Author Topic: Making a living at furry creativity  (Read 2383 times)

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Offline Feathertail

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Making a living at furry creativity
« on: September 04, 2008, 01:04:58 pm »
I would say furry artwork specifically, but I'm a writer. >.<

Anyway, I was reading some articles on PressedFur (a site, not an organization) talking about furry art and its commercial viability ... especially artwork that's appropriate for all age groups versus "adult" artwork. One essay I read, called "Furry" Artwork -- What Really Sells?, suggested that there was a huge untapped market of people who felt a deep personal, even spiritual connection to their fursonas. The author gives the example of a piece of "tribal" furry artwork that sold for 1k at an auction.

Another article, called "Understanding Furry Art Market Dynamics", was written as a rebuttal to the first. It said that the first one was based on conjecture and anecdote, and that the real problem was that people who buy furry artwork that is appropriate for all ages are very particular about what they like ... unlike, apparently, the people who buy "adult" furry artwork.

I'm not sure I agree with him on that last part. But my subjective experience suggests that they're both right. First, that there is an enormous untapped market, not of porn and not of cartoony art, but of respectful portrayals of real-looking furs, especially "tribal" and "spiritual" ones. And second, that people are very particular about what they like in furry art, and will often disregard a pic because they don't like the subject matter.

What do you artists think? Are these trends that you've encountered? How do they impact your ability to make income off of furry artwork?

Offline Kay Alett

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Re: Making a living at furry creativity
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2008, 01:14:47 pm »
Yes I agree, I've come to dislike the majoraty of cartoony stlyed furs out there and while I still like some of the web comics that read that have a similar style I'm overjoyed when I see a furry done in a real fasion.

When I write about furs, especialy groups, I try to think of how they would really look, how would their societies work? How would it be diffrent than ours?
 I try to incorprate as much as I can from real animals and their social structures. If I wanted to write about people I would, but anthros are diffrent and must behave diffrently. From their routines, cities,society, even their prejudices. I think that by writing in this way, puting just a narrow spin of humanity into antros instead of just putting fur and ears on a human, is what hopefully sets me apart.
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Offline Foxpup

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Re: Making a living at furry creativity
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2008, 02:45:21 am »
You CANNOT make a living off furry art. True, you can make a little money off furry, but it will never be enough to for you to quit your day job. And it's got nothing to do with 'clean' art versus 'adult' art, or 'serious' versus 'cartoony'. To see why this is so, consider the Star Trek fandom:
There are zillions of Star Trek fans out there. Of those, only a small handful produce fan-fic and sell it to other fans. If those writers are very good, they can make a lot of money, and may even end up being asked to write scripts for the TV series.
Compare this with the furry fandom: The number of furry fans out there is not quite in the 'zillions' range, and many, if not most, furry fans are artists, with varying degrees of aptitude. Of the very best artists, many put their art on FA, VCL and DA - where anyone who want it, can get it for free.
So the current situation is, you've got a small customer base and a large number of competitors who's product are both better quality and lower priced than yours. You can't make a living in a market like that.
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Offline Temperance

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Re: Making a living at furry creativity
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2008, 02:41:30 pm »
can one making a living off furry art? yes and no... Depending how good you are, how you manage your time/money/costs, how well you advertise, and how diversified you are, you CAN make a living doing furry art.
However, it is very hard.

An artist needs to be good enough or have a unique style that will be in high demand.  They need to be flexible - just selling at cons won't make the big bucks, but if you are willing to sell original art/prints/booklets/comic books/posters, and are willing to branch out into fields such as children's book illustration, comic books, role playing game guides, character design for video games or animation you can manage.  An artist needs to know how to manage a business, advertise their skill set to the right market, and know how much money their time is worth and act accordingly.  An artist also needs to know how to manage their time to meet deadlines.

I wouldn't jump out and quit my day job to become a full time artist though, as you can see it's a lot of hard work.  One would have better luck as a full time artist if they did not limit themselves to simply furry art.  The more adaptable an artist is, the more they can branch out their skill set into other fields of work.

As for untapped markets, there are many reasons this happens... yes, sometimes the subject matte just doesn't interest the artist... but also, they may have tried a few in a particular style and found it sold poorly compared to other art, so they chose not to waste their time making art that sold less than popular subject matter.  I find different art sells better or worse at some cons, so I select my portfolio accordingly when planning for the con.  This way I can sell more art I know will sell and have less to carry home at the end of the day.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2008, 02:46:51 pm by Temperance »
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Offline Feathertail

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Re: Making a living at furry creativity
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2008, 09:34:50 pm »
Thank you Temperance, that was a detailed and insightful response. ^.^ I'm very grateful to hear from someone who's tried it herself.

Offline Temperance

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Re: Making a living at furry creativity
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2008, 10:56:33 am »
Let's just say, I'm glad my husband makes enough money to support me when my commission work runs slow.
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