If you’re interested in commissioning an illustrated biography, I am available on a limited basis. More details here.
This is one of my earliest memories of my father. Even though it didn’t happen to me personally, my mind’s eye created the scene when I first heard the story, and seeing that scar all the time growing up, engraved this anecdote into my memory.
In anticipation of Father’s Day, I’d like to hear your most memorable story of your father. Share it in the comments and I’ll choose one (or two) to illustrate.
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.”
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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,
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:
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.
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
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’
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.
October 2015. Barcelona
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:
New Year's #resolutions: 1) to spend more time with myself 2) to be in several places at the same time 3) to give more of myself to world Status: Done. Wising you all as much success as I have had so far in the 2016 #MissionAccomplished #doppelganger #attackoftheclones #instagram #whpresolutions2016 #starringjohncho
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.
Suggested reading: Chris Guillebeau’s manifesto The Tower (free download)
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.
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
Plucking and pulling
At follicles and fibres
12. November 2015