I lost in rapid succession my two queens, a 17-year-old Siamese-mix and a fun-loving rescue cat. They were my partners through thick and thin and outside of my own human children they were my world. I was a single father at the time raising two children and the five us were an inseparable family unit.
As the end of my kitties’ lives loomed up the vet bills piled up and nature took its course. I felt helpless. When the end of their lives come, they look to you for protection and comfort wondering why you can’t stop what is happening to them. I am not sure if it is just me and how I am wired but losing them hurt as much as losing one of my children. It was a very low point in my life.
I was not born into or blessed with riches. I was given two gifts above all else, imagination and intelligence. On that day I realized that even though I had no money and no artistic skill whatsoever, it was possible I could lead artists to my vision. I felt that if this was the gift, I was given above all else then why couldn’t I use it to help cats and the people that love and care for them?
On that day I was stuck by a bolt of lightning. I grabbed a napkin, and I scrawled out five simple boxes. I envisioned a content box, a social media box, a product box, and e-commerce block, and a philanthropy block. I envisioned these five boxes working together like an engine to produce a steady and massive revenue stream, and from that revenue stream drive a portion of the net proceeds to cat charities and even sometimes individuals in need. I challenged myself with a simple question, “How is it not this simple?”. Others had tried this model and succeeded, and most weren’t even helping cats in need. I knew in my heart at that moment I could make this work.
I set about on a journey to start an animation story property and an associated content engine which would drive free content to a dedicated social media audience completely bypassing the normal distribution the media entertainment complex provides. This would be regular people, cat lovers, providing fun and entertaining content to other cat lovers with no one in the middle.
There was one simple problem, I was an IT consultant with barely enough art skill to draw stick figures. I had zero experience, zero artistic skill and a near impossible task of building an animation empire from this black hole of talent I started with. I am no Seth Mc Farlane, in fact I am probably the artistic antithesis of him.
No matter how impossible this journey was going to be, I did not care. I found my purpose in life and I lost all hesitation. The impossibilities and near laughable goals did not phase me in the least, I was more focused on the kitties I loved and the river of money I knew I was about to bring them. There are charities everywhere with real people pouring their hearts our for cats and barely scraping by financially. I knew I could build something that would help.
The Jazzmine and Skeet project began in 2019. I started simply with my two kitties and the amazingly funny and complex personalities they had. I knew I had far more to develop than just these two characters. I needed to build a whole world. At the time I was sitting in my back yard on a summer day surrounded by animals. There were crows, lizards, hummingbirds, cats, dogs and a myriad of other animals. I pondered where I would find this universe not realizing I was surrounded by it. Soon I realized the entire world existed in my backyard and I watched it unfold every day. I had my world, now I had to bring it to life.
For the previous twenty-two years, prior to making the career switch to animation I was an enterprise information technology consultant. I designed, built and operated massive data center infrastructure for the largest corporations on the planet. Within this sphere I had access to all the tech money Jazzmine and Skeet would ever need. I built a business plan and shopped it to an industry that had already learned to trust me with near unlimited amounts of money and responsibility. They knew I would not fail here just like I had never failed before. We suddenly had access to big studio funding and the impetus to build whatever we needed to in order to meet our objectives.
Jazzmine and Skeet represents an amazing international cooperation. Since it’s inception in 2019 the project has been touched by artists from 40 countries. It has been completely crowd sourced from its inception, a testament to the power of the internet in the modern age. Whereas most animation ventures started with a single cartoonist, we had no such thing. I decided to lean into the weakness and make it a strength. I would have a large team of artists producing Jazzmine and Skeet art of various types and styles. So long as it meets our quality standards, we would embrace these different versions of the same world. The artistic diversity soon became our strength. The 40 flags below represent all the countries that participated in the Jazzmine and Skeet content universe project.
We have set extremely lofty goals. Our first goal is to raise one million dollars for cat charities and the people that run them. Not an impossible goal, but close enough we take it very seriously. We will achieve this near record setting rise for our story universe through grass roots efforts with cat lovers, solid guerilla marketing, and iron clad business acumen. We have taken on bigger before and succeeded, this will be no different.
In September 2022 we brought on Joshua Taback as Vice President of Content. Joshua has a phenomenal pedigree in the field of animation and was part of the original Simpson’s production team that we all fell in love with. Some very funny moments in the Simpson world came from the mind of Joshua. With this addition we now have real artistic leadership in the content engine of Jazzmine and Skeet. Although we have varying artistic styles in the mix, Joshua is the creative glue which holds all together to a single artistic quality standard.
In October 2022, Skeet finally went public on Twitter after almost 3 years in development. Jazzmine will be following Skeet into the Social Media fray soon after. We now have the daunting task of building a massive direct social media audience. Our goal is to reach one million social media content consumers across all platforms by the end of 2023. Again, not impossible, but near enough that we take this goal very seriously.
In October 2022 we also fired up our product engine and began developing products we will soon be bringing to market. In this endeavor we brought on Diane Cueva as Vice President of Merchandising. Diane has an exceptional pedigree in the consumer products space hailing from some of Colgate’s largest consumer products teams. What would appear from the outside as a tiny animation startup can actually punch far above its weight class and that will become evident very quickly as the Jazzmine and Skeet story unfolds to the public.