("OH NO, not a FURRY!!!!!!!! ONE a dem WEIRDOS?!?!?!?")
Yep, that's me.
When I was a little girl I liked to run around and pretend to be a horse. I did that little kid "gallop" running thing everywhere I went, much to the dismay of my parents (not to mention my gym teachers - I did it in gym class too because by that time I could run faster like that than the other way.) The other little kids thought I was a freak but I didn't care. But eventually I gave in to all the pressure to run like I was supposed to and I stopped galloping.
Years later the guy I was (then) married to found a photo of ponygirls pulling a cart and showed it to me, commenting that he thought it was hot. I was amazed - you mean, adults get to play pony?! Ooh. I had to try it again! Turns out I still enjoyed running through fields of little daisies, whinnying, and generally ponying around - and in gorgeous white leather tack, no less.
A couple of years after that, my boyfriend and I came up with these goofy monster characters (the kind of monsters that little kids pretend to be - you know, jumping out at you going "RAA!") We made monster costumes that were really gestural - cool monster heads based on thrifted bike helmets, monster fur trim on our playa shorts, funky fur glued to our boots. They were a lot of fun to run around in, and we did a lot of RAAing.
A few months after that was my first FC. I came with my monster costumes and had a great time running around being a monster in them. I was overjoyed by a compliment from master costumer/mascot designer Mr Dinosaur on my silly little open face monsters! I even managed to RAA my way into some extra cookies from the front desk. Heh heh heh.
After my first furcon, I came home wanting to be a bunny. So I made bunny suits (also open face) for me and my boyfriend. We helped organize Billion Bunny Barhops, and of course attended Bunny Jam. Fun fun!
So, pretending to be an animal came naturally to me. From all of this, I started to discover how different it is to be each different kind of animal, and began to explore the natures of various creatures.
Since then I have taken on aspects of other animals, with and without costumes or props... including a chicken (with only a feathered hat) and a fly, with no costume at all - just acting. (It's really FUN to be a fly, and buzz around and hassle people! A chicken, not so much - because chickens are just basically dumb.)
My most recent inspiration is Ninja Kitty - which is also the costume that covers the most of my face so far (I do think it's funny to make the balaclava be part of the costume - it's kinda like running around in my underwear.) ; ) (Balaclavas are frequently worn under mascot heads so that if someone happens to see in, the wearer's face isn't visible. There's a lot of discussion among fursuiters about where to get balaclavas, what fabric is the best, etc. They are also a classic ninja item.)
Ninja Kitty is also the first really anthropomorphic character I've ever done - since she wears clothes and runs around doing human type stuff, being a ninja and all. My previous ones were all just straight up animals (although since I do talk as Bouncy Bunny, maybe I should draw the line there.) In any case, I see this as being influenced by the greater furry community - both the increased anthropomorphism, and the playful use of the balaclava as a costume element.
So, there you have it.