Are you female?
Can I get one of your designs as a tattoo?
This is probably the question I get asked the most frequently. If you see a design in my galleries that you would like to use as a tattoo for yourself (NOT to add to a flash art catalog), the answer is yes, absolutely! Please feel free to let me know via e-mail that you're doing so, especially if you'd like to send pictures. I love seeing the tats people have done with my work! I can't think of a bigger compliment, as an artist.
The only design I do not support others getting as a tattoo is my website logo, because that was designed for me personally. Note that you won't find that image in the gallery anyway, and that's one of the big reasons why.
What does "Nightlyre" mean?
I like nighttime, and I like music. It's also been my online handle for so long, I'm reluctant to give it up.
What is a "furry"/"were"?
I could spend five pages answering this question, and still not give an answer that would satisfy all of the furries and/or weres out there. But, I'll try.
Furries and weres are two distinct groups, though they overlap in a lot of ways (hence why I'm lumping the two into one question).
A "furry" is an anthromorphic animal — an animal with human features or characteristics, such as speech, walking on its hind legs, etc. Even creatures that look mostly human, but have animal features like pointed ears or a tail (like anime cat-girls) are considered furries. A "furry" doesn't have to have fur; they can be reptiles, birds, and whatever else. The word "furry" also applies to people who are fans of these sorts of creatures.
The word "were" is a short way of saying "werewolf", without excluding other animals. Some weres also use the words "therianthrope" (a variation on lycanthrope that includes all animals, rather than just wolves), or sometimes "spiranthrope" (spiritual therianthrope). Basically, a were is someone who wants to be their phenotype (that means, the animal they identify with). Some would rather be able to shapeshift back and forth, some would just like to be that animal, and leave their human self behind. Many believe that we weren't supposed to be born human at all. Some dream of one day being reborn as their true non-human self. Some seek their proper form through spirituality (meditation, etc.), while others hope that science will someday come up with the answer.
Trying to contrast weres and furries gets difficult, because the definitions start getting a little blurry at times. Some people think that weres are more serious about wanting to actually become an animal (or anthromorphic animal) than furries are... which is not always the case. Some think that weres are more into real (4-legged) animals than furries are... also not always the case. Some think that the furry genre has more of a sexual overtone than that of weres... again, that isn't always true. Some people consider themselves to be both a were and a furry, while some extremists in either group don't want to have anything to do with the other.
What is "anime"?
Sometimes the definition of the word "anime" is broadened to include all animation, but usually, it's just a short way of saying "Japanese animation". It's pretty easy to tell most anime by the big, expressive eyes. (While not all of it is like that, most tends to be.)
My friend uses "Pokemon" as an example, mostly to prove to parents that anime isn't all sex and violence. Other well-known anime series include "Sailor Moon" and "Dragon Ball Z". Probably the best way to see anime is to watch it subtitled. That way, you'll be seeing it in its original form, but can still understand it. It's especially cool if you can find a local group that does anime screenings; that'll let you sample a lot of different anime, and see what you like.
What is "fursuiting"?
Basically, fursuiting means dressing up as an animal or a furry (anthromorphic animal). Fursuiting encompasses everything from realistic costumes to cartoony ones. Mascots, like those for sports teams, are usually considered fursuits. Also, fursuiting isn't limited to dressing as animals with fur, just to dressing as animals. Hence, birds, reptiles, dragons, etc. are considered fursuits, as well.
What is "cosplay"?
Cosplay is short for "costume play". It means dressing up as a character from an anime series. We had started dressing up for anime screenings in Tucson, where several of my friends went to college. Our costumes started out pretty simple (just wearing kimonos or capes, or making cute, cheap little costumes), and started getting more and more elaborate from there.
I thought I'd write up a little something explaining why most of my cosplay outfits end up being male characters. Probably the biggest reason (to me, anyway) is because many of the female characters are not aware of the word "modesty". While many of them are all right, some seem to think that a thong-style bikini and a cape constitute an outfit. (Think I'm kidding? Go look up Naga from Slayers!) And while that's all right if you have the right mindset (along with a suitably large bust and small waist), it isn't something I would especially choose to wear. Plus, I hate wearing skirts, which puts a whole lot of anime girls out of the running.
A lot of the female characters also seem to be a bit... well... obnoxiously dumb. Since many of them aren't especially likable, it's hard to want to dress up as one of them. The guys, more often, seem to be the ones who get the interesting personalities and likable character. I'm certainly not saying there aren't any female characters that I like, but not many that I'd be good dressing up as.
Most anime women are also not that tall, and I'm 5'11". Enough said. In general, I look a lot better dressed as a tall guy, especially standing by someone dressed as a girl from the same series.
Do you sell/Will you sell me one of your costumes?
I don't sell the costumes I've made. For one, I'm not sure I could part with them! Though I've made many different costumes, I still feel that I'm a beginner in a lot of ways. Many of my costumes, including the red dragon (several people have inquired about buying that one), are not very well made, as I was basically teaching myself as I went. It turned out satisfactory for me, but I don't want that to be representative of what I'm capable of. On top of everything, I'm not a seamstress; I really have no idea how to figure out whether a costume would fit anyone other than me.
All of that aside, I like to encourage artistic expression when I can. If you're interested in costuming, you really should try to build your own. There's nothing like stepping out into a crowd in costume, knowing that the amazed looks you're getting are all for something you built with your own hands! It isn't really difficult — time consuming, yes, and definitely frustrating at times — but it is something you can do, if you really want to. To that end, I'll try to provide information about how my costumes are made, what problems I've run into, and what other resources might help. That's really what this page is about.
Do you do commissioned costumes?
No, and I'm not sure yet if I ever will. As I said above, I'm no seamstress. It's enough of a challenge making a costume fit and work for myself, let alone try to figure out how to make it fit someone else! And as I said above, I'd like to encourage you to build your own costume... it's such an interesting and rewarding hobby!