So I posted something about this a few days ago and promised I would explain it. The most basic explanation of FurSuits is this; they are animal costumes.
A little more detail? Okay, so fursuits are most popular in a fandom called “Furry“. The point is to anthropomorphize an animal or creature that a person wants to represent themselves as. The Furry fandom is based around a group of people that, in one way or another, personify themselves in an animal, but it’s not limited to that. Interests within the fandom are extremely broad; anything from a love of classic old Bugs Bunny cartoons, to the spirit animals of Native Americans or the gods of ancient Egypt, to the more technical side of costuming and prosthetics. Personally? My interests are in the artistic aspect. As far as fandoms go, Furries are extremely art and artist friendly… but I’m getting off topic.
To be completely honest, when I first started selling at these conventions, fursuits freaked me out.
Seriously. WTF. Gigantic furry suits with big huge eyes towering over you with who knows who inside… Buuut I guess you can get used to just about anything given enough time, right? After I got over the initial shock I started to really appreciate the craftsmanship and creativity that goes into them. Every year I see something new and innovative that’s really amazing. There are a lot of hobbyists that dabble in fursuit creation, but then there are those hobbyists that have taken it to a whole new level, and even professionals in areas like Hollywood creature creation and animatronics. Two years ago I had a long conversation with a man who had created a fox head that was fully mobile. The eyes opened and closed as could the mouth. The lips around the teeth could even be bared like a snarl, all controlled by sensors placed on the wearer’s face. The ears were fully mobile and twitched and moved about according to a sort of “mood” sensor touching the wearer’s forehead within the mask. The man was an engineer by profession and had created the mask over the past few years as a fun side project.
On the more artistic side there are also creations like these.
They are unique designs by a studio called Clockwork Creatures and the craftsmanship and detail in each and every one is absolutely amazing. They remind me of the creatures and designs from the 1980’s movie The Dark Crystal (before CG took over the movie business…)
TL;DR… it can be a little shocking/confusing/creepy when you first see a fursuit, and yah, not all of them are amazing works of art or engineering… but no matter what, there is a lot of time and effort that goes into each and every one and sometimes the results can be really amazing.
EDIT: oh yah… it’s Thanksgiving today, isn’t it? Happy Turkey Day all of you States side =)