J-Tooned: Car Toon-Up Specialist – Another Chapter

Hey everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts again… I’ve been pretty busy with doing a bunch of toons for you guys over on Instagram and I basically never have any time to do much else. I’m either tooning or spending time with the family and then getting like an hour of game time (Genshin Impact FTW) in per day and that’s pretty much it before the gas tank runs on fumes.

In the last few weeks, I put myself on a hiatus on the custom car toons to try and give myself a break but of course, my mind goes elsewhere and before I know it, I’m doing something else when I should just be chillin.

Anyway, I just want to go wayyyy back to the start of all this. The reason I got an iPad in the first place was so I could create stuff – I didn’t know what I wanted to create (which is a problem in and of itself) – and so I ended up spending a lot of time going through ideas that just never got to become anything. Over the last few years (YES, years), I went through stages of motivation and discouragement… Picking it up again to create and putting it down again because nothing came of it. Art block.

In the last 9ish months in “quarantine” or “COVID lockdown”, I’ve had a little more time to really just spend on developing my skills and trying to get to a place of inspiration. By accident one day, I decided to toon my own car just to see what I could do. One thing led to another and here I am today – tooning the world’s coolest cars (your cars) and creating what I’ve been longing to create for a long freaking ass time. When you’re on this journey of trying to find your style, you never really know when you’re going to get there until you’re actually there.

Anyway, here is what I’ve been (unknowingly) working towards these last few months. Huge thanks to JC – he’s literally been like my creative director whenever I come to an art block and he helps me come out of it with no effort at all. I asked him for a new name for my new venture and within a few minutes, this is what he came up with. So I take no credit for this except for the design! I know he knows the pain I’ve been going through the last few years because I’ve brought this up to him many times…

Technically I could have just kept it linked to lifewithjson but I felt like it deserved something fresh. So with that, I introduce you to “J-Tooned: Car Toon-up Specialist” – a new chapter of lifewithjson. I don’t know where it’ll go and I don’t know exactly what I’m doing but I’ll let it evolve into whatever it decides to – much like lifewithjson 12 years ago.

One of the first things coming down the pipe are some peeker stickers. I’m not going to show all of them cause I want them to be a surprise at launch but I’ve been working tirelessly to try and get these ready for the new year. I think you guys will really like these – whether for use on your cars, laptops, or wherever you wanna slap them.

I really wanted to create something that was iconic and recognizable and I think this hits the mark.

I will be releasing 4 sets of different automotive-themed peeker stickers. Each set will include 4 distinctive cars that have either gone down in history as some of our most sought-after vehicles, some that have become tuner favourites, and others that have become a newly created icon that has broken the chains of being stuck as a cookie cutter build. In total, 16 cars will be released. 2 of the 16 are pictured above. If you follow me on instagram, you may have seen previews of other designs but that’s the most I’ll be posting :).

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be working on setting up the online shop, putting finishing details on the sets and then be ready for orders ASAP. Thank you guys so far for the crazy overwhelming support over the last few months. Without the work you’ve given me, I wouldn’t have been able to hone my skills to get to this point. I’m super excited and I hope you are too!

Watch for the drop!

My Digital Art Journey and More Car Toons!

I’ve been pretty busy again with tooning all your cars so I decided to just share a few here if you don’t follow me on Instagram. I had stopped for a little bit because we were busy with moving and now that we’re finally all settled in, I opened up commissions again.

I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone so far that’s reached out and supported me with these toons. I started this with a few people’s cars randomly because they knew I could draw and I thought I’d give it a shot. I never really tooned cars before and prior to all of this, cars were really difficult for me to draw because of proportions and making them look like the actual car they’re supposed to look like.

So I ended up giving it a shot a few times and I honestly stumbled upon this style accidentally. It’s such a weird and awesome coincidence for me because for short time that I was dabbling in digital art, I was really struggling to find my “style”. Lots of times, I was struggling to hide my style by masking it and copying someone else’s but it never really satisfied me because it wasn’t truly “mine”. There’s a big difference when you can create art from scratch and not from “stealing” if that makes sense.

I think if you are into digital art, you’ve probably come across the same predicament that I’ve mentioned above. All while trying to be original – it’s a really frustrating black hole to be in, to be honest.

Anyway – after just testing my tooning with a few friends’ cars, I just eventually developed a style that I vibed with and I just ran with it. I think that was kind of my turning point in digital art and it may not be much, but it was super refreshing for me because I was able to start creating something from scratch that was appealing. I know a lot of people have sent me DM’s on how to do this or where to start and I don’t know if I can honestly tell you – like me, you just gotta keep at it and eventually you’ll find what you like and are good at. Whether you know how to draw already or not – everyone starts somewhere… You just gotta start.

So, I’ve been busy tooning a bunch of cars and sometimes I get to a point where I’ve got such a huge backlog that it stresses me out but at the same time, I’m super grateful for all the work. Thank you everyone again for the support! I really love all the unique cars and challenges coming through.

 

 

Custom Toons Showcase

You guys have been keeping me hella busy lately with all the requests for toons. I feel like I work during the day and then I’m drawing the rest of the evening! Not that I’m complaining – it’s totally sweet being able to toon for you guys and I appreciate the huge support over the last few weeks.

I only really share them as stories on Instagram, so I thought I’d share them here so you can see them on your monitors too. I know it may not seem like it, but there’s a lot of detail in a lot of these cars – whether it’s from all the different shades of colours to little pieces on cars that make it unique – I really try to get in and capture those details in the toons.

For those of you wondering, I’m using my iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil with Procreate. I was thinking about putting together a video or a tutorial on the steps if you’d like to try it yourselves whenever I have time…¬† Anyway – here’s a few of my favourites over the last few weeks!

Darin’s Mugen TSX full toon. You rarely see a clean TSX – let alone a Mugen one. Super clean and fun to do this one. This one was fun to do to add the show lights into the toon as well to try and mimic real paint.

Philip’s M3 Sedan on Bronze TE37’s. Another super clean build that I really love.

Phil’s Spoon S2000. I incorporated a ton of layers into this – you’d think black would be easy but when you shoot a black car with a polarizer, tooning it means tons of shading.

Steve’s S2000 in yellow. I really loved the gradation in this with the dark corners.

Suyang’s amazing RE RX7 with a full toon. The RE RX7 has always been one of my childhood favourites so it was awesome to be able to toon one.

Derek’s boosted FR-S. A bit nostalgic for me to do an FR-S… The blues were fun in this one.

Mike’s Ghia with a shot I took years ago! This was super awesome to do with the rust and the green paint. I wish he had kept building this…

Steve’s M3 on TE37’s. Another fun one to do.

Van Russell’s Focus RS. This was one of the first toons I had where I incorporated the oil slick reflection in the headlights. A cool learning experience and something I have learned to love doing!

The first toon after mine that I did was Eric’s S15. One of the cleanest S15’s around.

Kenji’s 4Runner full toon. This one was proabbly the most involved and intricate with all the details in the grill, lights, front bumper and tires. Turned out amazing!

A full toon of a Ford GT350R. Carbon splitter and intricate reflections… Also that blue *heart eyes*

Tommy’s GT-R Sedan half toon. So fun doing rollers and the yellow reflection in the pain added some awesome effects.

Posh Detailing’s McLaren half toon. Learned a lot from this one with the rain effects and the lighting.

Peter’s FR-S half toon. This one had an interesting array of colours – from white, gray and blue. Came together perfectly.

This was an interesting toon of Ryan’s Celsior. I ended up changing the rear Bazreia’s to gold as he got them refinished after this shot was taken. Turned out rad.

Mike’s Civic Sedan full toon. Loved doing this one – from the DC5 Mugen-style wing to the grill fins and foglight intake.

Adrean’s Altezza in the sunset. Super fun doing sunset toons.

Another challenging one for me because this included lots of yellow on the right side which meant mixing colours properly to achieve the right effect. Another one that had a ton of layers to get right.

Bill’s Focus half toon. Again, gradation in the yellow looks so good!

Sue’s Focus hatch – also I cursed those wheels. LOL

Sue’s S13-vert in red. Classic cars are the best to do.

Spencer’s BMW 3-series half toon.

 

Something a little different – Chantelle’s dog, Chopper. This one was super fun to do with a TON of layers to ensure I was getting all the colours accurately and properly. I think I re-did this one a few times trying out different methods until I got what I wanted.

And last but not least – full custom toons… These ones are super fun for me to do because I can add my own style into it and make it how I see fit. From drawing all the little custom bits that people have on their cars to playing with different shapes and angles to make it really look cartoony.

In Philip’s M3 – parts like the hood hump and the whole front end were super fun to do. I always loved this gen and it was cool to do. The Volk bronze is challenging because it requires like 6-7 different shades of bronze/brown to bring it all together to look like that.

Darin’s Mugen TSX also fully custom tooned. Again, fun to do something different with the Mugen kit and add in the Spoon BBK…

If you enjoyed these, feel free to reach out to me for a toon if you’re interested! One thing I will say is these are most definitely, absolutely, positively¬†not free. I always chuckle to myself when people DM me and ask to get a toon and start sending pics through Instagram and then I tell them to email me the pic and the money and they just peace out like they didn’t message me first and I never hear from them again.

That’s cool and all and I understand that not everyone wants to pay for these kinds of things, but I also don’t think you can go and ask for a service and assume it’s free either. Like most things, this takes time and as you all know – time is money. I don’t want to come off as a money mongering dude – I definitely am not – just saying if you put yourselves in my shoes, you probably wouldn’t spend hours of your time doing stuff for free for the public either.

Rant over. Enjoy!

ArtWithJson?

This winter, lifewithjson turns into artwithjson lol. Like I mentioned in the previous post – I’ve been spending a ton of time on my iPad practicing my drawing/painting/creative skills. I’ve really been on a good roll lately – some days I’ll be doing something that will inspire me and some days I’ll sit there with a blank canvas. On those days, I just draw things that I enjoy because that’s what comes easy to me. Creating “new” art is difficult because composition and colours and lines all have to come together perfectly to eventually become something awesome.

The last few days I’ve spent my time drawing Sephiroth. For those of you that don’t know – he’s the main antagonist from the original Playstation game – Final Fantasy 7. Literally one of the most iconic games that has ever been released, in my opinion and 15 years later – still has a big impact on my vision of what a great game should be. Sephiroth and Cloud are two of my most favourite fictional characters because their stories and the lore behind them is so deep and entangled with detail and complexity.

Anyway, I could talk about how FF7 is the best game endlessly but I’ll stop. The piece below is kind of a combination of everything that I’ve been learning for the last few weeks and I’m pretty proud of it. I know in a year from now, I’ll look back and laugh at it but for now, I am content. It helped me bring together my inking and painting skills and the use of background and foreground (as simple as it is). I’m still working on creating faces that trigger specific feelings and emotions and painting them properly to give depth with light and shadows.

I know most of you probably aren’t as interested in art as you are with cars but this is “life”withjson after all. LOL
Hoping I can create more this year…

Feedback? Tips? I’m open! Diana just says it looks good. She would say that if I drew a stickman. So sidenote: your wife/SO is not a good form of criticism because they love you too much to hurt your feelings.