Friday, May 29, 2009

Reactor-88 Blog Has Officially Moved

With the close of my 3-inch Custom Dunny sale (note the Cavemen are still available), I'm officially moving my blog over to my actual domain/webserver here. Note, I am in the process of moving all the posts from this blog over to my new one (yes, it is possible) as well as giving my new blog a new look, so please excuse the mess for a while. I think once everything is all set up, I'll have a Grand Opening post and give away a little button/sticker pack or something fun. So please update your bookmarks, RSS feeds, etc. to my new blog address: http://blog.reactor88.com. See you there!

Custom 3-inch Dunny Purchase Info

It's simple- send me an email to ryan@reactor88.com with the name of the piece you want- you can purchase more than one if you'd like to. Note, I will update this post when certain ones are sold, but there is the possibility that before that happens I'll get multiple emails from multiple people who want the same piece- I hate when that happens but it unfortunately does. In that case it's the email that hits my inbox first (makes sense right?) I will reply via email if you're the first to call dibs or not.

So here's the pic of them again:
Reactor-88 Custom 3-inch Dunnys for Reactor-88 Big Cartel Store Opening

Update: Only the Cavemen Dunnys are still available- buy them as a set and save $15.

Prices:
SOLD - Totem Gold/GID - $55 plus shipping
SOLD - Totem Blue/White - $50 plus shipping
SOLD - Totem Red/Black - $50 plus shipping
SOLD - Spade-Skull Orange/Brown/Black - $45 plus shipping
SOLD - Yokai - $50 plus shipping

Caveman Tog (with Bone accessory) - $40 plus shipping
Caveman Bonk (with Club accessory) - $40 plus shipping
Cavemen (as a set) - $65 plus shipping

Shipping is $5 in the US, $10 international

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Time for a Change

So if anyone has been following my blog since my first post (not likely) you'll know I've been meaning to re-vamp my website for a few years now. It was cool back in '06 when I made it, but it's now 2009 and in web time three years is an eternity. I think since early 2007 is when I decided I really needed to start thinking about a refresh, but at that time I was really getting busy with my artwork and custom toys. Needless to say that's been consuming all my time, so even though the website was always on my mind, it was buried far in the back.

Fast forward to late 2008. I started to think I should ditch my Flash site and Blogger blog, and go back to HTML and install Wordpress on my server. Since I'm a web designer and was a Web Developer/E-Commerce Technical Manager at my old job for a handful of years, I also figured there's no excuse for me using a canned blog sitting on someone else's server. Needless to say, the lack of time once again trumped me getting my act together and getting a real Reactor-88 blog, and in turn updating my website.

Now fast forward to two months ago. Seems everyone is opening an Etsy or Big Cartel store. I usually don't have much stuff to sell (most of my work sells through galleries or are direct commissions for clients), but I do like to make custom minis and throw them up for grabs once in a while. I also have a handful of older customs that didn't sell, and I'd like to do some other fun stuff like t-shirts, small prints, and maybe even some original resin figs and other goodies. So I thought it was time for me to look into setting up an e-store. After a little research, it seemed Big Cartel would be the best option for me, though far from perfect. The basic version of their store is free, but it's really limited and didn't have enough functionality for my needs. The pay versions were better, but since I would only put things in my store a few times a year I determined it would actually be a waste of money- and I don't have a lot of money to waste these days...

With that, I figured now was definitely the time to get Wordpress and a nice shopping cart system running on my server. I just finished a big freelance Flash/Web project (and promised myself not to do any more serious freelance web work for a while) and I've already cut way back on the number of art shows I'm doing this year. So 2009 is mainly about commissions and getting this web overhaul completed. I was conerned configuring this stuff and getting it up and running would be a pain, but Media Temple made it super easy with their "1-click" installs of Wordpress and Zen Cart. Thank you Media Temple. Hopefully the local setup will be almost as easy- I'm putting a lot of my faith in MAMP...
So I will officially be moving my blog to my own domain/server soon, as well as setting up a real webstore which I'm guessing will take a bit longer. Following will be a new website- possibly Flash again, or maybe a mix of DHTML/AJAX/Flash- I've yet to figure that out.

So to make a long story short, this will be one of the final posts on this blog. I will make a final announcement here when the switch over happens. But some of you might be wondering, "Hey, when/where are you going to sell that last batch of custom Dunnys you made?" "This was the only reason I read your dumb blog!" Don't worry, I will be posting information on how to purchase the Dunnys on this blog soon. Thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Totem Monkey Buttons/Badges

Totem Monkey Buttons/Badges
So after digging how my little Spade-Skull buttons came out, I decided to get some other buttons made. When fellow artist Jon Knox got Badgetown back online, I decided to give his operation a shot. I knew this time I wanted to make some totem buttons, and it seemed like my Totem Monkey paintings I made for the New Moon show would be perfect to be turned into a button set. I didn't want them to be exactly the same as the paintings, so I made the eyes on the monkeys all look straight ahead (unlike the orignal paintings which are looking in all different directions.) Anyway, my buttons just came in and I'm very happy with the results. I think now that I have some Spade-Skull and Totem buttons, I can make a little button pack for my Big Cartel store (coming soon...)

New Custom Minis for My Big Cartel Store

Reactor-88 Custom 3-inch Dunnys for Reactor-88 Big Cartel Store Opening
So last year I started to check out basic webstores. Since most of the customs I paint are commissions and I don't really have any merchandise, there has never really been a reason for me to have a real webstore. I have a store section on my website, but it has no store-like functionality, which is kind of lame. I figure another reason to have a store is just to get the added SEO brownie points, since my regular website is all Flash-based. I do have some old customs laying around that it would be nice to get them up somewhere where people might actually see them. Finally, some of these webstores are FREE (for a basic setup), so there's really no reason not to have one- right? So with my research I decided on Big Cartel- mainly because everybody else I know has one. Maybe there's some other good options, but I don't know about them.
Now that I've decided which webstore I would use, it's now a matter of setting it all up and the most important thing- having something to sell. So since the beginning of the year I've been trying to sneak in a little time to paint some custom minis (while I work commissions and shows.) The above picture is what I've been working on for the webstore. All 3-inch Dunny customs (my mini platform of choice)- there's Mini-Totem Dunnys, Caveman Dunnys (Tog & Bonk), a Spade-Skull Dunny, Yokai Dunny, and a Pug Dunny. Note the Pug Dunny won't be for sale- he is a tribute to my oldest Pug Pancho that recently passed away, so that custom will be kept in the family.
If all goes well, my webstore should be up and running by the end of the week. I'll make an announcement here and on Twitter when it's up.

Spring Cleaning

Reactor-88 Workspace
So while most folks were enjoying the long weekend, somehow I got into a spring cleaning mode. Granted I did partake in a pool party/BBQ at my folk's house on Sat, but beyond that I was getting cleaned up and organized. It started with the desire to clean up the mountain of toy boxes that had taken over the space under my work/painting table. It had gotten so bad that I could not even sit in front of the table because there were so many boxes under there. Since about 50% of the toys I buy are for painting over, I ended up throwing out a lot of the boxes, but the rest I took down to the storage space (along with a bunch of other random things.) Once the bottom of the work table was cleared out, it was time to tackle the top. I can't remember the last time I was able to actually do any work on my work table- the mound of junk that had accumulated on top was a good foot high and completely covered it. While in the process of doing this, I got sidetracked a bit by cataloging some of my art and toy collection, but that's a whole other huge project that I'll have to tackle some other day(s). Once the top of my work table was finally clean, I jumped to the cupboard under my bookshelves (opposite of my work table) and the storage area under my bedroom TV- mainly because I need space in those areas to throw some of the junk that came off my work table. If you notice in the picture you can barely see my printer (on the left) sitting on top of a box on the floor- that has been that way since the X-mas '08. I plan to get either a small dresser or a printer/storage stand so I can get it up off the floor and get a little more storage space- that might be the task for the coming weekend. Anyway, now everything is nice and clean, uncluttered, organized and ready to go. Although I've gotten to really enjoy painting and doing my work out in my living room- hmm...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Reactor-88 Rubber Stamp

Reactor-88 Rubber Stamp
So I recently had a custom art stamp made with my spade-skull logo. This had been on my "to-do" list for I don't know how long, but after talking to Drilone about them and seeing his sig stamp, it got me motivated to finally just do it. I didn't want some modern, plastic encased thing though- I wanted something that was a bit more warm and natural. So after a Google search I came across a site that made custom art/crafter stamps mounted on a nice little maple block. Usually they don't have handles, but I opted to get one for a little bit extra. It turned out the handle was totally unnecessary and if I had known my stamp artwork was going to be engraved into the top of the block, I wouldn't have covered it up with the handle- oh well. Anyway, I really dig my little wood stamp- now I just need something to stamp and I'll be happy.