An explanation of one of the Furry Fandom’s most unique traits.
“So…what’s that little badge for?”
Fursonas are one of the more recognizable parts of the fandom right after fursuits. Chances are if you’ve ever interacted with a furry online or even looked into the wild world of fur you’ve already seen one.
But what exactly are fursonas, and why are furries often seen with them? Looks like it’s time for a second walk through another aspect of the Furry Fandom.
So what’s a fursona? It’s a persona that a furry creates of themselves. A sort of furred alter-ego, in a sense. I mean, the word itself is a mashup of  “Furry” and “Persona.”
They can range from being a simple mascot to something they express themselves through, or even something that they have just for the fun of it. After all, who wouldn’t like to have a character that they can get loads of cute artwork of?
Fursonas are also a major part of a furry’s identity in the fandom. It’s not at all odd for someone to ask “So what are you?” when meeting a fellow furry.
What else do we do with our fursonas, aside from getting lots of cute artwork done?.
As an aside no, you don’t have to make your fursona look cutesy as I’ve seen my definite share of badass fursonas. It’s whatever you want it to be.
Getting back on track, what one does with a fursona is as varied as why one gets a fursona. Some will roleplay with their fursona, others will feature them in original fiction, many get fursuits made out of their fursonas and more.
Also we can’t forget badges:
Hand Drawn headshot badge of Niko by Cassmutt

Artwork by Cassmutt. Photo by Niko Linni

Badges are often used by furries to help identify who – and what – they are, and tons of furries have one.
In fact I almost consider it a rite of passage to get a badge. A sort of commitment to the fandom.
If you like collecting things, you’ll love badges. Collecting badges via artist commissions is a for sure thing in this fandom. I’ve seen a friend of mine on FaceBook post a picture of a clothesline that was full of badges clipped on it.
As for myself, I love coming up with stories that feature Niko and my other two fursonas. There’s a cute chubby rabbit named Tamagi Stardust and a green fennec named Razzle Joestar.
I also enjoy getting artwork of them and my other (non-fursona) characters drawn. I love seeing how artists take my descriptions and come up with their own spin on things.
Razzle had short green hair at first, but one artist wanted to give him a mullet because they thought it looked better. After seeing the final piece I decided that it was a good look for him, and it became official.
Though sometimes written words can lead to mishaps. I saw Tamagi as having only a chubby stomach, but when filling out a commission form I put “Chubby.”
Well, the artist gave me a well rounded chubby bunny, but he was so adorable that I adopted it as his official look.
Which is another thing to note about fursonas: for many, they tend to change and go through revisions. A fursona now might look quite different from how they were first imagined.
Digital artwork by Clockwork Raccoon that shows Niko's characters Tamagi, Niko Linni, and Razzle.

Artwork by Clockwork Raccoon

Now, the creation process. I wish I could give you an easy answer
here but, it’s pretty varied.
Bonus points if you called it.
Now some folks will go, “Well lions are my favorite animal, so let’s start with that!” Others might say, “Well, my personality seems to line up pretty well with how otters tend to be, so let’s go with that.”
And then there’s me who loaded up Second Life and checked out what kind of bunny avatars were for sale. Blue and white rabbit? He’s cute, sold.
Some might switch their fursonas or change their designs, too.
“Niko Linni” was at first a grey and white wolf, and later turned into the blue bunny. Razzle actually served as my “main” fursona for a short period of time.
Then there’s a friend of mine who’s also a green fennec, but he likes to add different parts from other species, giving him a husky tail and lynx-like ears. So if you want to make your fursona a genetically diverse being, go right ahead!
Many furs will also come up with back stories for their fursonas as well. Mine’s a travelling muse who has the terrible luck of trying to inspire stubborn people.
Now, do you need a fursona to take part in the furry fandom? Nah.
But it’s something that a lot of furries seem to do on their own. It’s to the point that some furs will legitimately feel left out if they don’t have one or have trouble making one.
We’re a friendly flock though, so if you fancy yourself a furred alter ego there’s plenty of folks willing to help you.
Have you ever made your own fursona? Would you like to make your own fursona? What would it be like? Or, do you have any other questions about these furred alter egos? Sound off in the comments below.
Thanks for reading and I’ll see you all in the next installment. Hope you like cosplaying!