Exit Within: the Gallegos Blog

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

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Making Good on Randomness

Up top there is the mention of this blog containing, "Randomness." But there hasn't been much in awhile. So here is a collection of random thoughts and news. In the past I might have made some of these (like new product details) their own posts. Going bi-weekly, that's not fair to do. I'll start there:

Printed things:

Great Northern Games just published its successfully Kickstarted game, "Noble Treachery," which features a number of my illustrations in the game, licensed for use. I often get people looking to commission work who maybe don't have a budget to commission portfolio-quality works from me, but would like some. Licensing is a great way to do that, and GNG was able to get some nice art for their game by going that route. Learn more about Licensing via this free pamphlet I wrote. The game is a 4-6 player, standalone game.

(L:)"Bluebeads" and other artworks are included

As it happens, I took Noble Treachery with me for my Thanksgiving family visit. I played it with my nephews and niece. The game has a bit of a steep learning curve. I sat for a bit and just read over the rules so I could internalize them before attempting to teach them to these younger players, the oldest of whom was 15, the youngest of whom was a bit under the 12+ age recommendation. 2 had played Magic in the past, 2 had no experience with those types of games. Those latter two took a bit longer to acclimate, and the youngest player struggled a bit to grasp hold of all the intricacies, while occasionally scoring a great play still.

The first game we played was a bit of a mess as we all learned together what the heck was going on. There are a number of upkeep-related items that need to be done each turn, and we ended up forgetting to do some of them, which affected the game. Nevertheless, everyone got familiar and enjoyed it. The next day, they were all asking to play again, and that night we did and played two much more fun rounds. I don't often get to enjoy the products I work on, but in this case I was able to. I gave my copy of the game to 2 of my nephews (brothers), who the next day then roped their parents into playing. Needless to say, it was a hit. Grab a copy if you'd like!

Magic stuff: I missed a couple of reprints that came out over the past few months. "Soul Warden" appeared in the Modern Event Deck. "Hypnotic Specter" was reprinted for the Duel Decks: Jace vs. Vraska product.

My painting, "Alieis," was likewise licensed by Asimov's Science Fiction magazine for its Jan.2015 issue, which went on sale 11/25/2014. Back in High School and through Art School in the early 90s, I used to read Asimov's magazine regularly. That it often reprinted fantastic art by some of my favorite artists was no small reason why. I endeavored that eventually I'd see my art on the cover of Asimov's. Then life took its own turns and magazines began shrinking in importance, and I got involved in many other things and it kind of fell of my radar. But then it happened. The image was, unfortunately, quite, um...adjusted. Didn't see that coming. I might've made adjustments myself, if needed. Well, you know the real deal.

Art things:
I signed my signature to 7 paintings in the past month before Thanksgiving break, some of which were in progress for a long time and I just finished up, others very much new. It's an odd feeling to know there hasn't been a lot of new art here lately, since there's plenty sitting around my studio that you haven't seen yet. I look forward to sharing some or all of this work with you in 2015.

That said, I also snuck in this 3x3 white back artist proof sketch, my biggest yet. It was done by purchasing 9 of the same card, each with its sketch option. So, a little pricey but take a look. You can order your own single-card or some other configuration drawing here.

Other things:

I am now a first-time member of the Oil Painters of America, after being juried in on my first attempt. Apart from supporting a movement of traditional painting rooted in realism in general, it also opens up opportunities to show my work in new venues, and I look forward to learning from other artists in the association and bringing a dose of Imaginative Realism to it, perhaps.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Back Catalog Original Artwork

Nov.19, 2014 update:
With such a dwindling amount of original Magic art available, I have decided to remove what little was left of my Magic: the Gathering paintings from the market. I'll just be vaulting them for awhile. Thanks for your support over the years--that so few originals remained was due to people like you supporting me by purchasing them!

In its place, I am going to use this page for a bit to highlight old works done for the World of Warcraft collectible card game, published by Upper Deck. I worked on this game on and off from 2005 until 2009. Many of these images found their way on and then off my site over the years, so here is the place to find them for the time being. This work seems to have a renewed interest due to the success of Blizzard's Hearthstone game, which reprints a number of artworks from the card game.

In many cases, there are improved and larger scans of the work than were featured previously. You should know that in most cases, there were digital tweaks, some minor and some quite significant, which were required before going to print. Here, however, are the paintings themselves.

Going forward if there are other pieces that turn up, particularly sketches, perhaps I'll make them available here as well. Lastly, when available, white-backed artist proofs are linked from the images, which can also have sketches on the back just like their Magic counterparts. I used to have a listing of WoW cards, but removed it from the site in general.

Please note I have a payment plan you might want to know about, as it's allowed a lot of folks to own original work. You can learn about that here.

Bloodsail Corsair / Captain Swash (WoW TCG)

Trollwoven Spaulders
Darbun Steppeheart
Caretaker Mooncrier
Oracle Talisman of Ablution
Master Matthias Shaw
Retainer Kai
Slay or Stay
Inner Focus

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

10 Years of Exits

Well! When I began this humble blog ten years ago, it was also Election Day in the USA. So I have taken Election Day as a not-quite exact anniversary marker. As I talk about this, I'll sprinkle on some bits-and-ends of art along the way.

Ten. Years. I did not think I had it in me to do this for ten years. Blogging, that is. When I started, I had only been an illustrator professionally for ten years. When I started, I had just crossed into my 30s. Now, I have just crossed over into my 40s.

Unpublished drawing, 12.25x4.75" pencil, 2013

Those of you who have followed me for most of that (or who have read through the archives) have seen a decade of my life, or at least a decade of snippets of my life, mostly art-related snippets. But you also saw me leave my hometown of San Jose, CA and live in Italy, England, Spain, North Carolina and now New York City. Almost that entire time was spent not in San Jose, where I had spent my first 30 years.

Looking to the ten year mark, I had planned on making the switch to a bi-weekly format. This past year or two it's been pretty difficult to maintain the weekly schedule due to work and other commitments. As it turns out, I had to switch to that schedule a few months ago, and I would consider it the ongoing schedule. It even says so, right up top now.

(L:) "Treasonous Ogre" sketch, pencil on a whiteback card

This might have been a nice place to close the book and put the blog to bed, to move onto other things. But I still find it to be a good medium for me to communicate through. So posting bi-weekly will enable me to do so. Of course, occasionally smaller informative / event posts will still pop up, but I'm speaking of more content-driven posts. Like this. With lots of text. And some art to look at.

But ten years is a good place for change, in general, and not only in publishing schedule. So, some other changes I can mention here:
  • Ten years, it turns out, is a lot of life to leave hanging out there. Art-wise, it's an eternity. So I'm going to be unpublishing old blog posts, a few at a time, maybe once a month, until the total archives are trimmed down quite a bit. Not sure how much, but I'll maybe keep 4-5 years' worth at any given time. That's a lot! I'll keep those I remove because it may be fun in the future to revisit some of them. In any case, it means that if you've ever had the insane idea of reading the whole blog, now is the time to start: I'll start this process in December, so you have a month to start. You can find the first blog post here, and then use the "Newer Post" link at the bottom to move forward. There are a few blogs I've done this with, but they had far fewer posts. Good luck!
  • I made an Instagram account. As of yet, I have not done anything there. I'm not entirely sure that I ever will, actually, but I'm thinking about it. You can follow if you'd like. With different social media, I try to have some different emphases. I don't auto-cross-post. The Venn diagrams overlap a little, but even then I hand-post the same things. Not a fan of auto-posts. So if I decide to use my Instagram, I intend for it to have a different angle than other things I do. Naturally there'll be art of course. We'll see.
  • If people tried to friend me on Facebook, for a long time I would push them over to my Page instead. Not long ago I decided I'd friend fans of my work because Page functionality sucks now. So, friend away

"Venom Wyvern" 12x15" Charcoal and ink on paper, 2013
Finished digitally and published in "Rage of Bahamut" by Cygames, Inc.

Thanks for visiting the blog from time to time and making it worthwhile to continue with. I enjoy sharing things with you, and appreciate that you're interested in those things. Thanks to those who have shared posts with others--unlike 10 years ago, people rarely seek out regular content but now they have it pushed out to them and they click over to check something out, then continue what they were doing. So sharing posts is more important than ever, and appreciated.

And thanks especially to my clients, and collectors large and small. You are the reason I am still able to make art for a living, because you provide me that living. I can't thank you enough.

The last 10 years, taken as a whole, were amazing for me. I hope to be able to share more amazingness with you these next ten!

Monday, October 20, 2014

My Favorite Week

For my fifth year now, I have the pleasure of spending a week in October working. Well, more than that--I work the rest of the weeks of October, as well. But one week a year I've ended up tucked away in a barn somewhere with a few other (well, mostly that is) illustrators. We all sit around and do what we always do. But it's a lot more fun than usual.

I came in and set up this year, at a new location but just as beautiful. I then just sat back in my chair and stared out the window for a few minutes. My actual working space is no larger or smaller than back home: a table, my easel, a chair. But the view out the window, and the nice clean air coming in...well, it promises to be another great week.

As work-weeks go, this has turned into my favorite week of the year. As I sat there staring off (something I don't do really), it occurred to me that though I live in my head most of the time, there is something very unnatural about living in a cramped studio apartment, my only windows facing into the entry courtyard, the neighbor's windows about 20 feet across the entry walkway. The window in my living room / studio never receives any direct light, and the air certainly isn't clean.

That I spend most of my time living in my head makes this more bearable than it might for others, I suppose. New York does have its share of cuckoos, after all. But really, faced with a nicer option, it was quite a relief to just sit and enjoy.

But even as I type, others are arriving. It's a genuinely fun and talented group of people, among whom I'm just another guy. We're all going to set up, and then get to work. And it's usually a pretty productive week, apart from the laughing, talking, eating and (for most) drinking. The cast of characters varies a bit year by year, but those here this year are pretty much part of the core of regulars.

Four out of five years, I've worked on uncommissioned work while here. It's nice to not do assignments (while some folks do or need to). The level of inspiration is so high that I find it very conducive to doing my own thing. Last year I did about half of "A Fractured Mind." The year before, "Exit Within 5." This year is a little unknown: I came with a mental map but not even a sketch. I have a model coming in tonight and we'll play with photos and I'll commence tomorrow. Seat of my pants. On a week like this, it's just how I like it.