Hi, my name is Tacoma. Art is my greatest passion in life and I work to improve by drawing daily. Writing and illustration have always gone hand-in-hand for me and I've been doing both together for as long as I can remember.
I run a small yet active Discord server for people to chat and post memes while I share my art projects. My friends have described me as the lewdest person they know. I have an immature sense of humor, draw dicks on everything and possess a dong collection that would make Bad Dragon's Varka blush. I like meeting and talking to people, but prefer public channels over direct message.
I'm a gay, happily married bigender femme. Women make my heart glow, including transwomen (you ladies are kindred souls and I love you dearly). I used to be more active in the LGBT scene and ran a meetup org for local LGBT folks in the early 2000s.
My wife Lunati and I met on Furcadia in February of 2004. We talked every day, shared stories and helped each other through difficult times. In February 2006, I booked a flight to meet her in person and fell head over heels. I moved in with her some years later and, on February 14th 2016, we were married at the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory in St. Paul, Minnesota. After she lost her job in 2018, we made the hard decision to pack up and move to Florida with our two cats. We've endured a lot of grief since then, and unfortunately still don't have our own place, but we're planning to move by the end of 2020. I look forward to us having a home again.
I love computers and have been plotting to build an absolute beast of a gaming rig for the better part of a decade. Due to my current living arrangement I'm stuck with a laptop, but I made sure to get the very best I could for work and gaming.
Much of my inspiration came from the video games I grew up with. Raised in the 8-bit era, I spent most afternoons immersed in some Nintendo or SEGA title. Not many of my friends were artists, but everyone loved games. Whenever someone asked where I wanted to go as a kid, my answer was almost always the arcade. I still love gaming in my spare time and keep a list on Backloggery of games I've finished or am currently working through. If you enjoy the stuff in my library, feel free to add me on Steam.
I didn't have a computer at home until I was a teenager, so any digital art had to be done at school. As soon as I could get a copy of Photoshop, I took books out from the library and studied as much as I could. Despite owning several tablets, I still create the vast majority of my digital pieces with only my mouse. I've become incredibly efficient with it and can work faster with a good quality, high dpi mouse than any tablet I've tried.
The process of making pixel art is especially calming to me. I work one pixel at a time with sprites, gradually shading and adding texture, color and life. I have a massive folder of MSPaint doodles that I dig into when I'm in need of something relaxing to work on. Some even turn into refined, complete pieces. I also make a lot of quick, silly emojis and memes. Art lets me be playful and explore different themes, which is something I love.
My largest project is my Furcadia dream, Club Nimbus, which has been ongoing since 2004. I've enjoyed my time working on it, even if it's no longer being maintained. Come check it out if you're on Furcadia.
At 16, I picked up the Assembly language and tried my hand at making a little dungeon crawler-type game. It was honestly terrible, but I had fun putting it together. I'd later learn C++ and Python, both of which I'd have a smoother time with. When I joined Furcadia, I had no trouble with its DragonSpeak language which let me build Club Nimbus from the ground up. Lunati and I collaborated on entries for the 2013 Spring & Summer Dream Contests, the latter of which included a unique rpg battle system. Both of our entries won 1st place and, in 2016, my art appeared in an article on Kotaku.
Since 2000, I've been commissioned by more than 500 separate clients for all varieties of art including digital paintings, acrylic & oil paintings, full-color pencil work, pixel art, clean sketches, dirty sketches and everything in between. But unlike many artists, I never wanted commissions to become a full-time job. Not when I have so many fantastic characters of my own begging to have their stories told.
I've been active in the furry community since 1999, the year I introduced Tacoma to the world. I got involved with the Furry Fandom through the Sonic Fan Universe. My character, Tacoma, was exclusively anthro and inspired heavily by anime and cartoon "Sonic" styles which you can see in a piece of gift art I received here. As I grew older, Tacoma grew with me.
Tacoma's life began as a vanilla variety white tiger with black stripes. My first character was an eagle I wrote stories about when I was seven. I took the wings from the eagle, painted them the color of clouds and gave them to Tacoma. As I fleshed her out more, she evoked soothing feelings of snow, clouds and twinkling stars. In 2002, her stripes were changed to a bright sky blue to reflect that.
Every day, I doodled her on my school papers, folders and anywhere else I could. Tacoma was painted onto my skateboard, guitar and pc tower. Wherever I went, Tacoma followed closely. I sketched her out on restaurant napkins and shoes and backpacks. Her presence graced my top bunk in the homeless shelter, watching over me while I slept and guarding me from an attacker I couldn't escape.
Tacoma was always at my side, the image of perfection in my mind. Even after love faded and friendships crumbled, Tacoma remained my dearest friend and guardian angel. The more hardships I endured, the more Tacoma would grow in my heart. For the longest time, she was the only permanence and stability I had even when everything else in my life was falling apart.
The month before I turned 18, I had a dream that helped put me on the path to the life I wanted most. I'd just gone through a nasty breakup, there was constant fighting at home and I kept getting kicked out. Thankfully, this time I was lucky enough to stay with my grandparents instead of being shipped off to the girl's shelter. For the next few months, I battled depression, self-injury, self-hatred, and dissatisfaction with my own art. The last one hurt the most since art was my therapy. But Tacoma was still there, every day.
I spent the next six months keeping busy with coding, building and fixing pcs, relatively new hobbies I'd picked up due to pc troubles. I've always been the kind of person who would rather work hard at something than have someone else do it for me, no matter how difficult it might be.
I'm also a firm believer in having a solid backup plan, so I taught myself some valuable skills in case the whole art thing didn't work out. I still wanted it more than anything, but I was just one artist lost in a sea of other artists. I had no real role models, no help, no guidance. I didn't know how to promote myself, so I just continued to post. I uploaded art to VCL, DeviantArt and a host of other galleries. So big was my dream to be a popular and well loved artist that it invaded my subconscious dreams. I wanted the world to know Tacoma, how lovely she was, how she had saved my life many times and was worthy of more love than I could give her.
So, July of 2003 rolled around and I was about to have a dream that would change me forever. It was the best sort of dream a girl on the cusp of adulthood could have that made me vividly aware of what I wanted to pursue in my adult life. The clarity to know exactly what you want to do and become before turning eighteen isn't common, but she was there to guide me - a sexy white tiger with sky blue stripes, staring me down with a devious grin.
The dream started with me walking out to a mailbox. I turned the key and peered inside at a surprisingly thick stack of envelopes. They were addressed to Tacoma, the beloved tiger I'd been drawing every day for the past seven years. The envelopes held small amounts of donation money, a big relief at a time when I couldn't work. I'd made a website on geocities a few years prior, yet I couldn't afford a domain. But the dream world was finally giving me a break, so I took the first checks I received in the mail and bought a proper domain for my art site.
Now, in this dream I had a new girlfriend. She was a bit older than me, a sharp and assertive power-femme with an attitude that demanded respect and admiration from everyone around her. She lived alone in her apartment with just her three white cats. I was absolutely smitten with her. She'd been kind enough to take me under her wing and work with me on building and promoting my portfolio.
Weeks and months passed and I made a lot of progress toward my goals. My website hit over 3,000 daily views and I was ecstatic. I kept getting donations in the mailbox with money I could put towards a better computer, web hosting & art tools. I could finally stop building franken-pcs with scavenged scraps.
But the best part happened toward the end. I went out one day to the mailbox and to my amazement, there were larger envelopes inside. These didn't contain any checks or money, they held something much more precious. Art of Tacoma, drawn by people who liked my work and the stories I shared online.
Each day I'd walk out to the mailbox and there'd be a new stack of drawings, paintings and prints made for Tacoma in different styles and outfits, nude and having all kinds of fun with other chracters. People loved her and more art kept coming in, bit by bit, until an entire wall was covered with art people had made for her. My girlfriend moved out of her apartment and we got a new one together, where we filled our home with even more art.
So I woke up at seventeen with the answer to what I wanted to do and accomplish in my life. I had no idea just how I was going to fulfill all of it, but it's been 17 years later and I feel like I've made a lot of progress, even if events haven't transpired exactly the way I saw them. The solution, I feel, has been to keep doing my own thing. To reach out and meet more people, but refuse to let anyone get between me and my goals. To remember that I've been in charge of my own destiny the whole time. And while I don't know who the girlfriend in the dream was, I've always suspected that she's been my older, wiser self guiding me and the three white cats were representative of the three revisions Tacoma has undergone over time.
So I pour myself into art more and more. I make the life I wanted for myself. I commission other artists when I've got too much work to do. And as much as I love gifts and commissions, nothing will ever feel as authentic as giving life to my characters with my own hands. I'll always be grateful to my past self for taking her passion seriously and never giving up on her dreams.