074: My Desk
☕️ I ‘m working on 3 projects this month, one for 2 weeks, another two for a week each, that’s not the whole project, books take months and years to get done, but, they get done in little chunks of projects, the 3 projects I’m working on these month are for 3 different clients. As I transition into a new month and the first project, I’m optimising my studio for it. This is a peek at my desk before that optimization.
The 60 sq-foot spare room in my apartment. Is my studio. Let me show you around…
This is my desk. Or main work area.
I work digitally with an iPad and Laptop (not pictured) , moving them around in different configurations depending on the task.
The leather table protector is my Zone of Focus, I only allow the current task onto that area, it helps me remember what it is I’m supposed to be doing.
My wife bought me the BenQ Desklamp, she buys me all the things I really want but think I can make do without. Good lighting is key for an illustrator. Bad lighting can contribute to fatigue, at least that’s how it feels.
The desk is covered in a washi tape collection amassed from Borders (when that still existed) and other places. It was quite a collection.
Almost everything on the desk is essential, except maybe the index cards, the two cheap sketchbooks that look like moleskines and the floss. And the clip. And the Aircon remote.
I’m filming a reel of me typing with the arm that’s in the picture. That’s what it’s for.
On the wall behind me I have some client work, to remind me what people pay me money for, and to remind me how I draw. I also have a Mindmap of my goals for the year. And a ‘Business Model’ Canvas to help me visualise all the aspects of my illustration business and how they relate together.
I also have 3 yellow notes.
Rules for upgrading how I use colour
A reminder that says; “Do the work on your desk, and do it really well”, a reminder to curb daydreams and start projects when I already have projects at hand.
A reminder of where I am on the Napkinsights project
And I have a figure of a lion on my desk, let’s call him ‘Asian’ from the Narnia movies. I use it as reference sometimes, and sometimes I contemplate the qualities of a lion. And I think that makes me act better.
I’ll continue the studio tour tomorrow.. if you like
If you have the substack app, there’s a chat in there, maybe show everyone your desk?
Ps: Tomorrow is #kidlitartpostcard day.
I get most of my work, and even got my agent via Kidlitartpostcard, here’s what worked for me.
Post it on twitter.
Create a piece of art that takes 5 - 15 hours to complete (it will stand out time shows), don’t half arse something, be thoughtful and intentional about it, actual clients actually are looking at your thing. Show the best thing you have at the moment, or at least show that you came prepared, think of it as a meeting with a future client.
Follow potential customers on twitter, interact with what they post, think of it as a conversation.
Advocate for yourself, no one else will. Don’t go “oh look this thing that happens every month sprung up on me again by surprise LOL, so anyway, here’s some art I made, hire me or whatever haha”
Good luck and also a handful of people got agents and work using this #DTIYS as their postcard.
Ooooo I love looking at people's work areas... I'm super nosey! Maybe we should post all of ours too?!
'Zone of focus' - goodness me, how do I not have this in my life?! Thank you SO MUCH for this tip, Adam!