It was one of those strange coincidences that makes one think that, if there were a god, he must have a strange sense of humour. Salman Rushdie, who was the target of a 1989 fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini that called for his death due to his novel The Satanic Verses and who lost sight in one of his eyes after being stabbed on stage in the US last year, warned that never in his lifetime had freedom of expression been under such a threat in the West. Less than a week later, Fur Affinity announced a new rule banning adult artwork of characters with childlike proportions, later calling out specific pokémon and digimon. I have already written about the importance of free speech for the furry fandom, so here I would like to discuss how increasing authoritarianism is restricting free expression and a simple way to help safeguard it.
Fur Affinity expands rules against "youthful appearing" characters in adult works to Pokemon and Digimon charactersPosted by Sonious on Mon 22 May 2023 - 10:34
On May 19th Fur Affinity had announced that it will expand the rules toward banning portrayals of youthful appearing characters, even if the character is addressed as being older in universe, engaging in sexual situations to include digimon and pokemon characters. While situations that portrayed actual young anthro characters in sex (known colloquially as cub porn) had been banned 13 years ago, there were elements of gray area on characters that are determined as mature in age, but younger in appearance that were later expanded upon. This update is a furthering of that expansion.
In the announcement Fur Affinity had noted that there is a method for artists who have posted works that may be in this gray area to discover how they would be handled by submitting trouble tickets against it.
If you have questions as to whether this may apply to your content, please feel free to open a ticket under “NSFW Underage Content” with links to the content in question, and we can verify if the content is in violation or not.
Artists have been informed that the amendment will start to be enforced on July 1st.
In the second part of this piece, we will consider the rise of AI-generated art from a more subjective point of view, focusing on its ethical and societal implications. In the first part found here, we went over why AI models do not store and reproduce exact copies of the artworks they have been trained on.
Thank you to 'Yote, who has a PhD in computational biology, for providing feedback and fact-checking for this article.
If you have any involvement with the furry fandom – and if you're reading this, you probably do – you will have seen a lot of talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI) over the past few weeks/months, particularly about AI-generated art. What you'll also have seen is that most of this talk has been characterised by fear and anger. Several furry websites and organisations, such as Inkbunny, Fur Affinity and the Furry Writers' Guild, have all issued statements or updated their policies to ban AI-generated content or aspects thereof.
As a largely artistic community and given that AI-generated content threatens the status quo, this is completely understandable. The objections to AI art have been numerous; some rely on nebulous and abstract concepts such as AI art being emotionless, some consider it unfair to artists who have put effort into learning their skills and others have chosen to focus on the economic aspects of competing against AI. Anti-AI sentiment has grown in the art community and spilled off of the internet in the form of legal challenges against several companies involved in providing AI art services.
It would be out of scope of this text to address every single argument for or against AI. Instead, I would like to focus on two aspects of the debate; one which is objective and one which is subjective. The first, objective, aspect is what AI is and how it works. This is important because it's difficult to have a proper discussion about the technology when it is misunderstood – and I think that most discussion around AI fundamentally misunderstands how it works. The second, subjective, aspect involves copyright and the ethics of training AI. This is a question about the sort of world in which we wish to live and how we should treat one another. I feel that these two questions are the most important ones for deciding how AI will fit into our world. Hopefully, I can correct some misconceptions about how AI works and put forward a view of the world which others will find appealing as well.
Due to the length of this article, it has been split in two. The second part will address the social and ethical aspects of AI-generated art.
Thank you to 'Yote, who has a PhD in computational biology, for providing feedback and fact-checking for this article.
Recently we made a trip to this year’s Lightbox animation industry trade-show in Pasadena, California. We met a lot of very cool and talented artists, including Shawn E. Russell. Here’s how her web site describes her: “Shawn is a wildlife and imaginative realism artist specializing in creating detailed depictions of animals melded with plants and fungi in symbiotic relationships… Shawn has worked with independent board game creators, food & beverage packaging, & private art collectors. She offers her personal work for sale online and at art fairs, comic/anime conventions across the US where she enjoys connecting with fans, collectors, and clients in person.” As you can see, the artist works a lot in highly detailed black-and-white. If you happen to find yourself in Terre Haute, Indiana, make sure to visit their personal gallery called Seek.
On September 5th, Fur Affinity announced it will not be accepting art works that are generated by artificial intelligence programs. Recently computer algorithm generated artwork has come under much discussion as machine learning applications such as DALL-E have shown the ability to take obscure prompts and create art pieces based on them.
Content created by artificial intelligence is not allowed on Fur Affinity.
AI and machine learning applications (DALL-E, Craiyon) sample other artists' work to create content. That content generated can reference hundreds, even thousands of pieces of work from other artists to create derivative images.
Our goal is to support artists and their content. We don’t believe it’s in our community’s best interests to allow AI generated content on the site.
Dragoneer indicated in a Twitter statement on how blatant these programs are in assimilating the pieces of other artists as their own. He pointed to an example of a signature placed on a piece giving evidence of those that the program sampled from.
We made the decision to ban AI generated content on FA. I know a lot of people are asking, "but what about..."
Look, the AI-generated "art" is openly copying the signatures of the artists and teams it's sampling from. Maybe even from somebody you know. It's too much. - Dragoneer
With a new album on the way, I had an opportunity to speak with a furry musician who has been creating musical content for the furry fandom for nearly a decade. Below is an interview I had with NIIC the Singing Dog, and his upcoming collection.
Thank you for interviewing with us! Who are you and what do you do? Describe yourself in a few sentences.
Hey hey! My name is Kyle McCarthy, but I'm wayyy better know as NIIC, or NIIC the Singing Dog. I am a furry singer-songwriter-producer from New York City, and my genre is a pop-hybrid of electronic and folk. I write and perform songs, collaborate with other awesome furry artists, and make my own album art and photography when I can!
The results of the 2021 Ursa Major Awards were announced this Sunday, with motivated fan-bases driving decisive voting in certain categories, while others were finely balanced.
Littlefur/adult baby slice-of-life comic Shine by UK artist Star ran off with Best Graphic Story; coming second was a remake of Found, another of her works under the name Toddlergirl. Both had seen strong support in last years' Ursa Major Awards.
Netting twice the points of the next nominee for Dramatic Short Work was Frank Behring's "Nobody Does It Better", derived from Best Comic Strip Carry On. Artist Kathy Kellogg (KD Nightstar) also took Best Published Illustration for "A World of Our Own" — beating all other nominees by 50%.
While 2021 was a pretty crappy year overall, for anthro gaming titles it was certainly a renaissance. It also did an excellent job curb stomping my 2018 statements that visual novels seem to be the genre of choice for anthro game developers. In 2021 we had a Metroid-vania mixed with a brawler in Ursa Nominated FIST. We had an isometric top-down combat adventure in Ursa Nominated Death’s Door. Now we have a game that is a narrative and art focused 2D grid exploration and creativity game in Chircoy: A Colorful Tale. Unfortunately this one didn’t get a nomination, because I would not have complained if it did.
This game is interestingly one I would recommend to furries who are artists more than gamers. While it doesn’t require being an artist by any means, and traditional gamers would be able to complete the story just fine, the narrative has more reflection on the power of being a creative type and the stress of societal expectations that comes with artistic pursuits. Imposter syndrome, having people demand things from you for exposure, and other such tropes in the artist world are addressed through your character’s trials.
There is a full world to explore and color to your heart’s content and it's more about the journey than the conflict. But there is no art without some struggle. While your character named after your favorite dish may have started their adventure wanting to wield the magic brush of this world, heavy is the hand who wields.
To avoid spoilers stop reading at Art within the Art
Hello and welcome to the March edition of Digging Up Positivity. Where one global challenge is slowly nearing its end, another is waiting in its place to take over. But together we stand strong, and remember, in darkness even the smallest ray of light shines the brightest. And with that, I would like to mention that some of this episodes causes are about the Ukraine situation, including this months’ featurette: Blajn.
This months’ episode is packed with so many amazing charities, and even more. It is good to see that there is still plenty of force for good in the world. And with that, let's go on with listing them all!
Editor's Note: This article was also published in DogPatchPress and was dual submitted by the original author. In discussion with DogPatch, it was decided to follow the author's wish to post this piece to both sites, but editing credits go to Patch from DogPatchPress. If you read it there, it is the same here, minus these respective editor notes. Furry opinions are, apparently, quite fungible.
Cryptocurrency isn’t a new thing to a lot of people. Most safely assume that it’s a common matter to discuss by now. From one trend to another, it seems like the over-publicized success stories, scam emails, and ads that badger you to invest or download this or that app never stop coming. Yet while furries are notoriously well versed in technology, for most of us, it’s just background noise. Spam, business con tactics, and maybe hearsay from the friend of a friend who invested; it all sounds almost good enough to break through our skepticism… but not quite.
However, early in 2021, things suddenly changed. A digital work from Mike Winkelmann (AKA Beeple), entitled ‘Everydays: The First 5000 Days’, sold for $69.3 million USD. It was entirely unexpected for most of the online community, and the term NFT exploded like crypto did before it.
Not since the 1980s have anthropomorphic animals and the Olympics come together more than in the news out of Australia in the past few weeks. As the Summer Olympics get ready to begin after a year's delay due to the global pandemic, one artist has brought some furry thunder for the teams Down Under.
Welcome to the June edition of Digging Up Positivity! This month we cover some animation, of course charities, and our featurette is a Paco Panda from Mexico. This episode you will have a chance to win a lovely hard cover comic book by him.
How? I will explain near the end of the video together with the lucky winner the Fandom bluRay of the last episode.
The 2020 Leo Awards winners have been announced by Furry Book Review! (Their URL recently changed from furrybookreview.wixsite.com/blog to leoliteraryawards.wixsite.com/blog . This link, and many of the ones below, contain mature content.)
These literary awards are determined by a group of judges who can vote for multiple titles in each category, so it's possible for several works in each category to win.
The winner(s) and nominees are...
As 'Space Jam: A New Legacy' draws nigh, non-furry Twitter processes its feelings for cartoon rabbitsPosted by 2cross2affliction on Thu 4 Mar 2021 - 23:10
As of this article's writing (~7:30 P.M. CST, Thursday, March 4, 2021), basketball-playing Looney Tunes character Lola Bunny was second on Twitter's local trends list, behind only NBA professional Lebron James. Both will be playing basketball together in the upcoming movie Space Jam: A New Legacy, of which new details were revealed today; hence the reason for the trending (James is also making his seventeenth appearance in today's NBA All-Star Game, boosting him over his lapine teammate.)
Lola trending, of all the Looney Tunes making an appearance in the movie, is a bit unique, because it's for particularly furry reasons. She was introduced in the original Space Jam, so there was never any doubt she was coming back. But with the first real good look at the new character designs, people have noted changes. They aren't that drastic. But noticeable.
To put it bluntly, she's just not as sexy this time.
The design changes aren't all that much compared to her redesign for 2011's The Looney Tunes Show. If anything, the new design is a reversion back to her original look, and the biggest change is to her costume. She's switched out her old short shorts and midriff-baring top for an actual athletic uniform. Physically, she does seem to have had a reduction to her bust size.