Exit Within: the Gallegos Blog

Bi-weekly musings, artwork, art-talk, and randomness.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Summertime Rolls

Mid-August? Can it be? :-\

As I continue preparing for my show at Krab Jab Studio, it means a lot of my work, including artwork, is kinda being reserved for that. But there are some things I can show!

"The Next Level: Player One"
8x8" oils over acrylic on panel
Available at everydayoriginal.com

I said I wouldn't post all my hardware paintings here, and I won't. They'll continue to live at heartsforhardware.com but I thought I'd post this one here for two reasons. First, because it's the first of these paintings to be made available for sale, with another 16 or so going to my show at Krab Jab. Second, because the photo does a good job of showing the painting sort of "in the wild." In this case, everything in the photo was part of what was actually used in the making of the painting. Even the cartridge? Well, in the sense of yes, the pattern on the tiles under the controller is clearly homage to that most famous game (and seen on the label).

I've continued working on a series of black and white illustrations, with one left to go. I've been posting progress shots on my Instagram on occasion.

"The Guardian"
8x12" pencil on paper
Available for $150

There's a lot more to do, so I'll get back to it. Next time I post will probably be from Seattle as I set up my show. Hope to see some of you there on Saturday Sept. 12 for the opening!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hearts for Hardware

Friends, I'm happy to introduce you to a new side project I've been working on. It's a series of paintings called, "Hearts for Hardware."

"The New Standard, Player Two"
8x8" oils over acrylic on panel

The genesis (ahem) of it was rooted in my dabbling with still life paintings the past couple of years, which itself was an outgrowth of having spent dozens upon dozens of hours working on my painting Alieis. One thing I've really enjoyed about still life painting is the way in which, as an artist, painting objects really causes you to see them for the first time again, in ways you never did, as I seek to document using paint. But, what is maybe more interesting is that once a thing is painted and hung on a wall, the viewer also experiences a change in how they view the object.

The act of painting, and then framing and hanging as a work of art disrupts the way you normally view the thing painted in real life. Suddenly the viewer is also confronted with the object, perceived for its own qualities. If there are emotional attachments to the object, they are considered anew.

All this led to me pulling out video game hardware I had on-hand, and applying the above to another area of life I really enjoy but get decreasing amounts of time to pursue. :-(

Ever since I was very young, I not only played video games but also devoured magazines and the like devoted to games--and we're talking in the early 80s, before all the magazines most of you are thinking of. I was a fourth grader conversant on raster vs. vector-based graphics, I had a catalog in my mind of developers and what games they were responsible for, and many, many other geeky things. I should not know as much about old Japanese hardware that never made it to the west as I do.

(L:) 9-year old me picked up this and other magazines at the grocery store. My mom was nice and let me buy them. They kept me occupied while we shopped at Alpha Beta. There were no mobile devices to distract your kids back then.

I never owned even a fraction of all that was ever produced (but secretly I wanted it all), but I've been a gamer starting with those old black-and-white pong clones that had the games built into the controllers, then with the Atari 2600 and all the way through the generational history of gaming, stopping with the last gen as I have not upgraded to anything since--my backlog of games is so incredibly high that it seems futile currently.

So, Hearts for Hardware has turned into a side project that allows me to touch base with this abiding love I have for games. It even has its own website: heartsforhardware.com

I'll be posting there regularly, and will maybe do some roundup posts here or as news relates, but I won't be muddying the waters here from my usual fare. I'll also report on new works in this series in my email newsletter, which you can sign up for at left. I currently have three other pieces up at the new site, so go take a look!

The works presented will be on display and for sale as part of my solo exhibit, "Level Up," held at Krab Jab Studio in September. I'll be peppering the new site with new images between now and the show, and leaving a few for view there first.

I hope you enjoy the series and that it also brings back as many fond memories as it does for me. Game on.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Level up All the Things

Greetings from California! A new show, a bigger home, a better studio, better pricing on signings. Truly, I've managed to level up a lot of things recently.

Solo Exhibition: "Randy Gallegos: Level Up"
Krab Jab Studio, Seattle WA

September 12th - October 3rd
Opening Reception: Saturday, Sept. 12th, 6-9pm
Artist Talk at 7:30pm

I am super excited to announce this Solo Exhibition. Krab Jab Studio is an exciting working studio and exhibit space, that I had the privilege of showing at a few years ago as part of a group show on role-playing game art. I visited Seattle for the opening and wrote about it here. With the help of the indefatigable and talented Julie Baroh, we are putting together a show I'm very excited about. I haven't hung a show this large in ever--the nearest was my Guest of Honor stint at LunaCon in 2014. In a sense, my recent show in NYC was a smaller dry run for how to manage and make sense of a show that hangs art of disparate subject matter in a cohesive way.

Krab Jab has been mounting increasingly impressive shows the past few years. With a lot of work, I hope to help them keep their momentum going.

There will be much more about this show in coming weeks, and I will also explain shortly why there is a Dual Shock Controller hanging there in between Glossai Pyros and Embryonic, incongruously.

The point for now is this: put it on your calendar. Tell your friends. Save your money.

Card Signing Price Reduction

When I started signing cards again, I started charging. Part of the cost wasn't necessarily the time to sign them, but the time to send them back. Heading to the Post Office back in Manhattan was not fun and, on foot, not that close either. It punched a hole in my day, and depending on the size of the line, that hole could be significant. So I charged enough to cover that particular issue.

But, now that I have moved back to California, it turns out that the rural post office is not terribly far and is usually very quiet. So, that translates into reduced prices for signing going forward because I am not smart enough to enjoy the extra margin at your expense. Everything about how to get it done and how to get me to cover shipping is the same, but you can now get twice as many cards signed as before for the same price. So, go do it!

Cheap Ass approves of this offer.

Artist Proofs Update

I finally sat with my Big Box of artist proofs and cataloged them anew. That means prices have changed on quite a number of them as there are fewer of many than I thought. That means the prices have gone up, in case you were wondering. 

A few I discovered I had never added (6th Ed., M2014, Grimoire Thief). A few I had four or less of: I pulled those off the site. I'll do 2x2 or whatever size drawings on the backs and auction them off at some point. Also, I am officially caught up on my backlog of sketches as of this post.

(R: New whiteback sketch, fresh from CA)

Due to the aforementioned solo show and the referenced move, I am however upping the turnaround time for the summer to 60 days for sketches on whitebacks. I hope to go back to 30 days in the fall once I am past IlluXCon. So, feel free to fill up the queue again!

I Moved

It was ambitious to mount that smaller solo show in NYC right before taking a few days off with some friends, and then tearing down seven years of life in the Big Apple and moving back to my native California. When we left CA ten years ago in total, we got rid of most of our furniture and things and stored just one pod's worth of stuff, which included lots of art books and art supplies along with other household items we wanted to save. That means that moving back, we've been starting with very little again as we didn't ship back most of our furniture from our NYC apartment.

(L: The new studio before beginning work in it. And kitteh.)

This has resulted in a very significant logjam, time-wise, trying to get outfitted again to produce art. I'm just at the point where I can, and I still have a lot to do to get my studio where I want it, but I am back to having a sufficiently large and efficient studio after a decade. I'm very, very happy about that. I'm going to art so hard in this space. I'll write more about that as I get the space set up. But I already caught up on my sketch backlog, so that's a good start.

"Of Three Minds" In Review

I thought I would take a post to review the solo show from May. I counted it a success--thank you to those of you who purchased original art from the show. By the time I get to this review now it might be August. Hopefully you'll still find it interesting then.

One Fantastic Week, Ep. 76

I didn't get a chance to mention it here before, but I spent an hour with Pete and Sam on this video podcast chatting illustration and art and hotdogs at the end of May. If you haven't seen it, you can totally do that right now, right here, if you can get past the goofy cover frame:

Ok people, that's all for today. Though the last blog post, which was the catalog for "Of Three Minds" was intended to last a month while a lot of this stuff went on, it was dated May 9th. Hopefully this summary post makes it clear that I have not been sitting around sipping the vino out here in wine country. Well, I did sip some vino, but you know what I mean. I'll expand on this stuff soon! It's nice to see you again.

Getting Cards Signed By Mail

Update July 2015: New pricing
 I signed cards by mail from the time I started illustrating through to about 2003 or so. It always seemed like the nice thing to do, so I did. However, it was always a bit of a headache, with occasions of genuine enjoyment. There were some letters which accompanied the signing requests which were personal, even hand-written, and interesting (not to mention genuinely flattering). It was always a pleasure to sign for those folks. Then there were the bulk of signing requests which were impersonal, sometimes humorously, sometimes insultingly so, considering it was done on my free time.

Under the best of circumstances, there were often problems with return postage, cards getting buried in the to-do pile (sometimes for a long, long time), people who individually sleeved 40 cards, or any number of oddities, that I just finally stopped doing it.

I've toyed here and there with just charging for signing by mail and being done with it. It would make it worth my while to do, bearing in mind that some people don't live near anywhere I've signed recently, for instance. As well, I know that some folks who request signatures in-person or by mail then flip some or all of the cards online and make a small amount of markup off my free time. I can't stop them, nor do I really want to. But I can reduce the incentive, I suppose.

So, I have decided to sign by mail again. It will work this way: I am charging $1 $.50 per card you want signed, with no limit. If it's worth your money to have me sign as many cards as you feel like sending, it will be worth my time to sign them and return them promptly.

USA only: get just a few cards signed
You must include a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) with sufficient postage, otherwise your package will sit in the bin of forgotten cards and extra earbuds that came with various electronics, until that issue is rectified. Eventually, those may be tossed in the trash. I will sign your cards, put the package in the mailbox and it will go where you address it, provided there is enough postage to get it there. You're paying, so return is prompt.

I am sorry, but this few-cards method is only for the USA.


USA only: At $20 or more
If you s(p)end more than this minimum, then I will cover your postage for you. I will reuse your packaging and ship your cards home with delivery confirmation.

Sorry, but for international requests, I have a minimum of $50 purchase. I will reuse your packaging and ship your cards home, airmail. I will pay for return shipping.

Why so much more for international? Because I have to go to my post office to send them, which means going there, standing in line, filling out customs forms and also paying shipping.

Extra notes:
If you can't make either of these minimums, gather up cards from friends and send together. Still can't quite make the minimum internationally? Well you can just pay the extra to qualify. Either form of return mail will generate a receipt that the package was sent. I will not be responsible if the package is lost in the mail for whatever reason, but I'll guarantee that they shipped. If you require that your return package be insured (USA), then you still have to include an appropriately-done SASE including insurance. Why? Because if the package is lost, I don't want to have to go through insurance claims.

Send payment first, via PayPal at the link below. When payment is received, you'll receive the mailing address. Please do your fellow players a favor and don't post the address online--if people start sending me cards without following these directions, their cards will go in the Bin of Earbuds. Maybe the trash, eventually.

Once you're ready, hit up this page, add a card to your cart, then increase to the number of cards you want signed, and pay. Include a printed receipt with your cards so I remember you paid, and this way you send no cash by mail. That's never a good idea.

That's it! Cards signed by mail. $.50 a card. Pay online. Include receipt. Pack it up well. No individual sleeves. SASE (USA, under $20). Send it off. Receive them back, signed. You fund my coffee habit, ensuring new art gets made. Either way, smiles for all.

Get your cards signed!