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.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Totem Monkey Paintings & Site Update

Reactor-88 Totem Monkey Paintings for New Moon show at Myplasticheart NYC
So here are the Totem Monkey paintings I made for the New Moon show at Myplasticheart that opened this past Friday. They are 6x6 acrylic on canvas. One thing that might not be immediately noticeable is that their eyes are all pointing in different directions- just a fun little detail I threw in. They sold in the preview before the show opened- thank you for your support! There are still a lot of awesome pieces left to purchase, so if you're in the NYC area you should stop by MPH and check out the show.

I also did a small Reactor-88 website update. I'm really lagging on doing updates on my actual website. It's so much easier to just post photos on Flickr, update my blog, etc, that the actual website is starting to feel like a burden. I've also been considering setting up an Etsy store- once that happens... Until then, I've posted all my latest custom toys and artwork up, and also updated my store section. I have various Spade-Skull and Totem-inspired custom toys still available and the Dr. Mario Virus Dunny set. Of course I'll also throw in some cool little Spade-Skull buttons and stickers with your purchase- yeah!

Monday, April 6, 2009

New Reactor-88 Stickers

Reactor-88 Spade-Skull Stickers
I finally got my new Spade-Skull stickers in over the weekend. These are a bit more fancy than my original batch. They are about 2.5 x 3 inch, die-cut, two-color on clear vinyl, with back printing. The good people over at Sticky Rick's did these up for me and they came out really nice. Rick has been printing stickers for sticker-fiends all over for many years. If you need any stickers made, you should drop them a line and get a quote. Anyway, like my little buttons/pins, I'll be dropping a few stickers into each of the packages I ship out- fun stuff...

Dr. Mario Virus Dunny Set

Reactor-88 Dr. Mario Virus Dunny Set
Coming off the big Totem Mega Munny commission I wanted to work on a fun little side project before I started my next client piece. I'd been playing Dr. Mario on my old SNES (yes, I have a Super Nintendo) over the holidays last year and noticed that the three little viruses were pretty cool little characters. Following the along the same lines as the Dig Dug trio I completed earlier this year, I figured creating this virus set was a no brainer. I have a few more ideas for some custom mini sets, but I will be picking up my next commission this week so the fun side projects will have to be put on the back-burner once again.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Totem Mega Munny

Reactor-88 Totem Mega Munny
It's FINALLY done!! I started on this commission back in June of last year and it finally landed in it's new home today. This one was a long time coming and I'm really happy to be done with it. With this guy done, I can finally move onto the next few people on my commission list- whew!
Reactor-88 Totem Mega Munny

Totem Squirms

Reactor-88 Totem Squirms
Here are the custom Squirms I painted for the It Came From Skullbrain show at Super 7. I'm honestly not a big Kaiju fan, so when I was asked to participate in this show I was a little hesitant. I have wanted to try my hand at some custom Kaiju pieces- the problem was finding a figure that would work well with my style. Anyway I agreed, and eventually decided to paint some Squirms. First up is the Robo Lucha Totem Squirm. I went a little wild with the color scheme on this one. At first I wasn't too sure how I felt about it, but he's grown on me. Second is the GID Totem Squirm. I kept the color palette really simple on this one so the focus would be on the glow- granted when the lights are on you don't see that part, but whatever. As usual, if you're up in San Francisco on the 18th, be sure to check out this show.
Reactor-88 Totem Squirms
Reactor-88 Totem Squirms
It Came From Skullbrain

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spade-Skull Buttons/Badges

Spade-Skull Buttons/Badges
I got some little 1-inch Spade-Skull buttons made. Another thing I've wanted to do for ages that I finally got around to doing. I'll throw one of these into each package that I send out along with a few stickers. Speaking of which, my new stickers should be ready next week or so- these are much nicer than my old batch. Hopefully they came out right. I still want to make a Spade-Skull rubber stamp, and some Totem buttons. Those are next on my list.
Spade-Skull Buttons/Badges

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Totem Bear

Reactor-88 Totem IWG Bear
Here's my custom IWG Bear for the Humans Beware - I.W.G. Custom Art Show. For more show info, click here.
Reactor-88 Totem IWG Bear

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Humans Beware

Humans Beware - IWG Custom Art Show
Also coming up on April 10th is Humans Beware - I.W.G. Custom Art Show. The show is curated by Drilone and being held at Rocketworld, creators of the Insurgents Wilderness Gruppo Toys. This is Dril's first foray into curating, and he's doing a top notch job. There's an impressive 80+ artist lineup that will not disappoint. Some sneak peaks have been showing up online, such as Cris Rose's Vespbear. My custom I.W.G Bear is almost done- there might be some sneak peaks in a bit so stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Moon - Myplasticheart

New Moon Show
Here's the flyer for the New Moon show at Myplasticheart. Curator John Wong hand-picked 25 artists to interpret the signs of the Chinese Zodiac. I chose monkey- really for no special reason other than I think they're kind of cool. Also I opted to not paint a custom toy for this show. Instead went the 2D route and painted a canvas or two. So if you're in NYC on April 10th, be sure to check it out.
New Moon Show

Monday, March 2, 2009

Totem ILLAZILLA

Reactor-88 Totem ILLAZILLA
Here's my custom ILLAZILLA for the Attack of the ILLAZILLA Mini Tour. This ended up completely different than how I initially started it. I wish I had more time to fine tune it, but the show opens this Friday at APW Gallery in NY, so I had to call it quits and get this puppy in the mail. There's a nice line-up of artists participating in this show, so if you're in the area you should definitely check it out. After the New York stop, the tour continues to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and then Hawaii- nice!

Update: My ILLAZILLA got some nice coverage over on Vinyl Pulse- check it.
Reactor-88 Totem ILLAZILLA

Saturday, January 31, 2009

2009 Show Listing

Here's what I have lined up for 2009 so far:

Attack of the ILLAZILLA
March 2009
Mini Tour (Various Locations)

Humans Beware
April 2009
Rocketworld (San Francisco, CA)

It Came from SkullBrain
April 2009
Super7 (San Francisco, CA)

New Moon
April 2009
MyPlasticHeart (New York, NY)

Vinyl Show
August 2009
Black Maria Gallery (Atwater Village, CA)

The Disney Stitch Experiment 626 Project Tour is also still traveling throughout this year. I believe they've added a few more stops- when I get more info I'll post it.

Lastly, I'll probably have a couple of customs at SDCC again this year. I just need to confirm (this was discussed before last year's con) and make sure I have enough time since the show at Black Maria might need a lot of time to prepare for.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

iPhone Background #4

Spade-Skull Carbon Fiber iPhone Background
I found some cool carbon fiber desktop patterns the other day. The one I liked was still a little too plain, so I embossed a Spade-Skull into them and cropped it down to iPhone size. For a widescreen desktop wallpaper size (1680x1050), click here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Twitter

So I jumped on the bandwagon and created a Twitter account. I heard about Twitter a while back, but didn't really get what the point was. I'm not sure if I get the point now either, but I figured I'd give it a shot. Anyway, since I'm not a fan of phone texting I won't be 'twittering' that much, but if you'd like to follow me anyway, click here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dig Dug Dunnys

Reactor-88 Dig Dug Dunny Set
So once all my 2008 show commitments were complete around November last year, I started working on commissions again. To keep from burning out, I like to work on some 3-inch customs just for fun while I'm working on projects for clients. Since everyone always wants Totems or Spade-Skulls, it's nice when I can turn out some small customs that are different once in a while. I have a list of custom ideas that I'm hoping to get to one day, but since I'll probably be painting commissions for another couple years, if I ever expect them to see the light of day they'll have to be in mini form. This newest set of minis is from that list. Dig Dug was one of my favorite video games when I was growing up. I remember spending hours at the arcade on just a couple of quarters, constantly glued to this game. With all the incredible video game consoles these days, the simplicity of games like Dig Dug probably wouldn't hold many folk's attention now. But I have very fond memories of this game (as well as many other 8-bit games) and still play it once in a while. So I decided to pay tribute to it by creating this little set of 3-inch custom Dunnys.

Update- These little guys got a quick feature on Toysrevil- thanks Andy!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Updated Reactor-88 Homepage

Reactor-88 Homepage Updated
I figured since it was the start of a new year, I should start off with something fresh for 2009. Note- I've been talking about redesigning my four year-old site now for the last few years, but it's always taken a back seat to other commitments. I figured since it still might be some time before I get around to a full redesign, I should at least try to update my background image. When I first put up the site, I thought my techie/satellite/robot art image was cool and worked well with how I wanted my site to be portrayed. I initially created that image in 2002 as part of my Chaos Module series of digital art works. Well, it's now 2009 and while it still may be cool in some way, it's not really the look and feel I want my site to have. So I've drawn out a more organic vine pattern incorporating my Spade-Skull logo, but still kept it in the distorted, layered and slightly digital style that the satellite robot image had. Hopefully I'll get some time before 2010 to do a full redesign of the site, but until then I think this is a good start. Happy 2009!