What is the buzz of furries (or those who impersonate animals)?

What's the buzz about furries (or those who personify animals)?

The furries Flloyd The Bird (Étienne Charbonneau), Clay (Mya Arcato) and Léa Kelly with a medallion of Leyna The Nerdy Bat.

The & nbsp; furry & nbsp; fandom , it's far from just dressing up in “animal costume”. Performance, 3D design, & nbsp; drawing: three followers demystify the buzz around these anthropomorphic characters.

The essence of & nbsp; furry & nbsp;

Born in the United States in 1980, & nbsp; the phenomenon & nbsp; consists of & nbsp; embodying imaginary animal characters & nbsp; ; by wearing colorful clothes, by imitating some of their & nbsp; behaviors, while keeping & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;

If their name, & nbsp; furries , & nbsp; refers in English to the word “fur”, & nbsp; followers are not all hairy. You can even choose to interpret & nbsp; an insect … or a bird, & nbsp; specifies & nbsp; Montrealer Étienne Charbonneau, & nbsp; also administrator & nbsp; of the Facebook group & nbsp; “Montreal Furries”. & Nbsp;

The & nbsp; furries & nbsp; of Montreal & nbsp; mostly & nbsp; in person (or animal) & nbsp; at Otakuthon, a festival for anime fans that takes place at the Palais des congrès. It is & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; The concept of anthropomorphic animal, for me & nbsp; for the first time & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; in 2017. & nbsp;

” 'is something really new and wow . It really fires the imagination, “he enthuses.

 What's the buzz about furries (or those who personify animals)?

Flloyd The Bird, alias, Étienne Charbonneau, is resting in a hammock.

Étienne therefore “conceptualized” himself the look of his character, & nbsp; named Flloyd & nbsp; The Bird. He then had a fursuit & nbsp; made by a specialized company. & Nbsp;

To greet people, & nbsp; Flloyd & nbsp; pecks the heads of those around him and only responds with the sounds of birds thanks to a whistle which he keeps in his mouth. & Nbsp; Yes, we could lend him a & nbsp; ; personality à la & nbsp; Mr Bean. & nbsp;

“He is a musician, because in my real life I am a musician,” explains the university student of classical music. It's common in the furry & nbsp; fandom & nbsp; to create a character in their own image. “& Nbsp;

Indeed, the characters are often representative of the personal aspirations of their creator, and even & nbsp; of their professional goals.

This is the case of the artist Mya & nbsp; ; Arcato & nbsp; – & nbsp; furry & nbsp; since 2014 and third year student in media communication at CEGEP. & Nbsp; She plays & nbsp; Clay, & nbsp; a & nbsp; gray cat with purple tail tip , & nbsp; who & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; journalism & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;

“In everyday life, I am not very social. When I'm in my fursuit , I'm falling & nbsp; super social, I'm going to jump everywhere “, & nbsp; she rejoices.

 What is the buzz of furries (or those who impersonate animals)?

A virtual community & nbsp;

Formerly little present & nbsp; in the Belle & nbsp; Province & nbsp; before 2010, the followers of & nbsp; furry & nbsp; fandom & nbsp; have multiplied & nbsp; since & nbsp; thanks & nbsp; to the advent & nbsp; of social networks. & nbsp; Several events, including Christmas parties, have been organized in Quebec. & nbsp; Not to mention the cosplay & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;

The & nbsp; furry & nbsp; fandom & nbsp; don't just come together for the Otakuthon & nbsp; or on social networks. & nbsp; & nbsp;

Indeed, the community is very active on various virtual platforms and more than ever since the pandemic, which has forced the cancellation of cosplay festivals here and in Ontario. . & nbsp;

To see each other from a distance, several & nbsp; furries & nbsp; have & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; “gathered” & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; VRChat, a multiplayer virtual reality game, where you can interact and chat live in 3D worlds.

(For those still lost, it's like a cross between Skype, IMVU, Second Life and The Sims.)

Some have even reproduced an exact copy. ; a & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp;

These virtual avatars are created using 3D animation and game engine software, such as Unity and Blender, explains Étienne Charbonneau. VRChat that one can use & nbsp; a & nbsp; & nbsp; anthropomorphic & nbsp; virtual avatar. & Nbsp; & nbsp;

The furry & nbsp; Lea Kelly, 2D artist and streamer , is proof of this. & nbsp; She uses and animates her own & nbsp; fursona & nbsp; virtual & nbsp; to interact & nbsp; with her viewers & nbsp; on & nbsp; her & nbsp; Twitch. & nbsp;

< p> Leyna, a “bat & nbsp; nerd , & nbsp; awkard , mais comique ”appears in place of Léa, who even makes her move and talk. We can see her drawing or playing games on Nintendo. & Nbsp;

 What's the buzz of furries (or those who impersonate animals)?

Léa Kelly poses while holding her medallion in the image of her fursona & # 8211; Leyna, the gaming bat!

Beyond & nbsp; the costume & nbsp;

Do all furries & nbsp; have a fursuit ? & Nbsp; No, & nbsp; replies Léa; she doesn't have one herself. & nbsp;

“It's & nbsp; a luxury, it's not & nbsp; a necessity, but it sure is something that can be interesting when you go to conventions “, she confides. & nbsp;

Indeed, many amateurs & nbsp; go through art commissions or even the & nbsp; roleplay & nbsp; rather than the costume. & nbsp;

Why? & Nbsp; Because & nbsp; fursuits are very expensive, says Léa. They can & nbsp; easily & nbsp; cost in the four figures & nbsp; since they are made by professional dressmakers.

In addition, the costumes are not very comfortable. As there is little ventilation underneath, hello the heat and the sweat! So it is necessary to take care of its whole and to wash it frequently. And they can be somewhat bulky. Try to fit a full costume, including the head, into a suitcase. & Nbsp;

It is for this reason that some only wear specific sections like & nbsp; as & nbsp; ; a & nbsp; tail, legs, or & nbsp; even & nbsp; ears. & nbsp;

Debunking prejudices & nbsp;

The & nbsp; furries & nbsp; remain misunderstood. & nbsp; They are still sometimes described as “strange”, & nbsp; or “deviant” people. & nbsp; Prejudices that arise & nbsp; from the fact that some people post sexual content on certain forums & nbsp; “Hidden” or & nbsp; underground . & Nbsp; & nbsp;

Étienne points out & nbsp; however & nbsp; that this type of rather minority content does not represent the interests of the whole community . & nbsp;

“This side of the community has been exposed a lot, which means that we are often perceived as sexual perverts”, he laments. & Nbsp;

Léa Kelly adds that “zoophilic” content circulating on social networks is automatically reported and denounced by other members of the community. She emphasizes that it's not because you like the characters. furries & nbsp; that one is attracted to animals. & nbsp;

 What's the buzz about furries (or those who personify animals)?

Members of the Montreal furry community at a rally at Mount Royal in Montreal.

According to her, the furry fandom is above all & nbsp; a respectful, open and very creative space. & nbsp; & nbsp;

“I think this is the community spirit that really comes to make [the & nbsp; furry & nbsp; fandom ] alive and which allows you to have a good time in general “, concludes Léa Kelly. & nbsp;


Fandom : & nbsp; group of people sharing the same interest in a cultural or media product. & nbsp; & nbsp;

Fursuit : costume of an anthropomorphic animal character worn by the & nbsp; furries . & nbsp;

Fursona : & nbsp; character & nbsp ; anthropomorphic animal defined and embodied by a creator. & nbsp;

Roleplay : group of people who invent a story featuring fantastic characters. & nbsp;

Otakuthon : festival for anime fans that takes place at the Palais des congrès de Montréal in August. & nbsp;

Streamer & nbsp; or streamer : & nbsp; person who broadcasts and hosts videos live on streaming platforms, the most popular being Twitch, a kind of live Youtube. & nbsp;

Commissions : commission of art made between a artist and an individual, most often via the internet or a digital platform.

The series & nbsp; “What is buzz” & nbsp; dissects the most recent trends in an uninhibited way. Make your “thoughts” during your next suppers by reading it regularly in the & nbsp; Inspiration & nbsp; section of the Journal Métro .

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