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Benjamin (full name Benjamin Eren Robinson; born March 4, 1974 in Oakville, Ontario, Canada), is an artist (including animal and anthropomorphic themes) and graphic web designer by career. He founded and administrated furry.ca, serves as a wizard on Sociopolitical Ramifications (SPR) MUCK, maintains his own furry artwork gallery named StripeyManey, administrates several related websites and his fursona is a liger.
Benjamin was raised in the suburban towns surrounding Toronto. Benjamin continued his education after high school, having begun studies at the University of Toronto's Erindale Campus (in Mississauga) in the autumn of 1994, in their Art & Art History (Fine Arts) programme. He later graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in that same programme, in the Spring of 1997.
Having drawn for all of his life, Benjamin is a well-practiced and accomplished furry artist. He had begun drawing at a young age and continued to refine his skills right through to high school, where he had begun taking as many art classes at school as was possible to get into. Under the recommendation of one of his high school teachers, he enrolled in a fine arts programme at university to further broaden his artistic horizons and refine his skills and talents.
During university, Benjamin was introduced to the brushed ink medium which he had quickly incorporated into his style for finishing his furry artwork. In fact, much of Benjamin's early painted artwork was done in the furry theme, for drawing classes in his university programme.
Benjamin graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art & Art History from the University of Toronto. Since his graduation, he has further developed his skills, continuing to primarily use the brushed ink medium along with watercolour painting in order to finish his artwork.
Benjamin prefers to draw in a realistic fashion, completing his works with real media. This is done for the simple reason that Benjamin likes to draw his subjects as they may be seen if they were to exist in the real world, given realistic proportions and details. He is best known for his artwork of anthropomorphic big cats, especially lions. These particular subjects are chosen by the artist for spiritual and aesthetic reasons.
In recent years, much of Benjamin's creative energy has gone toward his graphic web design practice. He has developed several furry community web sites, his own gallery/personal site, as well as several commercial sites done for various clients.
You can find Benjamin's furry artwork and web design references residing at his personal website named StripeyManey. Some of the work there ranges from his high school years, through his university career, and the years that follow the completion of his formal education.
He attributes December 26, 1994 as being the day in which he first found out about the furry fandom, once he had stumbled upon a dial-up BBS called The Trap Line, based out of nearby Toronto. His early online presence reflected his love for the 1994 hit movie, The Lion King, by use of a lion for his chosen species and normally using "Simba" (like the TLK character), or a variation thereof, for his nickname.
It was through the dial-up SLIP connection available Toronto's Erindale Campus through which Benjamin got his first taste of furry Internet life. Through this service, using the telnet, Benjamin acquired his first MUCKing character at FurryMUCK on February 22, 1995.
In March of 1997, Benjamin was invited to become the building wizard of FurryFaire, a medieval-themed 100%-furry MUCK. He accepted the offer and remained on the wizard staff there until 2005, when he left the MUCK due to an eventual lack of interest. After a span of being a trusted HelpStaffer on Sociopolitical Ramifications, Benjamin had been promoted to wizard status in the autumn of 1997. He continues to hold this position at SPR to this day.
After a fair bit of self-exploration, species-trial, soul-searching, deep thought and reflection, Benjamin had come to the conclusion that his now current species, the liger, was what best suited him. This revelation developed in the late Summer and early autumn of 1997.
During the transition time of his fursona, Benjamin had acquired what is currently known as FurryIM and began to grow that project into a more successful furry resource.
It was also roughly at this time that Benjamin got involved in the administration of Feral!, as the advertising director and web site developer. During his time with this organisation, he had created its logo, designed and/or maintained its online presence, and designed its con books, among other things. He even led various art-related workshops at Feral!, imparting his knowledge and experience to fellow furs in attendance. Benjamin's involvement with Feral! continued until January of 2002, when he resigned his committee position for reasons not worth mentioning here.
FurryIM had also declined to a state of disrepair by late 2002, due to a lack of time to manually update its database. Demand became too high for it to be efficiently maintained.
On July 1, 2000, Benjamin had acquired the domain name of stripeymaney.com to which his furry art gallery and personal (vanity) site migrated.
Later that same year, on December 8, 2000, Benjamin had acquired the domain name furry.ca under the recommendation from MelSkunk that this would be a great place to house his Canadian furry related web sites. Furry.ca has since then grown to include a web ring, banner exchange, message board, and various other bits of furry information that would be beneficial primarily to Canadian furries.
In November of 2002, Benjamin discussed with WhiteShepherd the installation of proper forum software on Furtopia to replace the older, less useful bulletin board scripts that were previously in use. On November 25, 2002, an Ikonboard was installed on the server with its skin graphics, logo design, and so on designed by Benjamin. The logo and header graphics were so popular that they were later adapted to the main Furtopia site and used in the first t-shirts to be produced as a fund-raiser for this furry ISP. Benjamin continues to serve as administrator on the furtopia.org forums he had founded.
In late January of 2004, Benjamin moved from his home of Burlington, Ontario, Canada, to Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, residing in a home simply referred to as "The House". This move let him be with his mate, Sedyah, and become part of her family. In May of 2007, the household moved to a new home in Coniston, Ontario, Canada, which is a small town that lies just East of Sudbury. Later that year, Benjamin had moved out on his own to a nearby apartment in town, yet continues to be a member of the family.
StripeyManey is the name given to Benjamin's anthropomorphic animal art gallery, located at stripeymaney.com. It plays home to Benjamin's artwork, photography, writing, resume, links, forums, liger information, and so on. It also hosts some guest artwork, featuring the talents of Bloodhound, EbonyTigress, Scheriff, Xtro, and Zeiros. Essentially, StripeyManey is a personal site which features Benjamin's various projects he works (or has worked) on.
The origin of the name, StripeyManey, is fairly simple. It was intended as a playful yet dignified and distinct description of the artist's fursona, being as "stripey as a tiger" and "maney as a lion". It is also hoped that the name is memorable, to help visitors return every so often.
The design of the central section of the site was modelled after the biography that Benjamin had created for the Feral! 2001 Survival Guide. When it was first created, on October 9, 2001, it was viewable in Microsoft Internet Explorer, yet the CSS and HTML used in it were too advanced for the then aging, outdated, and unpopular Netscape 4 (Mozilla) to properly display it. Despite this, Benjamin kept the design and waited for Mozilla to catch up with the current web trends. Fortunately, the new, much-awaited Mozilla had just begun development at that time.
Some have mistaken the name, StripeyManey, to be a direct representation of Benjamin himself, but this is actually not the intention. It is sometimes used as an original instant messenger handle, which has occasionally led to this confusion.
- Simba: Benjamin's earliest BBS nick name, borrowed from The Lion King and frequently used on the various dial-up BBSs he had visited. This name was eventually acquired for use on multiple MUCKs that he uses. Simba, as Benjamin plays him, has always been a bipedal anthro lion of Benjamin's own original creation.
- King_Simba: Benjamin's first MUCK nick name, at FurryMUCK. It was taken since the proper Simba was already in use by someone else.
- Simba-Ra: Inspired by a character he had played in the Rifts RPG, this was a giant lion not unlike the Ramen (not noodles) who had served as knights to the god of Light, Ra.
- Skullcrusher: A giant anthro tiger that was played on various MUCKs. Quite large and a bit on the slow side. The name was actually taken from an obscure New Order song.
- Atrox: A giant ice age lion of the species Panthera atrox, which were lion-like felines that had resided in North America up to 10 000 years ago. This character was not played for very long at all.
- Simba: See above. This nick is still often used by Benjamin. Some Toronto furs still refer to Benjamin as Simba, as well.
- Benjamin: Not really a nickname, per se. It's actually his RL self's given name. Benjamin is, of course, a liger.
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