Hey, take a little tour of my office/studio/cartooning factory over at the very awesome blog WHERE THEY DRAW, curated by Jim Shiveley.


This is how we do it…

Decided to do a “this is my workspace” sorta thing.

I like doing these sorts of posts/documentations, over the years it lets me see how much I’ve learned since I first started making comics.  I think they’re really interesting and inspiring. They’re pretty inspiring to me as a cartoonist reading ones by other more established (or even just as at the same aspiring level as me).

This is the cleanest/most organized my desk has ever been.

The windows in the office let in a lot of natural light, something I didn’t realize at first but was a super-pleasant surprise. Combined with the old desk lamp Tessa and I have had for a while, I have a perfect amount of light. I got this desk at Target on sale, it’s just a pretty standard fake wood take-with-you-to-college-for-your-dorm desk, but I needed one and didn’t really care about whether or not it was a proper “drafting” table or not.

I play podcasts on my laptop when I’m drawing, these days usually Tall Tale Features by Tom Racine.  I also love Around Comics, but they’re so goddamn funny that I laugh too hard and start messing up when I’m inking. Sometimes it’s music, but mostly podcasts because if I put records on, I end up singing along instead of paying attention to the page and I end up screaming along to Husker Du’s “Could You Be The One”.

For a “drawing board”, I’ve jury-rigged some cardboard into one, using the backboards of old pad of paper. Works pretty well so far.  The bits of paper I have stuck to the far right are for dabbing white-out, my Pentel Pocket Brush (for some effects/shading as well as filling in huge blocks of black, I’ve found it works better than a Sharpie), as well as testing lines on pens and seeing if they’re still good. I also have my sketchbook there so I can reference my notes, sketches, thumbnails, etc.

I have a core of 6 or so pens/pencils I am currently always using that I keep on-hand, but the coffee cups are mostly backup markers, pencils, misc. pens and markers that are slowly dying/busted but I can use for tricks and some effects, stuff like that. Sometimes I’ll switch up pens and experiment.

One cup that’s mostly full of Paper Mate felt-tip pens, which I use all the time for small fill-ins, lining panels, and doing the outlines for word balloons.  The giant box of ’em I got has turned into the best investment ever tool-wise alongside with the Pentel brushpen.

I also have my pictures of Tessa, binder clips and padding paper to hold paper to the drawing board, white-out pens double-sided tape, rulers, erasers, etc…all placed for ease of use.

Yeah, it’s a mini-fridge covered in stickers, it’s Tess’s from college. Depending on whether or not I keep it stocked, there’s stuff to drink/snack on in there. Right now there’s a can of beer in there, and that’s really it.  The Target box is full of drawing paper, and the blue bin is full of comics, art, and full sketchbooks.  Right now all the finished art manages to fit in there, which is good.

HP printer/scanner combination. This is Tessa’s, I just tend to use it the most as a scanner for art. It’s only about 9×11.5 or so, so it’s not exactly that big and makes scanning bigger comics harder. I solved that issue by learning to draw smaller and more efficiently…I think. Or maybe I just draw my stuff more cramped…

Ye Olde Walle of inspiration. There’s some signed poster prints from our friend Stephen Lindsay, the creator of comics like Massive Awesome and Jesus Hates Zombies.  Tess got them for me for Christmas a few years ago.  There’s also a sketch by comic book artist Chris Samnee (that’s a profile of the Marvel Comics character Starlord!), and also a sketch of Stan Sakai’s rabbit samurai Usagi Yojimbo by carotonist Chris Schweizer.

Oh yeah, thumbnails for strips and commissions sometimes end up on the wall as well (you can see a rough design up there on the left for a piece), as well as a swath with examples of how I do certain weather effects for consistently.

Compared to the setups I’ve had before, our new place here and the big office we have now are pretty perfect. When it comes to just writing I’ll write anywhere, usually at the kitchen table, the living room, or occasionally outside, but for drawing I love sitting down at the desk and getting paper and pencils ready.  It’s awesome.

Hope you enjoyed this look into my little sanctum, I liked doing it.