My name is Jason Fleurant. Most know me as JaFLEU the creator of TREAL TOONZ. I'm a self-taught artist, animator & filmmaker that created an animated series called "Peanut Headz: Black History Toonz". I taught myself animation to share the black stories I found. Stories that we never get to hear about. Stories showing us why representation matters and how we are more than what the world tells us.
In doing so, this animated series has gone on to win at film festivals ("Best Web Series" - Los Angeles Motion Picture Festival), featured on SoFlo PBS (Filmmaker Project), screened internationally ("ANIMATOR Film Festival" -Poland, "Lima Web Fest" - Lima, Peru [Nominated "Best Art Direction"]) and most notably/proudly we were nominated for "Outstanding Animated Series" for the 53rd NAACP Image Awards!!!
All of which was done completely independently, with no significant support other than being distributed on the Indie Black-Owned streaming platform, kweli TV.
Everything has been self-finance through hustling my art and side projects. I never had intentions of being the next Disney or Dreamworks Animation Studio. My goal was to use my gifts to share these stories, and all the great responses/validation have been a fire.
The thing is, it's time-consuming, and I'm not working with the most up-to-date equipment. And all of the animating, editing, writing, marketing, and everything else you can think of outside voicing a few of the characters fall squarely on my shoulders. Because it is my vision at the end of it all, I cannot expect others to want to help push my mission/dream for free. Especially with how demanding it is.
Yet trying to fund making this happen and pay bills is the struggle. So I decided I'd reach out to the masses. A close mouth doesn't get fed, right?
The goal is to raise 25,000.
My intention is to 1) be able to pay my fantastic voice cast, who have stuck by me from the jump and lent me their gifts.
Next would be to upgrade from the hand-me-down laptop I was blessed with to an actual PC capable of handling the workload without crashing so that I can get the work out quicker. Lastly, It would be used to take care of bills to focus without fear of not being able to handle things and hire another animator or two, so I no longer have the sole pressure of getting it all done.
I started Treal Toonz in 2016. In March 2018, I began the process of learning to animate. Now here, March of 2022. Treal Toonz has accomplished so much of the strength of my pencil and the support of the people. All to SHARE BLACK STORIES.
I'm going to keep doing so, I started doing it with nothing, and I'll continue because this is why I'm here. This is my service to the world, my mission. And as Nina Simone said, "We gonna do everything from the HeART and do it GOOD!"
So I hope that my story will inspire you and others to help support us in making and sharing OUR Stories. Because if we don't... who will?
Be Safe & Stay Treal!
Learn more about us here Watch Treal Toonz