Today I launch a Kickstarter to self-publish At Home With The Furries as my first book.
The intention with At Home With The Furries has always been to publish a book of the work. I felt back in 2008 when I initially started working with Smirnoff, Lupus, Alfa, Lupestripe, Broccoli, Chill and Zuki that there weren’t really any portrayals of the furries in the media that were balanced or fair and so my approach was to address that with my photography. My plan was to do something that although quirky, the idea of placing a furry in a domestic setting, the overarching feeling was to laugh with them, not at them. I was more interested in building a relationship with the furries I photographed, and indeed that happened quite naturally. I was a stranger, an outsider to this world and yet I could not have been welcomed more warmly into people’s houses.
The project over the years has received some wonderful feedback, not least from furries themselves. One confided to me that having seen the feature in The Sunday Times Magazine (March 2013), it gave him the confidence to go to his first furry meet and make friends. For me personally a watershed moment was seeing Smirnoff, the husky wolf, the first picture I took for the project, feature in the book by Paul Lowe, 1001 Photographs You Must See Before You Die. Mainly to see my work alongside work by photographers such as Leonard Freed, Eve Arnold, Susan Meisalas, Simon Norfolk and Sandy Skoglund (photographers I studied at college and university) spurred me on to move ahead with the Kickstarter to self-publish the book.
The key to any successful Kickstarter is to put together a great video and its thanks mostly to two furries who have become close friends and supporters of the project over the years. Pazuzu and Lupestripe. The idea of shooting a short film about the furries had been on my mind for a while and so the thought of bringing the furry project to life on film seemed like a logical next step. You can see the campaign video here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/466109304/at-home-with-the-furries
In 2016 I attended a book making workshop with Aron Morel at Photofusion, it was there that I was challenged to decide what my vision for a photobook would be of the project. Since then, the concept has become more fleshed out and everything about the book reflects the nature of the project. The cover, the paper stock, the materials, the design, the writing, the photography and the rewards for the crowdfunder.
Alexandra Tomlin, a professional animator and illustrator, designed the cover.
The cover will be a flock (felt) material and the plan is for the design to be foil blocked onto the surface.
The designer is Roger Fawcett-Tang of Struktur Design, I’ve worked with Roger for many years on book projects.
The book will also contain an essay by Laura Noble, she has written a wonderful piece about the project.
It will also have a text by Uncle Kage, the chairman of Anthrocon, a Pittsburgh based furry convention. It’s also one of the biggest furry conventions in the world with attendees numbering some 5000 every year.
There will also be additional illustrations inside the book alongside thoughts, words and quotes from the furries themselves.
It is being printed in Turkey by Ufuk Sahin, a leading photobook printer.
The rewards for pledging include postcards, limited edition prints, furry tote bags, furry slipcases and of course the book itself. All book pledgers get their name/chosen name in the back of the book as a supporter.
I will be posting many more updates over the next 30 days as the campaign goes on.
In the meantime, here’s a link to the campaign. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/466109304/at-home-with-the-furries
Thanks for any support you can give the project.