I’m probably opening up a can of worms with this one, but this has been something I’ve been thinking about lately. Who knows, maybe this will just come off as informative and nothing more.
I’ve been into this furry thing for about 7 ½ months now, and I’m still not surprised at myself. In one form or another, I tend to like movies or shows that featured anthropomorphic animal characters (you can thank Disney for that). With furries in general, though, I didn’t know about it until I “discovered” the Internet. I won’t go into detail, but my first experience seeing furry art was when I was around middle school and I saw…well, we’ll just say “naughty” things. Obviously at the time, I didn’t think too much of it; it was there, I “enjoyed” it, and that was that.It wasn’t until I was about 2 or 3 years into college that I started legitimately enjoying anthro art after getting into MLP. I found a lot of really cool anthro versions of the MLP characters that ranged from badass, to cute, to downright beautiful. However, because of my initial experience with viewing “adult” furry art and the general stigma against furries (we all really want to have sex with animals/have sex in fursuits), I felt awkward legitimately enjoying anthro MLP art. If anything, I remember sticking to just crossover works; there, I feel comfortable with at least the MLP and X crossover portion, anthro or not.
Then I met my friend, Ben, and found out he was a furry. After I started hanging out with him more frequently a few months after I initially met him, he would sometimes peruse and show me furry webcomics or point me to furry artists that he knew of. All of this was clean art. Sometimes there was tasteful nudity, barely, but none of it was straight-up pornographic. Thing is, it was good too. The art styles I found were good, and I thought one webcomic he showed me was funny (I even bookmarked it and still follow it to this day). After perusing on my own and finding a few furry artists to follow on DeviantArt, I was hooked.
However, again, I felt awkward looking at this because of that initial experience. But then I thought: I’ve pretty much been a furry all my life, really…screw it, guess I am one now. Of course, after this realization and liking/faving furry art more and more, I started to be more accepting of this part of me.
Now, in terms of my writing, I’m more comfortable writing stories that feature anthro characters and not worrying what non-furs think of me. So long as they critique the story and how these characters fit and whatnot, I don’t nor shouldn’t care otherwise.
I also have a hard time writing fanfiction. Whenever I tried to write MLP fanfiction, I get finicky with keeping as close to canon as possible and not going along with tropes that people hate in fanfics, like self-inserts. And yes, I did write a self-insert fanfic, even though I didn’t make myself a Mary Sue. However with furry fiction, I can write whatever story I want with whatever characters I create; I can put these characters into environments and locals I’ve created. I don’t have to stick to someone else’s created world and characters. Plus, it’ll give me a challenge to write characters that can express both human and animal characteristics, behaviors, and instincts. I also have to keep in mind: This character isn’t a human, it’s a [insert species here]; I now have to ask
- What will they [sense]?
- How will their [fur, scales, feathers] react to [this substance]?
- What other appendages do they have (aside from a tail)?
- How will they survive in [this environment] when their natural habitat is [that environment]?
As you can see, there are a lot more things I need to think about along with how an anthro character fits in a story.Recently, I’ve attempted at drawing furry art as well. I’ve only done three drawings so far, and I’m currently working on my third. They’re mostly for practice, especially trying to get used to drawing human and animal anatomy; I’ve gotten a little used to pastel colored equine anatomy, so I need to expand my drawing skills a little. Needless to say, it’s hard. I don’t have a canon style to reference; I have to find as many good references as I can, even if they vary in art style or are photographs. Like with everything, though, the more I practice, the better I’ll get. Who knows? Maybe someday I can draw my own cast of characters I’ve created for my stories, rather than commission someone else to draw them.
That’s about it for now. I haven’t experienced much on the social aspect of being a furry, but I’m sure that will come with time. I also haven’t experienced fursuiting at all, but lots of furs enjoy it and I hope someday I can get one myself. Otherwise, being a furry has given me a broad creative outlet along with a creative freedom that, personally, I don’t see too often outside the fandom/subculture (whatever you want to call it). It’s part of who I am, it’s a weird part of who I am, but I’m ok with that.