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Author Topic: Advice: Creating a Fursona  (Read 2328 times)

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Offline WingedZephyr

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Advice: Creating a Fursona
« on: October 01, 2011, 04:47:26 PM »
When first entering the furry fandom (or even for some time after that, even), creating a fursona that is uniquely you can be a daunting task. This guide is designed to help you along in the process as much as possible.


What is a fursona?
Spoiler for What is a fursona?:
A fursona is an original character a person creates, usually as an anthropomorphic representation of themselves. The word comes from combining the words "furry" and "persona." Most people create their fursonas by picking an animal they like or relate to, and adding personality traits onto the character to make it feel more like "their own." It's also common for furries to draw their fursona, or have someone else draw it for them, so that they can show their fursona to others - but it is not a requirement, by any means.

Some people also choose to have more than one fursona, in order to express more than one aspect of their personality. Whether you choose to have just one or to have twenty is up to you. The same basic principles apply to creating each one.

Species
Spoiler for Species:
Picking a species is the best place to start when creating a fursona. Think of animals you like or can relate to. A lot of species have personality traits already attached to them due to their behavior or roles in history and stories. Foxes are often portrayed as being cunning, wolves are often pack animals, cat are often independent, lions are often proud, dogs are often loyal, etc. Consider the difference between carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores. Look at animals' general social behavior and compare it to how you act and feel. If you're a social person, an animal that lives in a group might be a better option for you.

I advise putting as few limits to your species choice as possible. Research animals that you might not have even known existed; try to find something unique to you. Although there's nothing wrong with choosing a species that happens to be common in the fandom, it's good to at least look around and see what other options exist. Birds, fish, mammals, amphibians, dinosaurs, mythological creatures, and even Pokémon are all possible options to choose from, and there are millions of choices within those categories as well. Hybrids are also an option if you want to combine traits of multiple animals.

Names
Spoiler for Names:
Choosing a name for your fursona can be one of the most difficult things to do in the process. Some people use their real names, rearrangement of the letters in their names, nicknames, a name of someone they know or once knew, their online alias, a name of character in a book or movie, a name of a celebrity, or just pick a brand new name.

When choosing a new name, there are many things you can consider. Meaning, syllables, sounds, gender, and nationality are all parts of finding the right name for you. Baby name websites can be extremely useful, as you can search for names by meaning, nationality, and/or gender. Googling lists of "Top 100 baby/boy/girl names" or "Top 100 pet names" can give you a good place to start looking if you don't have anything in particular in mind. If you like a particular "sound" in a name, looking at lists of names that start with certain letters might be more helpful for you.

Your fursona's name doesn't even have to be a traditional "name", either. Think about nouns or objects that relate to your life and/or interests. Someone into steampunk could be named "Gear", or someone who's into Halloween could be named "Pumpkin" or "Spook." Things like that.

Colors
Spoiler for Colors:
Although it is always an option to keep the natural "real life" colors of your chosen species, you can always consider changing your fursona's colors to make it more personal to you. You can change some or all of the colors on your fursona. You could pick your favorite color(s), or pick colors out of a color scheme. Websites like this one can be a great aide when choosing a color scheme that works.

Remember that certain colors will always give off a different impression of mood or personality. Warm colors like red, orange, and yellow feel more loud and outgoing than cool colors like green, blue, and purple. Muted/desaturated colors give a softer, more subtle appearance than bold colors. Consider the difference between natural or neutral tones (brown, green, grey, beige, red, white, black) compared with less natural colors (blue, purple, pink). Which colors are more "natural" does depend on your species, of course.

Markings
Spoiler for Markings:
Markings are a good way to make your fursona unique and/or to express their personality. You can even take markings from other species and apply them to your own if you like them. Spots, stripes, and splotches can all be arranged and/or combined into a multitude of patterns. Consider the use of shapes - placement of a spot in the shape of a heart or paw or anything else can be useful in coming up with a unique design if you feel it complements their personality.

Personality
Spoiler for Personality:
While many people base their fursona's personality off their own, it's not a requirement. Your fursona can be anyone you want them to be - based off you, someone you know, someone you admire, or someone you would want yourself to be. Just consider what needs to be done to make your character feel "real" to you - having a "perfect" personality can make a character feel flat and one-sided. Sometimes flaws are what make characters intriguing.

Interests
Spoiler for Interests:
Consider what type of interests and hobbies your fursona may have. Again, it can be based off your own, but not necessarily. Are they sporty? Nerdy? Creative? Do they like warm weather? Cold weather? Any favorite foods? Use their personality to think of what they might like to do in their free time.

Story
Spoiler for Story:
Some people like to create stories surrounding their fursona/character. It can help define the character, and describe what they've been through, who they are, and why they do what they do. This of course is also optional; some characters do not have background stories at all. They can match your own history, or they can simply exist.

Anthro or Feral
Spoiler for Anthro or Feral:
Although this is a relatively simple step, if you're new to the furry fandom, you may not understand the difference between anthro and feral characters. This determines the overall body structure of your character.

Anthro: short for "anthropomorphic"; means your character is more human-like in body. Usually bipedal (walks on two feet), and generally looks like a human with fur (or scales, etc.) and an animal head and tail.

Feral: can also known as "quads", or quadrupeds (walks on four feet). This means the character is built the way an animal naturally is, with four legs instead of arms and hands. The character can sometimes still speak like a human, and it's optional to add clothing, accessories, or human-like hairstyles to them.

There is also a third option known as "taurs", which combines an animal body with a human torso, such as a centaur.

Whichever body structure you decide is up to you. It mostly just comes down to personal preference. Just keep in mind that which one you choose will affect how your character does things and interacts with other characters or objects. (For example, a feral character can't easily draw with a pencil, as it has no hands.)

Resources

If you still have trouble coming up with a fursona design, there are a number of character design generators out there to help you along. Many of them are very customizable with species, colors, and markings. If you find any others, feel free to PM a link to me and I will add it to the list.

Doll Divine (contains a list of generators for cats, dogs, owls, rats, dragons, foxes, griffins, and more)
Create-a-Fursona Male (anthros; various species)
Create-a-Fursona Female (anthros; various species)
Male Furry Dollmaker ("Sonic style"; various species)
Female Furry Dollmaker ("Sonic style"; various species)
Create a Bunny

It's also strongly recommended that you take a look through furry art and see what other people have come up with. You might find something that inspires you.

FurAffinity is a popular furry art website where you can find a wide variety of artworks and original characters to browse through. Some artists even sell "adoptable" character designs that you can buy. Just don't copy someone else's character! You'll find it's much more rewarding and special when it's a character of your own creation.

https://thirdpotato.deviantart.com/art/Character-Profile-Form-36823983 <- Contains a list of character detail options and questions to help you create or develop a character. Even if you don't answer all of the questions listed, answering some of them will help solidify who your character is, how they act, and why.

"What Animal Are You?" tests:
http://animalinyou.com/
http://www.playbuzz.com/abigailspicer10/what-animal-are-you
http://www.gotoquiz.com/what_furry_species_are_you_1




Whatever you choose to do with all of these options, don't stress over trying to find your fursona. Sometimes it just takes time. If you find something you don't like, you can always change your character later. Just be creative and have fun with it!

Good luck!
« Last Edit: February 26, 2018, 03:42:44 PM by WingedZephyr »
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Offline WingedZephyr

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  • Species: Cagon (cat/dragon hybrid)
  • Coloring: White with black "glove" markings and grey stripes
  • Height: 4' 6" (feral)
  • Build: small, lean
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Re: Advice: Creating a Fursona
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2011, 06:05:24 PM »
And if you're interested, here are some explanations from our forum members about how they found their own fursonas/characters:


Spoiler for Show/Hide Text:
Why/how did you decide your fursona's species?
I came up with my fursona's species by first going along with my favorite kind of animals, canines. So she started out as a wolf, but then I love vampires and werewolves so I decided to make my fursona a hybrid of those since it would still include wolf in it. Plus I love the powers that vampires and werewolves have. They're really amazing so I made up my werepyre.

Is there a reason or meaning behind their name?
Her name is my name. She is built off of my personality but tweaked a bit so she's a much better version of me.

Did you just stick with natural animal colors, or did you have a reason for picking other colors?
At first, I had the normal animal colors, but then I decided that it was too bland. So I added in the blue coloring to go along with her being an Arctic wolf (the coloring was added before she was made into a werepyre) and it stuck.

How much is your fursona like you? Do you share the same interests? Did you include any of your personal flaws in your fursona, or are they an "idealized" version of you?
We share a lot of the same interests, but she really is the idealized version of me. She's a skilled fighter and she's beautiful and she has powers that I'll never have.

Why/how did you decide your fursona's species?
Two major things decided me on feline; my personal preference for cats and the fact that I've been told I resemble one, all my life. And this completely without provocation also. It could be a thing I said or did and someone that I don't even know well could tell me I remind them of a cat. I honestly never thought about it myself, and it would be a surprise whenever someone pointed it out.
Upon building a fursona I knew it had to be a cat that lives in cold areas, narrowing it down further until I reached the choice between lynx and snow leopard. Without going into detail, I share many mental and believe it or not, a lot of physical traits with the leopard, and it is a little more pretty too I think. So I decided that it would be a perfect base.

The two birds, magpie and owl, are both symbolic and 100% personal, like how the magpie is mocking and teasing but a clever bird nevertheless, etc.

Is there a reason or meaning behind their name?
I'm very bad with names and for a character as Puncia I wanted something quick and easy, simple yet unique, so I used uncia uncia (=snow leopard) and pica pica (=European magpie) as a guide. I'm pretty sure nobody else have used this name.

Did you just stick with natural animal colors, or did you have a reason for picking other colors?
As a base, yes but I edited them. I'm not an extremely colourful person so I made Puncia monochrome first, gray with white and black instead of brown/beige with white and black like they are in nature. And then I added some of my favourite colour purple to make things a bit more interesting. The eyes and wings are still naturally coloured because I prefer it that way.

Why/how did you decide your fursona's species?
I've always loved German Shepherd. Did ever since I was a kid, and I have no real explanation for it. When I was trying to decide on my official fursona, I was originally being pushed to be a Husky, but that didn't entirely feel right to me. Eventually, after a long day of thinking about it, I decided Shepherd would be the best. I always wanted one, but doubted I'd ever get to have one, and so I felt it was the best obvious choice ^^;

Is there a reason or meaning behind their name?
I want my fursona to be as close to myself as possible, since he literally is just a furry me. The last name I've chosen for him though, Rein, comes from a comical series I used to write, whose main character was Michael Rein, based partially on me, and also on my Late Uncle Mike.

Did you just stick with natural animal colors, or did you have a reason for picking other colors?
Purple was never always a favorite color of mine, until I spent more time in the fandom, then it just kinda came to me. I figured I'd do some justice and make the colors purple. Not only that, but I just think it looks good with the eyes ^^;

Do you have any distinguishing markings on your fursona? If so, what are they, and why?
There's a blotch of whitish-gray fur on his right thigh, and a jagged strip that looks like a thunderbolt from his right shoulder to his left thigh (No, *not* a HP reference). The blotch, randomly smack-dab in the middle of some purple fur, is a reminder that no one is perfect, and that everyone has that blotch that's out of place on them. The jagged strip is actually subliminal advertising for my entertainment group, Hit the Deck! that I decided to put on

Why/how did you decide your fursona's species?
Well, I've done some switching...but in the end I found that a skunk was the best. Skunks are elegant and mysterious. They have big tails in anthro form that can wrap around others, and are fluffy. They have a nice build, black and white color combinations (not always b and w though), and you get to choose what your special "scent" smells like. A skunk isn't necessarily the closest thing to my personality, but when I'm a skunk I feel really in form, like it's meant to be.

Is there a reason or meaning behind their name?
My name is my name, or my generally accepted name. My birth certificate name is different. I like to use the name Katie. When people call me by my real name, it just doesn't make sense, doesn't feel right. I also want to be called by my name even in fursona form. For awhile I was called Sasha but I grew out of it. I said no, I want to be called by my name, not a fake name.

Do you have any distinguishing markings on your fursona? If so, what are they, and why?
Katie has unusual fur in general. No typical skunk black and white, her black comes in the form of stocking markings and a single glove marking. Also, she has scars: X-shaped scars on each hand from being hung on a meat hook by her mate when they were younger. She also has the initials NG on her thigh, he carved them into her to mark her as his work of art.

Does your fursona have a back story different from your own past?
Her past features elements like a really mean, abusive stepmother that are really similar to me. But these elements have also been exaggerated to make her story more interesting, dark, twisted, and involving. Also, I never discovered that I had the powers of a mortal Djinn! XD If I did, that would be pretty cool.

Why/how did you decide your fursona's species?
I actually planned to make a pokesona for a really long time. Before that I was pretty well known for not sticking to characters. I doodled a mix of two of my favorites, Nidoran and Growlithe, and after a few hit-or-miss doodles, I found a design I liked.

How much is your fursona like you? Do you share the same interests? Did you include any of your personal flaws in your fursona, or are they an "idealized" version of you?
I gave her the same height and fierce personality as my best friend. She (my friend) has a terminal illness so I guess you could say it's in homage to her.

Why/how did you decide your fursona's species?
I've loved horses ever since I was little and always felt a special connection with them. I've always been really into wolves, dragons, and the pegasus as well, which lead to the creation of my characters, but my fursona is a horse because I love them.

Is there a reason or meaning behind their name?
Her name means Storm Warrior that's very very loosely translated into English from Greek. I just love anything Greek, and I was in my basement weathering out a hurricane when I came up with it.

Do you have any distinguishing markings on your fursona? If so, what are they, and why?
She's got a stripe down the center of her right hoof, because in her bio she came from a tribe like setting and her mother was a pinto, it's her only trace of being a pinto. She's also got a scar on the back of her left fetlock joint (equivalent to our ankles) from battle training where a spear head hit her and went into her fetlock so deeply the tribe elders wondered if it would heal, but it did, and it healed white and hairless which shines brightly through her black fur. I decided to put this on there because I have a scar on my left ankle that will not go away that's from a very hard time in my life.

How much is your fursona like you? Do you share the same interests? Did you include any of your personal flaws in your fursona, or are they an "idealized" version of you?
Kay is the strength I wish that I had, and we share the same interests for sure. She's developed a lot, and I'm sure her story will change, but I really like her tribal background, and then moving to the city. That can really happen so it's totally plausible.

Why/how did you decide your fursona's species?
I guess it's been that way before i could even understand it. When i was a young child, i was really into cats. like Lions especially. I used to (what looking back on, could be considered) roleplay as a lion around the house. i even drank milk from a bowl and wore my cat ears!  as i was a little older, probably 8, the wolf really stood out to me. it connected me with my native American ancestry. for a while i was convinced that i was a wolf in the life before my own. preteen years kind of pushed back all this stuff.  it wasn't until this past year that i started feeling it spiritually again. i know i had a good intuition when it came to animals, especially canines (i worked at a shelter for a while) and watching an anime called Spice and Wolf really brought back how i used to feel. I am not a wolf, i am more of a coyote mix, due to my love of the West.

Is there a reason or meaning behind their name?
Inja is my name for the time being. I am fairly new to all of this. It means "dog" in some obscure African language.

Does your fursona's personality match your own, or is it different?
Inja's personality is my personality, magnified. She is stronger emotionally, more outgoing. A bit more in tune with her sexual side too (as in, i shy away from intimate relationships).

Why/how did you decide your fursona's species?
Fennec foxes are ADORABLE (At least I think so) and wolves are also ADORABLE AND AWESOME. Therefore, instead of choosing either one or the other, I decided, why not be original and combine the two? :3

Did you just stick with natural animal colors, or did you have a reason for picking other colors?
I stuck with silver/white fur because it's the coloring of a wolf in real life usually, so that's why I stuck with it.

Do you have any distinguishing markings on your fursona? If so, what are they, and why?
Although I'm not sure if I'll fully answer this question correctly, I'll try. As for tattoos and such that are important, my fursona has one tattoo that is quite relevant because it is a heart with a stitch in it. This tattoo symbolizes my fursona and the pain he had to endure in losing his home to humans in the past, and how, despite this, he has the will to carry on. As for fur markings that are relevant, the only relevant marking that I can think of that it has is a white patch of fur on his forehead between his eyes. This is there just because it looks cute really.

Does your fursona's personality match your own, or is it different?
Believe it or not, I believe my fursona to be a direct representation of me. Although I have RP characters that represent other personalities, my fursona's represents mine.

Does your fursona have a back story different from your own past?
As a matter of fact, it does. In the past, my fursona lived undomesticated deep in the cold climate of the Canadian Rockies. He lived alone, in a forest, completely unaware of the outside world. However, that all changed one day when a group of nasty and cruel human beings set his home ablaze. The fire burned everything in his path, his home lay in ashes, in ruins. This event changed his life, as he was forced to move to the big city of Vancouver, BC, where he now currently resides. He was forced to learn the ways of human beings, and since then has turned into what he is today; a fenolf with a quiet, reserved personality.

Why/how did you decide your fursona's species?
Coyotes are very secretive creatures (or so they appear to me), always staying in the dark and only making their presence known when they howl to their pack members. I strongly identified with that because I was always one of those people who stayed away from the spotlight and on the edges of that light, only making myself known by an indirect fashion (howling is to coyotes what writing is to me). This, combined with hearing them howl at night in the thick woods around my home, always filled me with awe. Thus, when I was deciding on species, the answer was simple

Is there a reason or meaning behind their name?
The full name of my fursona (Cormac Bradbury Coyotecraft) is comprised of the names of my three favorite authors, the men who've had the most influence on my writing : Cormac McCarthy (The Road, No Country for Old Men), Ray Bradbury (Farenheit 451, Something Wicked This Way Comes) and H.P. Lovecraft (Call of Cthulu, The Dream Cycle Mythos).

Does your fursona have a back story different from your own past?
Cormac doesn't really have a backstory in the traditional sense. He is just in his current state of existence. To put it shortly, he is a metaphor for my mental/emotional state. For example: He resides in a small house on top of a wooded hill, rarely seeking the company of others, except for a few trusted souls. Ghosts, demons, imps and other entities of a supernatural sort come to knock on his door, to tell him their stories. These stories are sometimes wonderful, hopeful things, things which bring fresh hope and make the ultimate enlightenment of this world's mortals almost at hand. Sometimes they are all too vivid accounts of dark deeds, of the bad, the sinister and the Evil which are out there in the world.

Why/how did you decide your fursona's species?
Dragons were always my absolute favorite beings, and I always saw myself more related to them than any other creature; living or extinct.

Is there a reason or meaning behind their name?
Other than the fact that S and X are two of my favorite letters, no.

Do you have any distinguishing markings on your fursona? If so, what are they, and why?
He has a diamond shaped indent in the center of his chest; but his entire species has them.

Does your fursona have a back story different from your own past?
Dramatically different. He grew up in a river gorge and is a massive 16 ton dragon; top warrior of his clan, no less, and can utilize magic and biokinesis. His family was never shattered, and he never had to worry about school. But he also had to live with watching everyone he cared about after moving to Ireland perish before an army of self-superior killers.

Why/how did you decide your fursona's species?
I've always had an affinity for dogs. As it turns out I like dogs more than I rightly should I've been told xD Seeing as I prefer my mutts to most human contact (in many situations, anyhow) so it was kind of a genesis of this. It was also influenced by my belief in the theory of evolution, wherein humans appear to have likely first existed in Africa. Anthropomorphism is the combination of human and inhuman traits so this genetic history seemed fitting, if only related to the continent we were spawned from.

Did you just stick with natural animal colors, or did you have a reason for picking other colors?
I kept with the natural scheme. Both because of its unusual patterning to begin with but also because the species is unique enough so I don't worry about blending in with the crowd. My uniqueness is also brought to light by my rather unusual creations (AKA Glomp my pacman ghost xD)

Does your fursona have a back story different from your own past?
My fursona has no back story. And as far as most people should be concerned, neither do I.
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