- Arts and Design
How to Create a Fursona Your Friends Will Love
elcome to the Furry Fandom!
You've already done the hard part -- you've decided that you enjoy cartoon characters as much as the rest of us. Maybe you're even willing to draw, write, or whatever creative fun you do best with rest of us while having a good time! (and if you're an artist, you can make some good money drawing everyone else's furries...)
That's not all, though! One of the big things that separates being a Furry from being a fan of Harry Potter or Star Trek or even a fan of a whole genre like Manga is that furries tend to make up their own mythos as they go, rather than having a corporation serve one up to you. You can bring your own original works to life!
Many of the other furries you consider friends and fans have their own personal characters they use within the fandom, as representatives of themselves the same way you would have a special avatar in a role-playing game that's unique to you.
This is called a Fursona (Furry Persona), and they have lots of uses you'll discover as you start to become more involved in the fandom.
The best way to figure out what they're all about is to make one for yourself!
here's no point hiding it: making a character that represents you can be a lot of work, and you're likely to invest far more in making / having fun with this thing than you expected -- Commissions aren't cheap! Still, we have some reasons why having a Fursona is good for you as a Furry:
- Furries are highly visual people. Most of the fandom's interest is in visual representations. By having your own illustrated character, you become easier to interact with inside of the fandom because people can tell more easily who you are! (Also, on some sites like twitter, having a fursona as your avatar makes you more easily trusted!
- Appealing characters are easier to remember than names! Sure, people won't remember who you are if you're SephirothLuver666. They WILL, however, remember a purple fruit bat with a giant crown and an ermine cape. Yes, both are equally silly, but admit it, you're not forgetting about King Batty anytime soon. Visual images have that effect on people.
- Everyone loves artwork of themselves! Even if you don't plan on purchasing commissioned artwork of your fursona, it's inevitable that someone will offer you fanart or try to draw you into something they're already working on. Since drawing human characters isn't nearly as interesting (or simple, in terms of certain art styles), a fursona provides an easy shorthand for almost ANY artist to illustate!
- Expressing yourself as a certain animal (or a combination of animals) can say a lot about what type of person you are! As humans, we naturally apply lots of symbolism to various animals. Dogs are loyal. Cats are independent. Foxes are tricksters. In a medium where face-to-face contact is rare enough as is, being able to express who you are in a convenient form is especially useful!
- The More, the Merrier! Just like many online efforts, the more people and things there are in something, the bigger and better it gets. By contributing your fursona to the fandom, you get to improve the fandom and make it more fun for everyone else!
- There's no Better way to Promote Yourself! Plan on selling some artwork? Want to feature your comic? Just can't keep quiet about how awesome you are? Your Fursona is a personal brand you can build off of, and even use to further your other goals within the fandom!
- Gain a Deeper Connection with the Community! Unlike being a fan of a TV show, where your interest may shut off as soon as your favorite actor disappears or the plot just turns in a direction you hate, creating a fursona gives you a piece of the fandom you'll always love to see!
ell, it's a fair question... some folks can't make a good character, others don't develop the same "connection" to their avatars as others do, and some folk just can't decide on a single character... are they at a disadvantage when dealing with other furries, or can they get involved just like everyone else?
Do you need a Fursona to be a Furry Fan?
he most obvious cue of your fursona will be its species -- dog or cat, fish or fowl, unicorn or dragon -- and it will also be one of the harder decisions you need to make as a result, as it's a hard thing to alter later on.
Granted, there's nothing keeping you from switching characters entirely, but it's much easier to justify a new wardrobe or hair color than it is an entire species-change.
There are thousands upon thousands of species you can choose from. Wolves and Foxes are the most common, but there's nothing keeping you from being your favorite breed of terrier, a gerbil, or even something a little more exotic like a horse, tiger, or kangaroo! If you're looking for something a little less... mammalian, lizards and birds are also just as useful.
If these seem limiting to you, or you just can't decide between two species you really love, there's no reason you can't combine two or three different animals together to create something that's all yours! And if you're really feeling daring, you can create an entirely new species all your own, that's as wild or exotic as you can imagine!
There's no limit to what's available to you; since it's all illustrated somehow, as long as someone can draw it, you can have it!
Already have a Species in mind? - Tell Us What You're Thinking!
Maybe you're already interested in the fandom because of a particular species, or you even already have a fursona you're looking to spruce up! If you do...
Which Species Did You Pick?
Furry Books For You! - Reading Material is Always Good.
Past the species, the next obvious thing about your fursona will be its color scheme. It may seem strange, but since people will eventually be trying to illustrate your character, having a color scheme they can stick to is incredibly useful; it allows them to improvise on things like outfits and scenery, while still being confident you'll like the results.
Just like picking a species that represents you, the colors you choose will also make a certain statement about you. These colors can be as muted or as wild as you like, but you'll likely want to pick anywhere from two to five colors you want to repeat over and over in your character.
Having Trouble Finding A Color Scheme?
Adobe's Kuler is an online service to help you find and make great color schemes!
ne of the great things about using animal characters is that if you don't want to worry about dressing your characters up in clothes, you don't have to! In fact, it may not be useful if your character is a more realistic fursona instead of being humanoid.
But clothes are just another way of expressing your character's personality! Even totally realistic fursonas (most domestic dog fursonas, for example) have special collars / bandannas / piercings or other accessories that don't look totally out of place on an animal, and these can be added to even the most basic fursona!
(Also, if you choose a fairly "common" fursona species to begin with, you'll need to do more and more to make them look unique and original...)
Using your Wardrobe for your Color Scheme
I recommend not using all of the colors in your chosen color scheme on your character's physical body, and leaving some of the colors to appear in their clothes.
It's far simpler to change / adjust your color scheme later by giving your fursona a new wardrobe than it is to dye their hair / fur!
Defining your character with a species, a color scheme, and a wardrobe is all important... but now it's time to realize you may want some additional traits to throw in, whether they be piercings, special hair dye (like streaks or highlights), a signature piece of jewelry, or certain accessories like a musical instrument, a weapon, or their favorite game console!
- Popular Fashion Accessories like purses, cell phones, and shoes can make or break a modern-themed character!
- Punk / Goth Accessories like collars, corsets, cinchers, and gauntlets / leg warmers can stand alone while still making a statement!
- Got a Job? Throw in some common accessories associated with it; from a cup of coffee to a laptop, If you use it on the job, it's fair game!
What About Fursuits?
Oh, the irony.
Step 5: Put it All Together with a Character Sheet! - (A handy-dandy reference to your Fursona for Everyone!)
Okay, so now we've put together everything that you like about your fursona; you've picked out a species, colored it the way you like it, decided what sorts of clothes it should wear, and even picked out some accessories to go with your character and pose them with!
Now, how are we going to tell everyone else about all of this in a simple way that allows anyone who wants to illustrate your character to do so easily?
Why, with a character sheet!
Also known as a character model sheet, It's a simple one-page graphical layout of your character's physical traits and details. You can either make one yourself, or work closely with a more accomplished artist the first time to have them craft a character sheet for you.
The general rule is that if it's something you think is important to the character, include it on the sheet. Don't go overboard focusing on certain details and leaving out others, though! Certain minimum details, such as the color of your character's eyes and hair, should always appear on your character sheet!
Step 6: Start Your Own Squidoo Lens!
(Okay, you can skip this step if you really want)
A big thing about having a fursona is having someplace where all this information can be found and reached easily. Artists LOVE being able to get as much information as they need, and you'll love having it already organized and in an easy to read fashion.
So what's a furry to do?
As luck would have it, you're already at the solution. Making a new Squidoo Lens all about your Fursona is a great way to consolidate everything about you and your Fursona in one place, from pictures to textual descriptions, twitter feeds to flickr archives... and if you're an artist, you can even use the lens to direct stuff back to your galleries / websites or post about your wares for sale!
If you don't already have a squidoo account, making one couldn't be easier, and you can start posting new lenses immediately! Don't worry about getting them all right the first time; you can always come back and add more, more, more!
It's All What You Make of It!
The more effort you put in, the better your Fursona will turn out. Don't just go with what's simple; put some thought into it!
Let us know if we've helped you craft your perfect fursona (Heck, feel free to link to a lens featuring yours!) or tell us what steps we need to add to the process!
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