Life, Art, and Monkeys


Well, given how infrequently I update this ol' personal blog, I think it's about time I moved things over to permanently. It's updated every Monday, after all! Plus I'm going to be upgrading it in the next few months to include links to other spots I hang out online, such as my new digs at Instagram. If you're looking for me in the meantime, check over here!

Zipping over to!


Past Archives Begin Here

Caution sign
Please note: Posts here older than June 24th, 2015 should be considered officially archived. I am not removing them, but in the ten years that I have been writing on this blog I have changed a great deal. Things beyond this point should be considered outdated at best, and may contain many errors or opinions I no longer hold. These things tend to happen as you grow and live life. Or at least, they hopefully happen as you try to become a better person as you age! I just want readers to be aware of that, so that if you decide to go poking through history you will know that it doesn't necessarily reflect my current or future views. :)


If you'd like current thoughts and posts, please visit for regular scheduled updates that provide better insights and information. Thanks!


Update on the way, hold on to your socks

I'm no stranger to not having things done exactly on time. Animation is just kind of like that, plus it's taken me a long time to become as disciplined as I even am now. So I suppose that's why I'm not flipping out QUITE as much as I might be about today's update not being ready yet. I really wanted it to be up at 12AM Friday morning, but that time came and went. Now it's 9AM and it looks like we're still a ways away. And I can't really do anything about it.

That's just what happens sometimes when you work with other people. You have to be able to deal with delays you can't control. And really, there's no way I can control this one. It's outside of my ability. I suppose I could learn the complexities of programming, but that would take time away from my practice of animation, and animation is too important to me to give up time honing my skills for something I hate as much as programming. I'll leave that to the experts.

In the meantime while you and I BOTH wait for the update (for once) I thought I might talk about a new sketchbook I started yesterday. It's a 9 x 12 Canson Drawing pad with 50 pages. Its purpose is to house cartoon short concepts. At some point I would like to produce a few animations unrelated to Fred. I'll still do FtM as my main area of animation, but things like the 5 Shades projects are a nice way to clear my head a bit and think outside my normal box. (These cartoon shorts don't fall under the 5 Shades category, that's just an example of cartoons I've done that aren't Fred the Monkey Cartoons technically.)

I expect the vast majority of the 50 pages to be ideas that never see the light of day, once I fill the sketchbook. After all, there are plenty of ideas out there and in my head. The trick is to figure out which ones are worth the hundreds of hours it would take to animate. That's what I'm practicing most of all with this new sketchbook. Jotting down little scribbles and ideas with the knowledge that it's okay if they don't pan out. One thing I've been hearing a lot in the past year from people who know more than me is: Don't be afraid to fail. Just learn to fail fast so you can move on to the next try. And I think that's really cool advice.

Today while I wait for the update I'm going to work on the Mailbag and doing some things for the craft show I mentioned I'm a part of this weekend. Lots to do, so I might as well not fret about the delay today! After all, worrying doesn't help anything.

I'll post again later to announce the debut of the update when it's ready. Till then, have a good day.

EDIT: Well people, I don't know what to tell you. Q is trying very hard to get the update fixed, but it's just not working. No idea why, and sadly it can't be helped. She already feels pretty bad about the delay, so there's nothing much else I can say. It will be up when it gets fixed, but at this point I can't tell you exactly when. Because we just don't know. Sorry. I really am. I absolutely didn't want this sort of thing to happen, but I have no way to change it now.


Introducing an ALL NEW CHARACTER!

Meet the Captain! Though it's slightly premature (and by slightly I mean COMPLETELY) to be introducing him, this is what I've been working on for the past few weeks. When we needed a character to animate for class, I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone and use him for my projects! It's win-win. Except for the birds. Sorry, birds.

I know what you're wondering. "JKR, how did you come up with such an AWESOME CHARACTER EVEN THOUGH I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT HIM BUT STILL HE'S CLEARLY AWESOME?!?" Or maybe you're actually wondering if this is for FtM. I would probably wonder about the FtM thing first. To answer that inquiry, no, he is not in fact for FtM. "Then... wait... why did you make him? You aren't starting ANOTHER series that you'll neglect, are you? You better not be or so help me..." Um... I, uh... No, I... I...


Not really, though. See this is for a different project I'm working on, that isn't a series or anything, but a one-time deal. It won't be replacing Fred or taking over for the never-updated Kingdom Blue. It's just a single-shot project that I'm enjoying trying out. The good news is that when it's done, everyone can enjoy it! It will be released publicly, and I'll be sure to post links here once that happens. WHEN that happens, who knows. Could be years, could be tomorrow. It absolutely could NOT be tomorrow, because tomorrow would be an impossible deadline. But still, sometime. Hopefully. I'm not trying to build hype for this, by the way, I'm just talking about it because it's what I'm working on. Sharing, is all.

Also on the "What You're Wondering" list might be "Why are there a dozen different versions of him in a bunch of colors?" Well the answer to THAT is that I have no idea what color direction to take him at the moment, so I tried out a bunch of schemes to see what worked and what didn't. I don't think I've found quite the right one yet, so I'll keep experimenting. While we're on the subject, though, which do YOU like? Leave a message in the comments and let me know, would you? It will help me get an idea what other folks think.

Have a great weekend, everybody!


If there was ever a game to get you into soccer…

It just happened. Oh. My. Gosh. It was INSANE. INSAAAAAAAAANE. The US needed a goal to advance in the World Cup. We GOT one early on, but they called it back because of some BS call. We had a dozen other chances, but to no avail. Four minutes get added to extra time, and in the 92nd minute WE SCORE! WOOOOOO!

I was in tears. This game is so freaking magical, I don't know how I used to hate it because it's amazing. Awesome awesome awesome. I'm psyched! Even if we go no further, wow, what a game!



I'm sleepy. So, so sleepy. Today is the last day of my "busiest week of the year" week. I haven't slept nearly enough and now I'm going to go pass out for a good long while. Except not because I still have to go back to school tomorrow. But some sleep. At least I won't have to get up at 6AM again for a good long while. Hopefully.

I'm hoping to have a bit of time tomorrow to post Shades of Orange on I wanted to today, but it was non-stop schooling and a short break for pizza and Chuck/24. I don't normally watch 24, but since Heroes sucks so badly and friends come over to watch Chuck, we've been joining Jack Bauer in his crazy adventures for a few weeks. Spoiler alert: Starbuck is evil.



Yesterday night I took a nice, hot bath and it was very relaxing. Then, after getting out of the tub, I attempted to clean my glasses and they snapped in half. Right in half. They had been feeling loose and odd for a few days, but I didn't expect them to just fall apart like that.

Now I'm wearing my old ones, which hurt my eyes and make me dizzy. The good news is new ones will be ready in two weeks. The bad news is it's going to take TWO WEEKS. Sigh... I suppose I'll get used to these in the meantime...

But the good news is, before destroying my frames I put up 5 Shades of Orange! Finally! You can check it out on Newgrounds by clicking here. Enjoy!


Flash Fight

For three days I've been in an epic battle with Flash to stop breaking my Shades of Orange entry. I have NO IDEA why it's doing what it's doing, only that mine is the only one it has any sort of issue with. All other nine entries have been assembled smoothly with few problems. (One or two had some sound issues, but I managed to correct them.) So yeah, I just don't know what else to do. I'm thinking today will be the last day I try to fix this before just putting it up as-is. Mine wasn't great anyway because I never finished it the way I wanted to. Still, it's frustrating to not understand what's going wrong with this thing...

More as it develops.


How extremely strange…

Yesterday's comments kind of exploded there for a bit, with people screaming this or that and generally going crazy. What I found to be most difficult to understand is that several of the comments were from the same IP address. And not ones that just said only negative or positive things. One was pretending to be me, then the next was saying "I don't think that's really JKR but if it is OMG!" in response to the post that person would have JUST MADE THEMSELVES... And then later came a post responding to everyone that was very well written and eloquently worded.

How equivocally odd.

Well, it merely further cements my choice to at some point switch the blog over to a slightly new setup, where people will be allowed dedicated user names and avatars. This will quickly clear up the madness of impostors, as no one will be permitted to post as another person's name. I frankly should have done this long ago, but I felt working on the cartoons would be more important than this sort of thing, given that this stuff takes me an unbelievably long time to do since I'm an artist, not a computer scientist/enthusiast. Ah well, other things will just continue to be put on hold in the meantime. Get the ship running smoothly and then back to what I actually WANT to do; create the cartoons.

I would like to comment on one of yesterday's comments here, though, so everyone can understand it. (Though I must admit, I have no idea who posted it, because again it came from the same IP as some of the screaming comments...)

"JKR, you’ve made too many promises that you can’t keep. You’ve become detached from your forum community, and now they’ve all kind of turned on you." -Mystery poster with a common IP

I very much agree. Far too many times I used this blog to let people in on what I was working on and when I hoped to have it done. This lead to serious problems when life inevitably got in the way and prevented those deadlines from being made. No more of that. Now I will do my best to plug projects WHEN they are finished, not well before. I can certainly talk about what I'm working on, but there will be no more "Expect it on June 20th at 4PM" stuff, because it's clear that I often have to focus on other things as they come up.

As far as the forum and my neglect, I couldn't agree more. That's exactly the reason I'm redoing them and starting anew. The new forum will be more manageable for me to keep up with. Having 20 different boards is impossible for me to be a part of unless I make it a full time job. Not to mention that I'm just not interested in some of the topics. It becomes miserable work when I have to go into the Sony boards to be a part of that community within a community, and if I consider it work, I can't be a part of the community. I have to want to be there, and right now I don't. I hated the place the forum became, so I didn't go often. That needs to change, hence the closing of the old boards and starting of a new forum. One I'll actually hang out on and still be able to focus on my real work.

Also, in regards to the concept of me telling loyal fans to leave, please understand that I really do it for your benefit. I appreciate the loyal fans more than you can know, and because of that I want you to be happy. PLEASE believe me when I tell you that the reason I do the Fred cartoons is to make people happy. I'm not out to make a million dollars. I'm not out to be some famous artist. My goal is and has always been to make people happy with the things I create. The reason I tell people they should leave is because they are CLEARLY not happy. And that goes against everything I work so hard to do. I want you to be happy, and if you aren't happy here then I want you to leave and find somewhere online that DOES make you happy. That is the most important thing to me.

Alright, well have a good day, everyone! I'm off to work on that blasted Shades of Orange that I should have put up months ago (no release date confirmed yet)!  :)


Deck the Halls with Shades of Orange

Fa la la la la, la la la laaaaa...

Today is officially the deadline day for all Shades of Orange entries! If you decided to join in the fun, be sure to send me your FLA file today. Then I'll put them all together for a vote soon after.

My entry took me forever, and really got in the way of my normal work. I apologize for any Fred cartoon delays that occurred (or will occur) because of this project. I think it will be worth it, because we've got some awesome entries for this round of 5 Shades! Hopefully everyone involved had fun doing it.

I'm still fighting the end of the flu and extremely tired, but I'm pushing through it and hopefully by the end of the week it will be back to normal!