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Anthropaws brings 'furry' characters to life

Doug Brathovde, owner of Anthropaws, a local costume-making business, puts the finishing touches on Nahia, a hyena character commissioned for a client. Anthropaws offers full costume building and repair services for individuals or organizations wanting their own mascot character. Photo Credit: Chad Coleman, Redmond Reporter

By: Tim “Kijani” Watanabe

For Redmond’s Doug Brathovde, it all began in 2004 after watching “The Lion King on Broadway” stage production.

Although none of the costumes in the show contained the faux fur he works with today, Brathovde realized how creative, and fun, building costumes could be as a hobby.

“I thought it was a really fun deal and saw everyone was enjoying it, so I started building my own,” he recalled.

After serving five years in the Marines, which included a tour of duty in Afghanistan as an aircraft mechanic, and a short stint at Boeing working on the new 787 Dreamliner, Brathovde continued building costumes on the side, and late in 2009, started up his own home-based business, Anthropaws, Inc.

The unique company name comes from the word “anthropomorphics,” which relates to bringing human characteristics to something that is non-human, like an animal. Cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny or Mickey Mouse are an example, and many fans of anthropomorphics, also known as “furries,” create their own characters and have them commissioned into a full costume, called a “fursuit,” that resemble sports mascots with a personal touch.

“The community itself is very broad,” Brathovde noted. “You have your fans of cartoon (animals), musicians, artists… and the costuming part is just another way to express yourself that you can’t do normally.”

Brathovde estimates that 90 percent of his business comes from the furry community, but Anthropaws also offers many other services.

“The rest comes from organizations interested in mascots, or (performance) catering,” he said. “I also service existing mascots or fursuits, general repairs, sizing, anything and everything.”

 

CREATING A CRITTER

According to Brathovde, the most challenging part of his job is not the actual hands-on work, but the conceptual creation that must go on before he even plugs in his sewing machine.

“The most difficult part is coming up with a character design from someone’s description, taking that and turning it around into a three-dimensional form,” he said. “That’s the most challenging part, and in turn, one of the most fun parts.”

Brathovde has at least 20 different colors of faux fur in his workshop, all different styles and lengths, and will special-order to meet any customer’s needs.

He has made eight full suits so far – a hyena, german shepherd, two lions, two huskies, a badger and a raccoon – and Brathovde says his goal is to try and look for ways to improve his craft, to make each costume he builds a little better than the last.

“I’ve been doing a lot with moving jaws, whenever the wearer opens their jaw, the character’s jaw works as well,” he explained. “I’m also working with a style of eyes that wherever you look at the costume from, the character’s eyes are also looking at you… I’m always trying new things.”

And once a costume is ordered, how long does it take to build from head to paw?

“It’s totally dependent on the complexity of the costume,” Brathovde said. “If it’s really fancy it usually takes somewhere in the nature of 3-4 months, but more basic stuff is real quick. I also do partials, which is just a head, paws and a tail, and those come a lot faster.”

While other costume builders often charge at least $1,000 for a custom mascot character and sometimes much more, Anthropaws currently offers full suits starting at just $500, going up based on complexity.

“I started it on my own so that I could make a little money doing what I love doing,” Brathovde said. “I cater to the anthropomorphic community, and also to anyone that wants something for Halloween or to wear to parties, anyone that wants a costume of some sort.”

 

A REWARDING EXPERIENCE

Though building mascots and fursuits often means many long nights of grueling work, Brathovde admits that it is all worthwhile after the customer sees the finished product.

“The most enjoyable thing is once they get their costume and can go out and be their character, and just enjoy the time they have with it,” he said. “They can totally express themselves in a form they can’t do any other way.”

Brathovde also cherishes every opportunity he gets to go out in one of his own costumes and perform, bringing smiles to the faces of children and families, brightening their day. Brathovde and his crew of costume performers attended Issaquah’s popular Salmon Days festival last year, and also made an appearance at the Redmond Saturday Market in May at Redmond Town Center.

“That’s one of the most fun things about building costumes, that you can take them out and people don’t worry about who you are, they just see the character and that’s what they look at,” he explained. “The reaction from people is just outstanding. Everywhere you go, people are like, ‘Oh my gosh I can’t believe this!’ They all want pictures. It’s awesome, a really rewarding experience.”

Having moved to Redmond from Bothell about one year ago, Brathovde is also looking to get involved locally with community and charity organizations in his new, unique line of work.

“I am always open for commissions, and open for performing,” he said. “If it’s a matter of doing a party or coming to a charity event, I’d definitely be there and I can usually round up a bunch of other costumers who’d be interested as well.”

 

To see more photos of Brathovde’s costumes and home workshop, check out staff photographer Chad Coleman’s blog, Focus Northwest.

 

For more information about Anthropaws or to contact Brathovde about a commission, e-mail ithabise@anthropaws.com, call (425) 381-9657, or visit www.anthropaws.com

 

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Unsheathed Presents #7

Author: Kyell Gold

Find the full article here: Unsheathed: K.M. Hirosaki and Kyell Gold

The contents of this Podcast may have adult language and adult themes. The content is not produced by Furry News Network, but is posted for your convenience.

Rio was rio good (ugh) Film Verdict

04/16/2011
By: CraftyAndy

RottenEggCreations-RioWasRioGoodUghFilmVerdict602-152Short and sweet. Nice little film that’ll help you pass the time and not leave you feeling dirty afterwards. Not as Good as Legend Of The Guardians and no where near Rango. ;

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Attribution Non-Commercial

Walk the dinosaur

Author: AshMCairo
Editor’s note: Not exactly furry… scaly for sure. Maybe this will give people some ideas to make costumes like this.

Children at a school in the Bondi area of Sydney, Australia, had a surprise visitor on Friday, 1 April 2011 – a seven-foot (two-metre) tall baby Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur. Children shrieked and froze in momentary fear as the huge creature invaded their school yard, then smiles and laughter broke out when they realised the life-sized monster was an animated model, operated from within by a human. The roaring dinosaur surprised 350 primary school pupils as at a presentation to launch a national tour of the animatronic show ‘Walking With Dinosaurs’.

1 Vote(s)

Vote for this here: furryne.ws / Published News

Tokyo Disneyland reopens after quake

Author: AshMCairo
"It’s billed as "the happiest place on Earth." And Friday, Disneyland’s Tokyo theme park reopened in hopes of bringing some of that missing happiness back to the Japanese people."

http://s.wsj.net/media/swf/main.swf

Find the full article here: furryne.ws / Published News

ActFurOnAir: Eye of the Tiger with Kell Bengal

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Kell bengal and Kraden band together for ‘Eye of the Tiger’, a new sideline segment run by Kell asking the in-depth questions on various topics.

This episode we interview Markos from the Furry News Network, a brand new highly successful furry news site dedicated to bringing you the latest in the fandom. We talk to Markos not just about the FNN, but also about how acting as a media resource can affect the fandom at large.

The Furry News Network started in January 2011 and has been delivering news and updates for and from the fandom ever since. They’ve made a name for themselves by delivering a professional looking site, professional articles and a wide variety of content.

For our flagship Eye of the Tiger interview we contacted Markos, a founder of the FNN and talked with him, not just about their project and how listeners can get involved, but also about how being a media resource is accepted by the fandom. Does positive media reign? Or does a sense of impartial mediation and honest journalism garner respect form the community and world at large?

 

ActFurOnAir: S3 Episode 1

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You’ve waited patiently for months, and now your parched eardrums can be sated with the bubbly lemonade that is our show. We’re back for season three and we’re better than ever!

For our first episode of this new year we’re talking about clothing and apparel and how they fit into the design of your characters. We’ve got an amazingly expensive dog, new zodiac signs and scientists creating a real life meat-a-don!

 

Updates

New cities, new homes.

For those of you that don’t know the ActFur hosts have relocated since our humble beginnings in season 0.5. Jeneara has relocated to Adelaide, in southern Australia, while Carnival and Kraden have joined forces in Melbourne, creating the brand new ActFur Studio HQ-A.

You can find out all about Carnival & Kraden’s move in their new blog – PaletteSwap.blogspot.com

Donations

We’d like to thank Evil Hamster of Doom, Evanesca, Original user and Phase 2 for their donations over the season break. Remember to put your sign name into the comments when donating so we can give you points for your generosity!

Can you still buy ActFur tees?

Yes and sorta. We’ll be taking orders up until our next print-run, which has no set-date yet.

If you are looking to plaster some ActFur all over your BoooooOOOOoodeh, please drop us an expression of interest to theshop@actfuronair.com and we’ll chase you up with a proper ordering sheet soon!

Audio Letters in Mp3 if possible please!

Also one last thing on the updates everyone. If possible please send your audio letters in as Mp3 where possible, it makes inserting your audio into the show a lot easier, and doesn’t chew up as much of our download quota.

News

Ze whurlds mose expenseeve dawg

Big Splash, the worlds most expensive dogand he’s so fluffy! 

Jen kicks off the news with the worlds most expensive dog. Named Hong Dong (aka Big Splash), he is a rare Tibetan malamuke with two big figures to his name. Not only is he weighing in at 81kg at only 11 months of age, but he is priced at a whopping $1.5million.

While specifics of the sale were kept confidential, the dog’s seller said it was a multimillionaire coal baron from northern China who bought the red-haired rover named Hong Dong – or ‘Big Splash’, the New York Post reported.

Read more –>

The Meat-a-don exists!

The mighty steak-a-don of eastern AustraliaThe mighty Steak-a-don of Eastern Australia 

(sent in by Sam Aronax)

A friend of ours, Kitfox Crimson, was once asked;

“In a world full of Anthro’s, where all animals are people…what do they eat?”

His solution to this problem was the MEAT-A-DON! Sentient wads of meat peacefully roaming the countryside.Well…it turns out we’re one step closer to that reality, as scientists have successfully grown stem-cell pork a.k.a synthetic meat. Not only is it slightly juicier (and we quote) slightly smoother, but it also has to be exercised mechanically for it to actually develop properly.

Read more –>

Serpentarius, your new zodiac sign

The serpentarius star signI’m serious, it’s a dude holding up a snale 

Those wacky scientists have thrown yet another wrench into the poor wobbly gears of pseudoscience. This time it’s emotional astrology that takes a beating, as your ability to match a Leo with a Sagatarius might get a little shifty after Serpentarius has joined the ranks.

After Facebook and Twitter have taken up the new star sign, it’s become…well…somewhat official. Those of you born into your current signs remain the same, while those born after a certain date can claim the tamer of serpents as their sparkly symbol right next to their birth stone and favourite tea.

The new dates are as follows

  • ARIES = APRIL 19 – MAY 13
  • TAURUS = MAY 14 – JUNE 19
  • GEMINI = JUNE 20 – JULY 20
  • CANCER = JULY 21 – AUG 9
  • LEO = AUGUST 10 – SEPTEMBER 15
  • VIRGO = SEPTEMBER 16 – OCTOBER 30
  • LIBRA = OCTOBER 31 – NOVEMBER 22
  • SCORPIO = NOVEMBER 23 – NOVEMBER 29
  • OPHIUCHUS (Serpentarius)= NOVEMBER 30 – DECEMBER 17
  • SAGITTARIUS = DECEMBER 18 – JANUARY 18
  • CAPRICORN = JANUARY 19 – FEBRUARY 15
  • AQUARIUS = FEBRUARY 16 – MARCH 11
  • PISCES = MARCH 12 – APRIL 18

Read more –>

 

Discussion

This episodes discussion topic was inspired by an audio letter from Sheamus Halford, thanks Sheamus!

Character outfits

Carnival outfitWork it! 

Kraden outfitStylish! 

Jeneara outfitSexy! 

The fandom is a creative place, with each character unique in their own way. Normally this is expressed via character quirks and interesting designs on the characters actual body, but what about the clothes?

Do the clothes make the character as well? Can they be as recognisable? And can hanging clothes be the same as changing a pattern of markings?

 

Segments

Kell’s Wonderful Life – Almuni Games

Kell’s Wonderful Life – Alumni games

What do a collection of the worlds smartest people do for fun for a week while at Yale? Challenge each other to puzzles of course! The kind of puzzles that would make the layman’s head implode into an inverse kinoscoptic meat-o-gram, and Kell was lucky enough to be on one of the teams.

Silent paranoia – Homeopathy

To break into the new season, this episode of Silent Paranoia jumps right in with its sights firmly locked on the issue of homeopathy, an 18th century system of alternative medicine that still finds a wide following today. Will it stand up to the test, or be found to be simply just another piece of psuedoscientific nonsense?

Links: Wikipedia – HomeopathyJames Randi on HomeopathyDoes homeopathy work?

TinyCat’s Gaming Breakdown – Pokemon Black & White

They 

Resident TinyCat returns this year to bring more video game reviews!

To hit the ground running, we bring you a new review that is almost as checkered as his wardrobe! Pokémon Black & White versions!

If you have any requests, suggestions or feedback on TinyCat’s Gaming Breakdown shoot off an e-letter to tinycat@actfuronair.com

Fenris Rants – you lot!

Bawww bunny by Marci McAdamBawwww indeed 

Fen Rants kicks off the season with everyone’s favorite punching bag, furry drama. And zombies.

New game segment – Bacon Quest

Bacon Quest Logo

We also start our new audio-play game. Inspired by pick-a-path RPG novels and general RPG humour, the characters must set out to save the kingdom of Bay’kin from the doom of disappearing tastyness.

After each episode you’ll be given three choices, choose the path for the characters to take and win points to a series of fantasy themes prizes, as well as the main show prize.

See the BACON QUEST page for more details.

 

Mentions

 

Fur Needs Help Reuniting With Family

04/13/2011
By: Rainstar

PawsImagine, if you would, being abandoned by your birth mother at the age of five months. Imagine being adopted shortly thereafter. Imagine being constantly tormented by your friends and classmates because of this fact throughout your entire adolescence. Imagine finding your birth family via the internet and trying to reestablish contact with them, only to have them pull the rug out from under your feet and stop the e-mails and messages. Imagine the pain, loneliness, heartache, and sorrow you endure daily.

Many of us will never know this pain; and yet some of us already do. Take, for example, Krissy Pelchat, a.k.a. Paws the Wolf. This hellish nightmare is this poor girl’s unfortunate reality.

Paws was abandoned twenty years ago due to her birth mother’s inability to provide for her. Since then, she has been searching for almost her entire life to find her birth mother with no success. Eventually, through Facebook, Paws established contact with her grandmother and uncle – both of whom she had obviously never met. After some time, Paw’s birth mother emailed her and they finally were able to talk for the first time in twenty years.
The happiness, however, was short-lived. Sometime after contact was established between Paws and her mother, the conversations from all three parties stopped. It is unclear what caused this drastic change in correspondence. Needless to say, Paws was devastated. Eventually, she managed to re-connect with her uncle and they have been talking ever since. Paw’s personal Furaffinity journal explaining her tragic story can be found at http://furaffinity.net/journals/2227748/.

Encouraged by the prospects of meeting her birth family, Paws has begun saving up money to travel and visit them. However, due to school and other reasons, Paw’s work hours were severely shortened and she is unable to save enough money to fund her trip. One of Paw’s dear friends, known on Furaffinity as DJ Wulf, has graciously started a donation box to fund Paw’s trip. The journal and donation box can be found at http://tinyurl.com/help-paws.

Paws said this to express her emense gratitude towards her friends and all of those who donate to her cause: “I’ve always dreamed of just knowing my birth mother and family were alive, and now I’ve gone even further than that. With what little money I have saved, and with the help I never would have thought to have received, it’s now looking like a possibility. I’ve already reached one dream; knowing they’re alive. And now I finally have the chance to do something I never dreamed of. None of this would be possible without the support of my loving mate, my understanding family, my truly amazing friends, and such a loving – open-hearted fandom. (a.k.a. FURRIES!!)

Paw’s trip will take place sometime around the beginning or end of Anthrocon. Please donate to help reunite this girl with her family.

Note from FNN Publisher: Rainstar has contacted Paws and verified through photos, and screen shots, all pertaining to the story. Please read the information your self. We wish Paws luck.

Man Bites Dog – Then Sues

Erin Sullivan, 33, of Phoenix is suing police after he was caught by a Phoenix police dog. He alleges that the dog violated his civil rights and that excessive force was used in his capture. He was being pursued by officers and a K-9 unit in Glendale during a burglary investigation.

After being stopped by the dog, he bit the dog back, injuring it. The lawsuit names four offices as well as the cities of Phoenix and Glendale. The lawsuits total $450,000. City officials in both cities have declined comment.

Sullivan also alleges Glendale police refused proper medical treatment by withholding insulin. Sullivan is diabetic. His lawyer claims Sullivan suffered a seizure while in custody in the Glendale jail.

Sullican is serving eight years for convictions in the Glendale burglary.

Source: KTAR

KnotCast: Episode 136 – I Liek U


Author: KnotCast@foxstuffers.com
This week on PonyCa… wait, no no.. This week Savrin Sparkle, Fuzzyshy, Shiva Dash, and Rekkie Pie ..

This week on Knotcast, its all about reaching out and escaping the dreaded FRIEND ZONE. We hear tales of success and failure, and have some fun back and forth. Threatening to kill your cohorts is just teasing! …Yeah..

This weeks song is ‘Golden Cupcakes’ by Markingdude. It’s pony. :3
DL links on the page.

The mini-story read by Savrin in the last minute of the show is titled Big Mac Isn’t Picky, but has no author information on its google docs page. 😦

Also, in the theme of More Pony, Savrin, Flain, and Special Guests will be putting together a MLP podcast maybe-one-shot here in the next week.

Don’t forget our coupon code ‘knot’ at AdamEve.com for a great deal.

Episode 136 – I Liek U (AAC; 22 MB)
Episode 136 – I Liek U (MP3; 51.3 MB)

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Find the full article here: KnotCast News

The contents of this Podcast may have adult language and adult themes. The content is not produced by Furry News Network, but is posted for your convenience.

Unsheathed joins Podcast Alley!

Just a general note – you can now find Unsheathed on Podcast Alley, as well as here in the FNN Podcast archves starting this week

The contents of this Podcast may have adult language and adult themes. The content is not produced by Furry News Network, but is posted for your convenience.

 

Naughty content coming….you’ve been warned