[OK] Sha’di Artistic Liberty Parrot Fullsuit by Beastcub Creations
General InformationGives some information about the item and the person writing the review.
Filed under Aves
Filed under $3000 and over.
HeadGives information about the head of the costume. If reviewing a set of ears, the answers would also go in this section.
The head is overall very comfortable and stays on nicely. It’s mounted on a baseball cap so it’s also adjustable. There is an open space in the neck fabric so that if I tilt the head back I can get a straw in there to drink or peak at something if I need a better look.
The vision ports are nice and wide and easy to see through. There’s a big blind spot in the middle but I don’t really know how you’d make a toony parrot with a big beak WITHOUT that (unless you put the beak in an awkward spot). The eye ports are so big though that all I really have to do is tilt my head to one side or the other, which makes me look more birdlike anyway.
The complaint I have with it is that the fan battery pack has no pouch or anything to secure it. It just hangs from the wire, so I have to tuck it into my suit, and it can get lost easily when I take it apart for storage. I’ll probably eventually sew a pouch into the hood itself, but I feel like that’s a detail that really should have been included.
It absolutely looks gorgeous! I love that the crest has a nice wiggle to it when I shake my head, the eye style is very cute and charming. There are a lot of nice little paint details, and the maker even included some cheek puffs and eyebrows for changing expressions since I couldn’t completely decide whether I wanted happy or grumpy and told her she could pick whichever sounded fun for her.
The maker added in some cheek fluff and two different kinds of magnetic eyebrows. They can be a little tough to line up, but they stay on nicely and look really cute!
BodyGives information about the main body of the costume. If reviewing a separate set of pants/legs or torso, the answers would also go in this section.
The arm wings are sewn in so I’m including them in the assessment of the body. The body fits nicely and is pretty easy to get in and out of. Most of the seams are double stitched, and the wing rods work nicely, though one of them does have a habit of sliding back out and showing through the hand escape if I don’t keep an eye on it.
My biggest concerns with the suit itself though are in the body suit in terms of durability.
The neck and hand escapes are not finished in any way, which makes me worry about stretching (and indeed one of the hand escapes has already started to stretch). The neck is a raw faux fur fabric edge, and the hand escapes are holes cut in the wing fabric. The fleece part of the wing feathers also seem to be hot glued into the wings.
During the creation process, Beastcub told me that she’d cut one of the leg panels out without a seam allowance, but since it was the last of an out of print fur, she had to improvise and glue the seams together with fleece (see pictures where I’m pointing). She also glued on some smaller markings in the knees (round fleece dots in the picture). I was told of all of this after the fact. This was an artistic liberty commission, so had I been asked I probably would have requested that she just find a substitute fur instead of gluing things together. I haven’t had any issues yet, but I’ve been very mindful of the seams when I wear him (I don’t kneel down or strike any exaggerated poses).
The flower petals are also glued in, though iirc that was something I agreed to. I did however ask for some backup petals in case I needed to replace some, but I didn’t get them.
I was told that I would get an extended (2 year) warranty on the bodysuit because of the glued leg seam, pompoms, and flowers, though told me I’d have to pay shipping.
The bodysuit is, of course, very cute! People instantly recognize he’s an alebrije and some have even mentioned how much they like the petals. The fur choices are beautiful and blend together wonderfully, which is something Beastcub is really known for and talented at. I feel like it fits nicely appearance-wise too and lines up pretty well with the rest of the parts.
Hands and FeetGives information about the hands and/or feet of the costume.
I reviewed the wings as part of the bodysuit, so I’ll just cover the feet here.
They’re lightweight and fit perfectly (built on my own shoes). I don’t really have any complaints at all about them. I do have to be a little careful walking with them, but… they’re big parrot toes so what’re you gonna do? Beastcub did a good job of angling the toes and such so that they don’t clash with each other too much as long as I don’t go completely wild.
I have no durability concerns on them, as I’ve flat out squished the heck out of the toes on one and it snapped right back into shape.
They’re adorable! They’re one of my favorite features of the suit. The paint job on the toenails is so cute and I love the crackling paint detail.
TailsGives information about any tails the costume may have.
The tail is very lightweight, so it doesn’t bother me at all to wear it. The major issue with wear is that the wire used to stiffen the tail is very soft, so the slightest bump (like getting into an elevator) knocks it off-center and my spotter has to straighten it constantly. I was told I couldn’t sit down in it, which makes sense, but it’s kinda frustrating how easily it gets knocked off center.
The tail is also merged into the suit by means of a magnetic flap that is attached to the back of the bodysuit. This is a great concept, but it has a habit of shifting out of alignment if I don’t put it on just right or move too enthusiastically. When I initially got the suit this wasn’t much of a problem but it seems to be getting worse for some reason.
It’s overall pretty cute! I do wish the magnets on top hadn’t been mounted on the outside so that I could actually wear it without the bodysuit, but I’m planning to make some kind of complementary flap of fur with magnets in it to cover it for partial wear.
OverallHow satisfied the reviewer is with the overall buying experience, including their interactions with the maker and the resulting final product.
The short version: I felt like Beastcub would press for what she wanted to do with my commission, and ignore my requests that she didn’t want to do OR press me to do what she wants. If you don’t mind the communication issues below, I think you would be satisfied commissioning her. For me, I often felt like she wasn’t listening to me or that she didn’t really want me to push back on her ideas.
Overall, I know Beastcub has been doing this a long time and has a system that works for her, but from a commissioner perspective, it felt very hectic and disorganized, and I often felt unsure if what I was saying was being heard (since it often didn’t get acknowledge in replies). I never received any kind of invoice or written summary of what I was actually going to get, and it left me feeling very insecure and uncomfortable with how my commission would be handled.
I was originally drawn to the commission by the green and pink feathers, but after I paid, I was informed that she didn’t actually have enough of that fur to do mine and another costume that was going to use that feather fur. I even tried to find more of the fur on Facebook and elsewhere online. I like the color scheme that it ended up as, but it was a bit disappointing at the time considering that was the fur that drew me into the commission in the first place.
This was an artistic liberty costume, but Beastcub states in her postings that she gets commissioner approval for designs and features. In this case, I asked for an alebrije parrot, but I wanted all parrot anatomy (wings, parrot feet, parrot tail, etc.). I told her I would be fine with her adding ears if she wanted, or other features. After that though, she asked a few times if I would like a fox tail or hooves, etc. and I had to decline, though after getting asked again “Just to make sure” I started to feel a bit like I was being pressured.
The flowers and petals were added before I was asked. I like the look of them, but as I expressed, they are a durability issue. Along with telling me about the petals afterwards, I was asked if we should go ahead and add eyelashes since the character was coming out mostly pink and had flowers. I had asked for a male character, and since I’m FtM this all did not sit well with me. I put my foot down on eyelashes of course, but I do still have to correct people calling the character “she” a fair bit when I’m in costume.
The biggest communication issue was that we both got our wires crossed and she ended up under the impression that I was going to be at BLFC. This was partially my fault, as I didn’t know all my con acronyms and I thought that that was just another acronym for AC. Because she thought I was going to be there, she rushed to get my suit done (a little too much, I think) in time for the con so she could get a large portion of her alebrije suits into one photoshoot.
When we got it straightened out that I wasn’t going to BLFC, she asked if she could wear it for an hour at the con, or if a local friend could wear it, or if I could come out to the con on the other side of the US for me. Emails in links. It was very uncomfortable for me, as it was my feeling that I was being pressured to take delivery of a used fursuit when I’d paid for a brand new one, and also to wait 2 months to receive a finished suit.
I fully understand the disappointment, especially after rushing the suit, but I hadn’t ever been asked if that was what I wanted (I’d said I’d like it by June-ish so I could have it for AC, but whatever worked for her was fine), and I never asked for the suit to be rushed. I did feel really bad about the whole situation, and I did pay extra tip as sort of an apology (along with actually apologizing) and some minor compensation for rush work, but I did feel like it was just another thing I was being pressured to agree to.
For me personally, I will not commission Beastcub again unless I hear she dramatically changes how she communicates and organizes her business. While I recognize that reputation and consistent throughput go a long way, my interaction with the maker and the feeling that I’m being heard are an important part of a commission process for me.
I won’t, however, unequivocally tell people they should not commission her. I don’t believe that her work is bad or overpriced, but I do think that her style of working with clients is not for everyone. If you are happy to have a gentle-use art costume that is a result of tossing money at the artist and letting her go ham, then you would probably be very happy with her work!
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