2015, Oni's Life

Medical leave, thank you, and a quick, update for people who donated

Hi guys. As you know it has been tough for me lately. I’ve posted before that I have lost much of my vision. When I did that I received so many messages from you guys demanding to know where you all could donate to help me pay for the surgery that – if all goes well – will save my sight.

Actual picture of my eye surgery procedure (not really):


Prismacolor colored pencils and gamsol wash with a q tip ^

I wasn’t planning on taking up a collection, but I received so many emails and complaints from you guys demanding that I do one that I was all like


So I let people know that the tip jar on this blog goes directly to me. Within hours we had very much exceeded the $5000 cost of my surgery and I had a PO Box full of cards and stuff from my Amazon Wishlist.

It took me some weeks to write this post because I honestly didn’t have words and needed time to process it. Most of my life has been pretty tough so I’m not used to kindness. I’m used to being the one who is being kind.

So thank you – all of you. It means a lot.

My first surgery will be on 13 January. They will tell me when the second one is on the 14th, but both will be done within 7 days. My vision is so bad that if they only do one eye I will have large images in one eye and small images in the other. I will not be able to live a normal life between each operation. I’ll post updates as I can on this.

Specifically for donations related to this eye surgery time period I am creating a password protected page for you guys. On that page will be a selection of new art, formatted in wallpapers for you to use on your various devices or computer desktops – and anything else I can think of to give to you to show my gratitude. I had to stop making art due to my medical situation and because of you all I will be able to do it again. If this works out I may just figure out a system to do this for donations all year that grants time frames to people who contribute amounts. But anyone who contributes anything will get in for now. :)

In fact, for EVERYONE here’s a previously unreleased sketch of a 1 page comic I did before I retired from cartooning. This one never got produced and it makes absolutely no sense as usual. Click for larger:

unreleased comic

I personally like to bypass 3rd party crowdfunding sites and keep it as close to my self-hosted site as possible because 3rd party sites take a cut of what you receive.

You can still and always contribute to my work via this blog to get access to the secret page. Please note that I am working right now with only about 1/4 of my vision left and so it may take until January/February for me to get all of this new art together. If you haven’t donated but want in on this you can still contribute:

1. My mailing address is:

Oni Hartstein
PO BOX 1392
Highland Park, NJ 08904

2. My Amazon wish list is here.

3. If you’d like to donate at any time you can use my Tip Jar link:

The extra money over my medical costs will go to the community and not to my wallet. It will be used to help me bring more to the community by helping fund the humanitarian events that I produce.

For 7 years now I’ve been working for free creating events that truly elevates artists, held mentor sessions with all who ask at my events for free. In many cases I’ve been in a situation where I have to pay out of my own pocket in order to work on these projects, but I believe the impact we have had is worth it. We get people going to college, and help people who have a need for it find their own community and family. The best part is that we do it all with a focus on Art and Technology, so there’s really no limit to what we can accomplish.

This is why donating is still relevant. Not only will you get some cool art that no one else has, but you will be supporting things like the new Children’s Track at (Re)Generation Who this year and the educational workshops at Intervention.

For new readers – (Re)Generation Who: The Doctor Who Convention (takes place this March 18-20 in MD so register now) and my awesome multi-genre artist art / tech makerspace and festival Intervention (takes place this August 16-18 in Rockville, MD, registration goes up in January for Intervention.)

I’d also like to specifically thank:

Cat for sending me the Hamilton soundtrack

Missy and Gillian for sending me a Shure SM-58 mic each to replace the ones that went missing at my cons years ago

Brian for sending me Deathwish Coffee and a sweet Unicorn mask


I am mostly on medical leave now from the internet and can’t easily go out to cover events. My apologies to everyone who I had to turn down this year. I barely made it through Haunt Season and it seemed that every month the lights were noticeably dimmer and dimmer. I’ll still post here as much as I can and will return to normal after my surgery mid January. Please make sure to bookmark my blog and/or add this to your RSS. I’ll be posting quick updates on my personal Facebook which I use as a public fan page so you are more than welcome to check in on me over there. I don’t think I’ll be gone for long. I’m too much of an obsessive overachiever. :)

Thank you to everyone. Happy Christmas, Happy Holidays, and may you and your family have an amazing end of the year. I care about you more than you know – even the people I haven’t met yet.

Why? Because the fact that you read what I write means we connect on some level. I appreciate that immensely. <3