Who are you?
I'm Jay, I'm 26 years old, and I grew up in Minnesota. I lived in Georgia for a few years while studying animation. I'm currently living in the mountains outside of Phoenix, Arizona, and moving to Florida as soon as possible. I am a beach bum and a lover of stormy, rainy weather, with a passion for seeing as much of the world as I can. I'm an Aquarius and my Chinese sign is the Fire Tiger. I love toy collecting, video games, animation, sci-fi, sexy cars, aircraft, and machinery, weight lifting, and anything nostalgic. I'm generally friendly but also opinionated, and I can be a blunt dickwad if the situation calls for it. I can't stand fake or dishonest people, and I have a low tolerance for close-minded types and noisy children. I support human rights, including LGBT, feminism, and anti-racism movements. I love most animals, especially cats and sharks. I happily flip my shit over Christmas, Halloween, and certain other holidays. :VWhen did you start drawing, writing, etc?
I'm sure I began drawing at a very young age like most kids do, but I became more serious about it by second or third grade. That was the same time I began writing original stories about my first characters. My first ever plush was actually a flat felt toy of my first character, Quackercat, that I made when I was eight or so. I no longer have it nor have any photos of it. I started sculpting much more recently in college, minus the normal stuff from grade school.What got you into visual art?
I have to admit, I was always crazy for fictional characters on the screen. It started with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and Short Circuit, way back when I was a toddler. It was with my first time seeing The Lion King that it all clicked and I knew what I wanted to do.Where did you go to school?
I received my Associate's degree in Computer Illustration at Mesa Community College in 2007 and earned my Bachelor's degree in Animation at the Savannah College of Art & Design in 2012.What is your job now?
I am a full-time graphic designer working in-house at a souvenir studio which creates and distributes products from Hawaii to New York. Many of the items I've designed are sold in Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreens, and grocery and convenience store chains. I am also a freelance artist working part-time in illustration, comics, animation, and plush toy design.Do you take commissions?
Often I do! But they tend to fill up quickly. My status is on my front page and commission info can be found here: [link]
I do not currently take plush or sculpture commissions, unless it is a professional contract or position.What tools do you use?
Pencil, paper, anything honestly. I do prefer animation pencils, they're easy to remove from lineart in Photoshop and also have a quality to them that I like. I also sketch, ink, and color in a variety of other programs, including Paint Tool Sai and Photoshop. Most of my vector work is done in Illustrator or Flash. I prefer ToonBoom Animate for 2D animation but work with Flash too, primarily in puppet animation. I've used all kinds of weird odds and ends for sculpting, sewing, and stop motion.Can I use your art in my icons, signatures, or edit it in any other way?
I'm glad if people want to use my fan art for making fake Pokémon card images, their icons, forum signatures, or other materials – all I ask is that you please get permission first! If it's art that I drew specifically as a gift, trade, or commission for you, you're more than free to use it however you want, as long as it isn't being claimed as yours or used for profit without permission.Can I reference your art for my own drawings?
You are more than welcome to reference it if you want to! Nobody can copyright a pose or a style, and anybody who claims they can needs to get off their high horse. (Note: referencing and tracing/editing are vastly different things.) HOWEVER, I highly recommend using a mirror, asking your friends to pose for you, or referencing photography – I make a lot of mistakes in my art, as do other artists, and drawing from the real deal is loads of help.Can I draw your characters?
IS THIS EVEN A QUESTION. YES. YES YOU CAN DRAW THEM ALL YOU WANT. All I ask is that you link back to me, and show it to me - please?! I am beyond THRILLED that anybody wants to draw them, write about them, or anything else! Thank you!Why did you remove all your plushies from your gallery?
Because the constant badgering from people wanting to purchase them, trade for them, or simply get them as gifts became frustrating. Plush making has always been a hobby for me. I enjoy it, and I would like to continue making them, but I am most passionate about developing my own characters and stories, and the plush were overshadowing my real art. I may upload a few plush to my gallery again in the future but they will likely be of my original characters.Are you a furry?
I occasionally draw anthro characters and I have a sharksona. That's the extent of my furry-ness. I see it the same as drawing my human, alien, or robot characters.Will you watch me/comment on my art?
I am SO BUSY guys, I'm really sorry if I don't get the time to check out everybody who's check me out. If you hang around a lot and offer constructive feedback, I will likely do the same for you whenever I can! But I have a few thousand watchers, which makes it near impossible to watch everyone in return. I also tend to follow people on only one account - so if you have a Weasyl, FurAffinity, or Tumblr, I may have added you on one but not all of them. I do appreciate your support! I watch artists who do not watch me, and that's cool. If you are offended because I don't watch you, you are more than welcome to remove me, I don't mean to offend!Can we be friends?
Maybe? I'm not exactly easy to get close to at times. Asking me to be your friend probably won't work. Hanging around asking me to comment on your art and draw you things definitely won't. Friendship comes on its own, through mutual trust and agreement, not by asking.What are your biggest inspirations (for Mechanima and otherwise?)
In general, I'd say music is my biggest inspiration. So many of my ideas come to me through it. I love classical, soundtracks, electronic, and a mix of almost everything else. Sci-fi inspires me too, as well as real world science and technologies, psychology, philosophy, human rights activism, and the history of war. Regarding art style, one of my professors referred to it as similar to Jamie Hewlett's (I take that as a huge honor) and some Jhonen Vasquez influence is still left in me from my Zim and JTHM phase. I like to draw in a variety of styles though and hope that my own is always changing. There's a ton of inspiration that's gone into Mechanima, but overall it's emerged from my personal struggles and experiences. Rafe's inherited a lot of who I am, while characters like Angel and Izzy are loosely based on a combination of many people I've known over the years. Alex is meant as a counterpart to Rafe, a softer side, and she has qualities of people I've known too and a tiny bit of my younger, less confident and harsh self. More of Mechanima's info can be found here: [link] What other projects have you done or are working on besides Mechanima?
I have tons of projects I've worked on, mostly privately, over the years. Most of them are comedic, some with anthro characters, others with more robots and aliens, and I've even written a bittersweet romance between an angel/dead guy and a living woman, despite being utterly uninterested in most romance myself. I created a short film called Cat in Space, a stop motion short called Anya, and directed my senior film project titled Showdown, among others. I like to complete one project before shifting focus to another though, so right now, all others are on the backburner while I work with Mechanima.What are your fandoms?
I'm too busy to take part in fandom much anymore, but I still enjoy trying to keep up with Pokémon! It was a big part of my childhood and I still love it now. I also still follow Paranoia Agent and Jet Force Gemini tags on Tumblr. Outside of that, I used to be very active in a lot of fandoms, including Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Invader ZIM, Avatar: TLA, Fullmetal Alchemist, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Psychonauts, Transformers, Sonic the Hedgehog, and more.Do you have any advice for beginning artists?
I'm still an amateur in a lot of respects too. Honestly the best advice anybody can give is push yourself all the time. I draw, sew, or otherwise work on art at least 14 hours a day, including most of my weekends, and very rarely do I work for less than that. Always be willing to step out of your boundaries, draw things you don't normally draw, and to experiment with styles and mediums. Don't let yourself fall into the trap of perfecting only one thing – I've seen a lot of artists who can draw My Little Pony or pretty skinny anime boys like a pro, but if they were asked to draw the Hulk or paint a portrait, they'd be lost. Work from life too. Draw people or animals that you see around you, or just sketch poses while watching a movie. Animators in particular can get a ton of benefit from this kind of observation. Lastly, ask for critique, and learn from it! Let others help you to progress.