Thanks for the sandwiches with french fries on them, the cronuts and all the fucking furries.
Hometown: Tampa, Florida
Profession: Artist. Savannah focuses on furry art, and admits that this can be controversial in the world of comics. "There's a real tribal mentality in comics and anime. Even within the furry community, there are divisions everywhere. A big one is between those who do sex drawings and those who don't."
Savannah says that, because these kinds of divisions and controversies, she kept her drawings a secret for a long time. She doesn't do sexual drawings, but was worried her friends in the wider anime community would think she did if they knew she was involved in the furry community.
Savannah says that she has just always been interested in drawing animals, and just really connects to the style of art (Disney has been a big influence for her).
She doesn't let the judgement affect her anymore, and has widely attended both anime and furry conventions to sell her art.
How did you get interested in drawing?: "My parents got me into art. My mom used to draw me paper dolls. My dad is an engineer and taught me to draw."
What influences your style?: "I'm bi so I like both male and female forms. You draw more of what you like, so I guess I like the female form more."
What's your favorite color?: Yellow. She likes yellow because of its vibrant, and reminds her of her hometown of Tampa. Also, her room was painted yellow by her mother.
On the role color plays in her art: "I like to express a feeling through colors. Some colors are cool, some are dreamy, some are warm and vibrant. I think of colors in tones and feelings."
On her experience in the anime/furry community: Savannah has been featured as a panelist in a discussion about Hispanic women in comics. "It can be kind of a boys club," she says of the comic art community. "But in furry art it seems like there has always been women. It's really even, which is cool to see in a typically male dominated art culture."
On Hispanics in the furry community: Savannah says she has been excited to see a growing hispanic presence at the many conventions she attends. She explains that the furry community really supports being proud of who you are and your interests. "I'm glad there are more hispanics showing up and being proud." She specifically noted that there is no one hispanic look. "Hispanics can be anything so theres probably many here you you don't know."
Check out Savannah's art at www.unlazy.com
So, as you guys know, we spent not one but TWO FULL DAYS at AnthroCon and we learned that furry conventions are pretty much just like high school. There's just as much sweating (those animal suits are hot!) and there's probably a lot more petting (furries are hot hot hot).
All good things end with a party, e.g the movie Footloose, turning 15 if you're Latina, your life (though I guess you're not technically invited to your own wake). And high school — high school ends with prom. So like any decent 26 year-old teenagers would do, we treated the big dance party at the end of Anthrocon like prom.
So here are some tips for all you teenagers out there on how to survive prom, straight to you from some almost-30-somethings who went to a fucking furry convention once. This won't be weird at all, we promise.
1. Get Ready To Flirt
Remember, your eyes are the window to your soul. If you can't pull off a coquettish batting of the eye like this furry, how will anyone ever know just how slutty your soul is to the core?
2. Practice Your Dance Moves Beforehand
Dancing is hugely important at prom. Because teenagers are famously comfortable with their bodies, it's super important that you can dance as well as a professional. Remember: everyone is going to be watching your every move because you matter the most.
To prepare, maybe try watching music videos at home and practicing the moves you see in your room. Or, spice it up and hire a dance coach 4 nights a week. Or maybe even drop out of school to practice full-time. Do what you gotta do! Just remember — have fun with it, too :)
An important element of dance is coming off as a natural. It should never look like you practiced your dance moves or spent any time giving a shit at all. Look how casual this unicorn is about its stellar "show off my guns" dance move. Casual, but classic.
How do you give off that nonchalant vibe while dancing? It always helps to scream things like "I've never practiced this before!" or "Wow! Who knew I could do that?" Make sure to speak loudly and enunciate because often at prom, the music is obnoxiously louder than you.
For a dramatic flair, take a page from Footloose's book and scream "I wasn't even allowed to dance in my hometown because some kids drove off the road and our pastor went apeshit!" If anyone from your hometown hears you and challenges this story, pretend you can't hear them over the shitty prom music and go find a new area to dance.
3. Always Steal The Spotlight... Or Else.
As any feminist or person with social skills knows, it's unacceptable to let anyone else get more attention than you at a party, even if it's "their birthday" or "you weren't technically invited." If they can't upstage you back, they have no room to complain.
It's your party and you'll cry if you want to, right? Or go through with a fake pregnancy scare if you have to, right? If you're flying under the radar for even a second, throw a glass of punch in your date's face or jump from one moving car to another one just like Lori Singer did in Footloose.
Pro-tip: call the venue ahead of time and find out who's in charge of the lighting. Use the flirting techniques you learned in Lesson #1 to make sure the spotlight ALWAYS finds you before you have to find it.
4. Wallflower? More Like Wall Power.
"Confidence-encouraging" teen magazines and guidance counselors alike will try to convince you to "put yourself out there." They'll tell you not hang around the sidelines, giving in to what to certain therapists call "crippling social anxiety, Maggie. Maggie stop covering your ears. Maggie, I know you can hear me."
But the thing about teen magazine editors, guidance counselors and rude-ass Dr. Nicholson is... they're not young teenagers like we are. They don't know how cool it is to just hang around and make fun of other people for giving a crap or having fun. People who have fun in public think they're so awesome but like... look how awesome you look when you're sitting with your arms crossed.
Remember: no matter what the situation is, if someone is standing and you're sitting, they're trying harder than you. And that's pathetic. It's a wonder man even evolved to stand upright in the first place. Like what a loser try-hard.
5. Remember to believe in true love
This one is self-explanatory.
Anthrocon Alias: Panda Chon
What colors remind you of your hometown: Black and Gold, baby. COME ON STEELERS! Come on Roethlisberger, take it home for us this season!*
*we had to wikipedia every sports reference you seen in this interview
Favorite color: Anything pastel, but mint green is her favorite
Profession: Artist, jewelry and clothing maker. Her art is an explosion of pastels.
Panda Chon says that she gets a lot of the inspiration for her art from going to so many conventions. She is a proud member of the furry community and is excited to have AnthroCon in her hometown.
She is also inspired by anime and retro gaming (she still plays Ages Genesis).
(pic of her with dog hand puppet)
Her dog Nico loves conventions too.
After our first day at AnthroCon, driving back to our motel on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, we stopped off at a Dunkin Donuts to each try our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Cronuts ever.
We decided to take a real hard look at ourselves in that Dunkin’ parking lot. It was dark. We were tired and confused. There was a family size box of donuts between us, empty. It was then that we really accepted our fate as Josie Grossies.
This realization was liberating. There is a freedom that comes with accepting that you are the biggest loser at a Pittsburgh furry convention. But, hey, we knew that on Anthrocon day 2, we would walk into the festivities, dorks that we are, and learn as much as possible about the craziness all around us. Theres nothing more loser-y than learning new things! (Maybe besides binge-eating Cronuts in the dark).
Lesson 1: What is a "Yiff"?
A lot of people assume that every Furry does sex stuff in his or her furry outfit. This, however, is not true. We learned that a majority of Furries enjoy dress up platonic fun. "Yiff" is a special term designated to those who bring it into the bedroom (that's where they do the sex).
Lesson 2: It's not just about Furries.
If you think Furrydom is all about cute cuddly animals then you're wrong. Dead wrong. Road kill wrong. It's time for you to meet the Scalies. Instead of dressing up like animals that are furry, they dress up like amphibians and reptiles that are scaly. Do you see what a huge mistake you made?? Do you feel like an idiot? Calm down. there's so much more to learn.
Q. Is this a Scalie?
A. No, this is a Furry. Are you an idiot?
Q. Is this a Scalie?
A: Yes, this is an excellent example of a Scalie.
Lesson 3: You're Gonna Need A Tag.
Everyone at Anthrocon has at least one these hand drawn tags dangling around. They represent your personal characters. Often times Furries get their talented friends to drawn tags for them. We could have had some tags for AnthroCon if we had any friends or talent or friends with talent (JK LOVE YOU KEEP READING OUR BLOG).
Amelia here had some of the coolest tags we saw. She was dressed up for the day in a Cosplay for her fan character "Flufferpuff." Her favorite color is teal.
Lesson 4: "You can't always match the pony to the Brony"*
It can be hard to pick just one.
*Overheard at the "My Little Pony: Frienship is Magic" meet up
Lesson 5: Something about Wyrms
These are Wyrms. What are Wyrms? I have no fucking clue. I failed Wyrms class.
We met a group of teenage girls that were huddled around a group of the most colorful little fuzzy things we’d ever seen. We thought to ourselves, “hey, we are definitely in the same age range as these girls, and we have a blog about color. It looks like we’ve found our AnthroCon niche after all.” But it was so much deeper than color, guys.
The girls really tried to invite us into their world. They were so gracious. The spent far too much of their time trying to explain to us what the fuck a wyrm is. We still only know that they are fuzzy and colorful and not worms.
Be cool. Stay in school.
... it was a tiger.
Maybe we oversold it but honestly when's the last time you saw a tiger sing the Beatles? When's the last time you saw a tiger, huh?
Oh man, you also have to check out Tiger's opening act. It really got the crowd going. His sound is best described as Avicii meets Aloe Blacc.
I’d like to say we just happened to stumble on the world’s largest furry convention but no. This is one of the few things (the only thing maybe?) we planned far, far in advance. In fact, when Maggie got the dates wrong, we ended up having to backtrack 590 miles east from Salem, MA to Pittsburgh, PA just to make it on time. Needless to say that our scenic drive through the Poconos was tense and passive-aggressively silent.
From what we thought we knew about furries and what we thought we knew about conventions, we were expecting AnthroCon to be a slutty, debacherous mess. Essentially, we thought it would be a college party bender (there’s an animal house joke here we’re too lazy to make).
To our surprise, AnthroCon was not really about clumsy pick-up lines and full-costume walks of shame the next morning. It wasn't college. Rather, it was a constant ebb and flow of people being cliquey and people being inclusive. Yep, it was high school.
And if AnthroCon was high school, then we were Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed — we were the too old, too uncool-for-school posers flying under the radar to see just what it was like. And here's what we found:
1. There's A Lot Of Love
2. And There's A Lot Of Exclusion
Look at this Arctic creature gazing on to a group that he wishes he could be a part of. So tragic, so high school.
Or maybe he's just watching the Pittsburgh Panthers game going on in the far distance?
PS: it is so weird knowing that a Panthers game is going on while you're in a convention center with way, way more panthers.
3. But, Hey, Man, Let Your Freak Flag Fly
AnthroCon is definitely a time to express yourself. Are you a dog wearing a Pikachu backpack? Or are you more of a tiger wearing an over-sized donut?
We were all about expressing ourselves in high school but we had a uniform with a fairly strict dress code and inflatable pastries were definitely not within jurisdiction. Such a shame, too, because that's definitely a look we would've rocked.
4. Wait... Are You Guys Gossiping About Me?
Seriously, what are you guys talking about? Is it me? This is all getting a little too high school. Like, come on, guys. Let's act our age (though I'm pretty sure I'm Josie Grosie and I'm 16 years older than you).
... But I can't really tell how old you are cuz you're wearing fucking furry masks over your face. That could be John C. Reilly under that costume*.
*PLEASE GOD LET IT BE JOHN C. REILLY UNDER THAT COSTUME.
6. In AnthroCon, Like In High School, Fashion Is Key
Look at the style on this guy! You don't get more chic than a vest on a fox. I kind of know what I'm talking about. I was the first girl in my class to wear Uggs.
6. But, Of Course, There's Gonna Be Some Fashion Faux Paws
Hey Ms. (Mr.?) Thing, I know this is a color blog but wow. If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's orange on yellow on yellow, let it mellow in your closet forever, am I right???
Don't worry. Everyone has those fashion mistakes they look back on with shame. I kind of know what I'm talking about. I was the last girl in my class to stop wearing Uggs.
Also, I actually really like this outfit. I'm just projecting because of the whole Uggs thing.
7. Some Girls Just Get All The Attention
"What I found? Those girls are still there. The ones that, even as you grow up, will still be the most beautiful girls that you've ever seen close up."
-Josie "Grosie" Geller, “Never Been Kissed”
8. The Hotties With The Bodies Were All There
Isn't it hilarious that we thought the boys we knew in high school had "hot bodies?" MAJOR LOL there. They were squirmy JV-basketball one-time-not-virgins and we were talking about them like they were Gerard Butler.
Anyway, look how sexy this ram with a six-pack is! What's your sign? Aries? Me too. Does that mean I can touch your biceps? Is it weird that I'm sexualizing a ram? Probably not because that's an actual fucking human, right?
Also, do you think it's a coincidence that the team mascot in Never Been Kissed was the ram and this guy is dressed as one? Yes. It's 100% a stupid fucking coincidence, Maggie. Let it go.
9. And Some Boys Are Always Gonna Be Bad To The Core
If angstily smoking while looking at pristine bridges doesn't remind you of high school, you were not an SF kid. Or you had the wherewithal to consider lung cancer (sorry to hear you were a big fat dweeb!).
Also, do you guys remember smoking Cloves? All of my older cousins tried to convince me to stop smoking them because "Cloves are disgusting" and I just remember thinking "sorry you guys aren't as complex as I am but I am going to be smoking these cinnamon sticks forever."
And look at me now — complex as ever at a Furry Convention! SUCK IT COUSINS.
10. No, seriously, you guys. This shit is so high school!
... right down to the straight jacket, you know? Remember how crazy that was?
Wait — did I say straight jacket? I meant halter tops. Remember how crazy halter tops were? Straight jackets are for crazy people and I was only crazy about halter tops back then lol #boys #NormalGirl #NormalGirlAtAFurryConvention
lol can't wait to spread the rumor to those bitches from picture #4 that Ceil wore a straight jacket in high school...
11. In The End, It's All About Friendship :)
Yep, this is an actual photo of Ceil and Maggie. Friendship still strong after 12 years.
So, as an ending to this article, and, perhaps a beginning to a new chapter in my life, I, Josie Geller, will be at the state championship baseball game, where my friends, the Southglen Rams (with six packs!) are playing for the title. I will stand on the pitcher's mound for the five minutes prior to the first pitch. If this man accept my apology, I ask him to come kiss me, in front of everyone, for my first real kiss.
...Shit, that's Never Been Kissed again. Whatever, keep posted to see what else we learned, saw and heard at Anthrocon (and to see if Michael Vartan ever showed up to make out with us!)*
*Spoiler alert: he didn't.
Best quote heard that day:
"Do you kiss your mother with that beak?!"