How To Make A Fursona - Fursonafy

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What Is A Fursona?

For most of you reading this, this might seem like pointing out the obvious, but, for the few of you wondering what the hell a fursona is, here’s what you need to know:

  • A fursona is basically a person reimagined as an animal
  • Anyone can have a fursona
  • A fursona and a furry are not the same thing
  • The larger furry community is known as the furry fandom

If you didn’t know what a fursona was you’re likely thinking “well, then what’s the difference between a furry and a fursona… and what’s a furry fandom?” but don’t worry, it’s quite simple

A furry is literally just someone who is interested in anthropomorphic creatures (Baloo the Bear, Timone, Bambi… whatever) with human characteristics. If you’re interested and want to know more about what furries are, check out this article.

A common misconception is that a furry must have a fursona to be a part of the furry fandom. This simply isn’t true.

Although it’s uncommon, there is no gatekeeping rule that shuns you from the furry fandom if you don’t have a fursona. The furry fandom is a welcoming community to all furries. Having said that, having a fursona is a great medium of self-expression and normalization of furry culture.

FURRYCON: The biggest furry convention in Texas

Photograph by Carly May via CentralTrack

Why Should I Make A Fursona?

If you, like many people in the furry fandom, love some of the furry art that people make, why not personalize it and have art that you can call your own rather than just being an observer? It’s a great chance to not only explore your interest in the furry fandom further, but to give yourself a sense of uniqueness. It separates you from the crowd and can even invite conversation from fellow furries who take interest in your fursona. Self expression is more important now than ever; billions of accounts on hundreds of social media platforms, trillions of posts, streams, stories, blogs, yet with a fursona, you define yourself as an original.

How Do I Start Making A Fursona?

So, you want to start making a fursona but don’t know where to start? It’s easy.

First things first, what is your fursona’s personality? Are they angry? Lazy? Mopey? Bubbly? You may want to base your fursona off of your personality, or create an entirely new personality altogether. This does not mean you are restricted to one fursona at a time, you can have as many fursonas, with as many personalities as you wish. It’s perfectly normal for you to outgrow the personality of your fursona because, like you, your fursona can change with time if you want it to. Your fursona is not bound by the personality you initially give it.

Once you have that worked out, you should probably decide how you’ll go about illustrating this fursona. The three most common methods of doing this are:

  • Use a pre-designed character from another furry
  • Illustrate it yourself
  • Commission a furry artist (like us) to illustrate it based on your ideas

If you are doing either of the latter two, it is advised you make a detailed plan of what you want your fursona to look like (which we will begin to break down). This ranges from reference images to color palettes.

Fursona sketch

Illustration by medibang via ArtStreet

Is It Okay To Use Someone Else’s Fursona?

Some of us don’t have the greatest art skills in the world, nor are we willing to break the bank for the sake of a fursona. It can be frustrating as you want something that fulfills your fantasy but doesn’t cost a fortune. Not to worry, there are ways around it. While it can be tricky, with the right artists, you can use their fursona for yourself.

There are typically two ways to go about getting a fursona for personal use and they both have their own benefits and drawbacks.

Browsing Furry Art Sites:

Pros: One of the easiest ways is to browse furry art sites like Furrafinity looking for something you like. Once you have found something you like, try to find the original artist. Get in contact with the artist of the fursona and ask them if it’s cool for you to use their fursona as your own.

Cons: It isn’t a particularly reliable method of getting a fursona as there is a good chance that they say no. An artist can spend hours making a piece and likely won’t take kindly to someone trying to claim it as their own.

Royalty Free Furry Art:

Pros: Having a royalty free fursona is great as it completely eliminates the possibility of an artist chasing you up about you using their art without their permission. You can easily find art like this on sites such as Pinterest. Just make sure what you are using is really royalty free.

Cons: There is a possibility that someone else is using the same piece as you especially if it is a high quality piece. Typically artists don’t make amazingly detailed pieces meaning that the quality of the average royalty free piece is not amazing, making the ones that are highly sought after.

If you choose to adopt a fursona from another furry, make sure you are careful about your choice. It’s easy to rush into a purchase, blinded by the bright colors and gizmos of a fursona, rather than considering the longevity of the fursona and whether or not it really suits you. Is this what you envisioned for your fursona or are you more swept up in the novelty of the art? If you are just interested in the art, that is perfectly fine, but often furries may find themselves growing out of a fursona like this quickly.

Freelance Furry Art

Illustration by Nik_rouz via Fiver

What If I’m Drawing The Fursona Myself?

As mentioned before, there are practically only two ways to create a unique fursona. You can either hire a furry artist who can draw it for you, or draw it yourself. If you choose to do the latter, there are several ways you can go about this. Below we have broken down several methods of drawing your own fursonas with their pros and cons.

Blank Reference Sheets:

Pros: The easiest option would be to fill in one of the hundreds of blank reference sheets that you can find on websites such as Pinterest or DeviantArt. This way, the drawing skills required are minimal and the final product is guaranteed to be somewhat decent. Because of the vast range of sheets to choose from, there should be a sheet that suits your chosen species

Cons: However, these sheets aren’t as great if you are looking for a unique fursona because it’s likely that someone else has used the same reference sheet. As well as this, you must be cautious about the sheet you pick if you intend on making the fursona for commercial use as the original artist may not allow that.

Video Tutorials:

Pros: Video tutorials are an extremely useful tool for someone with some art skills trying to create their own fursona, but just need the artistic inspiration. They are not limited by a specific reference sheet but they are similarly not completely overwhelmed by the number of possibilities for their fursona. Channels such as Ash Coyote have some great furry art videos including a guide on how to draw a fursona.They are much easier to personalize than a blank reference sheet and are typically safe for commercial use. There are also thousands of video tutorials out there describing in great detail how to draw an amazing-looking fursona.

Cons: The issue is, this method is not friendly to those looking to become invested in the furry fandom with little to no art skills. Lacking art skills can be alienating as other fursonas will appear much more professional than your own. If you want an amazing-looking fursona urgently, and don’t have the time for hours of art lessons, then hiring an artist to draw it for you is likely the best advice.

Freestyle:

Pros: Some may just want to wing it and let their artistic vision completely carry them to their final product. This ensures that your fursona is one-of-a-kind and that it is completely free for commercial use no matter what.

Cons:This method is often reserved for those who are extremely confident in their artistic abilities as they are guided by no reference. Even for an intermediate artist, this method may be daunting.

How Do I Commission A Fursona To Be Made?

There are several services out there such as our own that allow furries to commission professional furry art. Our service for example offers users 4 separate packages of furry art. They can either commission: a headshot, a bust, a full-body picture or a reference sheet.

The main thing to keep in mind when commissioning any sort of art is to be as thorough as possible with the description of what you want. DO NOT leave anything up to the imagination of the artist. Say what you want exactly how you want it. Of course you can stay in contact with the artists and they can ask questions as they go, but to make your and their life easier, it’s best that you answer any questions you think they may have beforehand. A freelance artist’s worst nightmare is to receive a commission only for the customer to say something like “surprise me”. This can be a pain in the back and leave both the artist and the customer frustrated. Although our service is quite thorough with prompts on what to say you want from your fursona, the user must still put a minimum of two reference images and a detailed description of what exactly they want.

Each method is completely valid as preference varies from furry to furry. If you still feel unsure about making your fursona, consider discussing with furries or other furry artists about how they made their fursona. There are plenty of forums and discord servers that are open to discussion about anything furry-related. They’d be happy to answer questions about their creative process, how they came up with ideas, their artistic technique etc. Making a fursona should not be something that you stress about but instead something that you enjoy and take pride in.

But, as with drawing your own fursona, if you are going to send it off to an artist to draw it for you, you still need a good idea of what you want your fursona to look like.

So, let’s get to designing!

Art Commission Sheet

Illustration by Phantassel via Comiss.io

How Do I Start Designing My Fursona?

Start simple. Decide on the species of your fursona before anything. Contrary to the name, your fursona doesn’t have to literally be furry, they can be anything from a lizard to a raccoon. It doesn’t even have to be a real animal! In 2009, pounced.org documented “dragon” as its 4th most popular fursona species. Some of the most popular fursona species include: wolves, foxes, cats, dogs and rabbits. Look here for more information on the most popular fursona species. Keep in mind, although it’s not mandatory, fursona species typically reflect the personality of your fursona. Here’s a list of the 10 most common fursona types and their typical personalities.

Foxes: often reserved for more devious fursonas, foxes are cunning and sly individuals who, although timid in the face of adversity, are often confident in their personal decision making. They are typically skillful in their ability to slink around unbeknownst to others.

Fox Fursona (Orphensiriust)

Illustration by Orphensirius via Twitter

Cats: these fursonas tend to be a lot more sociable than foxes although reside in a similar cunning intelligence. They are protective of their belongings whether it be a thing or a person and are easily angered if said belonging are put in danger

Cat Fursona (Loki)

Illustration by Charlotte via Pinterest

Dogs: very joyous and equally dopey animals, these fursonas are capable of forming strong emotional bonds with people or other animals. They will stop their loved ones from being harmed by all means necessary.

Dragons: tend to be more introverted creatures who find comfort in their own wisdom. However, they are not afraid of confrontation, but instead are very short-tempered and likely to become the aggressor if prodded enough.

Dragon Fursona (Seawing Dragonet)

Illustration by Lover via WallpaperCave

Tiger: a lot of the time, you’ll see tigers in hybrid fursonas as opposed to their own thing. This is probably because of their very distinct striped pattern that people want to use without using the typically territorial qualities associated with tigers.

Lions: this one is for the more promiscuous folk as lions are one of the most sexually active big cats, often focusing their attention on building a community. They also pride themselves on their loyalty to said community of fellow lions.

Rabbits: although less prideful, rabbits are renown for their excessive breeding and extremely high fertility. Despite this, they also seem to symbolize innocence because… well… look at how small and cute they are.

Racoons: these guys are always depicted as the sly, scavenging fella in mainstream media, whether it be PS2 classic Sly Cooper or Pocahontas’ Meeko. They usually have a cheeky charm about them to compliment their sly nature.

Bears: bears have supposedly become more uncommon in recent years despite their extremely common appearance in cartoons and mainstream media (Winnie The Pooh, Baloo the Bear, Yogi Bear). Regardless, they are represented by people who are larger in stature and play a more caring motherly/fatherly figure.

Skunks: remaining one of the most popular species for the past few decades, skunks are a more kinky species of fursona, usually associated with fetishes, but this doesn’t seem to be a requirement for most skunks given its popularity in the furry fandom. Likely one of the broadest fursonas that can be adopted by almost anyone.

As explained before, these traits aren’t completely bound to the species you want to pick, it’s just a general idea for those who are possibly overwhelmed and need some guidance in their decision.

Side-note about design: You should additionally think about the body type of your fursona, are they lean? Are they tall? Are they stocky? Think about the proportionality of your fursona. Do they have a big head? Wide hips? Large paws? Also, don’t feel obligated to make your fursona perfectly able-bodied, if you want them to be missing a leg, don’t be afraid to include that. In that same vein, don’t let the species of your fursona restrict you to specific body parts. A rabbit can have wings and a cat can have horns, get creative! However, try to avoid giving your fursona abilities that are not within the power of your chosen species, no one likes an over-powered fursona.

How Do I Decide My Fursona’s Colors?

If you aren’t using the natural colors of your chosen animal, then you should select colors that both compliment one another but, much like the species, encapsulate the personality of your fursona. For a more devious, sly fursona, you may want to opt for a darker color palette, while for an aggressive fursona, reds and oranges may be a better illustration of their personality. Assign different colors to different parts of your fursona. For example:

Tail – Red and black stripes

Mane – Black with tinges of orange

Paws – White with black pads and metacarpal

Torso – White with black pads and metacarpal

You should map this out for each individual part of the body to get a better reference of what you want it to look like. You can look to other fursonas or reference sheets for inspiration on a color palette as it may bring to light ideas you never even thought of.

It’s also completely cool if you want to take inspiration from another fursona’s color palettes. You can find plenty on sites like Furrafinity

Abstain from too many rainbow-coloured body parts as it can quickly become messy and hard on the eyes. At the same time, don’t make your colors too basic, the more plain your fursona, the more likely it is that it is similar to another fursona out there. Some color palettes can come off as cliché like red and black or blue and white.

Fursona color palettes

Illustration by Owiru via DeviantArt

How Do I Accessorize My Fursona?

Once you have your species and color palette worked out… you’re ready to accessorize! Don’t be afraid to go crazy with accessories. The more accessories you have, the better. Remember, there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of fursonas out there, meaning, there’s a good chance that there is one out there that looks fairly similar to yours. Not only does this make it important that your color choice is unique, but it also means accessorizing is crucial to stand out from the pack. Have they got a shirt on? How does it fit? Does it have a design on it? How about a top-hat? The more unique your accessories, the more unique your fursona is. Think about the color of them and how they compliment your fursona as you go. Also, accessories aren’t exclusive to clothes, an accessory can be in the range of anything, from a flamethrower to a monocle, let your imagination run wild.

Some people like to choose accessories that are more fitting to their fursona’s personality. However, others like to select things that they just think look cool like Reddit user ZbrojovkaBRNO who has “WW2 ammo pouches from the Netherlands and a chest holster from 1920s America”.

Tail – Red and black stripes

Mane – Black with tinges of orange

Paws – White with black pads and metacarpal

Torso – White with black pads and metacarpal

If it is your first time making a fursona, there’s a good chance that, just like you, your fursona will change with time. Your passions may grow, your likes and interests may change and this is perfectly fine. If you feel as though your fursona and its given accessories no longer embody your initial vision, don’t be afraid to change it. While you should accessorize your fursona however you want, what you “want” is almost guaranteed to change with time./p>

How Do I Name My Fursona?

You’ve got a pretty vivid idea of what you want your fursona to look like and it’s finally time to assign a name to your creation. It can be hard. Often furries find themselves getting bogged down on selecting a name that has some extreme depth to it, but in actuality it can be anything. This is not to take away from some of the clever fursona names out there, but there is no obligation to make your name some extravagant art piece. Some furries go just by their first name while others come up with both a first and last name. If you are struggling to find inspiration, there are plenty of fursona name generators that you can find online that will surely help you.

If you are struggling and don’t want a randomly generated name, it is worth thinking about the prominent traits of your fursona. What would be a name that is reflective of your fursona’s personality. Unlike with a new-born baby, you have the foresight of what your fursona is going to be like and can therefore name it accordingly. Similarly, unless your name is something blatantly inappropriate (distasteful, slurs/hateful language etc.), anything goes. It doesn’t have to be an actual name like Mohammed or James, nor does it have to be a completely made up name like Starwolf Foxtrot.

What Do I Do With My Fursona Now?

The beauty of making a fursona is that it can be repurposed for so many things. If you’d rather keep your fursona a secret, it’s cool for your fursona to be a personal endeavor, just a piece of artwork for you to hold on to.

Most people use their fursona as a display picture on their social media platforms. Some even make new accounts just for their fursona to distance themselves from their fursona. This allows them to share posts on their main account to the general public while also being able to interact with the furry fandom without facing the stigmatization of those who may follow their main account. This is not to suggest that you shouldn’t be proud of your fursona, in fact, it’s the complete opposite, you should be able to share your fursona with pride, but unfortunately some people aren’t as accepting as others making hate comments common. For those who can’t be bothered to deal with the ignorance of others, a separate account for their fursona is ideal.

You can also share your fursona in furry communities, get feedback, discuss other people’s fursonas, and who knows, even make some new friends along the way. They are a great form of verification amongst furry communities as it makes it clear that you are serious about this furry thing or better yet that you aren’t just a troll.

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