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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
My birthday was a long day of work, very tired! But I had cake at work, and came home to another cake and Valentine's candy from a really awesome bro. :heart:

A huge thank you for these awesome deviations CHECK THESE ARTISTS OUT!

OC Xchange - Happy Birthday bro! by Myrcury-ArtRafe Lawrence by WHATiFGirlFriends by CoffingeistRafe by NaninadzJay by Digimitsu

Also muro drawings and art from Facebook and Tumblr buds!


by 47ness


by ScurvySimon

by ColaFizz


by Chibi-Tom-boy


by StrangeCanine


by fowlboss

Thanks for all your support and kind gifts, and thank you to everybody who posted a message on my page, I appreciate it!

-Robo-Shark
TIME TO DO IT AGAIN.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?

I moved to Florida with no job and no idea where it would take me, drove over 2,000 miles to get there, lived on a friend's couch for months while struggling to get a job and taking commissions at the same time, moved my belongings five times in one year, got my first salary position, worked on official Disney art, met stunt drivers and celebrities at my workplace, got an apartment near the beach, slept curled up with someone in my arms and in someone's arms, exposed my naked body to someone and actually felt comfortable and safe, met one of my best friends I had only known online for many years, attended therapy, got my T letter, and scheduled an appointment for hormone replacement therapy consultation. I kissed someone and for the first time I liked it. My parents visited and we didn't fight. At the very end of the year I feel I am at peace within myself and with the world around me.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I derped on some. But I promised myself I'd leave Arizona by July or bust. I kept that promise and never looked back.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Kind of.


4. Did anyone close to you die?


My friend DMajorBoss died of cancer. I knew it was probably coming but it's still hard to believe he's gone at such a young age.

5. What countries did you visit?

None but I saw lots of the USA again on my drive hahah.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

To feel more appreciated and less overworked at my job, and to have progressed further on my own art endeavors.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

So much from #1. Staying with Myrcury-Art's family, making stuff together, ramen and sushi, rainy day cuddling with pumpkin spice lattes, going to Clearwater with family, and most of all probably the day I left home.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I have achieved so much this year. Breaking out on my own when I told myself I would, establishing a job and apartment for myself, meeting tons of new people, progressing on writing Mechanima, and learning to trust again. Not completely, but I am doing better at keeping my cynical and distrustful side at bay.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Dwelling too much on pain and anger. I aim to be more patient and less critical.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Suffered from very depressed thoughts and heavy distress. Physically there are some problems I'm working on but the mental strain is much better.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

An apartment! Well, rented anyway!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My family whom have been much more supportive and haven't made me break down nearly as much. My roommate Zeta-Neubourn who not only gave me a free place to stay but also spoiled me rotten with food and toys. My friend Myrcury-Art who is doing so much better than she was a month ago.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

My dad in the beginning of the year. And a few friends who unfortunately have gone down the wrong path in my honest opinion, but to each their own.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Rent, moving, car expenses, argh!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Having a salary job in the industry, meeting Steph and other friends, and being at the beach!! RAIN!!! STORMS!!! AAAAAAHHHHH

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

The soundtrack to The Way

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? SO much happier.
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter. Need to work on that.
c) richer or poorer? ...Richer. In many ways at least.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Art for MEEE. And video games. Gonna fix that this year.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Lazing around. Driving. Oooh so tired of driving so much.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

With Steph's family over the weekend and Lydia's family on Eve/Day! Completely new experience going to midnight mass and meeting new folks.

21. What was your favorite month of 2013?

Hnnngh not sure, there were ups and downs through all of them, but time from August onward was a lot of fun in many ways.

22. Did you fall in love in 2013?

...I actually think I did.

23. How many one-night stands?

Virgiiin.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

Attack on Titan!

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

I try very hard not to hate people. I have grown distant from a few people I cared about though. And closer to others!

26. What was the best book you read?

Good god I don't think I got time to read much. I read Squee again?

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Hipster music. And lots of electronic stuff.

28. What did you want and get?

A home by the beach and someone to share it with.

29. What did you want and not get?

A job in the animation or comics industry. And a cintiq and desktop computer. But there is always next year.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

I saw very few this year. But probably Star Trek Into Darkness.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

...I had to use a calculator to figure out my age pfft. 26, I don't think I did stuff? I was rather unhappy.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

It was already pretty damn satisfying towards the end. Less stressful work would be good though, and MORE SLEEP.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Business casual and uh. Comfy stuff :V

34. What kept you sane?

Steph and Hunter. Other friends who offered advice too. Physical affection does a ton for your mind though I mean wow I was missing out on a lot.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Uh

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Any attacks on human rights. Which was a lot. But a lot of progress was made in some places too.

37. Who did you miss?

My parents, my cats, my brother, SCAD buddies.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

TOO MANY WAY TOO MANY. I got to meet Myrcury-Art, Zeta-Neubourn, CrazyCrumbCake, LeiliaK and a number of others for the first time, and hope to meet more of you this year!

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

You have to take huge risks to get anywhere in life. You have to feel pain before you can truly appreciate love. You have to learn to trust to learn to love. Live every day like it's your last - every moment is valuable and should be treasured, so don't let it pass you by doing nothing. And don't eat Fruit Roll-Ups in the shower, they melt.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

"No one has to hear
The sound of people laughing at their fears
And the ocean and sun are always there
To make you happy if you're feeling scared
Of the darkness

And love always remains"
Hi guys! I am considering going full time as a commission artist, in both plush and in illustration, and hopefully animation even!

This is not a final decision, and certainly not what I would have expected to be considering right now especially after choosing to close down all commissions to concentrate on my career, but things with my current work are not going according to plan and it is becoming a tough situation. I've just relocated to a smaller town for this position and I'm worried about finding more work in my field here. I would need to be able to keep a steady income ($20/hr or more, 40 hours a week) with commissions in order for this to work though, and I would need to get medical insurance and take care of tax issues on my own. I'd love any advice from artists who are working full time in commissions, whether it's plush, drawing, or something else! How do you go about advertising? How do you handle taxes and expenses? What are the keys to succeeding as a commission artist?

Thanks!
-Robo-Shark
:iconfarnsworthplz:

I was hired for a full time position for a large company in the Tampa area! I'll be working as a graphic designer, and will be functioning as a storyboard artist, character designer, and animator for their shows as well. They produce Disney on Ice, Disney LIVE, a variety of motocross sports events, and other entertainment. I'm hugely looking forward to a new start!

I'm a little bummed to leave Orlando behind, but I'll only be a couple hours away, and will be coming back whenever I can (especially to visit my bud Myrcury-Art). My bro Zeta-Neubourn will be coming out there too which is awesome and we are gonna have the most badass apartment ever conceived, complete with a ball pit, trampoline, fish, and a bajillion toys. :V

My therapist has already approved me for my testosterone letter. I am scrambling to get blood work done and find a doctor to prescribe the injections, but I'm hoping that I'll be able to start in the very near future! So yes, after years of thinking I would never have a way to combat this, I'm on the verge of taking the next step. I just hope I can manage to balance the doc appointments with a new job...

All that being said, commissions are officially CLOSED. I gotta weed through my pile of notes and get replies out - I will most definitely complete your art as soon as possible! But then I'll be taking a fairly big break while we hunt for an apartment and focus on getting a living situation in order. It's gonna be insane for a bit as everything's happening at once but also REALLY AWESOME

So for now, I'll catch you guys later!

-Robo-Shark
:star:Current Status: Closed:star:
:iconcomcplz::icontrcplz::iconreqclplz:

Commission Sheet by Robo-Shark

:star:STATUS SPREADSHEET:star:

Update! Spreadsheet now includes estimated time of completion dates for all current surgery rewards! I can't guarantee a date (especially since I may have a freelance job coming in soon) but I am working towards them and most materials are now on hand. Thank you so much for your patience!

All commission inquiries can be sent to sharkcommissions@gmail.com!

--
Commissions
DO NOT SEND POINTS AS A GIFT I CANNOT ACCEPT THEM
POINTS MUST BE SENT VIA COMMISSIONS WIDGET. I will need to make a custom widget for you to send them. Thanks!

Terms:
-Please send all inquiries to sharkcommissions@gmail.com.
-Provide a visual reference of the character(s) you wish to have drawn and a brief description of a situation or pose if desired. For ref sheets some rough sketches or other images would be great! Non-visual references (blocks of text) or detailed requests will require an extra charge.
-Payment is due up-front. I cannot issue refunds for my services once they are completed. Edits are subject to additional charge.
-Points must be paid via commission widget, please let me know if you want to pay in points and I will make one for you!
-Commissions can be used for icons, signatures, and private use. Please do not use my art for profit, claim it as your own, or re-post without a link to the original work without expressed written permission. Thank you!
-I work full time as a studio artist, and take commissions for both plush and illustration on the side during the few hours I am not at my job. Some is posted only on Naughty-Shark, plush are posted at Patchwork-Shark. Even if you don't see me uploading daily to this account, I am working on items for my multiple accounts every day. Please be patient, it may take time to complete your image! Updates are posted to the spreadsheet at the top of this page every time I complete a project (or make considerable progress).
-I do accept some NSFW and fetish commissions now! Feel free to ask me for details!
-By commissioning me, you have agreed to these terms. Thanks!

Trades
Terms:
-I have been doing trades for years and have never backed out on a finished trade. For this reason, I ask that you finish your half first, unless we have traded before in the past. I have been burned too many times.