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:
Fursuit photography from the urban jungle: Goku’s Furban Exploration.
Goku’s Furban Exploration goes to inner city Baltimore and Fort Armistead.
Goku’s furban exploration – A visit to Denver with Acai the Wild Dog.
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).
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!