tail anyway, adding the legs isn't going to add much to the cost you're already putting out. You will look much better with a 3/4 fursuit, keeping the torso fur-free. Sometimes a bit of extra cash is just worth it. I don't think you'll be happy without the legs if you really want that digitigrade look.
One way you might save some money is by shopping around for pre-owned paws, sleeves, and legs and just get the head customized. If you don't mind having different colors of fur on your fursona look, that could save you some money. Or, if custom paws are important, just look for used digitigrade legs and hide them under those baggy pants. You can also talk to your fursuit maker and see whether they have something on hand that either a client didn't buy or that didn't quite work out but might work under your pants and that they would sell at a discount to you.
So I'm dealing with a issue lately. My parents keep on wanting me to not show my furry side of me. Its a long story but i will make it quick. My friend and I got in a huge fight over me just being a furry and my parents told me, "You can pretend to be a animal but dressing up as one has to stop." My heart just stopped for 1 sec. I just sat in my room and started to get mad because we are not animals and it's a insult. I know he did not mean to do it, but it still hurts. I really want to show him a Moms of Furries video. But I highly doubt he would watch all of it. So the only way I can seriously be a furry in any way is Zootopia. But that is what I thought...
He got on me for THAT too! Now I can't be a furry and that's not fair. Now I just want to send cool art of anthro animals to my friends but no... I CAN'T (ugh).
Hope you can help,
GlaDOS the wolf age:11
* * *
I've been receiving more and more letters from furries like you who are under 15 years of age. Unlike older furries, who are often out on their own, have transportation, and can socialize and be independent, being a very young furry can be difficult because you are under a lot of restrictions: you don't have much, or any, money, you can't hop in a car and go to a furmeet, and your parents control what you do while you are at home (an out in the world, too). That can be very frustrating.
It is important to note, before I proceed, that most parents put various rules and restrictions on their children in an effort to protect them from harm. Some parents of furries forbid them from being furry because they have seen furry porn on the web and feel that it is a bizarre sex thing. Even if that is not the case, many parents forbid furriness because they just think "it's weird" and they are afraid of their children being bullied in school for being weird. They, like most people, are conformists--that is, they want to be "like everyone else" so that they are not rejected by society, and so they want the same for their children. "Normal" society is not imaginative, creative, or playful. "Normal" society is all about getting a college degree, getting a steady job, paying taxes, starting a family, and buying a house.
In other words, boring.
What many modern-day parents do not seem to understand is that imagination is important--especially in childhood, but also into adulthood. Imagination in childhood is exercised through play. Not the highly-organized, regimented play of, say, sports (sports are important for physical health and to learn teamwork, but not for imagination), which is so emphasized by our society, but the unstructured, creative play that is done naturally by most children until it is squashed out of their lives by parents, teachers, and peers. Pretending to be something else, role-playing, and costuming are all valid forms of play, and being furry is certainly one way of expressing this.
Furry roleplay and costuming are beneficial for a number of reasons:
Parents who forbid their kids from doing things without explaining why usually find that this has the opposite effect on their children: the child wants to do that activity more than ever before. Bad parenting is the "Do it (or don't do it) because I said so." Ask your parents to give you a reason why you can't do fursuiting. Then give them the above reasons why it is actually a good and healthy thing to do. If they are afraid of your being teased by kids, well, if you are prepared for teasing then that is not an issue. (You can also explain furry benefits to your friend with the same list above).
Remember, it is the creative people, the people who don't fit in a box, who are the most beautiful, shine the brightest, and live the loudest in this world.
Good Luck, Hon, and Bear Hugs,
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.