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Another Year Older and Updates

Journal Entry: Sun Sep 14, 2014, 1:46 PM
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Thank you for all of the kind birthday wishes! It's been a great birthday weekend and it's nice to hear from all of you. Came back from Granite Comic Con yesterday and met a few more talented artists that use dA. It was awesome to see so many great cosplays. I couldn't come in Halla because she was overdue for repairs but it was great to see some other suiters there as well!

On the life update end, I'm getting married in less than a month and my nerves have been through the roof. Been doing a lot of planning and juggling my search for a better job too. Art has been slow but I'm steadily completing my next children's book. Shooting for a November release.

Thank you so much again for your continued support :heart:

Also, don't forget to check out the  music video some creative friends and I made over the summer! I sang the female vocal and lead the group in Halla! Filmed on site at Anthrocon 2014.

Happy Valentines :)

Journal Entry: Fri Feb 14, 2014, 4:24 PM
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Valentines day should be a day to verbally show appreciation to the people who matter to you. You're feedback and support for my artwork is incredible. Thank you so much :heart: Have a wonderful holiday and thanks so much for the love :love:

Ever Hear me Sing?

Journal Entry: Thu Feb 13, 2014, 6:56 PM
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So a few nights ago, I borrowed some of my fiance's recording equipment to play around with recording and overdubbing. It also gave me an opportunity to play with Adobe Audition. Then I felt like experimenting with my new DSLR too....and I thought singing in costume would be way more fun than just recording myself. So this is what resulted. Yes, this is my voice. Costume made by me. Filming with a Canon Rebel t4i. I think I've become a muppet...

Follow me on Weasyl

Journal Entry: Sun Jan 19, 2014, 6:09 PM
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This website went up about a year ago but it's starting to become a pretty busy place for posting artwork. A lot of people have started to use it as an alternative to Furaffinity, but it is not a furry exclusive website. If any of you are looking to take advantage of the sudden boom this website is getting, I invite you to make an account! If you have a weasyl, please link below so others can follow you too. :)

Hitting an Art-Plateau

Journal Entry: Wed Dec 18, 2013, 4:40 PM
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Do any of you ever feel like your art has hit a plateau? I guess I have been starting to feel that way for several months now. I haven't been as happy with my work- especially after several attempts to get my work into the children's book illustration community and failing to spark interest. I think I've been lacking a lot of coaching and constructive criticism. The downside to uploading artwork to online galleries is that a lot of the time, you don't always get honest feedback (whether it be people too afraid to be critical or people who are critical but not knowledgeable). Its not always an acedemic or scholarly environment, and its not a reliable source for helpful critique. What it does do, is provide feedback from the general public- which can be helpful in evaluating your work, but it's not always specific enough.
The bottom line is, I've been too far away from a serious art learning environment for too long and I'm at a point where I'm lost as to where to go next. Ultimately, I want to know how I can present/translate/make my work into something that sparks interest and wonder....I feel like in some ways, I lack that. I've been considering investing in some art classes at Imaginism's Schoolism, but I'm looking into other kinds of critique groups too.

Thanks for your continued support, guys! It means a lot and keeps me going to want to learn. :heart:

Show Us your Art! - Halloween Feature!

Journal Entry: Thu Oct 31, 2013, 1:02 PM

Hey guys! My message center is a crazy place and great artwork gets buried really fast! So with the spirit of Halloween, I'd love to see some artwork from my watchers right here! Yes you! Please- share a thumbnail or a link to a recent submission you are proud of! It doesn't have to be halloween themed- but please make sure it's something you are excited about and would like some more love! If you are posting your work here, please check back and take a look at what others post and be sure to spread the love! Ready? GO GO GO!

What is your Drawing Skill Level?

Journal Entry: Wed Sep 11, 2013, 6:06 PM

All of the images featured in this article come from archives of my own work so not to impose unwanted criticism. The intention of this article is not to categorize artists, but to categorize similarities of different skill levels of representational drawing. Please also note that skill level in representational drawing does not equate to the worth of an artist's creative ability. But skill in representational drawing is very important to have in a lot of art disciplines. It is a skill that takes a lifetime to learn. Skill does not come from talent. Instead, talent affects the perseverance, discipline, and desire of the individual to develop skill.

What is Representational Drawing? Representational drawing is a fancy way of saying trying to re-create something you see in real life on paper (or whatever you are drawing on). When we turn about 10 or 11 years old, or brains begin to develop a different perception of visual space than what we could understand before in the earlier years of elementary school. Some people can take this different perception and run with it, while others struggle and quit. No one has been able to pinpoint why this is but art teachers around the nation have several theories. The most supported theory is at that age, you begin to get highly critical of yourself. Just a few years ago, if a teacher gave you crayons, you were happy to color up any picture. It didn't matter if your mom's head was bigger than the house behind her or if your face had more lumps than a potato. But by as early as third grade, suddenly, you realize how unrealistic your drawings are and begin to equate unrealistic with bad artwork. Frustrations builds. Confidence plummets. If you can't draw that flower "perfectly" realistic, then why bother? These children that develop this notion become the people later in life that will say "I am not an artist. I can't draw." Notice how their work looks like it was frozen in time....still representing the world visually around them as they did before they came to the conclusion.
Children that bypass this hurdle of criticism either push it aside and draw whatever they want anyway, or are observant and are successful in picking up details that other kids miss. Some will argue it is an natural inclination and others will argue it is a fostered inclination. Either way, these children are today, people who like to draw. Let me also add that some people go through the criticism hurdle badly, but come back later to try again. These are people who start to develop their drawing skill later in life.

Before I move on, I want to again emphasize that how good you are at drawing DOES NOT make you a good or bad artist. If you have trouble wrapping your head around that, please have a look at this really inspiring artist who collaborated with a 4 year old to produce some really high-caliber artwork:…

How do we calibrate drawing skill? Every person is different. Everyone learns at a different pace. Just like the music discipline, you don't have to be in band in high school to one day decide you want to learn how to play the oboe. Anyone at any age can start the process of developing representational drawing skill. The categories I am about to provide for you are based on information I have gathered from my profession as an art teacher. It does not measure artistic ability. Do NOT use this to calibrate yourself as an artist. This is only meant to assess specific samples of your work for the specific skill of representational drawing. It's not an overall assessment of the artist as a creative. For instance, I might produce a digital painting at a level 5, but I might also produce a sculpture at a level 1. This is handy to know especially when thinking about submitting your artwork to groups or juried art galleries. I am also doing this to provide a resource to :iconanthrocommunity: because so many people that submit their work and have pieces rejected are still asking for the reason of the decline when what we look for is clearly outlined in the submission guidelines. This calibration is also specifically geared around illustration and figures within a drawing. You will notice me using the terms Low Caliber, Medium Caliber, and High Caliber. Consider High Caliber as the standard for professional art contracts. Game companies, publishers, and art agencies will generally not accept anything but High Caliber work. The Levels that have a :star: next to them are levels of artwork that generally get accepted in the AnthroCommunity group.I will be starting the levels off with what a 10 year old is capable of doing. So here we go!

Level 1 ------------------- LOW CALIBER

A very old old drawing by Katmomma An Act of Pure EVIL by Katmomma

Beginning to Explore: At this level, the artwork can range from the artist trying to capture basic shapes up to showing interest in articulating specific details.

 What is Likeable:
  • You can figure out what the drawing is representing.
  • Basic facial expressions and setting can be understood.
  • Different characters are easy to distinguish from one another.
  • Developing understanding of gestures.

What makes these examples LOW CALIBER:

  • The first image was done on lined paper, presenting a lack of seriousness about the artwork.
  • Furthermore, the artist did not crop out the scanning bed and the notebook spine, showing a lack of care/knowledge in digital image clean up.
  • Coloring lines going in different directions demonstrates lack of skill in coloring techniques.
  • Demonstrates poor knowledge of the art elements and principles (i.e. contrast, unity, composition)
  • Lacks understanding of proportion (a lot of you refer to this as anatomy)
  • General media technique feels "unfinished" and sloppy.

Level 2 ------------------- LOW CALIBER

Whoa.....Strong Coffee by Katmomma Ember Beauty by Katmomma

Growing Pains: The artist begins to capture not only detail in shape, but details in gesture and in value.

 What is Likeable:
  • Characters are clearly represented with specific details and expressions.
  • Begins to show basic understanding of light and shadows.
  • Demonstrates a growing understanding of media techniques. (Using pencil in one direction like supposed to this time!)
  • Better understanding of negative shapes and positive space develops.
  • Shows an interest in using/blending more than just basic colors.

What makes these examples LOW CALIBER:

  • Although overall presentation is neater, messy lines compete for attention
  • Media techniques are still very developing. Artist is still blissfully unaware of the "don't use dodge & burn for shading" rule in photoshop.
  • Still lacking in elements such as contrast and unity.
  • Still very figure focused and not a very interesting composition.

:star: Level 3 ------------------- MEDIUM CALIBER

The Platinum Collection by Katmomma Snowfight Holiday by Katmomma Friends Forgive Friends by Katmomma

Focus Shift: The work becomes less about specific details only and more about the composition as a whole.

 What is Likeable:
  • Character personalities are becoming very clear.
  • Demonstrates a growing understanding of foreshortening and contrapposto in figures. (Actions start to speak louder!)
  • More focus on an over-all presentation of the image. Careful thought about figure placement shows.
  • The artist's understanding of proportions are becoming more realistic/ believable.
  • Shadow and highlights are becoming more obvious.

What makes these examples MEDIUM CALIBER:

  • Still shows a hesitancy towards contrast.
  • may still include digital image clean up hiccups and low understanding of image resolution. Big Hiccups can make the artwork fall back to low caliber status and thus not accepted by the anthrocommunity group.
  • No knowledge of color theory yet demonstrated. Shadows are still handled in grays and darker shades of the hue.

:star: Level 4 ------------------- MEDIUM CALIBER

Austin Skwirl by Katmomma Kyle by Katmomma I beg your Pardon by Katmomma Olivia and Ivy Hot Honey Rag by Katmomma

Application and Experimentation: Having built  good amount of confidence in drawing the figure, the artist begins to play in the "fun stuff". This is an art level that a lot of artists get stuck at without formal training or community/networking resources.

 What is Likeable:
  • Characters resonate emotion. Proportions are reasonably accurate.
  • You start to really see the artist's "flavor" develop at this level.
  • Understanding of color theory, composition, movement, and unity begin to be applied.
  • Strong positive shapes and negative spaces are developing.
  • Demonstrates a good understanding of medium techniques to create a unified artwork.
  • Neatly presented, clear understanding of digital image clean up demonstrated.

What makes these examples MEDIUM CALIBER:

  • Compositions may contain an unsure purpose or direction.
  • Use of art elements and principles are not consistently successful.

:star: Level 5 + ------------------- HIGH CALIBER

In the Claws of the Jaguar : RARE 2013 by Katmomma All She Cares about is Love by Katmomma Capricornus of Saturn by Katmomma SEXY SAX SHEP by Katmomma

Demonstrating Professional Skills: The artist can tackle any shape or form and applies the art elements and principles successfully with every finished artwork they produce. Every mark is purposeful.

What makes these examples HIGH CALIBER:

  • Compositions communicate the purpose of the image clearly.
  • Utilizes different art elements and principles within an artwork to achieve a desired result consistently.
  • Artwork is neatly presented, very clear, and eye-catching.

Does this Level mean there is no more to learn?

absolutely not. Artists that can create professional level work still have lots to learn!

It took me about 14 years to develop my representational drawing skill from a Level 1 to a Level 5. It's not easy. It takes desire and dedication.
What I hope you get most out of all this is that you can be a little more honest with yourself about your skill level when submitting to groups. If you know your work is a lot like a level 1 or 2, then submit to a group that accepts that level of work. You are bound to get more helpful feedback from artist who are growing at the same pace as you. Same goes for Level 3,4 & 5. If you are honest with yourself, you will most likely know why something was accepted or declined. I also hope you will understand where you are at in your skill developing journey and continue to pursue your drawing no matter what is said about your work or where it is accepted. We all start from humble beginnings. We are all learning and growing.

Catching Up and Cosplay Video

Journal Entry: Sat Aug 24, 2013, 7:42 AM

Hey guys, it's been a while since I've turned to this journal for a personal update. It's just been really quiet around here and I haven't felt motivated to post. Firstly, I want to thank those who have been supporting my artwork. I don't always have time to respond but I adore you. Thank you! I've felt a little lost in the direction I've been taking my art because I find so many fun things to try and I wind up being scattered all over the place. I've really found a lot of fun in cosplay and costume making recently, which is why my illustration has been on the slow side.

Speaking of Cosplay, I am still catching up from Bronycon. I had so much fun being "Princess Luna" - it was amazing. The supportive feedback and the things people said were so nice about my cosplay. Thank you! I'm not a super huge pony fan but I've always liked My Little Pony and it was very interesting going to a convention for it. I met a lot of talented artists there. It was very cool. I'm also happy to see a convention out there that is pretty family friendly too. My fiance and I made a video of my adventure as Princess Luna at Bronycon. Check it out and share it with others who might appreciate it :D…

If you have questions about how I made the costume, you can ask me here. Thank you those who have been linking me to more pictures of Luna! I am slowly catching up with those comments.
How are all of you doing? :)

13th Floor Thumbsshare Forum Contest Winners :D

Journal Entry: Mon Aug 12, 2013, 2:35 PM…
A few days ago, I held a thumbsshare contest for deviantART's 13th birthday- where participants had to get creative and search for thumbs of any kind of submission on dA that will help communicate that the 13th floor of their imaginary hotel was far from unlucky! Here are our winners!

1st Place goes to :iconlablayers: - Really well thought out post!
Prize: 3 month premium membership and a doodle sketch thing from me

2nd Place goes to :iconmelmuff: - really used the thumbnails to do the talking in a creative way!
Prize: 3 month premium membership

3rd Place goes to :icondrawing-is-what-i-do: - they were really selling it!
Prize: 500 points

Thank you so much to everyone who participated! This was a fun little contest and I was really happy to see people give it a go! :heart:

Chance to win 3 month PM and a sketch from me!

Journal Entry: Fri Aug 9, 2013, 5:38 AM…
This contest is up for dA's 13th birthday but I am extending the deadline to tonight at 11:59pm EST. This is a thumbsshare contest- meaning your job is to get creative and search for thumbs of any kind of submission on dA that will help communicate your point! (No new artwork needed but it's welcome!)


dA Muro Challenge (#14) Feature!

Journal Entry: Fri Jun 21, 2013, 2:40 PM

Last week, I challenged the Muro users of dA with "If you were a super hero, with what ability would you defeat a villain once and for all with? DRAW IT IN ACTION!" for chance at a 3 month premium membership! There were a lot of terrific entries and because the decision was so hard, I have runner ups too!

Our first runner up is :iconrhapsonny: Rhapsonny with "Summon a giant Saitama to destroy the world (except me)" -- Fun concept and executed well with humor!
Our second runner up is :iconthecobaltocean: TheCobaltOcean with "Watch other peoples timelines" --I thought was a fantastic concept!
Our third runner up is :iconshittybrokenshit: shittybrokenshit with "Turn them into a video file and pause it. Or maybe even.. CLOSE THE WINDOW MUHAHAHA"

Check out all the entries because all of them made me smile!Visit the original thread here!

And our winner receiving a 3 month premium membership is....... :iconalalampone: alalampone with "I'd take down that villain with my emerald arrows "
self portrait by alalampone 1 by alalamponemedli by alalampone sizzurp slush by alalampone

Thank you and visit the DRAW PLZ forum for the next dA Muro Challenge! :heart:

Forum Funanza! - Mini Feature

Journal Entry: Sun Jun 9, 2013, 6:07 PM

Hey all! I want to share with you some fabulous things from the deviantART forum this week. The forums here on deviantART are a great way to share your art, meet new people, and express a common interest or common gripe. It's also one of the very first places a lot of newbies start out. (myself included!) It's also one of those places that sometimes gets forgotten. I hope these features can help bring some love and appreciation for active forum users :D

My top three fun, interesting, and sensational discussions going on right now!

DrawPLZ: "Draw your Favorite Color as a Person" - I've seen this idea floating around before but this particular thread has some really interesting drawings in it. It's worth a look and heck, you should reply too!

Deviants: "I am being Stalked" - The responses in this thread....are priceless.

Art > General: "What sort of things should todays artist know?" - Brand new thread today- it's a great conversational opportunity to share your knowledge!

Here's some great pieces I've found in the Thumbsshares that are worth some lovin!
Unerde 21 by unerde by :iconunerde: Beautiful beautiful work! This piece (and artist) could really use some love!
More fab arts!
Woolly Pig by Zhiah:thumb160963657:Oltre by NinelynAstraea by Sniper115A3So Cal by KrisVlad
SANDMAN: Dream and Death by LostonWallaceOodles of Doodles: Full Page Doodle by doodle-my-noodleR.e.N OC CONTEST by U-JIUblaz Mirror by Professor-RWonderful Life by gabrielleragusi

That's all for this week! Be sure to poke around on the forums more often! It's a treasure trove with lots of nooks and crannies to explore!

#AnthroConvention - a chat for Meets and Costuming

Journal Entry: Sun Apr 28, 2013, 8:51 AM

#AnthroConvention  is a brand new channel on dAmn for con-goers and the curious alike to share ideas, network, and talk about anything and everything convention related. This room offers an open art share, open critique and links to fabulous resources on the web. Most importantly, the Anthro Community now has an awesome tool to use for getting live tips and advice from fursuiters and fursuit makers on every aspect of costume design and construction like no other place.

Why go to a furry con? Check out this blog entry for great info and myths about furry cons debunked!
Coloring the Canvas by LilleahWestFun at the beach by ShadowAndFrostDaydreaming... by HybridCreampuffLeipzig Book Fair 2013 by jashis
It will take some work to get this room running with active members. This is why we need you! Please spread the word! Tell your friends who are curious about going to cons. If you are a fursuit maker and you would like to do a Q&A event in the room, send Katmomma a note! If you're an active chat user on dAmn, pop in and lurk for a while. Let's get this room on the map and extend this resource to everyone :heart:

As said above, this room has an open art share! This means you can come in and show us your latest work! We want to see!At a convention, there is no time for being shy. We're going to help you build strong networking skills! In job or client situations, it's imperative to know how to advertise yourself (and there is a way to do it without being pushy or snobby!)

Fursuit Tinychat events will be scheduled through this room. Tinychat is a tool used like skype, where you can see the other people you are talking to. The room is private and the link is only given through this channel to ensure that it is a friendly environment for everyone. In previous Fursuti tinychat events, we've had some amazing critique sessions, fun dancing, and intense discussions on construction and material use.
Our next event will be Monday, April 29, 2013 at 8:30pm EST (find your time)

If you are interested in moderating the channel, please apply via note to Katmomma
Here are the Chatroom Rules.

Tiger Stand by Eddie-KaPunk Mutt by Sharpe19Sigma by QarrezelOracle In view by KandorinCreations
Thanks! and I hope to see you there!

Thinking Prompt: 'Sparkledogs'

Journal Entry: Fri Apr 26, 2013, 8:49 PM

My 12 year old sister draws them.
I think a lot of us went through a similar phase of building confidence in character design at an early part of our art development.
Do we as a community/fandom for art involving animals strive so hard to be "original" that sometimes our character designs turn downright corny? How are character designs best developed?
Why do we yearn to be 100% original all the time?
Why do some furries/artists try so hard to use their "fursona" to become popular in the community? What value is popularity in the community outside of marketing artwork?
Where does the dislike for "sparkledogs" stem from? Where does the appeal come from?

...just things to think about. What do you think?

^Back in the Saddle^

Journal Entry: Thu Apr 25, 2013, 7:02 PM

After taking a few years off (after two years of prior service) I've come back into Community Relations once again! This time, I'll be moderating dAmn and the forums. As far as anthro goes, I hope to get you all more motivated in taking advantage of the chat tools deviantART has to offer and to talk to each other! Networking is a beautiful thing! Speaking of networking, check out my recent journal about Conventions and Meets for Anthro/Furry artists and appreciators!

See you on dAmn!

Networking: Anthro/Furry Meets and Cons

Journal Entry: Thu Apr 25, 2013, 4:59 PM

Bringing this post over from AnthroCommunity ........ One thing that seems to be really quiet in our community is our IRL (in real life) meets, whether it be devmeets or cons. I would really like to see more people get involved in planning or attending real-life get-togethers because I've seen the sheer awesome these opportunities bring. For 3 years now, I've been attending Furry conventions, and regional meets and it is really an amazing experience to be able to see and talk to people you have met online.

On other more niche websites such as furaffinity, people have developed regional/local meets and specific "group" pages that update when and where these events occur. DeviantART has even pushed the idea of "devmeets" which is very similar to what furry fans have put together offsite. Of course, when these regional meets grow in size, some of them become conventions, and the bigger they get, the more room for artistic and social networking there is. In an age where we are constantly communicating through a screen, meeting people from the internet in real life is a very rewarding experience. You can put a face, a voice, and an actual person behind the username.

Consider the opportunities a meet or convention can provide.

1.] People meet each other in real life, thus promoting respect AND building new friendships
2.] Whether they identify as "furry" or "anthro appreciator" everyone unites under one roof to enjoy the things they like.
3.] It is a brilliant way to network with other artists, share tools of the trade and tips
4.] also a great way for artists to make a ton of money - and promotes entrepreneurship.
5.] Great way to get your name out there. Want more commissions? Go to Cons! People impulse buy on things they can see in front of them.
6.] Buy artwork of your character! It's also a fun excuse to make your own reference sheets and badges too!

STAY SAFE! Although meeting people from the internet is fun, please remember to stay safe and only go to meets where other people are going. Go with a friend! If you're under 18, you'll need a parent as most conventions require a parent or guardian to attend with you if you are under 18. Do your research and make safe choices. Do not make plans to meet someone alone. Make sure you always have someone you trust with you.

Some Furry Convention Myths Debunked!

People avoid furry conventions for some pretty silly reasons. If you're missing out on a fabulous opportunity because of a rumor or the word "furry" in the title, what a shame. Here are some common excuses I've heard from people when asked why they refuse to go to a furry convention or a meet. These responses come from my experience and several artists I know who are convention regulars.

I'm not a furry. Only furries go to Furry Conventions
Actually, you don't have to be a "furry" to go to a Furry Convention. I've seen people who identify in the anime community and comic book communities there. I've seen the "I'm anthro, not furry" people there too. Heck, my fiance's parents came with us to FurFright last year and they found it loads of fun! I'm not saying its a place to take your grandma or super conservative older brother, but if you want a good time and see some fun things, you should go!

Fursuiters are creepy people that do weird stuff "in the bedroom" with their suits on!
That's about as ignorant as saying "Scuba-Divers are weirdos that do naughty things in their scuba gear in the bedroom". The most extreme in any part of fan-culture is going to get the most attention. For the record, most people who fursuit do it for fun. Think of it like cosplay, but instead of dressing up as your favorite anime character, you're dressing up as your original character- which is a lot of fun! It's an opportunity for skilled costume artists to show off their incredible work and its an opportunity to experience something like Halloween more than once a year. Do people do strange things in suit? Some people do. But people do strange things all the time, suit or not. It really shouldn't be anyone's business if you dress like sailor moon while humping your partner at night. :B

I don't have a fursuit or a badge... I won't be able to relate to anyone!
You, my friend, have come to the best place to relate to people who have a common interest in anthropomorphism. You don't need a fursuit or any flashy things. Just come as yourself and most importantly, TALK TO PEOPLE. Furries, although socially awkward sometimes, like to talk. Find out where people are hanging out and go explore! Bring a sketchbook and find a buddy to draw with you! Bring a game or two! Also, there are people who are nerds for just about everything so you won't be alone!

People won't want to buy my art
If it's furry, people will buy it. If you get a dealer table or an artist alley table, make sure you smile and look at people when they come to your space. It's important to make eye contact and talk to them. Get to know your potential patrons! Also, don't forget to ask someone to watch your table and go check out other artists' tables. You can talk to them and gather ideas for how to improve your set up if you feel you are struggling.

Furries smell Horrible!
Considering most con-goers are in late adolescence or college, yes, you will run into people that may smell of young adulthood or may still be learning how to shower properly. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to de-stink their costumes properly either. Do not be afraid, though. For every stinky person, there is someone who smells nice and is armed with several bottles of febreeze. You can also help this cause by remembering your toiletries and setting a good example. As for fursuiters, only one out of every 50 are smelly in my experience.

Notable Upcoming Conventions!

Here are some notable upcoming cons that you still have time to register for!

Anthrocon, the world's largest Furry convention (attendance 5,179 in 2012), will be held from July 4-7, 2013 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA. Their theme is "Fast and FURRious." Guests of Honor to be announced.

Midwest FurFest is the second largest Furry convention (attendance 3,216 in 2013) will be held November 22-24, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Rosemont, IL. Their theme will be "The Pirates of Lake Michigan."

  • RainFurrest will be held September 26-29, 2013 in Seattle, WA (attendance 1,705 in 2012).
  • Eurofurence will be held August 21-25, 2013 in Magdeburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany (attendance 1,232 in 2012).
  • Furry Connection North will be held April 12-14, 2013 in Novi, MI (attendance 1,179 in 2012).
  • Califur will be held May 31-June 2, 2013 in Irvine, CA (attendance 949 in 2012).
  • Camp Feral! (an outdoor Furry convention founded in 1998) will be held August 22-26, 2013 in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada
  • FurFright (attendance cap at 1500 in 2012) will be held October 25-27, 2013 in Cromwell, CT. Furfright is THE Halloween con!
  • FurAffinity United 6 (attendance 629 in 2012) will be held August 17-19, 2013 in Whippany, NJ. Official con of Furaffinity

Regional Meets

Are you interested in attending a meet? Meets can happen just about anywhere- bowling alleys and parks are popular settings for regional/local meets. One place you can look for upcoming meets in your area is the Furries. Meetup site. Another place to look is within various meet groups on fA if you have an account there. For instance I follow NewEnglandFurs for all local meet postings. I would like to develop a similar system here. I will need your help though!

I will be making future blogs about hosting local meets in the future. If you are interested in hosting a meet, please comment so below! :)

What should you Bring to an Anthro/Furry Con or Meet?

That's a great question! For a complete list for the serious con-goer, see HERE. But below are some general things you should remember to bring!
1.] Cash! Dealers are just starting to use the "Square" which can take credit and debit cards but a lot of dealers still take cash.
2.] Toiletries! Make sure you have your toothbrush, shampoo, and anything else you need to keep fresh.
3.] Febreeze! For yourself if you fursuit or have hotel roomates that are stinky. There may be the occasional person who just needs to be sprayed.
4.] Badge! Con-goers make a badge of their character to let others know who they are. Badges are an essential part of self expression....and security >>.
5.] Reference Sheet! If you plan on buying commissions of your character(s), make sure you have a good visual reference of your character's design.
6.] Fursuit and/or FurryWear! If you have a fursuit or furry-themed wearable things, bring them! it's part of the fun!
7.] Sketchbook & Pencils! Many dealers do sketches at an affordable price! Also, its fun to hang out and do art trades with artists in the common areas of the con!

If you have any questions or thoughts about conventions and devmeets for this community, let us know!

Art Criticism: The Real Deal

Journal Entry: Thu Apr 18, 2013, 3:22 PM

How many of you think of art criticism in a more or less negative way?

I read an incredible book by Terry Barrett called "Criticizing Art" for My Visual Cultures & Critical Practice class in my senior year of college. This author and the class has enlightened my view of what art criticism is and the components of it. And I'm posting this here on dA to share it with you.

This community is part of the bigger Art World, believe it or not. And every person who posts a comment on an artwork is practicing a form of art criticism. You don't have to be some snobby Art Historian from New York to be an Art Critic. Critics come from many different backgrounds- poets, musicians, historians, artists and everyday people- using what they write about to add to communicate what is "likeable" to the community. Critics are what drive the popularity of artwork- which essentially drives the interest in the communities they work in as a whole.

So here are some REAL Art World thoughts for all of you out there who are actively involved with feedback on artwork here in this community- straight from an Art Educator:

Criticism is neither denotes or connotes a negative activity.

Why give publicity to something you hate by talking about it?

The clarity of your feedback will determine who and how many people read and reflect upon it.

Criticism lends credibility- so artists in general like their work to be reviewed. The usefulness of criticism is subjective to the artist, however. Some artists could care less about what others have to say about their work.

Is criticism an angle for marketability? Absolutely! The most popular artists in this community are those who have been reviewed by the most people/ featured in the news/ guests of honor at conventions...etc.

So what is the point? The point is, If you are here leaving comments on artwork & faving, you are all officially Art Critics according to the definition by the Art World. Congratulations. Now use your capabilities to better our community- Continue to talk about the artwork you love and be as thoughtful as you can about it. What you post reflects on you as a critic to the artists you write about, and the audience that reads what you write.

Food for thought. ;)

KatPix January '13 - A Collective Feature

Journal Entry: Mon Jan 14, 2013, 8:50 AM

I've been away for a while, tying up some loose ends and getting myself set up for the next five years of life. I'm ready to roll now! One of my favorite tools on this website are Thumbnails. It gives everyone that opportunity to feature artwork. Below are some artworks I found noteworthy from my inbox that I'd like to share with you! All of these artworks contain some inspirational use of the Art Elements. All of these pieces could use a lot more love!

Siearan by HotahMai by HotahMai fabulous colors used in this pixel art! I mean, wow! Very attractive to the eye!
My Angel Wears Boots by LarryWilson by LarryWilson You can tell this artist worked very hard to create a focal point with hue and value. This artwork could use a lot more love!
:thumb348179140: by DanarArt Contrast is used so well in this piece. Striking and simple!
The Procession by QuinneCL by QuinneCL Illustrates the fun working with a limited color palette can have!
Tigers by FunkCrusader by FunkCrusader Rad lines, Rad movement, Rad color, Rad PERIOD.
JOURNEY TO THE EDGE OF THE WORLD by KerriAitken by KerriAitken Beautiful and fitting use of color theory! Those lines are really working the depth too!

I hope to feature more next month!

#hausOfAnthro - new Anthro Group

Journal Entry: Mon Apr 2, 2012, 8:51 AM

I started yet another anthro group, but this time, I wanted to make the gallery open to members for submission. :) As an art educator and someone who has a great love for anthropomorphic themed art, I want to advocate an appreciation for anthro both online and off the internet.
This means, I'm looking for the best of the best- artwork and artists that can connect with more than just the furry fandom or anthropomorphic appreciators.

Now...while all of that sounds elitist, hold your pants up! The favorites folders in this group are open for every skill level and are unlimited for members to submit into! As a teacher, I know that greatness doesn't just poof out of nowhere. I want to encourage all artists interested in anthropomorphism to think about how they can relate to people of different interests.

While the furry fandom provides a very strong audience, clinging to it hasn't helped the bullying, the put-downs, and the de-valuing of anthro art. Today, we have people in our own community that put-down other artists with the term "furry" (and we all had a big discussion about how inappropriate that was). I know my one group is not going to eliminate that. However; I want a person that looks at this group to come out of it with a better appreciation for the artists and the theme. I also want our community to question the value of narrowing themselves to one audience.

This is.... HausOfAnthro :iconhausofanthro:

"I Can't Draw"

Journal Entry: Mon Jan 23, 2012, 6:36 PM

"....I'm afraid other kids are gonna make fun of my drawing because I'm not good at it."

....said a fourth grade student to me last week at an Elementary school during my character design lesson. The little boy's comment to me about how worried he was about not being able to accurately represent what he wanted to on paper made me stop and think about something our society sort of imposes on our artists.

Since when did skill in drawing = how good of an artist you are?

I'd like to know.

Of course, we all know drawing is a fundamental skill in which every "artist" is expected to understand the Elements and Principles of Art and Design with because these elements and principles translate to ALL forms of visual art.


Think of Art Mediums like Musical Instruments.
Think of Drawing as the Piano.
It's the instrument that most people develop an understanding of Music Theory to begin with.

But what if you picked up a guitar first instead of a piano-- and you learned Music Theory with the Guitar instead? Would someone say you aren't as good of a musician because you can't play the piano that well?
.....I don't think so, Bob Dylan- You're a rock star.

So what if you're an artist who understands elements and principles in Ceramics....instead of drawing? What if you're an artist who uses emotion to power vivid color undertanding rather than using the colors infront of you? What if your process of art making becomes your elements and principles on paper?.....What if your art doesn't exist on paper and it goes somewhere else?

Is it really fair to disregard an artist because they cannot or are unwilling to draw the most accurate, highly detailed, realistic things?

Why do we hold "realism" on a pedestal over every form of visual art? Why do we favor that realistic painting over the simplified minimalistic design?

I told the little boy about artists like Jackson Pollock, who used "action" to drive his final pieces. Certainly, being good at drawing is one way to get something out of art making-- but it's not the only way.

So as an Art Educator, I leave you all with this:
The art you make comes from you-- and that is the single most important thing about art making.