At Home With The Furries are flying the nest

Featured

So great news, At Home With The Furries arrived on the back of a truck at the end of September and since then I’ve been posting out books on my daily sojourns to the Post Office.

The feedback I’ve been receiving from the crowdfunding backers is nothing short of phenomenal, the book has really struck a chord with people, in fact with kids of all ages. ( especially of the Goat variety)

The cover as I may have mentioned previously is really turning heads, the feel and look is something really special.

London Furries Winter Ball

Two major art galleries are stocking the book in London, the Tate Modern and the Photographers Gallery.

A friend tweeted me with the following last week

I’m planning a number of book events on the lead-up to Christmas, the first one will be a book signing at You Don’t Bring Me Flowers in south east London, I’ll be giving a short talk about how the furry project came to be. There may also be a furry in attendance for hugs and selfies with the book. Come down, say hello, get yourself an extra Christmas present.

YDBMF1-FINAL

The following week it’s the Cornwall connection and I’ll be doing a number of workshops and talks for the photography students at Falmouth University. I’ll be there on the 14th and 15th of November, there may even be a special guest of the furry variety attending my talk.

The books are going quickly. From a first print of 750 copies, 300 have been sold. They can be ordered through the publisher, Stay Free , Amazon or via my website. Every order comes through to me so if you’d like it signed, let me know.

A couple of weeks ago I went to see my friends, the Londonfurs and dropped off a few books to the backers and furries who took part in the project. ( every furry that took party received a complimentary signed copy from me)

I got involved with the traditional group shot. Photograph by Daniel Bennett.

For those who haven’t received their rewards, they’ll be with you soon. I only have another 20 left to package and send out.

The i paper featured the book in their well… book section and it made Coffee Table Choice which was a bit special.

The response from buyers and backers to At Home With The Furries has been phenomenal, many saying its the best photobook they’ve ever seen, the best photographic reproductions of any book in their collection, one of the best books they own and it goes on. I have the printer, Ufuk Sahin to thank for doing such a stunning job with the book.

There are limited edition prints available from the series available through my website. https://tombroadbent.bigcartel.com/

The book is now your story to tell and the response has been with some great videos, pictures and messages on social media, Facebook, twitter and even phoning me up. ( old school)

The photographer, Zak Waters even took the trouble to review the book on his YouTube channel

That goat I mentioned earlier…

Saethwr, the red dragon whom I photographed in 2013, backed the project.

The last word belongs to Summercat surely

Always room fur one more

View this post on Instagram

Book by @broadbentius arrived!

A post shared by Dan (Bolly) Russell (@dantherussell) on

Order your copy of At Home With The Furries

Stay Free Publishing: http://www.stayfreepublishing.co.uk/At-Home-With-The-Furries

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0993128416

Print Sales: https://tombroadbent.bigcartel.com/

My website: http://www.tombroadbent.com/

Advertisements

Like a bear emerging from the woods, the book is coming soon

Featured

When I first met the furries all that time ago ( only 2008..Ed) I was slightly overwhelmed by their costumes, but more than that their sense of fun and mischief. I was there to do a two page report of RBW, which is the Rather Brilliant Weekend. A sadly now defunct furry convention, which was replaced in a way by the Londonfurs summer and winter parties as well as the now more larger Confuzzled.

Alfa Fox and Lupus Londonwolf were two of the first furries I met

After taking pictures for Bizarre magazine and asking a few questions about their costumes, I felt I had managed to ingratiate myself into feeling accepted for a while at least.

After I left, put the camera down and moved on with putting the magazine together every month ( I was the picture editor there for seven glorious years) the furries kept popping back into my mind. There was something about them that seemed to speak to me, sure the costumes were amazing. There was something else though, the playfulness perhaps, the role playing, the mask element, the becoming something different which seemed to stick with me.

At Home With The Furries

A furry walk outside the Tate Modern

I started going to furry meets in London, organised by the Londonfurs. Yes the furries have an organising committee..:-) In fact more than one. In the ten years since I started the project, furry meets have sprung up all over the UK. Leeds, Birmingham, Oxford and Manchester all meet up every few weeks for a social and usually a furwalk.

I had this idea of going to a furry’s house and photographing them in their suits doing something they liked to do, a hobby or something they didn’t, a chore. I hoped to get a mixture of them as people and their characters. First was Smirnoff and although initially my sketching out of what we’d do on the day was very rough ( re…he was clueless..Ed) As soon as the furry in question fursuited up, I seemed to find a way to tell some sort of truth in the picture. Sometimes on the day or sometimes later in the editing suite.

At Home With The Furries

Smirnoff takes five

Why is this long introduction important to the latest status of At Home With The Furries? Well sometimes what we set out to do isn’t the complete sum of all parts by the time we’ve finished. I’ll be honest, as I usually am with the furry book there are times I’ve wanted to put the project down and forget it. I just didn’t see a way to move forward with it. But I truly believe that meeting people, sharing experiences and ideas is the only way to gain inspiration. Whether that’s in person, email or through social media.

It also helps when someone else, a publisher or a gallery drops you a line to say we would like to feature the project in our book about the history of photography or the Royal Academy accepts one of the photographs into the Summer Exhibition

IMG_3555

Syrrus and Lupestripe as shown in Gallery III at this year’s Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of the Arts. I’m furry grateful to all the wonderful people who bought a print, the edition completely sold out.

So here we are, one day next month I’ll receive a shipment of books on a couple of pallets on a truck that’s driven from Istanbul. It’ll be an emotional moment, of that I have no doubt. I realised during the course of the book design and concept is that the book has to be a homage to the furry fandom, to the joy, the passion, the creativity and the crazy characters I’ve met during this amazing journey.

At Home With The Furries

Marshall gets his reading practise in before he receives a copy of At Home With The Furries

Why Istanbul though? Well I was introduced to the printer, Ufuk Sahin by the photographer, Kalpesh Lathigra who printed his book, Lost in the Wilderness with Ufuk and his print shop, MAS. The production values of Lost in the Wilderness are superb and I wanted a similar level of commitment to the furry project. In fact I ended up with a level of commitment and dedication to the furry project from Ufuk that if anything went to the next level of what is possible. Mainly because I wanted the cover to be something totally unique, it had to be furry basically. Or at least feel like it. The tactile nature of the furry experience had to be reflected in the book itself.

When I visited MAS last month to be on press and sign off the pages as they came off the printer, Ufuk showed me his R & D room, full of bits of furry material that he had experimented with to make a book. We decided on a felt material that we printed a paw print design onto. It’s simple yet beautiful. I want it to be a surprise for the Kickstarter backers and anyone who has pre-ordered a copy of the book so I won’t be posting any pictures of it until the backers receive their books.

If you’d like to pre-order a copy of the book, go to Stay Free Publishing here

Follow me on Instagram or Twitter for the latest updates

A furfect day at the printers with At Home With The Furries and RA news

Featured

Dear furry fans,

I’m pleased to let you know that the At Home With The Furries book is in the final stages of production now, this week the pages are being folded and the cover is being foil blocked for binding.

Order the book here

Two weeks ago I travelled to Istanbul, to the printers MAS to put the finishing touches to the book. I was there on press to review the wet proofs ( the last step before I write my signature on the pages ) and they start printing it.

I had a wonderful time in Istanbul and especially with the printers, a special thanks to Ufuk Sahin and his team (Murat, Zeynep and Ziya) who took an extraordinary amount of care with the project, to make sure that every element was reproduced to the quality that it should be. I could not be happier with it.

Here’s a clip of me reaching that momentous point where I do indeed sign off the pages. In truth this was repeated over the course of two days as every page section was brought up to me for sign-off.

The word on the furry grapevine is that there were no furries in Istanbul, I beg to differ my friends. There were hundreds of them, thousands even. On every street, every pavement, in cafes and restaurants all the city.

At Home With The Furries

Very realistic cat furries, check out a film called Kedi about the cats of Istanbul

The first order of business is choosing the finish for the plates ( that is where the actual photographs will be reproduced ) Varnish or non-varnish, glossy, matt, semi-matt, paper weight all come into it. Did I also mention that the sketchbook where you’ll be introduced to all the wonderful characters is on a different type of paper?

At Home With The Furries

The wet proof

Decisions made, in truth I had made most of them prior to this trip, the point is being on press is making the final decisions before the book is printed. When you think about it, that’s actually quite a big thing to get your head around.

Next is looking at the final proof, checking that everything is looking good and is in the right place. Once that’s signed off by me, then the printers use a signature print out. This is a rough copy of the entire book so they can see how the book will fit together.

At Home With The Furries

The proof (top) and printers signature (bottom)

Last step is to say hello to my little friend, the printer of course.

Photo 10-07-2018, 11 35 31

Out of this comes real magic

They set the plates up, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black and start printing.

After a section is printed, the used plates ( actual metal plates are put to one side) the printers lined them up for me.

At Home With The Furries

And finally the pages are left to dry in the warehouse, once they’ve dried they can start to cut the pages and glue them ready for binding to the cover.

At Home With The Furries

As I mentioned, I’m very (furry) happy with the book. It’s magnificent, I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I’m due to receive it on the back of a lorry in a few weeks time.

The official publishing date is 30th September, if you’ve pledged through the Kickstarter or pre-ordered it through Stay Free Publishing, you’ll receive it nearly a month ahead of schedule. Pre-order it now on this link.

Royal Academy News

In other furry news, if you’re planning a trip to London before August 19th or if you live here..:-) It’s worth a visit to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, not just because the furries are on show..:-) I’ve been receiving lots of great feedback from people on Syrrus and Lupestripe being selected, it’s a great honour and I’m so happy for the work to be seen in this space.

Here’s a shot of me on Varnishing Day, it had to be didn’t it?

700

Varnishing Day is the preview for all the artists to attend before the exhibition opens for real to the press and the public. It’s the last opportunity you have to put the finishing touches to the work and it’s also a great celebration of the work being selected.

There are a lot of animal themed works on show, check out Debbie Lawson’s Red Bear for example.

IMG_2853

Debbie Lawson adjusting her bear on Varnishing Day

The furries even made the highlights Illustrated book as well, next to the work of a photographer you may have heard of…Martin Parr.

At Home With The Furries

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition Illustrated 2018, available in all good book shops

I also extremely grateful to three furfect people who’ve purchased the work, only two prints from the edition left.

Finally Hole & Corner did a little interview with me and four other artists who’ve had work accepted into the exhibition this year, it means a lot to me that the furry project is in there, it’s not for lack of trying as you’ll read.

Thanks furry much Grayson Perry

Here are some lovely links

Hole & Corner

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

Stay Free Publishing

Twitter

Instagram

My website

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

Over the weekend I received a rather wonderful email from the Royal Academy of the Arts. It started with, “We are delighted to inform you” My dear friend I think you’ll find that I am more delighted than you..:-))

Earlier this year I entered Syrrus and Lupestripe having a barbecue in Leeds into the annual Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. I had put in two pictures from the series over the past two years and been shortlisted once, so I thought there was a decent chance of getting into the actual exhibition. Especially seeing as the curator is the artist and sculptor, Grayson Perry and its the big one, the 250th year of it running.

Syrrus, a fox and Lupestripe, a wolf having a barbecue in Leeds, 2017
Syrrus, a fox and Lupestripe, a wolf having a barbecue in Leeds, 2017

These things are always a bit of a lottery so having already been shortlisted, I was a bit overwhelmed and blown away to receive the email that said the picture has been selected.  With that of course it means that the furry project is now at the top table of the art world^^ For those that don’t know the exhibition, it’s possibly the biggest and most prestigious open art exhibition in the world. It opens on June 12th and will be on show until August 19th at the Royal Academy on Piccadilly. Here’s some more information about it https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/summer-exhibition-2018

This is obviously fantastic and furtastic news, especially seeing as At Home With The Furries will be published later on this year and on that note..

At the end of April  I visited the illustrator, Dane Marinkovic and we finished off the sketchbook pages. This extensive section at the back of the book consists of handwritten notes, additional photographs and illustrations relating to all the furries I’ve photographed for the project.  Included is a text from Uncle Kage as well as anecdotes, thoughts and stories from the furries featured.

IMG_2640

For the rest of the book, the design and text is nearly there, last week I finalised the design with Roger Fawcett-Tang from Struktur Design. I am so happy with how it all looks, feels and flows.

Roger also made a miniature version of the book, which really is a thing of beauty.

IMG_2746

The book is being published through the imprint, Stay Free Publishing and as such is now available to pre-order through the website. Rob Clayton is a photographer I’ve exhibited with and he self-published his book, Estate in 2015. Check it out here, copies are still available to buy. We decided to make At Home With The Furries the second book that Stay Free will publish. Stay Free is dedicated to publishing the best British photography projects.

The book will be published in September this year.

Pre-order a copy of At Home With The Furries click here

To buy Rob Clayton’s book, Estate click here

The Royal Academy Summer Show click here

Fur the latest furry news, follow me on Twitter and Instagram

My website

Stay fursome

It’s a furtastic feeling, it’s Friday and the furs are fully funded!

Yesterday morning (April 5th) just before 8am, the Kickstarter campaign came to an end. It was a very dramatic last week and it finished, I’m pleased and also extremely grateful to report fully funded. There are 205 superb supporters of At Home With The Furries, time for a furry conga…

London Furries Winter Ball

The target I set at the beginning of the campaign was reached early on Wednesday morning, a good 24 hours before the deadline, so this is a double celebration.

A special thanks to all the supporters who not only pledged, but also tweeted, shared and mentioned the campaign to everyone they know. Thanks to you, we managed to get this over the line.  I’ll be writing about the campaign and book plans in more detail over the coming weeks.

In the meantime here’s a few pictures from the beginning of the project, at RBW 2008 to photoshoots, selfies and more. There are some great memories here, shoots with dragons, rabbits, demon lords and bats to name a few.

DEC9664A-1D19-40A6-955C-7F27D9BF730B

If you missed out on the campaign and would like to pre-order a copy of the book, At Home With The Furries, you will be able to do that via Stay Free Publishing next week.

I’ll be talking about the furry project at FFEATURED 15, on April 19th at The Signal in Forest Hill, South East London, tickets available here

In the meantime, connect with me:

Twitter

Instagram

Thanks fur all your support

Tom

Fursday Kickstarter Update

I feel like we are heading into the home straight now, At Home With The Furries is 73% funded with 132 backers and six days left to pledge. So don’t hesitate, please support the project. It’s an all or nothing campaign, that is if we don’t make the target, the book is a bust. All being well, that won’t be the case. So pledge, pledge, pledge..:-)))

At Home With The Furries

Saethwr, a dragon from Cardiff. Available as a pledge through the Kickstarter as a limited edition print, comes with a signed copy of the book and set of four postcards, £85

Time Out featured the project and an interview with me on their website today, see link I recall my first encounter with the furries at RBW, which set me on the path to where I am today.

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 17.55.05

“It took Broadbent around a year of going to furry meetups in London – which can sometimes attract as many as 200 people – and building up trust with members of the community before he began photographing them in their houses. ‘Now, many of them have become my good friends – I’ve even worn a borrowed furry suit myself many times – and the response has been phenomenal, both from the furry community, many of whom have pledged money towards it and other people and media outlets.’

There are more than just London based furs in the book of course, most of the furries I’ve worked with in this project live outside the capital.

DSCF2180

Furry tote bag, signed book and set of four postcards, £70 through the Kickstarter. Additional options include a limited edition print of Saethwr the red dragon for £115.

Dog Patch Press also featured the project on their website today, see link,  it has a short interview with me and some lovely words from the editor, Patch O’Furr who has been a supporter of the project over the years.

From Patch “Tom Broadbent has been staging creative fursuit photography for many years. I covered him in: Five pro photographers advancing the art of furry documentary. For each I named a signature approach, and to me, Tom excels at “whimsy”. His carefully chosen fantasy scenes show a depth of intrigue and storytelling beyond conventional scenes. Tom takes great care with relationships with his subjects. I think he’s the ideal photographer that furries could ask for.

That’s why I’m rushing out a post on short notice to urge support for his project. Tom has a dream to showcase furry subjects in a photo book, a beautiful archival object. It’s a few days from the Kickstarter deadline, and of course the funding is all or nothing.

We’ll know on April 4. I usually avoid covering crowdfunding – so this is an unusual request.”

I also talk about the importance of sticking to principles and not compromising in the quest to only have the work shown in the best places, it’s a good read. Thanks Patch

DSCF2185-web

A sample of the rainbow coloured fur being used to make the slipcases. For £100, you can choose a Custom Creatures designed slipcase with a signed book and set of four postcards. Additional options include a limited edition print of Lupestripe and Syrrus the fox having a barbecue in Leeds for £140.

In exhibition news, one of the images has been shortlisted by the Royal Academy for their Summer Exhibition, which is very exciting. I’ll hear whether we made the cut in late May.

Here’s the Kickstarter link, all book supporters get their name or chosen name (i.e fursona) in the back of the book.  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/466109304/at-home-with-the-furries?ref=bpoi2h

The campaign ends on Thursday 5th April at 7.42am

Links

Time Out feature

Dog Patch Press

The Kickstarter Campaign

Connect with me

Twitter

Instagram

 

 

It’s that Furday feeling..again

Friday is a special day for the furries, there’s a tradition of posting photographs on social media under the hashtag fursuitfriday, (#fursuitfriday) Have a look and see what my fellow fuzzies are up to!

London Furries Winter Ball

A classic #fursuitfriday image of Marshall

In campaign news, the At Home With The Furries Kickstarter is now up to 44% backed with 85 supporters, there are 19 days left so worth getting pledges in sooner rather than later. One thing that’s worth mentioning is that the funds are only taken from backers at the end of the campaign, April 5th. And that’s assuming the target is met, no target, no money and that’s the end of the story. But we don’t want to do that, oh no! Fingers and paws crossed. Click here

IMG_8349

The furries are hugging to get this project over the line

In publicity news, Cosmopolitan interviewed me for their website (the US version) and did a really nice job with the feature. The conversation took place over the phone and I’m pleased that the journalist Kaitlin Menza included my anecodotes about furries, scalies and featheries. Thanks to the photo editor, Kathleen Kamphausen for organising that. See here

At Home With The Furries

Lupus Londonwolf and Alfa Fox

Finally, I was pleased to hear from an old friend, Wolfy who I got to know at one of my very first furmeets in London. It was one of those classic situations where I was with some friends and I noticed he was on his own, we got chatting and it turned out he knew me through the magazine, Bizarre ( I used to be the photo editor there) he was a keen reader and we have kept in touch since through social media and the odd furmeet and convention. He backed the book this week and tweeted the following.

28833262_10155789457184807_306188682_n

Wolfy by the artist-VHSrat

Art by VHSrat

Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 17.59.27

I asked Wolfy about the furry fandom and what it meant to him
“Before (the furries) I had no social life. Struggled like hell with people and often had panic attacks. It wasn’t until I started to go to furry meets that I actually felt connected with people. For the most part the people were friendly and welcoming and very understanding. I still struggle at times in crowds but I have been to conventions, done furry camping. Things that would have scared the hell out of me 10 years ago”
To support the Kickstarter campaign to turn  At Home With The Furries into a published photobook, have a look here and thanks
There are plenty of fantastic rewards available, postcards, limited edition prints, the book and lots of actual fur, including slipcases and tote bags. You can pledge any amount to back the campaign. Click here and let Pazuzu tell you more
Connect with me