Welcome and thank you for interviewing with us! Who are you and what do you do? Describe yourself in a few sentences.

Hi there! I’m Josh The Kataroo - 20 years old, and have been in the furry fandom since 2017. My fursona is a kangaroo/cat hybrid, I make Youtube videos and art, while also enjoying gaming! I love working on content that folks can enjoy, furry or not - for example my series FandomOrama, which is about exploring fandoms/fanbases and seeing what they're really about. I've been a member and admin of the Doppelfoxx discord server for almost a year now, and it's been an absolute pleasure watching the community grow!

Do you remember what inspired you to start art? What drove you to where you are today?

A big reason why I started being interested in the kind of art I am today is through the anthropomorphice characters on Saturday morning cartoons, internet comics on Newgrounds, and YouTube while I was growing up. That's kind of how I started off, but what inspired me to start producing things myself in the beginning and still draws me to to this day is seeing the artists of the furry fandom going about their business and creating so much wonderful and unique content. I love it, it’s something that can’t be replicated in the mainstream. Art is amazing - so versatile yet so personal - and with furry, I feel like that energy is a major core of what makes the fandom work and feel as alive as it does.

What do you think makes the fandom special, and what are your thoughts in general about it?

I find the fandom amazing simply because anthropomorphism is such a cool concept. It’s not a new thing, either, dating back to the beginnings of humanity. Even the fandom itself is pretty old, officially starting in 1989 I believe, back when we were called 'funny animal fans', and just like the name, our fandom has transformed and grown so much since then. While I officially joined the fandom in 2017, I’ve known about the fandom since 2009, and that in itself is impressive. Most fandoms don’t last more than 10 years before the subject matter fades into obscurity, but furry continues strong to this day - now not so much of a fandom than rather simply a tight community. The whole thing is a testament to the positive influence of thte internet itself, as the fandom was there for the dawn of its popularity, and it remains at the foreground of new developments to this day - making use of VRChat, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, Deviantart, Tumblr, about all that one could think of. That in a way is due to the fact that the fandom can appeal to a wide variety of niches and preferences - artwork, video content, costumes like fursuits, craftsmanship, the list goes on.

The fandom is also a perfect community for those who just want to be themselves. There's many people who take that advantage for granted, but for those who really need it, furry can be a breath of life into social expression, creativity, feeling like you're in touch both with yourselves and others - name it, the positivity is there. From the early 1990s, the fandom was already an accepting space. Back then, if you were queer in some way - be it having peculiar interests or be it in terms of your sexuality - people tended to have no means of expression, and those around them would merely see them as strange or weird. Now, with online communities like ours, in the 2000s, the 2010s, the 2020s and beyond it has stayed and will probably always stay specially geared towards LGBTQIA+, which many find a strong positive point in helping furries stay united.

Is there any other artists or media you'd like to name as particular inspiration, and what last words would you like to leave with everyone?

A big inspiration was the first furry YouTuber I ever watched, which happened to be FurryFoofi, and then PocariRoo. Both their channels and videos on the fandom really helped me get into everything and understand how it worked. 2017 was a big year for me, because it’s also when I started making content online and engaging with other artists.

I am more than happy to say that I’m still here in 2021 trying to make content that cheers folks up, and trying to inspire others like the artists that inspired me. I think that's what it's all about - helping one another out, exploring creativity together, and just having fun. So stay enjoying yourselves, everyone, and peace out from this Kataroo!

Josh is on Twitter as @JoshKataroo, and on FurAffinity as Josh_the_Kataroo. Check out his work there!

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