Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: Business

How the furry fandom gained a new artist — Lux Operon, weaver of light

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Welcome to Lux, with a guest post about what she does when not hosting furry movie pizza parties. – Patch 

On a beautiful fall morning in Reno, the edge of sunrise starts to paint the desert mountains. The color in the sky is just right. I rush to my balcony and put on my glowing pup hood for photos, which I will share to a majority audience of people with fuzzy wolf characters. I am profoundly happy.

Electroluminescent wire is a sister material to LEDs. They look similar, but they’re functionally quite different. An LED is a diode that emits a single point of light, but EL wire works like a capacitor. Since it has no resistance within, it doesn’t heat up when lit. An exposed end might give a small shock if it touches your skin (but it won’t kill you, or I’d be dead). It’s flexible, continuously lit throughout its length, and has many applications to create an amazing glowing costume.

Like any wearable electronics, EL wire has limitations and can be finicky. Its battery packs (drivers) are each rated for a different length of wire. Knowing how to troubleshoot your costume is integral to being a fiber artist with this material. It’s easy to learn but very hard to master.

The technology has been around for some time, but it wasn’t until the late 90s and early aughts when the folks at FunHouse productions in Oakland, California decided to really develop the platform. EL wire is the unofficial signage of the Burning Man event, where you can often find people in these costumes wandering around the playa as strobing neon silhouettes in the dark.

This art was largely contained to their scene in Black Rock City until dance troupes started popping up on America’s Got Talent. For the 2012 season, Team Illuminate put together dance routines and nearly went all the way. By weaving EL wire and using the interplay of darkness to create floating shapes and coordinated blinking, they made the world aware of wearable neon, including me.

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The Dealers Den plans to rebuild with unprecedented features and Blockchain technology

by Patch O'Furr

Help vote for success for the only furry auction site!

For over 20 years, furries have had their own specialized auction sites serving the “Furry Economy”. In 1999 there was Furbid and Furbuy. In 2015 we had Furbuy and The Dealers Den. Now only the last one is standing — and thriving. It may be poised to leap ahead of big corporate sites with an ambitious plan.

The Dealers Den is a furry-owned marketplace that brings outsized benefit to sellers and users. They don’t have to use Etsy, Ebay or Amazon. They can efficiently reach each other within their own niche. It keeps things in the “fandom family” without corporate middlemen and control. Ask users what the site does for them. (“Very surprised and very grateful”: fursuit maker Beauty of the Bass talks about a $14,000 sale.) It makes big support for independent art.

But for any niche community, there are downsides. Keeping things personal and relying on trust can be risky. Anywhere in the fandom, scam sellers can come back under new names, or good sellers can be hurt by false bidding or cheating on pay. It’s hard to scale up for new features — like a verified purchase review system, payment processing, or escrow protection.

Enter the Dealers Den rebuild plan.

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Fuzznet Music launches a netlabel to unite musicians of the furry fandom.

by Patch O'Furr

What if there was a convention for furry musicians? For BLFC 2018, a furry musical was created and performed there (and it wasn’t the first of its kind.) Imagine that kind of energy every year. Sustaining it would take a thriving scene with room for its own publishers.

But what is furry music? Why is it furry? A Dogpatch Press Q&A series asked musicians to explain. Some use animal themes or perform in fursuit. Some just share a social circle. Many music scenes work that way, so you don’t even need to ask why. A show takes a crowd after all. What kind of energy could they bring to a con? Furry DJ spots have a lot of competition, and musicians have played live for hundreds of fans at cons. Think: Matthew Ebel, NIIC The Singing Dog, or Fox & Pepper (who racked up $38,000 in crowdfunding for an album!) Some get lots of views, compose for films, and reach outside the fandom. FWA 2019 made brief crossover with mainstream act Mystery Skulls. Furry musicians are also collaborating to put out compilations.

That makes a scene with potential. Now they’re taking another step forward with a netlabel. So blow a horn and start a howl for FUZZNET MUSIC!

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“Very surprised and very grateful”: fursuit maker Beauty of the Bass talks about a $14,000 sale.

by Patch O'Furr

Previously: Furries support independent art with $14,000 and $15,600 fursuit auctions at The Dealers Den.

A creepy-cute aesthetic

“I prefer to work on scary, creepy, odd, gory and crazy designs,” said UK-based fursuit maker Beauty of the Bass in her recent Dealers Den auction.

Ghatz, the suit shown here, doesn’t belong to the lucky winner — theirs is waiting to start — but this completed work can show why her talent earns a price as high as $14,000.

The Krampus-like aesthetic stands out in a crowd of technicolor fluff. Imagine basking in the spookiness in person, then being chased by this creature through delightfully twisted nightmares. The maker’s vision is detailed in her FAQ that pairs her with compatible clients.

(BotB) — Things I look for in a design and application:

  • A well written and thought out application form.
  • A clear reference of the character in question with a strong idea of concept and direction the client wishes me to go in.
  • On the other hand, I am looking for artistic liberty suits. These will be done on an ‘offer me a price’ basis.
  • Interesting, scary, gory, unique, tricky and extravagant designs will have more of a chance to go through.
  • I am wanting to do a belly suit, so will be looking for that opportunity!
  • WEREWOLVES. MYTHICAL CREATURES. DEMONS.
  • Silicone drool, skin and gore effects. This does not require lots of mold making, therefore I am more than happy to do this.
  • Willingness to go the extra mile for the extra effects and will be happy to push the boat out with me, as i’m wanting to push myself.
  • Unique species, uncommon species and hybrids.
  • Mutations, extra parts, double jaws, double faces, scars.
  • Long fur accents, manes and mohawks with the NFT fur upgrade.

It’s another example of unique vision seen in a 2017 story: Q&A with Kazul of Kazplay, first place winner for cosplay at Blizzcon. Kazul wanted to create a living illusion for her Hogger suit — to hide the human form and “look like he smelt like a wet, dirty dog” — and be more than a person wearing a rug.

(Kazul) — With all my work I strive to make convincing characters. When I hear people ask “how is it moving like that?” “How is a person inside that?” when I know that I’ve tricked their brain well enough that they can only see what is in front of them as a real creature, that’s when I win.

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Furries support independent art with $14,000 and $15,600 fursuit auctions at The Dealers Den

by Patch O'Furr

Sweet success for MixedCandy and Beauty of the Bass

Beauty of the Bass, a Britain-based fursuit maker and performer, felt the love from fans when a commission auction sold for £10,700 this month. That’s $14,025 USD at current exchange rate, and over three times the full fursuit price quoted on her website.

There’s no suit yet. The winner gets to have it created. Her auction lists some conditions — certain tech options aren’t possible and “I prefer to work on scary, creepy, odd, gory and crazy designs” — but there’s one benefit only an auction winner can get. No denial. Direct commissioners may not be accepted depending on the maker’s discretion for what she wants to make; but this winner enters the queue unconditionally after current customers.

An auction like this makes a premium option for artists and customers who really want their work. The price proves the demand. It’s near the highest records for any fursuit auction, which was $17,017 achieved by MixedCandy in July 2018 (beating a $13,500 auction by Made Fur You in January 2018.)

MixedCandy herself received a new $15,600 price just days after this $14,000 price for Beauty of the Bass. These outstanding prices can help to show the state of the Furry Economy and its artists.

Of course this isn’t a fursuit-selling competition. It’s support that lets makers keep directly serving fans, a rare and special opportunity to go “pro fan” as a career. That’s not get-rich-quick work, and there can be a lot of turnover. (Many makers serve commissioners with smaller wallets). Fursuits aren’t really investments either — they’re functional art that adds photogenic magic to events for all furries. You can have an open fandom and well-supported artists too.

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Help, My Fursona’s Dick Is On National TV!

by Patch O'Furr

OwO What’s this? *A million people notice ur bulge*

Imagine trademarking ‘UwU’ & ‘OwO’. Here’s a story about owning and using ideas.

Original fandom art can be an oxymoron sometimes. The topic started with one furry’s story about John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight:

My fursona’s dick was LITERALLY on national television. — (Reddit)

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Capital City Fur Con’s Nitro-powered crash and burn

by Patch O'Furr

Contact-starved furries are having a bad year. Only a few conventions opened before COVID-19 made so many cancel and cut off the hug supply. (Quick, send emergency plushies before the furries go rabid for hugging anything that moves! Or set them loose in riot zones and tell them the cops need hugs.)

Capital City Fur Con was among the few that happened successfully, and it was a first-year con… so months later, it’s extra noticeable to see it blow up with a mushroom cloud of absurd drama. At least it makes a show. It also makes a lesson about a fandom full of DIY power. Uncritical nerdy love is good for starting your own art, stories, or even a sexy furry news site — but not just any dummy should start a con.

The dummy of this story is CCFC’s (ex-) chair, Nitro. He may now be hiding out in a luxury yiff bunker, with hopes to be forgotten in the furor about a pandemic/recession/uprising, because he allegedly took thousands of dollars for charity but failed to give it to them. That’s illegal.

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With conventions closed for COVID-19, how will furries get their kink on?

by Patch O'Furr

Yesterday’s story: With conventions closed for COVID-19, what happens to furries as a community?

Ow My Balls!

The COVID-19 pandemic has postponed Sin City Murr Con. It’s planned to be the furry fandom’s first explicitly adult kink-themed convention.

SCMC also stands out as a con from Corgi Events, who organize GSFC, Aquatifur, DenFur, and PDFC. It’s furry fandom’s first multi-event managing company, with the idea of a paycheck letting the CEO do this full-time. Despite fear that paying someone is the tip of a Bad Dragon-sized capitalist intrusion, advancing a grab-bag of cons could be the foot in the door for the kink one.

This is a hit to fandom expression AND business. Several furries had a group chat about the postponing.

Lux, a furry artist in California, didn’t see such a big issue. She felt like SCMC might not have gone over well due to being “neither part of the kink scene or the local Las Vegas scene. Las Vegas seems like an all right place for a furry convention without the gimmick you know? And a furry track could be slotted into another kink event that happens in Las Vegas, rather than the other way around. Las Vegas hosts adult films expo and sex toy conventions if I’m not mistaken.”

I felt like explicit kink friendliness is a big deal, many furry people ARE kink scene people, and Las Vegas local furries haven’t made the effort for their own con. (They had Elliott’s Live Events, but that was more of a private party.) I saw a bigger issue.

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With conventions closed for COVID-19, what happens to furries as a community?

by Patch O'Furr

Depression of the furry economy.

Real life cons and meets are glue for internet fandom. Closing them will make a ripple effect.

Furry fandom has had decades of rising activity, and it’s between members without depending on corporations. Up to now, their cons bring tens of thousands of people with tens of millions of dollars spent per year around the world. That’s hard to just pause and restart.

It’s tourism/live show business that makes a foundation for other businesses. Take fursuit-making. It has millions a year in activity. Shutdowns and unemployment could make commissioners less eager for fursuits they can’t use in person or afford.

Some makers have long queues for promised work. That can mean holding a lot of deposits (even near an average household’s debt — thousands per suit x dozens of suits.) Imagine the queue stopping. That’s the ripple effect.

Could that kind of problem bankrupt cons? Or are they safe if they can cancel hotel contracts by force majeure? How hard will the hangover be if it takes a year or more to restart? (Reopening too soon can hurt too, without concerted solutions everywhere.)

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An exclusive look at pup mask making with WearWolf Creations and new brand Snap Jaw

by Dogpatch Press Staff

The Noah’s Ark of furry fandom has many ways to get on board. Friendly and toony characters you can hug bring me there. But others are drawn to a sleek, inhuman-but-warm latex sheen that takes them to their headspace. Headspace is a good word. Despite negative notions, pup-players say it doesn’t start below the belt, and adult topics need no mention for this story about a team of artists who craft their headgear. How about marketing it as useful? When it starts to rain, these animals can stay dry and wear one instead of an umbrella. No? Even if they aren’t for you, you may enjoy learning how the secret ingredient that floats this business is the brainstorming and collaboration that furry fandom provides. Pup players are part of a community of makers. (See also the recent article — Fursuit Animatronics: the future is now with Ocelynk of Feliform Labs.) –– Patch

WearWolf Creations is spinning off into two independent businesses for latex hoods to serve the pup community: @CreationsWear and @SnapJawForge.

FC 2019 art show entries

Behind the scenes with the team, shop, and creation process.

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