Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Tag: fursuiting

Fursuit Animatronics: the future is now with Ocelynk of Feliform Labs

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Thanks to Ocelynk for this guest post. To submit for public access, get in touch from the About page.

As night falls in the South American jungle, an ocelot comes out to hunt. The small spotted cat’s ears perk at the sound of a snapping twig in the trees above, and the pursuit begins. Eighteen razor-sharp claws extend to grip a branch for an effortless ascent, and a tail balances every movement. With its prey in sight, the ocelot pounces, its fangs glistening in the moonlight…

Imagine if the furry fandom could develop fursuits that do all that, in addition to being friendly. Since the summer of 2018, I’ve been working on animatronic technology to make it possible.

It all started when I came across a post about fursuit technology that opened my eyes to the possibilities of fursuit animatronics. This was an opportunity to apply my experience with electronics and robotics to a new and exciting area.

Before long, inspiration struck. I decided that I would make a realistic fursuit with all the animatronic technology I could build. I wanted the animatronics to work without anyone actively controlling them. To decide which projects to start with, I thought about my favorite features of cats: the ears, eyes, claws, and tail. Since then, I’ve developed working prototypes for all four features.

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Forget designer fursuits… it’s time for more bonkers concept fursuits.

by Patch O'Furr

Following yesterday’s article about Zweitesich, here’s a round table chat.

(Vandell:) Saw the Zweiteisch backlash and wow some people are being way, way too harsh.

(Chip:) It is impressive that they have 50k Youtube followers and didn’t run into this sort of issue sooner.

(Changa:) Yeah. It was misguided attempt pushed on by youthful foolishness but not something I would flog them over.

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When furries attack: Zweitesich criticized for marketing fursuits as expensive luxuries.

by Patch O'Furr

“Being mean and shitty to people doesn’t make you interesting” – Kaiser Neko

Everyone knows furries are silly. Many of them even claim a tongue-in-cheek Furry Trash label that sells truckloads of t-shirts. So what kind of oxymoron is “Designer Fursuiting”?

The launch of fursuit maker Zweitesich (Second Self) presented the trappings of an upscale luxury brand, complete with slo-mo fashion modeling, and dismaying logo placement right on the faces of the products. (Cool logo design, though.) It emulated the most pretentious of mainstream hype, including eye-popping prices and one of the most overanalyzed sentences ever written to sell things to furries: “created by a designer, not ordered from a tailor.”

Flayrah’s Sonious summarized how the marketing flopped: Fursuit entrepreneur learns rocky lessons about advertising.

Sometimes hype is just hype. Image is part of selling anything. Of course, if you know furry drama, it predictably didn’t stop with a failure to connect. Not when there’s a fandom complex about image that’s way out of proportion to how much the mainstream cares. With this complex, it’s like The Normies are always lurking outside the door, and they’ll break in here if there isn’t constant gatekeeping against fictional entertainment (like the 2003 CSI episode. If it’s been stale since last decade, insecurity keeps the resentment going.)

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Goku’s furban exploration – The origins of his fursuiting hobby.

by Patch O'Furr

Creativity in fursuiting gets boosted when you stage it in exciting locations. And for going bonkers with intense photography, street art and abandoned architecture are a class of their own. That’s why the improbable idea of combining both seemed like a good idea. A call went out to see if anyone was doing it, and Goku rose to the occasion. He’s been sending regular updates and there will be more stories from him. – Patch

Welcome to guest poster Goku, a furry from the Northeast US, previously seen here:

Afternoon Patch,

I have some downtime at the office, so I figured I’d write another article. I’d love to do this with you sometime when our schedules align- your intro in the Baltimore article brought a tear to my eye and I’m so appreciative to collaborate with you!

Below is a short story with how I became involved with the types of photoshoots I do now. Photos with watermarks are courtesy of @antnommer or his fiancé, @mimosamoth on Twitter. Any photos with no watermark were taken by me or a normie bystander.

When I really started to get into fursuiting a few years ago, I just went with the flow with everyone else- going to cons and major public outings, just hoping the right photographer would take a shot of me. I had no style, no substance, and just like everyone else, I wanted to be noticed. My attitude began to change when I went to Waterfire, an arts and crafts festival held in the town of Sharon, a small place between Pittsburgh and Erie, not far from the Ohio/Pennsylvania border.

Myself and a number of other locals went there on a whim from a request of a local fur who thought it might be a great outing for fursuiters. Reflecting back, it certainly was. I got to relax in a new place for a day, we had some great food, and saw a quaint town of yester-decade. (The one diner in town looked like it was straight out of the 1950s, and I actually got shooed away from the department store because it sold women’s apparel only, and I wasn’t allowed to just browse). But for me, wandering down one alley was the catalyst of what started to bring me a lot of joy- graffiti.

I always enjoyed graffiti as a kid. My late father was a pothead, and I remember we used to take car rides together to a particular bodega in Jamaica, Queens so he could get weed. It was stereotypical- a dingy shop on a secondary street, you said a key word, slipped the cash, and you got your drugs. Sometimes I went in, sometimes I was told to stand my the car and wait for a few minutes. When my Dad instructed me to wait without him, I always paid attention to my surroundings, and usually the first thing that grabbed my eye were the uninspired tags of local assholes or gangs trying to put their mark on a block.

As remedial as they were, they sparked an interest with me. When my Dad would come out, he usually had some candy for me that he gave when we hopped back in the car. The clerk was always keen on giving me bubble gum beepers for some reason, or stale Now & Laters (probably there since the late Edward Koch was mayor of NYC). Nonetheless, it was free with a few grams of Mary Jane, and while I tried to make the candy edible while furiously masticating it (which pissed my father off to no end), I would look at the more elaborate and talented graffiti around Jamaica as we drove back into suburbia. I always admired it in silence. I never tagged anything in my life, do not have any artistic ability, so I always appreciated the talent of others.

Back to Waterfire… I saw so many prime examples of graffiti when I led a group of suiters down a random alley. None of it was really “to die for” in terms of what real galleries look like. However, all of the subtle tags and crude signs called to me slowly, and I just wanted to be a part of it all. The alley was a gem you’d find in a jewelry shop, but not the one that was polished with a huge price tag- it was that neglected rock that had decades of dust and grime. The alley was that old gem for me, and I wanted to be on top of the world with it.

Against every rational instinct about keeping my fursuit clean, I started to climb and pose on everything. I came like Miley Cyrus on an old pole in the alley. I spread myself across three slimy recycling cans (why be furry trash when you can be furry recycling?) I stuck myself in doorways, climbed fire escapes, and ran around like it was a playground. When the photos came out I was floored. This brought me more happiness than being in conspace or a parade.

I am an addict of subtle pleasures… I smoke American Spirit cigarettes, drink black coffee, and love to put myself in the settings that few would tread in (while in fursuit). This is where it began, and through the help of excellent photographers, suiters, and friends, the chapters will continue. I’m always happy to find a new place to explore, whether in a new city or right in my backyard… eventually, I’ll get one of my fursuits on and explore. I can’t overturn every rock, but each one I do leave my mark in makes me feel like I’m doing something that leaves a smile on my face.  (Well, you’d be able to see it if I didn’t have my fursuit head on).

-Goku!

Like the article? These take hard work. For regular furry news, please follow on Twitter or support not-for-profit Dogpatch Press on Patreon. For a great event, get tickets for Galactic Camp: a Space Themed One Day Furry Con, Feb 23, 2019 on an Aircraft Carrier on the San Francisco Bay. DJ’s, Cocktails, Art, Fursuiting and more!

Goku’s furban exploration – A visit to Denver with Acai the Wild Dog.

by Patch O'Furr

Creativity in fursuiting gets boosted when you stage it in exciting locations. And for going bonkers with intense photography, street art and abandoned architecture are a class of their own. That’s why I loved the improbable idea of combining both. I put out a call to see if anyone was doing it, and Goku rose to the occasion. He’s been sending more updates, and I love his work so much I’d love to meet him and help some day. There will be more stories from him! (-Patch)

Welcome to guest poster Goku, a furry from the Northeast US, previously seen here:

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Hevisaurus: The Finnish Fursuiting Metal Band for Kids – by Tempe O’Kun

by Patch O'Furr

Welcome to Tempe O’Kun: author of Paranormal Furry Romanceanthropomorphic-animal Westerns, and a frequent guest of the site. I’m very happy he’s covering these literal dinosaur rockers. I loved seeing them, but never got to it because I don’t pay enough attention to the people and reptiles of Finland. Tempe had the head of the Hevisaurus fan club look over the article and he said it rocks. It reminds me, I just interviewed Jello Biafra, the punk legend, and he was curious if dinosaurs will come to his first time meeting furries as a DJ at their dance party. He also made funny reference to the cartoonish alien metal band GWAR – this is like an evolutionary cousin between them and furries. – Patch

Why isn’t heavy metal a genre for children?

Certainly plenty of metal songs aren’t kid-friendly —don’t go replacing Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood with Metalocalypse— but adult themes in music are a matter of lyrics and visuals. Nothing about the genre on a technical level limits it to adults. Extended guitar solos and amped-up distortion, no matter how hard core, will not cause your child to explode.

The main reason we don’t see much metal for kids is the same reason we’re only now seeing young kids at furry conventions: the genre is just too new. Heavy metal only emerged in the 1970s, which means 1) society hasn’t had time to get comfortable with it and 2) many fans are only now having kids.

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Dogbomb Leads Furry Fandom To Highest Fundraising For ALS Cure Event

by Tuck Tucker

Inspirational furry, Vet Tech, and champion of ALS awareness Dogbomb (Tony Barrett) has led the fandom with a notable achievement for charity.  In the second weekend of November, a small army of furry supporters came out for his Walk To Defeat ALS event in Southern California. Their goal was to raise awareness and research funds for this fatal disease with no cure (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Patch O’Furr spoke to San Francisco Bay Area furry Zarafa Giraffe, after his return from the weekend in SoCal. It drew furries who drove from Northern California and even flew in from other states. Zarafa gave a rough estimate of 75-100 furries at the walk that he estimated as mid to high hundreds – making them a significant chunk of the whole event, as well as a third of the entire donations.

The walk synched with a FurBQ where Zarafa estimated 300 in attendance (perhaps the high end of size for local furmeets less formal than cons). Meeting many new members encouraged him to make more trips to participate. That’s the kind of snowball effect that builds up to bigger things, and gives them power to reach out and make the world better.

That fandom power propelled both Dogbomb and the furry team all the way to the top of the fundraising leaderboard on the alsa.org webpage.

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Goku’s Furban Exploration goes to inner city Baltimore and Fort Armistead.

by Patch O'Furr

Here’s a sequel to Fursuit photography from the urban jungle: Goku’s Furban Exploration.

Years ago in the Rust Belt, my friend liked exploring decommissioned grain silos and factories of the area. He took me to climb an eight story brewery that closed in the 1980’s. The entrance was a hole in a fence and the inside was covered in spraycan murals, making an unauthorized art gallery. (Hey furry artists, if you’ve done such work, show me!) The stairs were dismantled for the first few floors. Could we climb up on the conveyer belt that used to scoop grain? No, but there was a fire escape with most of the steps still hanging on. Most. The upper floors had stories-tall fermenting vats and a movie worthy view. It made quite an impression to see the afterlife of a place that wasn’t supposed to have one. The place was gone soon afterwards, with a demolition party where people on the street watched it come down. It was an experience to remember.

Creativity in fursuiting gets boosted when you stage it in exciting locations. And for going bonkers with intense photography, street art and abandoned architecture are a class of their own. That’s why I loved the improbable idea of combining both. I put out a call to see if anyone was doing it, and Goku rose to the occasion. He sent in a new update. I love his work so much I’d love to meet him and help some day – and there will be more stories from him! (- Patch)

This story comes with a gallery of 40 photos, see the complete collection here. Photo credit: @seikoliz and @rclatter. Follow Goku: @KasigFuchsGoku

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“Don’t dream it – be it!” Interview with Robert Hill about early fursuiting and fandom.

by Patch O'Furr

Art of Robert Hill

Continuing from: Meet Robert Hill: Artist, performer, and history’s first sexy fursuiter.

Furry fandom has many members who were born after Robert Hill’s ahead-of-its-time (but perhaps underrated) role in its late 1970’s-1980’s formation. My previous introduction promised an interview. That involved some convincing to start it (so maybe others wouldn’t have gotten it?) That makes me extra happy to share it now.

For a little more background, you could browse his (very fetishy and hot) Fur Affinity gallery, or his Wiki that mentions successes in getting media notice. Some was for costuming, and some for art (like in the badly intentioned, but well exposed) MTV Sex2K documentary “Plushies and Furries.

When I say “ahead of its time” and mention MTV, the 90’s were a different time than now. Drama raged between furry fans about whether sexy stuff was acceptable, especially in reaction to media exploitation that overemphasized the fringes. A lot of the bad attention came with a nasty streak of homophobia.  In 2018, I think we know who won. It’s not about furries being indecent, it’s about radical self-expression with all kinds of supportive benefits. I’d say change didn’t come from pleading with outsiders to be nicer, but from the power of building a great community within. And the media followed along with some change from exploitation to a gentler view of loveable eccentricity.

All along, there were members who dared to explore what they wanted to express without taming it for outside recognition, but who were fiercely talented enough to get some of that too.

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Fursuit photography from the urban jungle: Goku’s Furban Exploration.

by Patch O'Furr

Among the many hybrid species of furry subculture, one of its secret weapons is multi-talented artists – bright and devoted fans with a buffet of skills like making art, writing, and performing all at once. Even average fans bring many hobbies to such a wide-open interest. If you make a venn diagram for this, it’s plaid.

Start with photography and fursuiting. If you love it, after a little while, cute suits start blending together in the standard con-hotel backdrop. Each individual furry is a work of art, but the bigger the herd grows, the more it looks like a bewhiskered blob of technicolor barf. That just naturally comes with so much individualism.

Photos that are extra candid, specially staged, or use exciting locations stand out. It’s another reason why Street Fursuiting is my favorite thing. It made me ask: can suiting join the mix for those into street art or exploring abandoned places?

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