Driven 2023: Sort of Coverage

I wasn’t planning on attending Driven this year but thanks to  @Kirby.S4 for getting a ticket for me, I showed up with JC to check it out quickly to see if there was anything worth checking out. No cars on steelies, but still some on winter tires for some reason lol.

I’m not going to do a full write-up or go into much about it – I got what I could. It seems like every year, it gets tighter and tighter with less walking room and less space to take pictures or admire cars without worrying about getting in the way of others within 3 seconds of approaching a car. I used to be able to walk around with a 50mm and take some decent shots. The last several years, I’ve come with a 35mm and had trouble. Pretty soon we’ll be needing to shoot 10mm to get some decent shots of a full car lol.

Lighting was a little weird too – seemed really dim but it looked like they had the blinds closed and the lights at half capacity or something. Made for poorly lit pics and spotlights on windshields where dust collected.

My age is showing, so that’s all. Enjoy!

Super dope to see the new art on Redline Sorority’s merch this year as always. Appreciate you girls for always supporting! This is one of my fave’s for sure!

Alyssa’s RS5 on new purple wheels and back to her stock grey! Clean.

Girls and their imaginary dicks.  LOL

Maggie’s Golf R

Blair’s Fiesta ST – ended up winning an award that night, I believe!

Daniel’s M3 – always a pleasure to see.

Great combo.

Corolla GR on TE37’s. Looks really dope but can’t get over the price tag for a 3-cyl Corolla haha

Eric’s Sienna from VS One

Probably my favourite of the show was this Merc. I saw this a few years ago and it wasn’t running at the time – I still wonder if it was running this year. Would be dope if it was!

I liked the red inner barrels to match the whole black/red theme going on on these Fifteen52’s.

Carbon duct on the side window

Perfect fitment

That rear adjustable trunk wing was too cool

Slant nose widebodied Porsche

Massive centerlock 20’s

Kevin from Tuner Decals – his Genesis now wrapped in a rootbeer color. Been watching this progress on Instagram.

Kelvin also wrapped his Varis FRS in a matte silver.

I support thicc.

One of the details I loved seeing was the use of proper hardware to hold kits together. There’s lots of people that are not a fan of the exposed bolts and would rather mold the kits on if money is no object, but on the other side of the spectrum, if you’re going to leave the hardware exposed – use non-home depot hardware. Titanium bolts all over was great to see.

Gerald’s WRX now on White Meister S1R’s. Super clean widebody job.

I’m still a fan of the millenium jade wrap color on this BRZ.

Akua Garage’s JDM Odyssey now wrapped in yellow. Massive change from the full black.

One of my fave oldschool-style wheels

Recently tooned a version of this GTR for Alex at Executive Wraps

Pretty crazy RX7. Was tough to get more pics as it was crowded. I didn’t get a shot of the front, but the engine has been moved to the trunk.

Cholo’s Spoon FK8. Super clean

Derek’s FRS getting more wild with the front aero. Looks good

At the First Gear booth, it was just jam packed. I barely managed to sneak a pic in of this Amuse S2000

Voltex GR86

Widebody Evo X

Bossman Peter from Invision showed up with the Rays booth. Good to see you sir!

@yifd3s’s RX7 on Volk 21C’s and Project Mu BBK underneath. I’m pretty sad I didn’t get a full photo of the car… People were around this constantly.

Rear of the JDM Mugen FD Type R in the First Gear booth. Didn’t get a chance to get a front pic…

This IS changes colors yearly lol.

Danny’s Audi TT with matching roofbox.

Jay’s Jetta

Paul’s super clean Accord Euro R

Jon’s G37 now wrapped in a darker emerald green – quite the change from the Sapphire/Navy blue he had in previous years. The wrap job and condition on Jon’s G37 has always been top notch. Super smooth, no wrinkles/creases… Great job!

Xavier’s VIP Merc

I love the JP additions

400Z on Weds Kranze LXZ. First time seeing one in person for me – pretty clean!

Cool Astro Boy livery on this Porsche.

@kirby. S4 wrapped in the new Caribbean blue. Thanks again for the ticket!


Pretty wild widebody Mustang. Reminded me of a hot wheels.

Yolanda’s Focus ST

Brooke’s Q60

Right on our way out, we noticed Andrew’s IS-F. We were so nervous for you buddy – people were practically sitting on your car (not actually) lol.

Mad clean though. I’m sad people walked by not knowing the amount of money that went into that suspension set up.

That’s a wrap on my end. I know I saw a lot of other friends’ cars and notable cars that I just didn’t get a shot of because of how crowded it was yesterday. Peter mentioned that if there was a fire, we’d probably all die because over the over capacity lol. Stop filling car shows to the brim and turn on lights! Quality > Quantity.

Nitro Rally RX x Yokohama Canada

Been a minute, but this was a nice first post for the year. James at Yokohama Canada invited me out to the Rally Cross this weekend over at the Stampede Grounds. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend Saturday on the first day, but was able to show up on the Sunday to check out what it was all about.

Admittedly, I haven’t really kept up in the world of Nitro Rally but it was cool to see what it was all about. Yokohama Canada had a suite up in the Paddock Area with some really sweet views of the races. I was able to take some shots of what was happening – but unfortunately with my 35mm I couldn’t get close enough to the action like I wanted to. I was really hoping to get down to see the cars up close but it was pretty busy so I didn’t get any close ups.

I was able to get some shots on my phone as well with video – sorry about the poor quality upload through WordPress. No 4K 120FPS here 🙂

Just wanted to give a shout out to James and the Yokohama Canada team for the invite! It’s so sick to be able to be up close and personal with the events that take place locally and to see al the other segments of the business other than the motorsports line that I’m more used to. A great team to be a part of!

I knew where I had to be from a mile away lol.

Up from the other side of the paddock, the teams getting ready.

I wanted to steal one of these for the garage LOL

Another view of some of the cars. Most of them look like Ford Fiesta’s but unsure of a lot of the others. Many of the cars ranged from EV to combustion and to see them out on the track and the differences between them was unreal in person. You have the silent whines of the EV’s and the loud echoing booms of the combustion vehicles… Totally cool in person.

Here’s a view from the suite – we got a nice shot of the bend and a side view of the jump you can see on the right of the picture.

Something I was a little more interested in was this beauty. Check out the studs on this bad boy…

Hundreds of studs on a tire for the grip out on the icy track


Just on my way out, I tried to get some closer shots of the cars in the paddock but this was as close as I could get.

Some video shots – potato quality but still cool. 4 of the combustion vehicles out on the track

And a quick clip of the EV’s. That sound!

JTOONED is… Feeling Grateful

Lately, I’ve been in a writing mood and I have so many thoughts in my head but no time to get them all down. A lot of my blog posts lately are culminations of days and/or weeks of entries that just get built up over time until I feel they’re complete. It’s rare when I get to sit down and write all in one sitting lately. I guess it allows for a few things – it lets me go back and re-read what I wrote and let’s me re-affirm that how I felt when I wrote it still applies and that it all makes sense.  I received a surprising amount of feedback on my last post – primarily because I wasn’t expecting it. I’m glad that it was able to resonate with so many of you and it makes me feel good when something that I’m feeling rings bells with so many others. It’s almost such a taboo thing to talk about because you feel guilty for feeling that way, but if you don’t talk about it, then how do you feel better about it? Anyway, if you care to read on about my life, then welcome. If not, then I wouldn’t know otherwise :).

Whenever it gets to the end of the year, I can’t help but start to reflect on it and think about what kind of change it brought my way, what hurdles did I have to jump over and how many positive things I’ve been lucky to come across. Notice my choice of words when I talk about the challenges – “what hurdles”, and when I talk about the good things “how many”. It’s important to reflect on all things but it’s more important to, as they say “count your blessings and not your problems”. I don’t count the challenges because they are nothing but a weight that you just can’t lift yet. I do count my achievements and victories because those are the things you build to lift the weight you couldn’t before. In other words, it’s kind of like adding to your squat or bench press – you’re never looking at the weight that’s not on the bar, you’re looking at the weight you’re pushing so that you can put more of it on, feel me?

It’s been 2.5 years since I started this thing called JTOONED. It was never meant to be what it was today… I guess what I mean is, I never imagined it to be what it is today. You know when people talk about how where they are today and how it’s because of the people that believed in them? That’s literally JTOONED. I didn’t think I could draw cars or create digital artwork but all it took was someone to see potential to try something new and convince me to jump for it. One thing led to another and here I am, knocking out all sorts of artwork because I began starving for challenge and new things. I’m a bit embarrassed at where I started because I look back and cringe a bit, but in that same breath, there were people that believed it to be amazing and that meant a lot to me. It still means a lot to me, because despite where I am now or what kind of art I’m creating, there really isn’t a day that goes by where my pencil hits the canvas and I don’t think about where I started and how grateful I am to all of you.

There have been many weeks where I have literally said aloud to Diana, “I think JTOONED is dead”. Maybe because some days I feel totally burned out and don’t feel like picking up the pencil, or maybe because I haven’t had a commission request in a few days. But I’ll admit to you right now that there also has not been a week that has gone by since May 2020 that I have not had at least one commission. Wild. I’m not trying to brag either. It’s just me validating the fact that I’m thankful for every single one of you that has reached out to me for a project. Some of you want the popular item on the menu, some of you want to try something new, some have new ideas and chose me to test it. Whatever the reason, I’m still here because of you and I’ve grown an exponential amount because of it.

I’ve logged a little over 1000 toons since I started. One, zero, zero, zero. Three zeros.  What the hell? Isn’t that insane? What’s more insane is that I’ve been able to connect with almost that many people around the world. Obviously not a 1:1 ratio since many have had more than one toon with me, but DUDE. Art is a crazy thing. Combine that with social media and you have something crazy powerful. I feel like I’ve tooned almost all the local cars here, I’ve tooned for someone in almost every State in the US (probably), I’ve tooned a literal dump truck and hauler for a guy in the East Coast, I’ve tooned a motorcycle for a guy down under (Australia – get your mind out of the gutter), I’ve tooned a guys’ guitar in Japan… I can go on, but you can see the reach that this all has and I’m absolutely grateful for every single person whose path I’ve crossed. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – for every toon I’ve done, it’s made the next toon – even if it was just a miniscule difference – better. A 0.1% improvement over 1000 toons is a 100% improvement. Refer to what I said above again – ” it’s kind of like adding to your squat or bench press – you’re never looking at the weight that’s not on the bar, you’re looking at the weight you’re pushing so that you can put more of it on”. Mind. Blown. 

You know what I never understood until now? When people say “without you guys, I wouldn’t be here” or “I’m able to do what I do because of you guys”. It never made sense to me because – what did I do? I just watch your videos, or I just like your posts, or I just follow you. And sure, there are people that just like to come along for the ride and there’s nothing wrong with that – I enjoy you enjoying being here – you don’t matter any less. But it’s mainly for the people that say “hey, I trust you to bring my vision to life” or “yo, I know you don’t toon X or Y, but I totally think you could if you tried” or “I’ve got an idea and I really wanted you to draw it because I dig your style”. That kind of belief, that kind of faith – that’s what people mean. That’s what I never understood until now. I didn’t believe in the trust that people could place in some random person like me to bring something really personal to them to life, so here I am telling you; without you guys, I wouldn’t be here and I’m only able to do what I do because of you guys. Truly. I wish there were some way that I could pay you all back for this amazing thing you’ve given me in some form other than my digital art.

Maybe it’s just that though, maybe this art is all that you’re here for and once again, I am eternally grateful. So much so that it almost brings tears to my eyes (hell, even if I were bawling right now, you wouldn’t know). I don’t know when the day I put my pencil down will be, but the day that I do, I’ll be thinking of the first toon, the last toon and every single one of them in between. JTOONED has been a big part of my life these last 2.5 years and it’s hard not to reflect on that the most. Here’s to more cool toons!

I said the word “grateful” 4 times in this post. Just shows you how grateful I am. (6 times now).

An Actual LifeWithJson Post

Can we do a little lifewithjson blog real quick? Like not about cars, not about being sad about one of the best shows ending this year, not about anything that some of you might only come here for. Just literally life with me, positivity, relationships, achievements, progress, downfalls, and some self-reflection. Maybe this can be a feel-good post for some of you reading it, it may feel like nothing to you, it may feel like jibberish, or maybe you can relate to it depending on how you’re feeling right now. Maybe you’re reading it while you’re waiting somewhere trying to kill some time, or you accidentally clicked your way here and are caught in the middle of this paragraph and are too invested now to leave. I just want to use this space to reflect on things and get my thoughts out – afterall – this is what I started the blog for.

I used to write and take pictures about everything. There was a sense of joy when I got to share what I was up to in my life because there were people that were interested. That’s why people blog – because there’s a certain niche that is interested in knowing what’s going on with other people. It’s like a sort of free-ride voyeurism where I decide what to show you. It’s like an old-school Instagram/Tik-Tok where instead of watching, you’re reading. Kind of a lost art nowadays. I wish more people gave more capacity and time to write things rather than record things. When you read things, you decide how you feel as you’re doing it – you assume the tone and the emotion – and it’s all dependent on whether you are having a good day or a bad day. When you watch things, all of it is laid out for you already – there’s no brain power needed to watch a reel. The difference between the two is the level of emotion that is invoked during each activity. As you’re reading this, perhaps you’re relating or agreeing. Maybe you’re disagreeing and finding that you’re unsure what I’m rambling on about… The point is that there is some sort of thought.

I’m not in a mid-life crisis. I’m only 35. “Only?” you ask. Maybe I’m old depending on who’s reading this. I want to talk about how I feel – I feel complacent, happy and calm. I feel like I’ve reached the point in my life where some sort of Zen is all I want and feel because I’ve had so many hard years of learning how to get here. So many years of the devil on my shoulder telling me to feel jealous, angry, or upset about things that were outside of my control and then cooking myself over that same fire over and over again when really, all I needed to do was let go. Mind you, letting go is not easy when you’re young and you think everything is about you and everyone’s opinions and criticism chips away at you. Let me tell you – it isn’t and it shouldn’t. Letting go for me was realizing I could only control myself and how I felt towards people and circumstances. I can’t control what people think of me, of my things, my thoughts, my actions, or my life and so when you come to that hard realization, you’ll feel free.

As an example, there are times Diana would tell me a story about something that upset her or bothered her at work because someone did something and she was stewing over it. Many times, my answer would be like “but that’s not your problem?” or “but you can’t control that?”. And every time, she would say “I know” and my response would be “so then lets forget about it”. Instantly, the gas would shut off, the fire would dissipate and she would move on. It’s not about “not caring”, just to be clear. I care about a lot of things – my family, my self, my well-being, my family’s well-being. It’s more about not letting things that negatively impact the things I care about negatively impact me. Read that again. It can be things, people, attitudes… You name it. The way that I stay complacent, happy and calm is by focusing only on the closest things to me and ensuring they get 100% of my attention. I don’t mind other peoples’ business, I don’t compare myself to people. It might be brazen to say but the things I “don’t care” about are other peoples’ lives. That’s not to say I can’t be happy for you or share joy in your achievements, but at the end of the day, my happiness is what matters the most. In other words, your own happiness should be your number one priority and responsibility – however you get there is up to you.

I think social media has made it very difficult for people (myself, included) to find and marinate in their own happiness. Opening an app and seeing people make money, raise families, buy expensive things, eating at expensive restaurants, sharing their beauty and workouts, new cars, new parts… The amount of “good” things to take in within 5 minutes is underestimated and overwhelming. Imagine doing this hundreds of times a day – at one point, you’re bound to say “I need to workout”, “I need new clothes”, “I want to order takeout”, “I need to find new ways to make more money”, “I need to be a better parent”. All the needs and so little time. What happens when you have all these “needs” you think you need but can’t achieve them all right now? Feelings of conflict. Despair. Frustration. Cognitive dissonance. Maybe you didn’t think of that exact term, but that’s what it is. And if you don’t know how to disconnect or detach from what you’re seeing and what you’re feeling, you’ll never be 100% happy with yourself. It took me a long time to learn how to view it with a blank mind, so to speak. I relish in the truly happy moments for my close friends and I leave the rest behind with a swipe without a second thought.

The last thing for me was the realization that not everyone in your life is good for you; friends and family alike. I’ve always been the type to easily be able to disconnect from relationships if I felt that it wasn’t positive to me and it was good because it really helped me focus on good people and to seek positive relationships without much guilt. I think it’s important to be able to realize that and to let that go. The hard part for me is constantly trying to assess the relationships that we create and/or have and now not only figuring out how it impacts me, myself, and I but how does it impact Diana and the kids. These last few months, I’ve really had to do some soul searching, and a lot of the searching led me right back to these relationships on our front step all along. People don’t get a free pass because they’re blood or because they’ve known you for all their lives – they only got free entry. So many destructive relationships hide behind the mask of the loving, familiar face and I hate that because you have to lie to yourself that the mask is not really there. The hard part is not letting go; it’s telling yourself to stop giving excuses for someone else to be a part of your life when they really shouldn’t be. It’s a really hard thing to come to terms to because you say “but they’re family” or “but we’ve been friends for so long” and I often have to remind myself that people change just as I do and sometimes what was once good for your life can now be toxic.

Alas, let’s have some final thoughts together cause I’m feeling good about where we are. It’s taken me a long damn time to really feel comfortable in myself and my life and not having to worry about things like followers and likes and making everybody happy at the sake of my own happiness. Man, if you’re at that place now or you found this garden of Zen sooner – I’m happy for you – because it’s truly a good place to be. If you’re not there yet and are seeking the way, I hope you get there with good people along the way. Social media is just entertainment – it’s not a life guide or a place for competition on who is living the best life even though we only share the best aspects of our life. I just want to take cool pictures and post dope videos and create wicked things. Destructive relationships are not confined to people you just met – they can exist in all people and it’s important you filter them out somehow. They are an unnecessary burden that don’t deserve your shoulder. To all the people in our circle – I’m glad you’re here and thank you for inspiring W’s over L’s.

Thanks for reading. Maybe I’ll find some time to blog again in the next year LOL