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Artist: Pollo-Chan

If you’ve been in the furry fandom, say, a month then you might get the inkling artists are kind of a big deal. They hold the highest social status, get invited to the room parties and guest spots. Simps flock to their DM’s for even an ounce of their attention.

Have you ever seen an artist you love at a convention? Sure you go to the Dealer’s Den and look around, but there’s that feeling keeping you from doing more. You feel held back like you don’t deserve to be around them.

So I’ve written this handy-dandy guide on how to become friends with a furry artist!

YIPPEE!

So here’s how you do it:

  • When commissioning follow the guidelines, be clear, and don’t be a jerk. 
  • Understand not every artist has an interest in being your friend.
  • Don’t misunderstand acceptance of communication with “let my hoist you on my shoulders and shower you with social status you won the lottery” sort of thinking.
  • Start a conversation beyond “hi owo” a better example would be like: “Hey, I noticed x in your latest piece. My favorite AC/DC song is Thunderstruck, what’s yours?”
  • JUST BECAUSE AN ARTIST DRAWS NSFW DOESN’T MEAN THEY’D E-RP OR ENGAGE WITH YOU SEXUALLY
  • They don’t want to be your art teacher/mentor unless they explicitly say so.

YEP THAT’S IT…!


Artist: Shrimp_Cube

Oh, you’re still here.

Okay, fine. You caught me. Here’s the secret: artists are people.

With the exception of the occasional egotistical furry artist, chances are that you’re going to run into mainly, people similar to yourself. They may be shy, socially awkward, nerdy, etc. Alternatively, they could be a punk rocker with an abrasive personality.

What you’re really asking is how to make a genuine human connection with someone you only have a perception of through an online persona and the art they post.

I’ve gone over how to have a conversation before in the past article “How To Chat With Furries” so, read that before looking at this. This is kind of the more advanced version of it.

To make friends with furry artists ANYONE hold 3 basic principles:


Expect Rejection, Prepare For The Best

Artist: Hareluca

Let’s be real here you don’t spend your entire day sitting at your computer, waiting for someone to message you. In reality you probably spend your day watching YouTube, browsing Facebook or Twitter — that is if you’re online at all.

So, why should an artist you’ve messaged feel inclined to respond to you right away?

There’s no one way to tell why someone has rejected you or what was going through their mind when they read your message. The best thing you can do is recognize they have moved on with their day and simply decided not to take you along with them.

It happens to everyone at some time. Don’t take it personally. You don’t know what’s going on in their head like if they’re struggling with anxiety or depression, etc. There are a lot of hurdles that keep someone from replying to you. It’s not always about you.

Besides, you never know someone that initially ignored you might reply some day. Just take a deep breath, and keep an open mind. Plenty of other creative folks out there that are more than happy to chat with you.

HOWEVER! The second part to this acknowledgement is trying in earnest to start a conversation with them. What I mean by ‘earnest’ is not using self-defeating language when trying to chat them up.

“I know you probably won’t see this” or “I’m no one important, but I hope you don’t mind me asking…” etc. This type of language sets off subliminal red flags to the person on the other end. Suddenly, they’re thrust onto a pedestal of importance by someone they don’t know. It can be uncomfortable.

So, instead of engaging with the person they push it aside. It’s easier to live with knowing you ignored someone than subjecting yourself to someone who may drain your mental health in one way or another.

If it’s an artist or other kind of creator start a conversation by saying something like “Wow, I really love the shading on this piece! I was on the fence about getting something fully rendered, but now I know it’ll turn out dope.”

You don’t need to follow the exact structure, but it helps when determining a message ‘worth’ replying to in the split second decision they make.

Keep in mind that if/when they do reply be prepared with what you’re going to say in response already. Positive response vs negative response, in case you felt you weren’t clear enough and they respond to get clarification if anything.

If you need help on how to keep a conversation going just head over to How to Chat With Furries to get help with that part!

So in short, make peace with getting ignored, send a conversational message, and be prepared to continue the conversations you start.


Evaluate Yourself

Artist: Khoul

At some point it may seem silly to think back to this point, but asking yourself “Why am I messaging this person?” could be the start or end of what you type into that inbox.

If you’ve been following an artist for a while then you may start to feel a connection to them that goes beyond their art. In my case after watching a substantial amount of YouTube videos, I unconsciously grow an attachment to them through their content.

The difference between viewer and friend lies on a blurry line that can only be crossed after deeply assessing what there is to gain for both parties for initiating the friendship.

Do you like similar things to them beyond the type of art they make you enjoy to consume? Can you see yourself regularly communicating with them over shared mutual interests?

Do you actually want to get to know them as a person, or have you built up the kind of person they are in your head and will ultimately be disappointed when they don’t meet up with that person?

These are the questions you need to ask yourself to truly understand if this is a knee jerk reaction or something more.

The final thing you should ask yourself if the follower count associated with them matters. If you come to the conclusion it does for any reason, then you may need to reevaluate your decision making process.

Follower counts don’t matter. Follower counts don’t matter!

The person behind the screen will be the same regardless of how many people enjoy their content. If anything, they’d only be more wary that you’d try something weird and screenshot it. Just try to keep in mind that genuine intentions beget a genuine conversation.

Oh and try not to ‘fangirl’ too much that’s kinda weird.


Be Friendly

Artist: Silvixen

When I say ‘be friendly’ I don’t mean starting off with hug stickers and asterisks of various cuddling positions. What I mean by that is being open and inviting during the conversation. Even if you’re usually on the serious side try to show some more jovial traits.

Point out something that made you smile or laugh in one of their creations. Show them one of your mistakes or something you made that had you cracking up til the day after. These little things can go a long ways of making people think you’re fun to chat with, even if you don’t know what you’re doing yet.

Charisma isn’t an inherit trait, which means, yes you can learn it. Over time you’ll come to see patterns in others’ behaviors that invite you to make a comment here or there either on their appearance or otherwise.

It’s not easy to break down what exactly something charismatic to say would be. In my experience it’s a well placed compliment or observation every once in a while that the other person wasn’t necessarily expecting. Not in a way that is meant to draw attention, but to rest at the back of someone’s head.

Again, it’s not easy to explain. The biggest take away would be:

DON’T BE CREEPY ABOUT IT!

Here’s the difference:

An artist you’ve talked to, maybe twice now, draws yiff and it rocks your socks off. Up until now you’ve played it safe and have only made passing comments about how you think their work is well-made and worth funding on Patreon.

One day they send you a sketch and it gets you red hot. You can hardly contain yourself. Even worse, the blood isn’t going to your head so much anymore.

Option A: “Wow, what an amazing drawing! F*** I’m r*ck ha** right now…”

vs

Option B: “Wow, what an amazing drawing! Your brushstrokes are crazy well done can’t wait to see more.”

Do you see the difference in tone conveyed here? There are some cases in which A would be a fine pick, but given the amount of time you’ve been talking to this artist, it may not be the best time to break out the crass language.

For some artists that time may never come because they simply don’t like communicating that way, friend or otherwise.

So in short to make friends with an artist treat them like any other person. Take your time to think about why you’re saying this to them and what you’re going to say. Be open and inviting to conversation that doesn’t feel forced or creepy.