Up until reading some of the explanations for them, I was too quite weirded out by the thought. I still am to an extent. Especially toward the ones that would include anything sexual, I don't understand why someone would want to see something like that.
I see nothing wrong with a drawing of you, with animal-like qualities, or even you as the animal of choice with minimal of your own features. But, I find it highly creepy and weird to hear of people that want to see a picture of an animal or multiple doing sexual acts, whether or not they are an actual animal or one of these 'fursona' ones or even people dressing up as animals for sexual relations.
Though I don't think it's necessarily prejudice to refuse doing such art on any scale, as I don't for one second find it unreasonable to refuse to make any kind of art for anyone that you personally do not feel comfortable with, it's your prerogative.
Most of the thing people stated before me is just about what I was gonna say. But yeah, there are those occasional... I'm sorry, but "weirdos", who take it too far and it becomes their fetish or something.
I was under the impression that it was an identity... as in, that's the creature the uhh, owner(?) actually is, while they're stuck in a human body. or, in its most basic form, is it just like an avatar?
Anthros, I get. Look through the Disney catalogue and they're everywhere - it's a way of relating to an animal character by giving them humanoid anatomy. This was discussed in my character design class this week, in fact. A lot of anthropomorphic characters, at least in animation, are created because it's easier to gesture and pose a humanoid figure in a readable position for an animation frame than it is with a variety of animals.
Also, if you want an animal character to seem intelligent, and therefore be a 'person' in a given story, presenting them with humanoid posing makes them more identifiable to the viewer.
I understand it completely in regards to animation and cartoons, although I was neer much of a fan of it. It's on a personal basis that I was having difficulty understanding. Why people want to have themselves turned into animals, and specifically the canine variety.
I think the simplest answer is that people pick their favorite animal. Try to google studies on the subject, I'm willing to bet that feline and canine animals are in the top 10 favorite animals in the world. As for why you'd want to be an animal at all... It seems to me like a personal preference for an artistic persona?
A lot of people want to present themselves in a cool way and might choose their favorite animal either because they want to create a character of it that resembles their favorite animated cartoons, or one that they think looks cooler than they do in real life. Personally I draw my 'persona' as a skinny elf chick with purple hair - but I don't look that way and I've never gone and worn fake elf ears before. It's a drawing, and making a choice like that seems kind of insignificant as a life decision if you ask me.
This is one of those things where 95% of the time it's not a sex thing, and 5% of the time it is. Those aren't real statistics but you get the idea.
I mean... Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse are 'anthros'. Western cartooning was built around them.
If the picture the person is asking you to draw isn't sexualized, I personally don't understand refusing to draw it. You can probably also get an idea of how these people relate to their characters by a quick look at their gallery.
I love anthropomorphic stuff; I think that I'm coming to realize that the main reason that I detest furries(of the canidae variety) is because, to me, it represents a blatant lack of imagination.
Of all of the hundreds of thousands of magnificent animals on this planet, EVERYONE seems to be one of three, which are all from the same genetic family. Why does EVERYONE want to be a dog or a wolf? Why don't I see any Birds of Paradise struttin' their stuff? I want to see a snailsona. lol
Maybe I feel like people who all pick the same animal haven't given enough thought to their fursonas? People who are trying to display their unique individuality by assigning themselves an animal all seem to be picking the same one; how does this make you individual? I find this ridiculously frustrating.
Am I being ridiculous? I feel like I am, but this is one of those things that just keeps me up at night.
There ARE some non-standard anthros/fursonas out there, I also would imagine there are some dA groups dedicated to them. I've seen anthro sharks. I drew one as a bit of a joke a while back that was a hermphroditic goat. But I didn't come up with that idea.
Furries (at least me) don't choose their fursonas because of the "imagination" or the "uniqueness". It goes beyond than just a hobby. Furries choose the animals they relate the most to, because they feel a connection towards them, or because they really like them. Snails would only get chosen as a joke.
I don't think they would laugh at you. You'd be seen as someone weird/special (in a good way) for choosing an uncommon animal.
They choose them because they're the most admired, and generally the most aesthetically pleasing and sexually appealing. And yes, many prefer to play it safe, so they go with some popular animal before finding their "true" animal self.
I'm not part of the fandom (although I'm a furry by "definition"), but it is said that there's no ultimate definition of what a furry is. As long as it involves an obvious interest on anthropomorphic non-human beings, everyone's free to make their own.
A fursona is a furry avatar of an individual. They range from following actually characteristics of the animal (fur pattern, face shape, tail, etc.) to being mythological kind and even of different colors or hybrids.
So there ARE more. I was always confused about how people consider their fursona's the "animal version of their personality", but it seems to be strictly limited to members of the canidae family (+cats). I mean, of any animals, wolves/dogs/foxes seem to be the most absolutely boring, so I never understood why it seemed like EVERYONE thought that a dog/wolf/fox would be the perfect animal for them.
Is this just lack of imagination? Or is there some sort of clique thing where wolf furries refuse to associate with bunny furries so everyone is just a wolf so no one gets their feelings hurt.
The usual reasoning is that most people lack a lot of creativity or else do feel a strong connection to said animal and not to others. So if I had to guess, it is two part lack of creativity (especially for wolves or foxes) and one part that most people grow up with a dog or a cat that they don't really connect with other animals. So seeing everyone running around as wolves, that is probably because they aren't creative. Seeing people run around as a German Shephard, they probably had one they loved as a kid or something.
Full-body fursuits are the weirdest part of it, but some like 'em for probably the same reason they think mascots are cool! But it really is that simple, yeah. It's a pocket culture built around a kind of a game of pretend, by parading as (or just associating with, both usually online) a humanized animal version of yourself or not so much yourself, in a way kind of similar to gothic and steampunk subcultures. They get an insane amount of outside flak, though, because most people who aren't properly acquainted with them tend to assume it's nothing but a really weird sexual fetish (which for some it might be, but for most it isn't).
They're just popular! Whenever someone tries to map the popular phenotypes it usually boils down to various members of the canine and feline families taking up nearly every spot in the top 10 list. It's probably because most tend to pick an animal they like, for which the family's pet dog or pet cat tends to come pretty high up on the list. And if the family pet is not the source, then it's most likely an extension of the whole "cat person/dog person" deal. There's tons of other things out there, but they're not even remotely as popular as the ones you just listed yourself.
I dabble a bit in the subculture myself, just for fun. Though usually only with people who I know are a part of it themselves, mainly because of the bad reputation it has one the outside.
I kind of understand now, I mean, I have a lot of the facts...
But I still don't get it. I'm still hung up on the cats and dogs thing. At first I thought it was some sort of secret "only cats and dogs allowed" thing, but now I know that people are choosing cats and dogs of their own free will.
Is everyone really that mind numbingly dull? I feel like I'm being rude, if I am I apologize. I know a lot of people really really love cats (those people scare me. Cats hate me.) and a lot of people really love dogs. I love dogs, but is a dog an animal that represents who I am? No.
So I guess what I want to know now, is are the majority of people picking animals that represent them as individuals (which is what I believed to be the whole point of curries), or are they simply picking animals that they just happen to like?
If the latter, then what's the point in doing it? (aside from occasional fun)
It's all about the person, there's not really much more to it than that. If it was an only cats and dogs thing I would've been long since shunned by most of the friends I've made in the community. Some people pick animals based on whether their own physical appearance (long and lean, short and stocky, big and burly, etc.) or personality (active, lazy, solitary, social, you name it), while other people just pick based on whether they like it or not, and some people even have a mile long story tied to why they picked what they did. There's not one particular reason why people choose what they do, nor is it uncommon that people just change their mind on a whim and pick a different animal instead.
Doing it for fun is more or less one of the biggest reasons why people get involved, anyhow. Either that or because it seems interesting; I decided to take a closer look because I was just plain curious! From there on it's down to being something social together with others who share the same interest.