This website was archived on July 21, 2019. It is frozen in time on that date.

Sonya Mann's active website is Sonya, Supposedly.

My Collection of Furson(y)as

Rabbits have been my symbol for years, and I used to identify strongly with rabbit psychology. (I’m more assertive now, so I only weakly identify with rabbit psychology.) I even have a bunny tattoo:

In the style of Beatrix Potter, drawn and tattooed by Stevie Varin.
In the style of Beatrix Potter, drawn and tattooed by Stevie Varin.
In the style of Beatrix Potter, drawn and tattooed by Stevie Varin.
The artist is @stevielichous on Instagram.

I wouldn’t call myself a “real” furry, but I do enjoy having various drawings of myself as a cute bunny. My default avatar is a bunny designed by Polyducks, and since then I’ve accrued several more. For a while I’ve been meaning to share all of them in a blog post, roughly chronologically. Without any further ado…

Designed by Polyducks.
Designed by Polyducks.
Rabbit based on Polyducks' color scheme, created by my Twitter friend @userlint.
A rabbit based on Polyducks’ color scheme, created by my Twitter friend @userlint.
"OK, this is my sonic-the-hedgehog-fanart-level attempt at Sonya as the Daicon IV mascot" — Twitter friend @enkiv2.
“OK, this is my sonic-the-hedgehog-fanart-level attempt at Sonya as the Daicon IV mascot” — Twitter friend @enkiv2.
Illustration commissioned from Jay Holloway.
Femme bun commissioned from Jay Holloway / @bonesnail. I looove this one. She’s so pretty.
Shaman rabbit created by Twitter friend @DukeOfVenezuela.
Rabbit shaman (druid priestess?) created by Twitter friend @DukeOfVenezuela.
Hacker bun designed by Jade Lejeck, @pixeljadeart.
Hacker bun commissioned from Jade Lejeck / @pixeljadeart.
Hacker bun remixed by @pastellbits (warning, a lot of her art is NSFW).
Hacker bun remixed by @pastellbits (warning, a lot of her art is NSFW). The artist is also on Instagram as @pastelbits.

I’ll add to this post once I have more bun-selves to share! Hopefully soon, muahahhaahaha!

Update on 9/19/2018:

Sonya Mann's rabbit fursona by purple-pies from DeviantArt
Another remix of Jade Lejeck’s hacker bun design, this time by purple-pies from DeviantArt.

Update on 1/9/2019: I’m a little late adding this one, but I commissioned another bunson(y)a from Pastel Bits!

Wearing the Japanese streetwear style mori-kei. Designed by @pastellbits.
Bun-me is wearing the Japanese streetwear style mori-kei. Designed by @pastellbits.

Update on 5/31/2019: Also late adding this one…

Illustration by PinkPuff, AKA @DrMeganParker.
Illustration by PinkPuff, AKA @DrMeganParker (warning, NSFW account… and, uh, I cropped this one for my website; you can probably guess why).

Y’know, maybe I am a ~real~ furry at this point.

And here’s a bunson(y)a that I’m adding promptly:

Snufkin rendition by Twitter friend @suchaone.
Snufkin-themed rendition by Twitter friend @suchaone.

Bots Should Punch Up

I came across another delightful Creative Commons post! (The last one was “Just Your Typical Startup Acquisition Announcement”.) It’s called “Bots Should Punch Up”, written by Leonard Richardson, and Beau Gunderson is the person who linked me to it. I’m republishing the essay here, unedited except for one set of punctuation marks. My comments are in brackets. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Over the weekend I went up to Boston for Darius Kazemi’s “bot summit”. You can see the four-hour video if you’re inclined. I talked about @RealHumanPraise with Rob, and I also went on a long-winded rant that suggested a model of extreme bot self-reliance. If you take your bots seriously as works of art, you should be prepared to continue or at least preserve them once you’re inevitably shut off from your data sources and your platform.

We spent a fair amount of time discussing the ethical issues surrounding bot construction, but there was quite a bit of conflation of what’s “ethical” with what’s allowed by the Twitter platform in particular, and website Terms of Service in general. I agree you shouldn’t needlessly antagonize your data sources or your platform, but what’s “ethical” and what’s “allowed” can be very different things. However, I do have one big piece of ethical guidance that I had to learn gradually and through osmosis. Since bots are many hackers’ first foray into the creative arts, it might help if I spell it out explicitly. Continue reading “Bots Should Punch Up”

How Do People Manage To Do Jobs They Love???

hunched over spooky creature illustration
Illustration by jessicanicole______ on Instagram. Yes, that many underscores in the username.

During the past few days I’ve been thinking about art and money, about ways to be entrepreneurial while working with art. (Contemplating such things has even entailed posting on my neglected curatorial Tumblr.)

I love the idea of being an art broker, or a dealer, or whatever the correct term is for a person who represents artists and sells their work. The whim has caught me and it’s bouncing around in my brain.

Of course, I love the idea, but I would probably be bad at dealing art. Go-get-’em sales-sense is not my forte. I can be relatively charming but hawking wares makes me squeamish. The hard-sell approach is painful.

colorful abstract money painting
Ten-cent painting (see what I did there?) by Jason McHenry. has this subject locked down and reading those articles did not make me feel like selling art is lucrative. Not that I’m surprised. People do it for love, not money, like writing. Spoiler alert: creative pursuits don’t make you rich unless you’re incredibly lucky and at least somewhat talented. “Starving artist” is a valid cliche.

The devil on my shoulder — we’re all born with one, I think — discourages every fantasy. I can’t decide if it’s practical or defeatist.

Grotesque painting, Familiar, by Bruno Nadalin; $50 on Etsy.
Grotesque painting by Bruno Nadalin; $50 on Etsy.

Meditations On Misery (And Its Opposite)

dark golden abstract art
Artwork by Dalma Szalontay.

“Misery is a stronger emotion than happiness, and catastrophes punctured their minds and reshaped their sense of their lives in a way that ordinary contentment did not.” So writes Larissa MacFarquhar regarding a couple who adopted twenty children, ending up with twenty-two kids total (before the deaths, that is).

skate trick and onlooking bikers
Photograph by Guilherme Nicholas.

Personally, my planned route to motherhood is adoption, but twenty seems excessive. Regardless, I wonder: Is it true? Is pain more potent than joy? Is it really so easy to disregard “ordinary contentment” and focus on the half-empty glass?

hot pink glitz portrait
Radioactive Talent by Naomi.

My own experience yields a complex answer. When I’m unhappy, it’s all I can think about. On the other hand, when I’m happy I can only vaguely conceive of being miserable. During periods of cheer and energy, it’s easy to remember that the profound sadness happened once. Sure, I can pull up the words to describe the feeling — typical cliches: numb, exhausted, wallowing in despair, etc. However, knowing what to say about depression is different from being mired in it.

Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Lemminkäinen's Mother, 1897
Lemminkäinen’s Mother by Akseli Gallen-Kallela, 1897; via Adam Ansar.

MacFarquhar’s article about the astonishingly large family addresses grief, a type of misery with which I’m less familiar. I’ve known a few people who died — one grandmother, one grandfather, and two grade-school classmates’ mothers. Maybe when someone integral to your daily happiness dies, it shatters everything quickly the way depression shatters everything in slow-motion.

Chunga I (1969) - Rolando de Sá Nogueira (1921 - 2002)
Painting by Rolando de Sá Nogueira, 1969; via Pedro Ribeiro Simões.

Unhappiness can inspire a person to obscure their emotions, to pile distractions on top. For example, in an interview on The Billfold, author Sarah Hepola told Ester Bloom, “Booze is a pain management system, and when you remove the anesthesia, you really see the source of your misery.” It’s underneath a bunch of mood-moderation junk.

I wouldn’t say that unhappiness is “stronger” than its counterpart. But it’s plausible that bad feelings trump good ones when both are theoretically present. That makes evolutionary sense, right? You might have to take action based on pain, so it needs to be top-of-mind. On the other hand, contentment frees you to think about other things.

"Allow children to be happy in their own way, for what better way will they find?" ~ Samuel Johnson
Photograph by Vinoth Chandar.

Commercially Motivated Art-Posting

I have a ShopSense account. They’ve rebranded as “ShopStyle Collective” but whatever. This entity, regardless of name, is a pay-per-click affiliate-linking thingamajig. Back when I was fashion-blogging I made $88 dollars using ShopSense. I can cash out when I get to $100, and I kinda want the money. So… here’s some art (there’s a precedent for me posting art!) because if you click on the links I’ll make $0.02 or whatever.

Art Deco Pochoir of Woman with Cherry Tree
I enjoy the color pink. And kimonos. Click here, yay!
stripy modern art painting
I like this painting because stripes.
Joy of the Eternal Now by Alice Asmar
Pastels! Birbles! Ideal. By Alice Asmar — click click click.
geometrical painting
I like this painting because geometry.
Young Turkish Boy, 1714
1714 painting of a young Turkish boy. I like his outfit.

Sign up for my newsletter to stay abreast of my new writing and projects.

I am a member of the Amazon Associates program. If you click on an Amazon link from this site and subsequently buy something, I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you).