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Journal Entry: Tue Nov 18, 2014, 8:44 AM



Of the sites out there for sharing artwork, Tumblr is among my least favorites. That being said, I know a lot of folks have migrated there for the easy, fast ability to post multiple images. While I'm more active here, I wanted to get my Tumblr accounts back out there to those who prefer to follow there:

robo-shark.tumblr.com
naughty-shark.tumblr.com (fetish)
patchwork-shark.tumblr.com (plush)
cat-feesh.tumblr.com (future comic)

Please feel free to add me and to share your Tumblr if you want! As a note, I am strictly following art-based content blogs. If your blog consists of a large amount of non-art related reblogs or any amount of social justice, I will unfollow.

Thanks!
Jay


Plush Critter Commissions!

Journal Entry: Thu Nov 6, 2014, 8:02 AM



My bro is doing these really cute plushie versions of people's characters! They're really nicely detailed and inventive!

Plushcritterization Commish Sheet by Zeta-Neubourn

Lookit Jaaay and some of these other great ones he's done:

Jayshark Plushcritterization by Zeta-NeubournCom - Bradley Plushification by Zeta-NeubournPlushasaurus Rexy by Zeta-Neubourn

Go get your character plooshified. DO EET! 8D

-Jay


Flash and ToonBoom Puppeting!

Journal Entry: Wed Nov 5, 2014, 9:01 AM



All these posts about the Mystery Skulls GHOST video has me wanting so badly to do animation again - I just can't find time to do it much anymore but puppeted Flash animation is something I really ought to take up to save time and make some fun stuff again!

Does anybody have any favorite tutorial videos or articles on how to build the puppets in either Flash or ToonBoom? ToonBoom Animate is my preferred software but I can work with Flash too (I'm on CS 5.5 at home). I've animated puppets but never built them and I want to learn!

I'll be saving all responses for future use (probably in 2015 sometime) when I've cleared my queue.

Thanks!
Jay


30 Days of Thanks!

Journal Entry: Mon Nov 3, 2014, 6:49 AM



Foxbride posted a journal about sharing 30 days of things you're grateful for through the whole month of November, and I absolutely love this idea!

For the first two I'm actually stealing hers as well, because they are spot on and were definitely a staple in making the weekend (and Halloween) amazing.

Nov. 1: I'm grateful for the cooler weather! We have the windows open and it's so brisk - the walks are so relaxing and awesome, and the breeze coming in means wearing and sleeping in kigurumis all weekend :D Best snuggle weather!

Nov. 2: Hot cider! It complements this weather just right and is giving me all the nostalgia. So happy.

Nov. 3: Kids at heart! Having friends over on Halloween who were so excited about playing with old toys, coloring in coloring books, watching Hocus Pocus, and playing party games was the best. I'm so lucky to know such fun people who make me feel like I'll never truly grow old.

Nov. 4: My parents' acceptance. I My biggest fear a year ago was losing them. While they are not yet comfortable using my chosen name and male pronouns, they are willing to talk to me, which is more than I could have asked for.

Nov. 5: Music and the way it influences my work and keeps me going. A lot of the ideas I've had and drawings and characters I've worked with wouldn't exist without it.

Nov. 6: Video games. They brought me closer to my dad, gave me characters to connect with, inspired me to create, and gave me a crutch to lean on when the real world was too much to handle. And they're like, fun to play and stuff. :V

Nov. 7: My health. I'm able to walk, see, hear, feel, and think (well sorta, when I feel like it), which is something nobody should ever take for granted. 

Nov. 8: I'm thankful for my transition. Ever since I finally began to live as who and what I really am, things have begun to get better. All the right people began to come into my life. I feel so much more in touch with myself, and I'm starting to be able to relax more again.

Nov. 9: Kindness of strangers. We went to go see Big Hero 6 last night, and while we were prepared to pay using a gift card from an awesome friend, the couple from Dallas behind us insisted on treating all three of us. It was a really kind gesture, we got to meet some friendly people who were enthusiastic about animation, and the night was great. I accidentally left our front window and sliding glass door wide open on the first floor at our apartment too, and coming home around 10pm, nobody had broken in. It's a good feeling, living somewhere you feel safe and that you can trust your neighbors. The neighborhood has been so friendly so far.

Nov. 10: My friends, who always remind me I'm never alone. Even when my family is 2,000+ miles away, Myrcury-Art 's doors have always been open for me to spend time with a second family. I'm grateful we will be seeing her again for Thanksgiving! And I'm grateful to SubstantiallyUseless for always being there to help whenever something's happened locally, and for being a great friend we can hook up with anytime. She and her mom welcomed me over last year as well so I didn't have to spend Christmas alone. There's also neo-dragon who shared a table with me at Tampa Comic Con and I can't wait to do it again, TwitchyKalgante who always brings good times when he visits ( :y ), and my coworkers who invite me to enjoy time together both outside and inside work, among many others, too many to mention. I couldn't ask for better comrades.

Nov. 11: My roommate, partner, and bro, for being the most pivotal reason I was able to get where I am now, for being there when I am at my best and my worst, for inspiring me to try new avenues in art and plush, for being a dumb, and for reeling me in when I get in over my head (Imma feesh!). I don't know where I'd be without you, but you've changed me in ways I couldn't have done myself. Izzmahbro. :v

Nov. 12: Our home. It was my dream to be this close to the beach, to see water out my back door, hear the waves and seagulls - it may not be a beach house but it is more than close enough and I love coming home!

Nov. 13: Whatever powers brought us into the world. I may not know who or what is out there but I do sense that there's something beyond what we can fully understand and more to our lives than the brief time we spend on Earth.

Nov. 14: I'm thankful to all of those who've helped support my surgery fund, both for their incredibly generous patronage and for their patience. I know the rewards have been slow going but I can't wait to have everything in-hand to get them all finished, and I am still hopeful that someday I will be able to get the surgery I need.

Nov. 15: The Internet! What a wealth of knowledge I've gained through meeting other people here - new art techniques, access to other software, critique, and more, not to mention friendship, commissioners (who often double as awesome friends too), and the help I needed to get to understand myself more too. 

Nov. 16: Fandom. Okay this might sound silly but fandoms got me through a lot of tough times when I was younger. They helped me connect to other people, got my mind off of negative things, and inspired me in a lot of ways. I've been a Pokemon fan for around 15 years, and watching the old show and looking at old cards and books still gives me warm nostalgic memories. Invader Zim and JTHM's influence on my art still shows today. Games like Jet Force Gemini inspired me to write out fan characters, some of which eventually would have bits of them reworked into my own original ideas. While I'm no longer active in fandoms today, I still yearn for the day that my own work might generate a following and bring that kind of happiness to others!

Nov. 17: My job. It may not be exactly the position I want to work in but I'm so grateful to have a job right now so I can afford to live comfortably. So many can't find a place to work that earns them enough to live, and I'm fortunate to have what I have, I'm thankful for that every day.

Nov. 18: SCAD. Some days I wonder if going to art school was such a good idea, I'm drowning in debt and it didn't land me in the field I really wanted to be in, but it did get me this far, and some of my best memories are with the amazing people I met while in Savannah. I loved my classes, I loved a lot of my professors and classmates, and I've never lived in such a situation where everyone was just bursting with passion, ideas, and motivation. Being surrounded by that kind of energy was incredible and it was the first time I felt my original creations could maybe go somewhere; I'd been all about fanart before. Since then I've lost a good deal of that motivation and confidence but it was awesome while it lasted, and maybe someday I'll be able to make it return.

-Jay


Makin' Toys and Surgery Updates

Journal Entry: Wed Oct 22, 2014, 2:31 PM



I'm currently in the works with a company that designs t-shirts and apparel, and they've decided they want to hire me as a part-time designer for their products. The emphasis was mostly on plush designs, which will be sold in stores across the USA and parts of the rest of the world as well. I'll keep everybody posted and let you know if and when any of them are released so then I can be all BUY THESE OKAY KEEP MAH ART COMIN'!

With that in mind though, this position is likely going to take the place of my commissions, for the most part. If stuff on my handy dandy spreadsheet shifts around a bit, that will most likely be the cause. I'm scrambling to get plush out the door in time for Christmas, and I'm also working on somehow making time for that collab comic. Zeta-Neubourn and I have some pretty solid ideas for it already and we'll likely be able to keep it running for a good time just based on fun everyday things. Hoping we can update it bi-weekly or monthly once we get it rolling!

I'm also struggling to make time to call insurance companies and gather more information on who might be able to possibly help cover at least some of my surgery costs. I can't make the time to keep doing such hefty rewards for the GoFundMe beyond the batch I already have, the fund is taking a lot of the money for the site's fees itself (and a lot of my money is pouring into the materials). And in the end, the cost of the travel and the procedure are so unimaginably high that I can't figure out how to do this without some insurance help. The surgeon I most want to see doesn't accept any insurance, but I'm going to do some further research into other more local centers on whether or not they can do inverted-t technique surgeries or if I'd qualify for a pedicle technique, though I don't think I make the cut for that one (cut, hahah, get it, surgery, it's funny haaaaah....-cough-). But it's worth a try to see.

All that medical jargon aside, I should have apartment pics up this week too :B

-Jay


Ramblings of a Wannabe Artist

Journal Entry: Fri Oct 17, 2014, 7:47 AM



As most of you guys know, I'm a senior artist for the Disney on Ice and Marvel Live shows, among such other brands as Monster Jam, and I've been pretty swamped working in a fast-paced atmosphere where regular unpaid overtime is expected (and in fact, required) and most of the work is design oriented, as opposed to illustration oriented.

When I was hired, the pay was enough to get by (albeit tight, considering my school loans), and I was told that illustration and animation would become major staples of my career here. It's been over a year and I have had a total of less than ten projects where my art skills are being pushed in a new direction. Most of the work is the same kind of production work I've done previously for Smith-Southwestern, with less creative direction. While I'm grateful for having a job that looks great on a resume and that earns me what I need to keep a roof over my head, it's drawing that's always been my passion and what I wanted to do from the beginning.

Along with needing money to put towards future surgery, the reason I continue to do commissions in what time I do have at night and on the weekends is because I love it. I truly do like working on illustrative work. Some projects I enjoy more than others, naturally, but as a whole, I'd have loved to go full time illustrator - working as an artist on DA and FA would be amazing. It may not be the same level of recognition as working for a big studio, but it would be the most satisfying for me personally.

With the research I've done, I've come to the conclusion that there are a few routes that work best for doing this, but unfortunately it seems it'll remain out of my reach, at least for now. But what I've found is that most artists who are successful full time independents on DA and FA are:

-Located in a region where the cost of living is low
-Have multiple roommates or a partner/parents who cover a large amount of their living expenses
-Are willing to delve into very questionable content, some of which makes me too uncomfortable to morally work with

I dreamed my whole life of living near the sea and now I have that, and a waterfront view of the river, and I will gladly work until I drop to keep it, even if I can't go and enjoy it as often as I'd like. I also prefer personal space and value quiet time a lot, so I like living with just one other person. And I'm already diving pretty deep into adult art, but I do have my limits, and some things just don't sit comfortably with me.

I want to keep drawing daily, and I end up working endlessly between my job and my commission work, with little breathing room for much else. I want to have a job where I draw, then I can come home and kick back, cook with my partner, play some games, go for a nice walk by the water, and hit the beach or park every weekend.

But 10-12 or so hours of my day are spent at a job where my skills aren't being fully utilized. I went to school with the dream of being an animator, or working in storyboarding, video games, comics, or something related where I can challenge myself to get better at what I love. Again, while my job isn't what I've dreamed of, I'm fortunate to have one so I can live where I love to be. But I want to work in something that helps me grow.

I'm not sure what the point of rambling about it is, guess I just am stuck. I do sift through job postings every day in hopes I'll find something more up my alley, but most of the work out there for illustrators and animators is very limited, low paying, and freelance oriented. I'd love to launch full time into drawing for people, especially since my commissions do fill up quite quickly, but it wouldn't be enough pay to keep me afloat and I don't know that I could keep clients coming in regularly enough to keep me busy every day for months or even years on end. I do have plush I can offer too, albeit I need to get going with a machine to see how well I can even turn a profit there. It helps though, having multiple mediums to work with!

I've been considering a Patreon once Zeta and I launch our comic - it's a slice of life type thing, much lighter in comparison to Mechanima, which would make it much easier to produce and probably easier for gaining an audience as well, considering it would not require devotion to reading each page in order or anything. Maybe if it takes off, we could use it to balance time a bit more and I can do commissions every other night or something, and try to take one day of the weekend off.

Gah, it's just so tough to find a balance when you want to get outside, enjoy the beach you moved here for in the first place, play games, do some silly crafting and messing around just for the sake of experimentation, hang with friends, animate for yourself, etc. but also want to do commission work and to do it full time so that you're furthering your skills every day.

Ramble ramble ramble. Tl;dr, I wanna both draw all day and play all night. :V

-Jay


MOVED

Journal Entry: Tue Oct 7, 2014, 1:51 PM



Zeta-Neubourn and I are moved into the new apartment!

We're still doing a ton of setting up, and transporting some final things from the old place to the new one, so honestly I don't expect to be very active for the next week or two. Commissions/rewards will remain on hold until we are more situated. My apologies!

It's gonna be fun though once we get it all set up. Should I post pics? I dunno. Hahah the new river view is very cool! And we have a barbeque! Aww yeeee :U

Also, it's Zeta-Neubourn 's birthday this Sunday :V Go bother him or something. :iconpotterpuppetpalsplz:

-Jay


Sharky WINNERS!

Journal Entry: Mon Oct 6, 2014, 6:47 AM



The votes are in! And here are the contest winners! 

Bullet; Blue1st Prize: :iconcolafizz:ColaFizz Bullet; Blue
+1000 Points (or a chibi/waist up illustration)
+Full Color Shaded Illustration

Bullet; Green2nd Prize: :icontoba122:toba122 Bullet; Green
+500 Points (or a waist up illustration)
+Rough Cel Illustration

Bullet; Yellow3rd PrizeBullet; Yellow
+250 Points (or an icon illustration)
+Chibi Illustration

...There was a four way tie for 3rd prize! So all of you get the above prizes ;) Here are the following winners:
:iconmelodylulavitch:MelodyLulavitch
:icongrowlylobita:GrowlyLobita
:iconjayjayrey:JayJayRey
:iconvgfm: vgfm 

All winners please note me with what you'd like for your prizes, and thank you to everyone who entered! There were SO many great drawings here, that the votes were kind of all over the board! Congratulations to each of you.

-Jay


Upcoming Rewards / Commissions / Joint Account?

Journal Entry: Wed Oct 1, 2014, 9:41 AM



Just some updates! Moving starts this weekend, we're mostly packed so here's hoping it goes smoothly. Have some things to still take care of this week so I'm working hard to get it all done but the current commissions queue is taken care of which is a relief.

I need to tackle Christmas gifts and a couple trades first thing after the move, as well as some premade plush from Five Nights at Freddy's that I'd like to put up for offers on Ebay. I'm on the fence about them as ever since Foxy sold, there's been a lot more FNAF plush popping up and with the high competition, they may not sell for much - but I will still be making more plush of some sort for sale when I can!

I wanted to keep everybody involved in the surgery fund informed that most supplies for the plush on the list have been purchased (about $200 worth) and I'm working on designing the eyes and patterns for them (which will be another good bit of money to have embroidered, heh). My local bro SubstantiallyUseless is letting me borrow her sewing machine, and that should help me to complete the larger ones at a much faster rate than before. It will still take months of time but they are coming! I'll be notifying all of those who are waiting for them with updates as they are completed. You can always view my spreadsheet to see what's there. The order of completion is subject to change depending on what materials I obtain in the right quantity and how quickly I can complete the plush. I have yet to schedule a surgery date as I still need to save more money and unfortunately I don't even have the time for an appointment, especially out of state. But hopefully in time I will be able to!

As for future commission slots, I've gotten SO many inquiries lately, especially since returning to Fur Affinity! Thank you so much to all who've shown so much support, I appreciate every bit, as it helps me a lot with affording this move, the future surgery, and my day to day expenses. It's a lot to handle when you work a full time job and then come home to working until late at night and then work again on the weekends - I am trying my best to keep taking on the slots as much as possible, but with everything stated above, I'm going to need to take some time away before opening more. I prefer commission work to my full time job, but I can't afford to live off of it :( I don't know for sure when I will be able to take slots again, but feel free to email me if there's something you'd like. This goes more for illustration related commissions than plush, since for now, I don't intend to take any plush commissions for a very long time. I will flag emails so I can get back to those who've asked ahead of time and reserve them a slot once they are open again, so they don't miss out. :)

As always, I greatly appreciate the patience from everyone as I tackle these as quickly as I can - I am doing everything possible to get them done!

One final note, my partner Zeta-Neubourn and I are thinking about maybe making a joint account for collab art of our characters. Since I can't work on Mechanima anymore, but I'd still like to practice little comics and sequential things, it'd be fun to work together on something where we post slice-of-life comics featuring our characters and our friends' characters from time to time! It wouldn't be set to a certain number of drawings a month or anything, at least not right away, and it will likely be an account on Fur Affinity, but I'm curious if anyone is interested in watching our shenanigans. Rather than uploading the same drawing to both our accounts, we'd just upload it to one account where we post all of our related collab/comic things. Just throwing it out there!

-Jay


Places to Find Me

Journal Entry: Mon Sep 29, 2014, 8:23 AM



DeviantART
Robo-Shark | Patchwork-Shark (plush)

Fur Affinity
Robo-Shark |  Patchwork-Shark (plush) | Naughty-Shark (nsfw)

Weasyl ***Updated infrequently, rarely respond to messages***
Robo-SharkPatchwork-Shark (plush) | Naughty-Shark (nsfw)

Tumblr ***Updated infrequently, rarely respond to messages***
Robo-SharkPatchwork-Shark (plush) | Naughty-Shark (nsfw)

Skype/Facebook/Steam
Not currently available.

Contact
Commission inquiries can be sent directly to sharkcommissions@gmail.com. Information and status is here. Thanks!


Bit o' Disney Magic!

Journal Entry: Fri Sep 12, 2014, 12:13 PM



When working I sometimes put on some unusual music choices to keep spirits up, and just figured I'd share some fun links for Disney fans.

Love Disney World and wishing you were there? There's a whole collection of park music loops that can transport you to old memories (or just to listen to if you're a Disney fan who hasn't visited the parks). Here's a few:

Magic Kingdom Entrance

Main Street USA

Epcot Entrance

Tomorrowland

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Wishes!

                   

Enjoy!

Jay




My DeviantART Story

Journal Entry: Thu Aug 7, 2014, 7:43 AM



I joined deviantART over 10 years ago, back when I was just a kid in high school - I had been a member of Side7 for some time, and I stumbled on DA while looking for other sites to host artwork and meet other artists.

I MUST CAPTURE THE AVATAR by Robo-Shark



Some of my earliest online friends were met through the fandoms here on deviantART. I went through lots of them - Invader Zim, Sonic the Hedgehog, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Avatar, Psychonauts,  Paranoia Agent, and over time, I began to delve more often into my own original works.

Furvolution by Robo-Shark
I had a fursona character, and as I evolved over time, that changed too! Some of my earliest friends, like Myrcury-Art (who I now get to hang out with in person!), remember CJ from when I first started drawing her in 9th grade. I met a lot of fun people through the furrier side of DA, some have come and gone over the years, but I remember many of them well!

Mechanima: Snowfall by Robo-Shark

A few years ago, after graduating community college and working at a souvenir design studio for a few years, I decided I wanted to go to school for my Bachelor's. A few of my awesome online friends wolvenillusion and fowlboss encouraged me to go to SCAD, and I moved in with them and Shortcake-Middy ! SCAD was one of the most amazing experiences in my life so far, meeting and living with artists from around the world and studying my deepest passion in animation. I found people who actually appreciated my original characters, and after years of not giving them much attention, the cast of Mechanima began to take center stage!

You Make Me Feel So Young by Robo-Shark

I discovered so much at SCAD. I got to live with some of my favorite Deviant-Artists, surrounded by passionate hard-working people who lived for their art, and most importantly, amongst learning and evolving as an artist, I discovered myself. I took my first steps towards my career and towards my transition, finding my new name and working towards a new life.

Fast forward to last year: SCAD was over, and I was intent on making the leap into the art world. There was nothing for me back home in Arizona, and I knew I had to move in order to find success. I posted to deviantART announcing that whether I had a job or a place to live or not, I would be leaving home in July. I was set on Florida or California, but I had nowhere to go, and I would have opted to live out of my car until I could find a job if I had to.

A lot of kind friends reached out to me. Zeta-Neubourn and I had watched each other for some time, and while we didn't know one another very well, he sent me a note telling me that while he didn't have a lot of space, I was free to stay at his apartment while I looked for work. Albeit very nervous about moving in with someone I'd never even met before, I was really grateful he gave me a place to stay so I didn't have to live out of my car on the street while I looked for a job. I crashed like a homeless bum on his couch for what seemed like forever, living out of garbage bags that held my clothes and belongings. Finally I landed a job, working on Disney and Marvel properties in the Tampa area. It was near the beach, which was an absolute dream of mine. SubstantiallyUseless , another SCAD artist and friend, helped me to get started in the new area, and now we live within minutes of each other!

Morning Fluffs by Robo-Shark

When it came time to move, Zeta generously opted to move with me. Over time we slowly grew closer. I'm so fortunate and proud to call him my partner now.

So, in short, deviantART and the contacts I met through it made me who I am today. I met some of my best friends, who I also eventually met in person, some of whom I lived with, and one I hope to spend the rest of my life with (or a good bit of it at the very least!). They helped me to grow as an artist but more importantly, they helped me to grow into the man I am today, and gave me all the support I could have ever asked for to get there. They've commissioned my work, featured me in their journals, drawn me amazing gifts, trades, and commissions, and helped fund my future surgery.

For all of that, I'm happy to call DA my online home. Thank you all for all you do!

-Robo-Shark


Top Surgery Fund Updates

Journal Entry: Tue Jun 3, 2014, 9:26 AM



Top Surgery Fund by Robo-Shark
August 9, 2014 - Thanks to proceeds from Tampa Comic Con, the fund has surpassed $5,000! I am still searching for the right surgeon, and have had two of those I looked into eliminated as possibilities unfortunately. My best lead is still a doctor in the Chicago area, so I may have to travel. His rates would also probably put me at $12,000 for the procedure/hospital fees, plus travel/accommodations. I am doing my best to put as much as I can towards it and to keep looking for more options, as my pain and cough have been worsening over the past few months. the-fox-after-dark is selling handmade Toothless plushies for proceeds too if you are interested! More straight-for-sale items will be available in the hopefully near future too. Thank you again for all of your help!

July 11, 2014 - Currently the fund is up to $3,205! Thank you so much for all of your help, I have been working with contacting surgeons on helping me and it appears so far there are very few surgeons who can help me, none of them being in this state. The cost is becoming a close estimate between $10,000 and $13,000. The pain in my shoulders, back, and chest is becoming tougher to cope with and as a result I will try to reopen commissions this August. All funds that I can afford to spare will go towards the surgery and travel costs to get it. My paypal is sharkcommissions@gmail.com if anybody would like to help donate in the meantime (the fees through Paypal are also lower for me than GoFundMe and I can add your contribution to the fund without having to pay additional charges if you are able to use Paypal instead!).

Again, thank you so much for all your help, signal boosts are also appreciated!

June 24, 2014 - Fund has now surpassed $3,000, thank you all so much! I am working on setting up a consultation hopefully soon to better determine the procedure and possibly begin looking into a date for the actual surgery. I may need to see a few doctors before knowing for sure which one I am going to be moving forward with, and that could greatly affect cost and dates, but I am trying to find the time to book a phone appointment.

I've been insanely busy and things have come up that I wasn't prepared for (car breaking down, for one) that cut into my time a bit. I am working on commissions, all sketch comms are being posted to scraps as I finish them. Thanks for your patience and please check out the spreadsheet on my Commissions journal if you want to see the progress!

June 13, 2014 - It's reached $2,711.00 in less than 2 weeks, I'm floored. Thank you all so much. MyrcurysToybox has also contributed a reward now too, as well as SweetPlushieCake . Please check them out! 

After doing more extensive research, the procedure I'll likely need to lower the risk of permanent nerve damage will be more costly, so I've had to increase the amount for the fund. Thank you again to everyone who has contributed thus far, I know it will take a good bit of time to reach this goal and that's okay! Thank you again for everything, from signal boosts to rewards and of course the donations, I will keep working towards it with my commissions as well!

June 6, 2014 - The fund is currently at $1,575.00! New reward levels have been added thanks to YeriDG and xapster ! More may come in the future. And a huge thank you to those who have donated in the past few days, I am hopeful that I may be able to get a surgery scheduled before the end of the year if the goal is reached!

June 3, 2014 - I want to say thank you so much for such a generous turnout on only the first day for the fund - I appreciate every share, donation, and offer of assistance from everyone! This is a big step in my life and one that I had hoped to put off for a while in order to gather more funds myself, but with my doctor expressing a need for scheduling it sooner, I'm doing what I can to take care of it before too much damage is done.

I'm making this a journal post so I don't have to update the deviation every time there are changes made, I apologize for spamming anybody with it - but I wanted to add that both Color-Bubbles and LeiliaK have offered their artwork as rewards now too! Please check them out, I'm very grateful for your contributions!

--

Hello friends!

I'm a 27 year old trans man who has been presenting as male for the past three years. I am planning for surgery with Dr. Garramone and had been hoping to set up a date with him a few years in the future after saving commission money, but my HRT has been sucking all my funds, and my endocrinologist is very concerned with my health and highly recommends that I push hard to get surgery sooner than later, as binding my chest for as long and as often as I have had to due to working outside the home so much could be doing permanent damage to my ribs and lungs.

Unfortunately I can't afford to do this on my own. I'm working a combined 80-100 hours a week between my studio job and commissions, but with school loans and the cost of my injections, there is not much left at the end of the month. I'd hugely appreciate any help in getting to my goal so I can get my chest repaired and be able to live a slightly more normal life!

The surgery plus hospital stay generally costs approx. $8,000, and also requires me to stay in the Miami area for about a week. I am trying to provide $3,000+ out of my own pocket but some help would be really great. Once the total is reached, I'll work on scheduling the surgery and time off for hospital recovery!

Thank you so much for your consideration and for spreading the word. You are all amazing friends and your support has always meant so much to me! More rewards may be added over time! 

Top Surgery Fund!

-Jay


Artist in Need of Help!

Journal Entry: Mon May 19, 2014, 7:02 AM



Update: Please if you can, give Starimo a look! She needs to make $400 fast and it's very important. Her commission info is here: Click

My commissions are currently on hiatus but should be reopening sometime in late August/September.

Thanks!
Jay


Introduce Yourself!

Journal Entry: Thu May 1, 2014, 9:28 AM



Hi watchers! I've come to realize there are almost 2,000 of you, but I only know a small handful, namely those who comment often. I'd like to hear from more of you and get to know you better! So hey, mind leaving a comment and introducing yourself if you have the time? I don't bite! (Well okay, I do, but I'mma shaaark, I have an excuse....) :V

1) Tell me a bit about yourself! Hobbies, interests, favorite things to do?

2) What's your favorite animal?

3) What's your favorite movie, video game, and tv show? Books and comics are good too!

4) What is your favorite piece in your gallery?

5) Why are you watching me?

6) Name 3 things you are most passionate about!

7) Introduce me to one of your characters (or if you don't have one, introduce a character you like from another artist)!

Don't be shy now :V

-Robo-Shark

EDIT: Because a few people requested it, here's mine I guess! |D

1) Tell me a bit about yourself! 
Hobbies, interests, favorite things to do?

Drawing, character building, sewing plush toys, beach trips, working out, and on rare occasion I like playing video games!

2) What's your favorite animal? 

Welp I'm sure the answer's obvious :V

3) What's your favorite movie, video game, and tv show? Books and comics are good too!

Tekkon Kinkreet, Jet Force Gemini, Paranoia Agent/Spongebob (tie), and my favorite books and comics are Shutter Island and Fullmetal Alchemist/Pluto (tie).

4) What is your favorite piece in your gallery?

Tentacle Love by Robo-Shark Monster by Robo-Shark

5) Why are you watching me?

I LOVE ME

6) Name 3 things you are most passionate about!

Storytelling, human rights, saving the Earth.

7) Introduce me to one of your characters (or if you don't have one, introduce a character you like from another artist)!

I think most of you guys know my main crew already! I do have some more to introduce in the future though!


DeviantART Meme

Journal Entry: Wed Apr 30, 2014, 9:55 AM



1. How did you join DA?

I'd been a member of Side7.org and MediaMiner.org before I joined DeviantART. When I discovered this site, I figured I'd give it a try, and was amazed at how much faster it was than Side7, and that you could upload more than 5 images a week, hahah.

2. What does your username have to do with you?

My 'sona character is a shark, and I'm a mechaphile. Hahahah ROBUTTS.

3. What is your current avatar of?

My main character Rafe as drawn by ProjectENDO 

4. How many watchers do you have, and how many do you watch?

1,942 here, 579 on my plush account.

5. Do you have more than one account?

Yes, I use Patchwork-Shark to upload my plush.

6. Name three of your favorite artists on DA. 

That's really hard to do but here are three who definitely inspire me: johnsonting , Hideyoshi , ProjectENDO 

7. What deviant(s) do you admire because of their personality?

SO many. But a few who've inspired me to push my story and professional life are caat , Saetje , Fyuvix, MagnaStorm and Myrcury-Art 

8. How many deviants do you actually know in reality? Post their avatars.

:iconmyrcury-art::iconzeta-neubourn::iconsaetje::icondemongemini6::iconneo-dragon::iconsimplylittleflower::iconcrazycrumbcake::iconwolfibane::iconfowlboss::iconwolvenillusion::icongrowlylobita::iconkhezix::iconkirafoxx::iconleiliak::iconphychoticsilence::iconshortcake-middy::iconsadnobody::iconsubstantiallyuseless::iconwolfoffire::iconxdecemberxlovex::icontwitchykalgante: and I'm sure I'm missing a few of ya, sorry! Poke me if I forgot!

9. Do you comment, fave, or both?

I try to comment when I can, at least on art where I know the artist reads the comments! I fav when I'm particularly inspired by something, so it's fairly rare, hahah.

10. What do you typically post on deviantART?

Mostly commissioned works lately it seems, but I have plans to post much more original work and some video game fanart in the near future. Comic pages too someday, I hope! You'll mostly find robutts and sharks, lol.

11. Do you participate in clubs or contests here on dA?

I participate in a few when I can, I love exchanges and contests!

12. What is your most popular deviation? As in most viewed or most favorited?

I MUST CAPTURE THE AVATAR by Robo-Shark
58,772 views, 2,587 favorites...I thought it was a funny idea at the time but holy crap.

13. What's your favorite submission in your gallery?

Probably a toss up between these two:
Tentacle Love by Robo-Shark Monster by Robo-Shark
Neither one is impressive artistically but they mean something to me, hahah.

14. What are things you wish you could draw better?

Environments, by far! Mechs, robots in general. All things I need to practice, hard.

15. Do you have a premium membership?

Yeah, there are some really nice people constantly renewing it for me, you are amazing thank you ;_;

16. How many hours a day do you spend on dA?

Probably too many. I have no idea since I just refresh the page in my browser from time to time lol.

17. Are you a fast, slow, or medium typer?

About 80wpm

18. What is the most annoying thing people ask you?

"Do you take requests?"

19. What is the most annoying/offending comment you've ever received?

Probably being told I'm "fucking sick" or that I'll "burn in hell" hahah. I've gotten my fair share of "your art sucks" comments. There's a lot more insulting stuff on my plush though which is why I keep them separate for my own sanity, mostly along the lines of me being a ripoff (funny enough, I make less money off of plush commissions than my illustration work, and neither pays enough to live, not even close to it).

20. What/Who inspires you?

Life! In general, I guess, hahah. Both the good and the bad of it. Some shows/games have influenced my work too.

21. Do you use guidelines when you draw?

Depends on the drawing, usually I toss down some quick head shape and lines of motion.

22. Do you associate people on deviantART with their icons?

Sometimes hahah.

23. Have you ever suggested a Daily Deviation?

Several times! Some got chosen too :B

24. Everyone has considered leaving DA once or twice. Have you? Why?

Yeah, the whole plush thing was pretty bad. I'm very wary of doing commissions ever again on that whole front, though I may take a few again soon. And hateful fan drama, though ever since ditching fandoms I find that the folks who watch are a lot cooler people who are there for the art and my own personal work rather than because they want to see this or that fanart, and they don't get mad when I draw something new or different. :V


Workaholism and Why It Sucks

Journal Entry: Thu Apr 10, 2014, 5:52 PM



Over the past few months, I've been struggling hard with my addiction to work. Do I need income to live? Of course I do. But beyond the work that earns me money, I am constantly making more work for myself - setting impossible goals for Mechanima, creating a list of about 30 plush I want to create before August, struggling to say "no" when people ask for favor after favor. Work can be just as bad for you as reliance on smoking or alcohol, and at times, at least in my case, it's a way to blurt out thoughts I would rather not have to think about (sounds a lot like drinking already, eh?).

I was raised by a workaholic father. He was hard on us as kids - getting a B in school was a reason for shame. From a young age, I was always productive. In elementary school, I was restricted to one half-hour television show per week, one hour of video games per month on average, and the rest of my time was spent drawing, making crafts, and cleaning the yard and house. I was raised with a strict work ethic, but I did take time to enjoy playing when I was allowed to do so, and filled my time with reading books and writing stories.

Then college happened.

Art school can be brutal - the art industry is competitive and you need a strong work ethic to succeed. But the mentalities we carried in the animation department at SCAD were not healthy. We considered SCAD an acronym for Sleep Comes After Death. We laughed about it, but it was no secret we were proud of our sleep deprivation, our hunger, our exhaustion. We strove to be the last one to stop working, because breaks meant you were not passionate enough. We felt we had achieved something when we reached the point that we were hallucinating from lack of sleep, or so sick we were bedridden. After all, Ub Iwerks was said to have drawn 600 frames of animation every day! You took a 3 hour nap? You're not working hard enough!

This kind of attitude destroys artists. It burns us out, slows our progress and stifles creativity, and it is detrimental to us both in mind and body. Being a Senior Graphic Artist working on Disney and Marvel properties has been thrilling, don't get me wrong, but working unpaid overtime constantly with unrealistic (nay, impossible) expectations, and coming home to doing MORE work, only to grow distressed with the fact that I can't do it all in a day because I need to sleep, has run me ragged. I'm looking for new work at this point, and taking a break from doing commission or freelance work on the side until I am able to recover.

As artists, I think most of us have at least a little bit of an ego. We like feedback, we thirst for people to hear our voice. Art is a form of expression, after all. But there are times we have to put that ego, that need for being successful in the sense of artistic achievement, aside and take care of ourselves and those we love.

There are a few big things I've learned from these last six months:

Do not use sleep or food as a reward.
If you are exhausted, sleep. If you are hungry, eat. Reward yourself with a half hour of video games, a chapter from a book, or a tv show. Punishing yourself by depriving your body and mind of basic needs is not the way to succeed.

You are worth more than your artwork.
Art can't be the sole reason for living. What else are you passionate about? What matters to you? Family, friends, travel, collecting bottle caps - whatever it is, it's just as important as your art goals. You DO matter and you're needed regardless of your success in the art world.

Taking breaks is not a waste of time.
This is one of the hardest things for me to digest. Playing a video game, taking a bath with a book in hand, spending a day in the woods - these things are not a waste. They are experiences, they take us away from our work to give us time to recharge, and they can lead to inspiration and a heightened sense of creativity. Art isn't produced in an empty void, our inspiration comes from around us. We need to experience life in big and small ways. You are not lazy and you are not wasting time by stepping away from your phone, your computer, and your tablet to enjoy a day with your family or friends.

Working ourselves all the time doesn't make us happy. We may like to think that it does, but it takes away our needs as human beings to interact with others and to experience the world around us. I've withdrawn from people and treated breaks like they are shameful, and as a result, I've hurt my friends and family by stressing out and using my self-depreciating attitude and projecting it on them too. It's taken me a lot of effort to listen to the people around me who have been telling me that my habits are harmful for a long time (and I am still struggling). But they're right, it's important.

Take breaks! Leave time in your crazy schedule to kick back and laugh with the people who care about you, even if it's only for ten minutes! BREATHE! It's natural, it's necessary, and it's not a sign of failure or laziness.

-Robo-Shark


Design Contest! 3000 points and more!

Journal Entry: Thu Mar 27, 2014, 9:43 AM



Headbursters with Headphones by Zeta-Neubourn
Headburster Design Contest!

My buttbro Zeta-Neubourn is holding a design contest with over 3000 points, $35 in Steam games, and artwork in prizes! I'm contributing to the prizes myself, go check it out and enter if you have the time!

-Robo-Shark


I sent my parents my coming out letter last night.

Talked to my mom on the phone at lunch today. She cried. Dad is very upset. Probably won't talk to me for a while. There was a brief exchange about how "at least you're not gay"

Except that I have a male partner now and okay, we aren't gay, but that's a technicality, so uh.

Apparently both my parents cried themselves to sleep last night too but at least Mom is talking to me. She knew about this for over a year though.

She said my dad still sees me as his cute little princess when I was rolling around in mud with Tonka trucks even as a toddler, I don't know where the princess part even came from, but nonetheless, I will keep hanging in there and hope that over the next few months or years, things might work out. I don't know yet.

Mom's afraid this will be the last straw though and he will cut me out of his life for good.

I know I hurt you and I know you might not believe it but I do love you Dad. Please don't shut me out of your life permanently.

All that being said, I apologize if it takes me some time to get through some of this. Thank you again for all of your support and help. I'll be continuing commissions though I may be a tad slower if I need to take time to work all of this out.

I especially owe a ton to my friends Hunter, Steph, and Lydia for being there for me in person a lot while I've been going through this. Thanks for not abandoning me while I've been in such low moods from this, it's really affecting me and I've done my best to control it and not let it show too much but sometimes I have to let it go I guess.

I know in the end life will go on, and things will be okay somehow, it's just not going to be easy. That's why I fought internally with this for years and that's why it took so much effort to accept that this was something I needed to do to live.

Again, thank you for all you do, without the folks I met through this site, I wouldn't have gotten to where I am today. And I'm sure that things will get better.

-Robo-Shark

EDIT: My dad called last night, even though my mom said he likely wouldn't talk to me for a while. I didn't get to the phone in time but he left a message saying that it was brave of me to have the strength to say what I did and that he admires that. He said he will be there for me but didn't particularly want me to call him back, he sounded very strained and depressed. I'm going to call him tonight, and I feel so horrible about it, but I just wish there was a way to help him understand that I'm the same person and always will be.

I really am sorry for being born with this condition, it's not something I ever would have asked for, and I fought it for so many years because I always put my family before myself and wanted so badly to be what they wanted me to be.

But in the end, it's the decision as to whether or not they have a trans child or a dead one.

Thank you so much for your words guys, I'll get to replying once I have a bit more time.

EDIT:

10ml vial, $103.99. Huge thank you to those who made it possible!

SLOTS CLOSED at least for now holy guacamole thank you guys SO insanely much for your help! I didn't expect such a huge turnout, this is more than enough to afford my next vial which will last me a while. THANK YOU, YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING AND I LOVE YOU. I'm really grateful for your help, and glad that you are cool with faster turnaround sketch slots, due to my limited time!

Today has been a big milestone for me - after years of suffering through gender dysphoria, I've begun the hormone treatment therapy I've needed for so long.

I administered my first shot of testosterone today, which should help to start improving my mental and physical health greatly! I'm really fortunate to have been able to get this far. But although I'm diagnosed with gender identity disorder, my insurance will not help cover any of my medication expenses. This means my vial of testosterone will cost over $100.

I'm doing all I can to afford the costs out of my own pocket, so I will be taking on yet more commissions. I have one left to complete and would like to fill my slots as quickly as possible - I will be doing 10 simple $10 colored sketch commissions:

Ask Rafe 02:26:2014 by Robo-SharkBirthday Suit Bizkit by Robo-SharkCommission: Pantsless Leilia by Robo-Shark

Level of detail and completion will be based on detail of the character, as each will be completed in approx. 30 minutes.

Payments can be sent to juno.luver@gmail.com, I will try to stream at least some of them sometime next week!

I also have handmade plush for sale in my Etsy shop!

Thank you all for your help and support!
-Robo-Shark