Heya fuzzbutts, and happy Fursuit Friday!!!!
It has been awhile, but, I wanna welcome you to another Fursuit Friday Feature!
I would have gotten one out much sooner, but, for those of you who follow my YouTube channel, you wil know that my activity all but stopped until recently. My computer has been on the fritz…and while I try and get this issue fixed, well, hopefully this is something to bring a smile to your face because it brought one to mine!
I was approached by a buddy named Togo that said he knew a fursuiter that would like to be interviewed. How could I refuse? I love featuring people in my blog, and I have not been disappointed. Fang and Zaphira are both incredible suits to see, and the stories behind them even more amazing!
I love experienced Fursuiters and people that have been in the fandom long enough to have a ton of adventures and a ton of stories. With those things also come a ton of helpful advice which we are never too short on 😀
But enough rambling, welcome back to Fursuit Friday Feature, and here’s to getting to know the personality and these amazing suits!!
1.Name: James Miller
2. Character Name(s): Fang/ Zaphira
3. Character Species: Wolf/ Cat-Dragon
4. Fursuit Maker (can include links to shop if you want): I made my suits myself along with one additional one. All three were created in the past 2 years along with plans of making 2 more in the near future. I will be constructing them for my wedding dated for November 10th, 2018.
5. Total Cost (optional)— Fang cost about $200. He is my Jo Anne Fabrics baby. I got their crap, 60% off discounted fur along with discounted foam and discounted hot glue sticks. My mother had some craft supplies that I borrowed and used into the suit. Zaphira was a bit more involving DreamVisonCreations materials such as their large feline resin head blank (c – hinge joints), all the head accessories, and paw shaping materials (claws and palm pads). Also, I used better fur purchased from fabrics.com at $25 per yard. Zaphira came out to be a whopping $1,000. Both look about 250 man hours to make.
6. How long did it take you to get your Fursuit? As stated previously, 250 man hours per suit. As far as months, Fang was about 3 months start to finish. With Zaphira, I took more time on her and she came out about 15 months later.
7. When did you decide that you wanted a Fursuit? I actually knew back around 2011. I started a dragon head using needlepoint mesh after I was in Pittsburgh during Anthrocon. It ended when I went to college and was thrown out in 2015 (wish I didn’t). I gave up due to life and lack of interest. Then, months after the dragon was in the garbage (1 month after I took my first job), I was in the city for work and witnessed another Anthrocon! This time, I was able to purchase a day pass for Sunday, dress up in a spandex suit and Halloween wolf mask, passed a ball around with a few welcoming fursuiters, and fell in love. Side story, my fiancé at the time was with me, and that July, I found out she was cheating on me. The second sighting and her betrayal was the life spark for prototype Fang. 3 months later, Fang was fully born as a full suit.
8. Do you go out in public while wearing your suit? Tell us one of your favorite experiences!
Do I?! I live in the wonderful city of Pittsburgh, home to Anthrocon. Once Fang was made, I was out between 2 – 4 weekends a month (including winter). I have ice skated, bar crawled, and toured. I have participated in events like a mascot meet, the Pittsburgh arts festival, animal convention, anime convention, numerous bowling meets, baseball games, and even designed a yearly fursuit Pittsburgh stroll before Anthrocon. Not to mention being at different cons, Niagara Falls, and was offered a job as Fang here in Pittsburgh. My two favorite experiences would be Niagara Falls and Station Square. The falls because even out of the country, the people knew who we were. We were always being photographed, pulled aside to show others, and swarmed to such a point that I was uneasy as to how we could get away. There, Minion and I met up with good friends of ours, Togo and Saphira, that joined us in suiting, as well as Hoopycat that was a major help handling for us. Station Square was my stomping ground. There, I had fans that want every other weekend to meet me. They would always buy me a drink so they could watch me drink in suit. They were fun but not as impactful as the children. They would be by the water fountain and they would play ball with me. The people’s reactions watching from the restaurants were hilarious to watch as I pass the Melting Pot and the Grand Concourse. I loved suiting there until security told me to stop. No one was complaining but it was the fact that my head was covered. It is private property so I have respect them.
9. Have you been to any Cons in suit? If you have gone to multiple ones, which one is your favorite and why?
I have been to Anthrocon x3 (soon 4), WPAFW x2 (soon 3), AnthrOhio, Furpocalypse, and Fur-The-More. I loved AnthrOhio 2016. Alkali was there and made my entire experience. I had watched videos of him before but was never able to meet him in person. He was so approachable, funny, and relaxed the environment. He didn’t make himself the center, he was one of us. He was looking to us for the entertainment instead of being the focal point himself which he so easily could have. He was a guest like us and joked with us but brought so much to the table. He is now my idol.
10. How have people reacted to your Fursuit while you are out in Public? On average, people enjoy interacting with me. I would say that 5% ignore me and 1% don’t like me wherever I am. I look to make high fives, waves and smiles everywhere I go. I do get an incalculable amount of pictures and the occasional hug from children. I had a kid that was scared of me at first, played fetch with me, followed me for well over an hour, and cried when we had to leave. I love my experiences suiting in public.
11. What was your main goal in getting a suit? Did you have any plans for it or did you just get one for fun? Smiles. Smiles and to brighten everyone’s day. I could get into how bad day to day is for everyone and their mother, so I want to be a smile. If I can make someone smile, great. If I can make someone’s day, even better. People’s happiness is a way that I can be happy. I see the smiles and it is contagious to me and to everyone they meet.
12. How do you act differently in suit VS when you are dressed as you normally would? In suit, I can express myself as I normally would like but often isn’t socially acceptable. It normally isn’t socially acceptable to kneel down and give a child a hug in the middle of the street. Nor is it to talk threw a modified dog toy squeaker. Not to over express an emotion or heightened energy level. I can’t normally boop noses or chase some tail (without my fiancé killing me). I can’t say hello to everyone I pass with a smile and wave like greeting friends at the door. And I surely can’t spread the laughter and excitement that we all need in our day to day life.
13. What is your favorite thing about wearing a Fursuit?
My favorite thing about wearing a fursuit is the ability to be myself and to have fun. I am able to have childish fun because I feel secure behind the mask. This definition of childish fun includes romping around, having massive amounts of energy, and being goofy to random passerbys. Of course, I need to include, all the smiling faces and pictures doesn’t hurt or bring me down any. What gets me the most, I guess, living in the city of Pittsburgh, is the level of acceptance both from fellow fursuiters and from muggles. Everywhere I go there is some level of acceptance towards us, just within the city of Pittsburgh, there is more of a craving. Store owners, event managers, even bartenders not only invite us in, but ask if there are others nearby. I guess my favorite thing about wearing a fursuit is wearing a fursuit and being whoever I want to be.
14. What is your least favorite thing about wearing a Fursuit?
My least favorite thing about wearing a fursuit would be the heat. I try many different ways to keep air ventilation for my suits the highest possible. No matter how many different ways I include, it is me wearing fur material from head to toe. I naturally run a bit warmer than the normal person so staying in suit is difficult especially considering the amount of energy I like to give off while in suit. I try to keep cool with vent holes, fans, and recently an ice vest. My advise is hydration is key and monitor yourself.
15. What advice would you give first-time Fursuiters and those considering getting a Fursuit?
I would say, make sure you clean your suit, make sure you are done growing, and make sure it is what you want. Clean your suits. I use rubbing alcohol spray mixed with some wintergreen alcohol spray. Highest percentage to really clean the suit. I spray it down with a spray bottle and brush it all out after every time I wear a suit. Also, I leave it out to air dry and to not get mold. I keep dryer sheets in the suits as well to keep them dry and smelling nice.
16. What would you say is your biggest peeve when it comes to your Fursuit?
17. Do you think you will ever get another suit in the future? Would it be an upgrade to your current suit or a different character?
Currently working on 2 new ones. Upgrading my Fang suit.
18. Do you make any videos while in suit (YouTube): No
19. (Final Question): Any extra words of wisdom you would like to add for anyone reading this? [it can literally be about anything]: Have fun, watch who you choose to be friends with, it’s a social support group and do what makes you happy.
Thanks to James for the amazing interview!!!
It is true that suits often liberate us from certain constraints. I know that in Rune I feel much more confident, and all I aim to do when wearing him is to bring happiness to others. The smiles and hugs that you get in suit is its own kind of reward that can not be easily explained…and suiting is a journey all in itself.
Whether you make your own or you buy one, there is a process we all go through in getting used to the suit, in judging what things are okay, what is not. It is true, there are things we must be wary about as well. Suiting is fun, but not everyone understands…and it all comes down to respect. There is still a code of conduct we must follow when out in public, and its important to remember that even when we are in a costume playing at fantasy, we are still in reality.
But it’s always wonderful to hear about the journey…the progress that people make in their creations and even in suiting in general. In this case, the first suit, to all the care and extra work put into a second. I can only wish this person so much more amazing things in the future and I look forward to seeing the upgraded Fang and other future suits to see just how much more progress has been made!! 😀
So thanks to James again and thanks to Togo for directing him this way! So awesome to have you both in my blog!!!
Thank you everyone for your continued support! Remember, I am always accepting new people to interview. It doesn’t even have to be for Fursuit Friday! Artists, crafters, if it’s Furry-related, we can get you featured! Just leave a link to your FA, facebook, or Twitter down below and I will get to you ASAP!
But until then, I will see you all in the next one 😉