A Side Hustle Isn’t Only Nice, It’s Necessary

Since January this year I’ve been listening to Chris Gillebeau’s Side Hustle School on my daily commute, walk, bike, etc. It’s a daily podcast with bite-sized stories about people who start an income-generating business while working a day job.

Their tag line is: A side hustle isn’t just nice, it’s necessary.

Chris, by the way, is the author of the The Art of Non-Conformity, and is one of the reasons I decided to leave the Philippines and try living abroad.

From a japanese candy subscription to professional snuggling, the stories are entertaining and inspiring. I try to recommend it to everyone I know who’s looking to earn more income. As an illustrator/visual artist, income can be pretty erratic. So I’ve always had to do other things, be it teaching swimming or being a courtroom sketch artist (more on that later).

Based on the the stories I’ve listened to, I’ve tried:

  • Opening Getty/Shutterstock images account
  • Posting portrait and personalised comic book services here and on Etsy
  • Offering photography, pet-sitting, and massage services on craigslist

None of these have panned out so far. After listening about a man from Florida who made $100,000 from selling t-shirts without any inventory, I thought I’d give the teespring a try. Several times I’ve tried and failed on Threadless, which works on a voting system, which shows that I need to get better at of promoting and designing. With teespring however, there is no voting system, but you do need to meet a minimum purchase order for the shirt to be printed.

So here’s my first design:

I set the limit at 50 orders, and as of this writing, I need 3 more to be able to print.

A friend helped me come up with this one, and I promised to split the profits with her. If you have a tshirt design and want me to create it, send me a message at pinoyartista(at)gmail. The plan is to release 3 designs and see if they move.

The great thing about teespring that sets it apart from all the other tshirt platforms I’ve tried is they give you the option of donating a portion of your sales to several charities. 10% of So Very Sorry sales will go to Reach Out WorldWide which is a network of professionals with first-responder skill sets who augment local efforts during natural disasters.

The challenge is to move quickly, to quickly test different business models and determine which works best in terms of enjoyment and profit.

To date, I’ve been playing the copycat, trying to see which are immediately applicable. Although the best thing would be to come up with an idea that a) is original and b) helps people by making their lives better.

After each episode, Chris signs off with, “Remember, inspiration is good, but inspiration combined with action, is so much better.”

Star in Your Own Comic

Are you or anyone you know into the Golden Age of comic books?

Have you ever wanted to appear in one? Now you can make this fantasy a reality.

comic1
Or the guy on the right. It’s totally up to you!

Beginning February I will be available for personalised comic commissions. As this is a side hustle, I will only be doing up to three a month.

With personalised comics you–or the person of your choice–will star in a vintage, black and white, classic comic scene. It could be an action pin up (as pictured), a romance, or a panelled page with a storyline that you provide.

comic2
Ever dreamed of rescuing dogs in distress from a burning building? Now you can

You will receive the final product printed on a3 or a4 canvas, ready for display.

Order your Personalised Comic before the 29th of February and and get 15% off!

More details here.

If you would happen to know anyone who’d be interested, do share this with them before slots run out!

 

What Am I Doing Here?

It is with the appropriate amount of pleasure that I announce my first exhibition in Barcelona.

Spanning eighteen months and four countries, “What Am I Doing Here” is a retrospective of the works created over the past eighteen months since I arrived in Europe. It will include drawings, paintings, photographs, and screen and letterpress prints created in Barcelona, Amsterdam, Paris, Venice, and Las Palmas.

The exhibition will be on the 15th of April, at l’Atelier, a small but cozy bakeshop in Carrer del Joncar 29, Poble Nou, at 19.00h.

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/1100828233308657/

Exhibition catalog available upon request.

Tengo el placer de invitarte a mi primera exposición en Barcelona.

“¿Por Qué Estoy Aquí?” es la primera exposición individual de José Gamboa en España. Una retrospectiva que abarca dieciocho meses y cuatro países, que incluye ilustraciones, impresiones de pantalla y tipografía, pinturas y fotografías.

Con concierto musical de Guillermo Ayora
(https://www.facebook.com/ayoramusica)

Catálogo de la exposición disponibles a petición.
La exposición tendrá una duración de un mes.

Looking forward to seeing you there / Espero verlos a todos allí,

Jose


 

Above is the invitation text I wrote for my exhibit which is happening next week.

Below is a preview of some of the works that will be on display:

Aside from recently completed #BowieForever series, “What Am I Doing Here” will include:

Illustrations

#saturdayshorts: Trololo #Timelapse #barcelonabarrios #architypography

A post shared by Jose Gamboa (@pinoyartista) on

 

Paintings

"In the Same Boat" (detail) #PinoyArtista #illustration #watercolor on paper 40 x 30 cm

A post shared by Jose Gamboa (@pinoyartista) on

 

Photographs

#Windowshopping at #DeWallen #Amsterdam #PinoyArtista #travelink #tattoo

A post shared by Jose Gamboa (@pinoyartista) on

 

Mono Screenprints

 

Portraits

Can you imagine who I am? #doinglineskeepsmesane

A post shared by Jose Gamboa (@pinoyartista) on

 

Six days away, there is still a lot that needs to be done. And unlike other exhibitions I’ve organised before, this is my first solo show–literally: I have had to everything, from booking the venue, conceptualisation, curation, funding, promotion, framing, mounting, and more.

 

Let’s see how it goes.

 

 

Cycle. Rinse. Repeat.

photo by Maria Khodykina

Cycle. Rinse. Repeat.

 

Wake up to your inbox

Facebook with breakfast

Glued to your mobile as you commute

Gmail at your desk

Eyes glued to the screen

Nothing in between

Tweet, like, share, post

Real life is like a passing ghost

If it’s not online then it didn’t happen

Try to work but your phone calls you back

Tumblr with a snack

Youtube when you get back

Spotify as you head out

Back home to another screen

Dinner with some sitcom or film

Nothing keeps you unoccupied

Thank God you’re never bored

Right as you finally close your eyes

You cradle your laptop, tablet, phone

Your wife, your child, you kiss them goodnight

You both recharge as you sleep

Cycle. Rinse. Repeat.

 

The Burden of Life

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The Burden of Life

Life is difficult

It’s truer day-by-day

It’s not your fault

Sometimes people pay and lose their way

Loneliness, sickness, death, and decay

It’s a lie to say ‘Everything will be OK’

But

If life is to be a burden

To bear on our shoulders

Then oughtn’t we try to make it lighter?

That is all we can hope to do

For ourselves and for each other.


Jose Gamboa

October 2015. Barcelona

 

The Year of Living With Urgency

Yesterday, the 29th of February 2016 marks 1 year, 4 months, 24 days since I moved from Manila to Barcelona.

Today is the leap day of a leap year. Every four years–for reasons that I do not think are all that important–we have chosen to add a day to the 365 we already have. Like birthdays and other holidays, marking time has its purpose.

Like anyone who likes to write, I have a penchant for reminiscing, of counting things, of finding and maintaining connections, and noticing patterns.

So since moving to Barcelona I have moved flats three times. First in Les Corts, then Eixample, now in Poble Nou. Next month I will be moving again. In order to renew my visa I enrolled in my second course, this time in Graphic Design at Bau. My spanish has significantly improved, I am happy to report, thanks to studying and working with Spanish people. Most importantly, during the past year I have had the good fortune of meeting some interesting people, some who I am happy to call friends.

The past 511 days have not all been fun and games, of course, and I have made mistakes and at times have not been as kind as I should be to others. I have been robbed. Twice. My heart has been let down and broken more than that. I have spent more than I have earned, and worked for less than I should.

So why the year of urgency? Three months into 2016 there have been several high-profile deaths, all of them from unnatural causes if I’m not mistaken. Cancer, suicide, overdose. Today something gruesome happened in Moscow. It probably is not the first time it has happened but this is the first time it has been widely publicised. My grandmother is 96 years old, bedridden, feeding through a tube. I have an uncle who has been comatose for the past two months. It will not be long before it is my turn.

And so, there is only that which we cannot see, feel, taste, touch or hear, but to which we must bow to: Time. If today is just like any other day in the year, then why does it feel…different? The prevailing theme of the leap day is to do something different; something new. But what is the point? Nothing is original. And like New Year’s Resolutions, trying to change things simply because of some arbitrary day of the year is not enough reason for me.

As I wrote previously, it has been a surreal start to this year and because of this, perhaps more than any other reason, is why I feel a sense of urgency. Specifically about what, I am not sure. Just like the year before, I wrote my annual review but I am opting not to publish it this time. I did make a pretty good joke about it though:

As before, I have the same categories of goals, with creation and production as the priority. But this time I want to do things faster,  smarter, and to do exactly what I want as well as what needs to be done with expediency and to full effect.

Time is short. Get moving.

Jim Benton

Suggested reading: Chris Guillebeau’s manifesto The Tower (free download)

 

Very Important

source

Very Important

Your job is very important

Your car, your bike, your motorcycle

Your sneaker collection, your master’s degree

Your charity, foundation, religion, and non-governmental organisations

The news is very important

Your industries of sport, media, and manufacturing

Your driving schools and investment banks

Fitness gyms and start up firms

Where would the world be without your architectural digest,

Academic journal, interiors magazine, and indie record label

Eco-friendly, zero-carbon, GMO and gluten-free store

Alma mater, football team and special interest group

Without your carefully-curated online photo gallery of your life

Or your daily updates, tweets and instagrams?

The world would completely cease to exist

As all these are very, very important.


Jose Gamboa
Barcelona
2015

A Crow Named Anxiety

source

A Crow Named Anxiety

A Crow named Anxiety

Lunges at my throat ungracefully

Each day She and I become

As the Little Prince and the Fox

Ever more familiar

With the summer gone, I am in autumn

Winter is coming to stay

Have the days been for naught?

Are the yearnings of the soul to fall

Forever on ears that are full

Of the mutterings and rumblings

Wait, it is too much, time is flying

Is past, is gone, you are here

Sitting on a chair

Staring into nothingness

Sick with loneliness

Drinking vitamins

Plucking and pulling

At follicles and fibres

Longing for

Someone

Anyone

Except

Me


Jose Gamboa

12. November 2015
Barcelona

#BowieForever

Back in December 2015, I had gotten it on (what I believed at the time to be) good authority that David Bowie was coming to Primavera Sound 2016. The prospect of seeing a creative genius of his calibre live so excited me that despite my source’s admonition not to spread the word, I could not help myself:

Is it true that someone major will be landing in BCN for @primavera_sound? #pinoyartista #doinglineskeepsmesane

A post shared by Jose Gamboa (@pinoyartista) on

 

 

Getting into the whole Bowie vibe, I started learning how to play his songs on the guitar, and began researching which day he would perform in Barcelona. Even my sister who was half a world away seemed to be channeling the Thin White Duke:

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 6.06.00 AM

 

Less than two weeks later, The Man Who Fell To Earth returned to the stars.

 

To be honest, I am not a hardcore Bowie fan, in fact, I was a new one. I didn’t realise it was his birthday or listened to Blackstar until after he had already died.

Then there was that series of highly-publicised deaths that first few days of 2016: Scott Weiland, Lemmy, Alan Rickman, Maurice White. Then Aaron Swartz and Dave Mirra.

But it was the building anticipation of seeing David Bowie live, that whole ‘you might not get another chance’ feeling, then to have it suddenly vanish, that made his death strike a chord. And to make things even more odd, here is where I spent the 1st of January (playing the guitar, to boot):

IMG_6351
Photo by Nicolas Riente

This inexplicable series of events compelled me to create what will be the #BowieForever series. The series will consist of six limited edition mono screeprints and shirts which will be released over the course of several weeks.

#BowieForever Screenprints

BowieForever

Each mono screenprint is numbered, printed on 300 gsm watercolour paper and signed by Jose Gamboa with a Certificate of Authenticity.

Order

We Could Be Heroes

31 x 49 cm Mono Screenprint
Edition of 7

Order

 

Bowie Forever

31 x 49 cm Mono Screenprint
Edition of 7

Order

 

Starman

31 x 49 cm Mono Screenprint

Edition of 7

Order

Spaceman

29.7 x 42 cm Mono Screenprint

Edition of 7

Order

Stardust

29.7 x 42 cm Mono Screenprint

Edition of 7

Order

#BowieForever Ultralimited Edition Tees

 

Available sizes are M and L and XL (depending on availability) and printed on 100% cotton tees. Each tee is signed by Jose Gamboa. Edition of Fifteen.

Order

As I created each design (while listening to the mournfully brilliant Blackstar) I could not help but contemplate the power and influence and creativity that could come from just one man, a man who will live forever through his work.

 

It has only been a few weeks since his spirit rose and stepped aside, and for now, it will be difficult to imagine anyone replacing David Bowie.

 


 

One more thing: Before I left the Philippines for Barcelona over a year ago, I saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Although inspiring, the film was too cheesy and unrealistic for my taste (How can Walter Mitty’s phone never run out of battery? And downhill long boarding is no easy thing). Nonetheless, it was a good film. Anyway, I didn’t realise or remember (until recently) that David Bowie’s Space Oddity featured largely in that film, and I wanted to share Kristen Wiig’s more than decent rendition of it:

 

If

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If

If you asked if I had any regrets

I wouldn’t say no

If you asked if I ever felt crushed beneath the weight of life

I wouldn’t say no

If you asked me Do you hate yourself when you fail?

I wouldn’t say no

If you asked me do you long for more than the illusion of love and friendship?

I wouldn’t say no

If you offered me the chance to do it all over

I wouldn’t say no

If you asked me if I was doing okay

I wouldn’t say no.

 


 

 

For something uplfting, read Derek Walcott’s hopeful poem Love After Love.