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I'm trying - bit of a vent

Journal Entry: Mon Jan 26, 2015, 12:18 PM



So I've been really worn out and trying really hard but I'm getting so tired and not feeling too well.

I'm sorry about how I've let things pile up in so many places lately, I know people are trying to get me to do stuff with them, from Skype to Steam to collab pieces and trades and it's not that I don't want to do these things. It's just every time I think I'm going to have a break so that I can just breathe for a while and take time for myself more, things get even crazier.

I took on a part time freelance job in hopes that it may turn full time. It's kicking my ass. I'm enjoying it too, just very exhausted, and commuting there is a very long trip that's hard on me and my car. Had another urgent meeting with them today and things are sounding great but even more work and it's a chance that in a few months they may take me full time. They're letting me work from home for now but would like me to work in-office in the future too but I don't want to move and I can't commute the whole way every day and I'm just really torn and exhausted. I don't want to move, and I don't want to ask my roommate to move either. We got settled somewhere now and we are happy and I am so tired of moving and I feel like I'm such a worn out burden on him and I'm sorry for being one, he's more important to me than my happiness in a job so if I let this opportunity go to stay where I am even though what I have for a job is grueling and very unrewarding that's okay, because the risk of losing what we already have here is too much. I don't even know how much I might be offered for this job though and I really do want to work with these people currently, they are fun and clear with their intentions from what I am getting thus far and much more flexible and challenging.

That aside I have commissions and I still even have surgery rewards which I planned to honor after getting surgery but it's still so far out of reach both financially and I have no time, I can't imagine taking even a week for surgery but it takes much longer than that to recover and I don't think I'm in the right place mentally or physically right now to get through it, nor will I be for a while. I am honestly just. Thinking of putting the thought behind me and refunding those who donated and didn't receive the rewards they expected yet. I do have all materials for them and do still intend to fulfill them if folks don't mind waiting. But it's so much and it will take so long and I'm so sorry to have let people down, if I did so far.

No idea if I'll get con stock ready in time for the convention. I hope I will get lots done before then but I have some heavy projects on my roster from this company and they intend to give me up to 30 more plush projects in the future and unless I am taken on full time there and I let go of my job here, I am going to be drowning for a very long time. I hope I can get in full time and find a balance that works so I can work from home mostly but I just don't know and I'm really stressed and tired and pulled so many different ways I can't think straight, I just want to collapse and not wake up, but I can't, I need to get so much done and I need to do it tonight. And all week. And I haven't been exercising or eating right or anything, no time, too tired, I am trying to just drink Slim Fasts and not eat food much so I don't gain weight because I barely get up to move unless I need to run out for supplies or go to and from work.

I'm sorry I'm not there for friends when they're there for me. I feel like such an ass with everyone doing nice things for me and I suck at even finding time to say hi, how are you, happy birthday, etc. I feel so bad for turning down so many people who want to do stuff together, like gaming or collab art and Skyping. I wanna go fishing with my bro and play Minecraft which I still only messed with for maybe five minutes one time. I have had Steam for over a year and have yet to play any games on it. I don't want to be isolated, and I don't want people to stop saying hello or talking to me because they think I don't want to hear from them anymore.

I'm tired of all this - not the work itself or anything, just the fact that I can't seem to ever get a healthy balance of work and just. Living. I can't live, I have no energy when I do have time, I'm just exhausted and want to sleep so much but also don't want to because I want to do something fun, I have so many things to see and do and enjoy and people to do it with and they're all just eventually gonna move on and I'll be left behind with nothing but my work and I don't want this. When I do get time to chill it's so nice and I want more of that so much. I wish it didn't make me so anxious, I wish it didn't leave me with so much hanging over my head - I need a clean slate and to not owe anything else.

Ugh I'm just so frustrated. I'm sorry if I'm short with anyone or I don't respond or I just seem distant or irritable. I want to just have fun again. And the work load is really nobody's fault, I'm just stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I need sleep and a day off.


THANK YOU FOR BURRDAY WISHES

Journal Entry: Fri Jan 23, 2015, 6:39 AM



Ffff thank you so much to the 50+ amazing people who wished me a happy birthday here yesterday, gah it means so much to meeeee

I will reply to every single one of your comments I promise -flops-

Thank you also to jrlallo and Crazyabby2012 for the badges, I now have a delicious Not A Lie cake on my page 8D

Ramen hot tub by Myrcury-ArtGift - Out of Reach by caatFurry Flair - Custom Batch 1 by Zeta-NeubournSharky's Feesh by loofytehfoxJaaaay by NaoruJayburrfday by ckubesh

And to lovely FA friends for these adorable pics too!
www.furaffinity.net/view/15546…
www.furaffinity.net/view/15546…
www.furaffinity.net/view/15542…

I worked all day last night so I can't say I really celebrated much but Zeta-Neubourn is awesome and got me a cheesecake, ice cream, 3 Amiibos, and made artichoke ravioli which was awesome. Got a Pokemon hat, an art book, Kirby Triple Deluxe, a Pikachu Amiibo, and a Meta Knight plushie from my friends and family, and hope to find time to see a few friends in the next few months when I'm not as swamped!

I've been a more distant watcher lately and I'm sorry that I'm not as active with friends here as I used to be. I'm stretched a lot thinner (becoming more and more active on Fur Affinity and trying to manage Tumblr/Weasyl a bit) and working a ton, and when I do get time to take a breath I'd just rather not be staring at a screen. I need fresh air and to get out and explore the beautiful Florida environment, and I have so many more local friends now than I ever had before, so I get pulled away to go do stuff (not a bad thing, hahah). I just wanna say that even if I'm not around as much and don't get to talking with folks as much, I haven't stopped caring and I do still love to see your art, comments, and to talk with you when I can. I want to get to more regular streaming soon, and now that I have Picarto running, it should go a lot smoother than before! |D

Thanks guys!
-Jay


Heyas Fuzzies!

Journal Entry: Tue Jan 20, 2015, 10:20 AM



Whoo! Thanks for the great reception, I had to close commish slots early as I'm now under contract for freelance work as well, so I don't want to take on too many projects at once! :D

You can track progress here: docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d…

Also it's TMI Tuesday so post away if you wanna! You can ask anon questions on my Tumblr of the same name too :) robo-shark.tumblr.com

I'm working on furry con material and if you have any suggestions for art to offer as prints, buttons, stickers, plushies, or just art in general, feel free to make suggestions - I don't have the time for requests currently but ideas are more than fine!

Thanks!
Jay


Commissions closed!

Journal Entry: Sun Jan 18, 2015, 5:02 PM



Commissions are now full, thank you guys!

I also have a freelance job coming up so I'll be swamped pretty heavy for a while again, heh |D Excited though! I get to draw "cute jungle animals, aquatic critters, and baby t-rexes" so hey, I'll let you guys know about the products when they go up for sale if it all pans out right!

Plush on the way too, including reward plush! I HAVE EMBROIDERED PIECES! :D Huge thanks to :iconmlggirl: who filled such a giant order for me!

Status can be viewed here!

I am planning to get a schedule going which involves commission work on Tuesday and Thursday nights, exercise and convention art on Monday and Wednesday, streams once or twice a month on Friday nights, and plush work on Saturdays and Sundays. Stay tuned!

-Jay


Stream Offline!

Journal Entry: Fri Jan 16, 2015, 6:34 AM



Thank you to those who dropped by! Sorry for the technical difficulties and transfer, will be using Picarto from here forward.

-Jay



Old Shaaark. And Furry Flair!

Journal Entry: Mon Jan 12, 2015, 9:21 AM



I'm gonna be 28 next week holy crap how did THAT happen. :I

I'm going to aim to be done with my current art commission queue by then, and maybe I can do an art stream or something that night, or this Friday instead! Maybe. I dunno. Depends on if plans change and whatnot, I wouldn't mind a night off to just chill with my bro and such too!

This weekend, should be able to meet up with :iconsplatologist: and :iconsaiyanhajime: for the first time! We'll be going out for some Thai food, so excited.

And I have loads of con materials to get to work on, mostly themed around Pokemon, Five Nights at Freddy's, Starfox, and maybe some other fun stuff! I'll post up the designs as I get going on them.

:iconzeta-neubourn: is going to be at Megaplex most likely too, and will have some materials on my side of the table. He also has some designs available on Red Bubble right now!

Furry Flair - Species Batch 1 by Zeta-Neubourn
See his shop if you wanna check them out!

-Jay


Q and A?

Journal Entry: Wed Jan 7, 2015, 8:25 AM



Hey dudes!

I know I've been kinda absent, thing is, things have taken off a lot over on Fur Affinity so I've been a bit more active on my accounts over there. I'm also working on plush rewards, almost done with the next on my list! But there will be more art here this week, hahah. And hopefully some fun con-related things soon too. :)

I tend to receive notes from time to time that ask questions about going to art school, how to find work, how to get motivated, etc and I'm wondering if anyone would be interested in some kind of Q and A entry or something. If so, what kind of questions would you like me to answer?

I'm not the most skilled or experienced person out there of course, so take anything I post with a grain of salt, I'm not exactly a famous artist or anything. But I'm glad people helped me to get to where I am, and I hope I can offer something at the very least. For those wondering what my background is, I went to Mesa Community College and SCAD, with degrees in Computer Illustration and Animation. I work full time as a senior graphic artist on Disney On Ice, Disney LIVE!, and Marvel Universe Live mostly (with other properties from time to time) and part time as a commission artist in the areas of illustration and plush. I've created plush toys for Craig McCracken, the team at Certain Affinity, and 2K Games, among a few other companies (was offered a job designing toys for Valve and animating at Radical Axis but sadly had to pass at the times they were offered). I'm currently in talks with becoming an illustrator and toy designer behind the products at David and Goliath Tees.

Feel free to leave any questions in the comments if there's something you'd want me to answer!

-Jay


New Year on the Way!

Journal Entry: Mon Dec 29, 2014, 1:21 PM



2015 is almost here - and it's a new start on my end. I won't be taking on as much work on the side, due to the possibility of a new job, and needing to recover health-wise, as well as a really kind gift from my father that entailed me no longer owing him tens of thousands of dollars...something I feel incredible indebted for, and incredibly guilty, but I am going to make use of that help to take care of myself and ensure I am healthier both physically and mentally next year!

Commissions will be re-opening in time though, and a new sheet will be up this week. Because I'll be taking fewer slots, I will be raising pricing to something more reasonable for my own well being, and because I will be investing more time in improving my work and growing as an artist.

The first comic pages for the story between Zeta-Neubourn and myself should be coming soon too. I've sketched out the first page but envisioned something different so I'll be redoing it soon!

Art for AllenPaw and 5-prime are first on my list before I will be working on more commissions, as well as a plush for jrlallo that is now in the works.

For those who've been asking, I do not have plans to take plush commissions. My illustration commissions are more profitable and I may be working with plush full time in the new job I am aiming for, as well as with all the rewards on my list. I would rather sell premade work I am making on my own time and continue to make things for friends and family.

I'm going through a backlog of notes! Forgive me while I get around to replying to as many as I can. Emails are the best way to reach me regarding commissions, feel free to drop me a message at sharkcommissions[at]gmail[dot]com! I hope to open slots in about a month if I'm able to clear my current wait list.

Thanks and Happy New Year!
-Robo-Shark


Merry Christmas - On to 2015!

Journal Entry: Wed Dec 24, 2014, 7:46 AM



Happy Holidays and hope you all are either having a great time or at least pushing through the holiday season - hahah! I'm back in Arizona with family as of now. I've been sick since last Saturday, and not dealing well with the dry climate or being misgendered repeatedly all day every day. It's tough to readjust to, seeing as I've been living what felt much more normal for so long and now I'm back to being their little girl, which is not easy. I have facial scruff, a deep voice, and a much more male composure I think, but they "forget" every time I remind them. I know they don't mean it maliciously, I'm just intensely dysphoric, missing my prosthetic which I didn't bring with for reasons, and really can't wait to go back to Florida where the weather is nice and humid and not as scorchingly bright and...brown. The desert is no place for a shark, lol.

But it's the first time I've been to my parents' place since July of 2013 so it's good to see the cats (who do remember me despite my voice, smell, and other changes!) and to see everyone again, even if the atmosphere is very controlling and I'm being watched every moment. (I'm finding more time to myself in the late hours of the night, heh). No snow here this year which was what I was most excited to see, but maybe next year! I think my family will like the gifts I got for them and made them this year, pretty excited for them to open 'em tonight.

To wrap up the year soon, I have to say it's been another big one for me, with a lot of change in almost all good ways. Happily settled into a place I think we both really like, and really glad that Zeta-Neubourn is there with me. I think I'm more financially stable than last year, adjusting more to everything. I feel more like I can be myself and enjoy what I like now than ever, knowing that I'm with friends who have a lot of the same interests, versus people I knew out here in Arizona who just wanted to go drinking or smoke pot a lot of the time. Lots of good times with peeps like Myrcury-Art , SubstantiallyUseless , neo-dragon , and TwitchyKalgante among others, which was awesome! Looking forward to more next year, and hopefully setting up for surgery stuff, if I make it to a point where I can afford it, both money and time wise.

A new job may be on the horizon in January and I'm really excited about it. I don't wanna say too much until I know more, but it could be a very fun opportunity for me to grow more as an artist and that's a big staple in what I want to work towards next year. I feel that this year, I improved on cleaning up my coloring style and improving a bit on anatomy and color palette, but I feel that my work this year is lacking a certain passionate, emotional connection that it had back when I was drawing work for Mechanima. There's a lot more raw, intense emotion in my older drawings, and I want to capture that somewhat again. I love doing cute work, it's relaxing and fun, but I remember a lot more satisfaction from my older more story-driven work. I don't know that I'll have time to return to Mechanima story or comic wise, but I will return to drawing some for it when I am able.

First quarter I'll be focusing a lot on plushies and there won't be a ton of personal art I expect, nor a lot of time to take on very many commissions (though there will probably be slots here and there). I'd like to tackle a large load of plush right away, so I'll be starting with the ones that don't require embroidery and then tackling the rest as I get supplies in. Looking forward to clearing that slate and getting everyone's rewards fulfilled!

So Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, looking forward to another year with you!
-Robo-Shark


Poofy Account and Mechanima

Journal Entry: Thu Dec 18, 2014, 9:54 AM



Making an account for G-rated art related to inflation, macro/micro, babyfur, and similar things has proven hugely successful overnight on Fur Affinity, and so, since it's all clean artwork, I've gone ahead and posted some of those works here on DA too! You can find them over at poofy-shark if you'd like to watch, whether you're kinda into any of it, or just because you like cute things. If you don't like it, no worries, just feel free to pass. Those looking for my other alternate work, feel free to ask about my Fur Affinity pages!

Regarding plush, things are still on hold while I wait for the materials to arrive. I'll be jumping in asap though once they are here, hopefully in January. Thank you again for your patience, donors. <3 I'm looking forward to finishing every one of them and clearing up my list again!

Third, Mechanima's been getting more attention in the past couple weeks, with random favs showing up in my inbox and a few folks brought up the characters and how much they like them...that means the world to me. It really does. I'm so happy people still love the project I cared most about, even though it's been dead for so long. I mean check out these awesome things friends drew for me just recently:

Christmas Gifts 002 by Digimitsu
Rafe and Alex sketches #2 by Coffingeist

I really wish I had more time to dedicate to the comic. Knowing people do want to see it is the one thing that keeps me hoping that I can tackle it someday. Right now I need to focus on what makes the most money, and so far, the furry community is a really great option for possibly being able to work as an artist on my own at least part time. But Mech means a lot to me and always will.

It was very hard to start to let it drift, but I think overall the reason I'm not hurting as much for straying at this point is because I don't need it as the outlet to get me through the day anymore. I used to need Rafe, Alex, Angel and that crew to vent my frustrations, loneliness, and anger. I needed Rafe to channel those feelings, and I needed Alex to be the one who balanced him to keep me grounded. And now I have that in my life, with the people I love who are now a lot closer to home. I feel safe, loved, and albeit very tired and stressed, I'm a lot happier.

That being said, I still want to tell their story, and if anything, it should be easier for me to do so when the time comes, because with less vital attachment to certain aspects of the characters, I can rework certain plot points and such without feeling as adamant about adapting and changing them. I'm excited to do that someday, and I'm super excited that people still remember and care.

Thanks again, and hope you are all doing well!
-Jay


10 Questions!

Journal Entry: Mon Dec 15, 2014, 12:46 PM



Tagged by NixieLupus !

Rules:

1. You must post these rules
2. Answer the 10 questions asked by the person who tagged you and make up 10 questions for the 10 you tag
3. Choose 10 people and put their icons in your journal.
4. You have to legitimately tag 10 people
5. No tag backs
6. You can't say that you don't do tags
7. You MUST make a journal entry! No comments.

(Feel free to ignore the rules, you can comment/not tag/etc if you want to, I hold no grudges :V)

NixieLupus's Questions:
1. What's your favorite pokemon?
2. What's your dream job?
3. What's your dream pet?
4. Favorite color?
5. If you were a wizard in Harry Potter, which house would you be in?
6. Game of Thrones?
7. Favorite season?
8. Would you give your life for your best friend?
9. If you woke up as the opposite gender, what would you think?
10. If you were to be reincarnated, what would you be?

My Answers:
1. Ahh I think Bisharp is my #1, but a lot of gen 1 and gen 2 Pokemon are the ones I feel most strongly for <3
2. To be an independent artist who works from home - illustrator, comics, or animation, or a combination of the above!
3. It might sound boring but I love cats and would love more adorable fluffy babies, I can't wait to see my fluffbutts at Christmas!
4. ALL OF THEM but probably like. Green. And seafoam and salmon tones. Beachy things. 
5. Ravenclaw
6. Targaryen? I had to take a quiz hahah |D
7. Autumn! I love all seasons though
8. Yes, I love him more than I could say
9. If it were the opposite sex, I'd probably burst into tears of utter joy - opposite gender though, and I'd be back to living the nightmare I've fought with for decades.
10. I'd want to be a cis man. But animal wise, a spoiled housecat. :B (I know, not a shark, but hey, their lives are too tough ._.)

My Questions:
1. What's your best Christmas memory?
2. What was your favorite toy as a kid?
3. Favorite Disney movie?
4. If you could travel to any time period, what would it be?
5. If you could live in any video game world, what would it be?
6. Name a song that's made you cry.
7. If you could possess one talent what would it be?
8. Do you want to get married someday/are you married?
9. What's something you feel really strongly about?
10. What would you want your last meal to be?

I TAG: 
The-B-Meister AllenPaw Adolas Alichzy72 Foxbride Splatologist ShamelessMagic KurokiKumo LeiliaK pampd 



Discount Limited Holiday Commissions!

Journal Entry: Sun Dec 7, 2014, 12:13 PM



I'll likely remain pretty quiet for a bit and I apologize for my absence! I am however taking a few slots for commissions (furry specific) on my FA account to help with holiday funds. Please feel free to check it out if interested! (Both SFW and NSFW ones are available): www.furaffinity.net/journal/63…

On another note, I haven't yet received all materials needed for the plush rewards, so they will be delayed until after the holidays. I am sorry for the wait, I hope I will be able to at least have a few done in January. Thank you again for all the patience, I really wish I could have gotten them started sooner. x_x

Had over 20 notes and more than 120 comments to go through, I'm sorry I'll weed through 'em with time |D Most likely I'll get through everything after Christmas!

-Jay

EDIT: They're full :)


Holiday Hiatus

Journal Entry: Wed Nov 26, 2014, 5:38 PM



Gonna most likely be kinda semi hiatus status for a while for the holidays - I'm trying to expand into animation more, get caught up on my huge plush reward list, and just overall experiment with art, while also spending time with buddies and family in person, and enjoy my favorite time of the year! The Internet just ends up becoming a big distraction and pulls me away from concentrating on progressing in art, which is something I really need to do (I feel my work is at a standstill and I want to give it a boost) and other important things that are less fun but still necessary, hahah.

I apologize that I haven't gotten through the huge backlog of messages I have, including the responses to my last journal. I am struggling with keeping up with online things when life offline is flying by so fast, and it's a tough juggle. I'll see what I can do to catch up later whenever I'm back around again, and until then I'll see you around, and hope you all have a great holiday season too!

-Jay


Tumblr

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.

Nov. 19: Living in the States. I often really wish I could live in a better country, but I could have always been born into a much more difficult one. I'm living in a pretty safe area and I'm able to drink clean water and get food and other necessities pretty easily, so hey, can't complain.

Nov. 20: Thanksgiving! Which is gonna be with one of my best buds Myrcury-Art again this year, and I can't WAIT to hang out again, just relax and watch the Macy's Day Parade, maybe play some games and just spend time together. <3

Nov. 21: Christmas! Okay so two holidays here, but hey, Christmas is my absolute favoritest time of the year and I friggin' love getting and making gifts for people, spending time with loved ones, the music, the cider and hot chocolate, decorating, Christmas movies, cold brisk air, and SNOW. I HOPE I GET TO SEE SNOW THIS YEAR AAHHH. A lot of my best memories are oriented around this time of year. It's so magical and I am looking forward to it.

Nov. 22: Nature. Being able to go walking out at the river every night, having the beach and nature preserves nearby, is awesome. I love being able to see neat animals every day. I love camping, love fires outdoors, barbeques, spending time away from technology for a bit is so nice. (Though I wouldn't mind not having the ants. I mean they're fine but stop coming inside the apartment >:I)

Nov. 23: Disney. Disney was the biggest reason I pursued art, and still brings me a lot of happiness (nope, work hasn't tainted my love of it yet, lol). I adore visiting Disney World, I love watching Disney films, there's such a warmth and charm to so much of it. While the company has its dark side and its good points, the feeling remains hahah.

-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