Skimming through my numerous copies of art magazines I am always captivated by the articles concerning professional artists and their studio environments. Like a teenage boy skimming through a copy of Nuts, I sit, I drool, I lust after the items on display.
At this point in time, I have no studio. I work in a little back room which I've pretty much taken over. I fantasize that one day in the future I will have my very own spread, on glossy paper, detailing my working environment. For now though, I have whipped up a mini version and decided to detail the five items I can't work without!!
1 - The Bamboo
Hopefully within the next year I'll upgrade to a real Wacom. But for now everything I do digitally is created on this little beast! You can see from the scratches how well used it is. While its small it's served me well these many years. I'll probably be one of these nostalgic idiots that can't bare to throw it away even after I upgrade!
2 - The Camera
Where ever I go I always have some form of camera on me. Weather it be this trusty wee canon or my smart phone. I find it absolutely essential to be able to capture the world around me. Interesting textures, shapes, colors compositions. Anything goes. My family have become resigned to having to stop every five minutes while I snap a fascinating patch of wall. They put up with a lot from me!
3 - PS3
Practically everyone I go to Uni with tells me that they listen to music while they work. Indeed you step into the computer labs and all you see is a mass of trendy chunky headphones. I must be wired differently because, personally I find music way to distracting. Instead, I always have the tv on in the background. Netflix, Lovefilm and NowTV sit patiently side by side on the PS3 home screen and keep me company while I paint. At the moment I'm obsessed with The Office US.
4 - Smudgers
In everything I do I aim for realism. Not that I have anything against other styles but that just seems to be my personal aesthetic. So when I work in graphite I'm constantly smudging out shading lines. Work up a good layer of pencil onto the tip of a cotton bud and you can pretty much paint with that onto the paper. It gives a great effect and a really soft gradient. For more detailed parts the paper smudge sticks are wonderful. I can't recommend them enough!
5 - Pencil Grips
I found out two years ago that I'm dyspraxic. (for those that don't know that means I have difficulty with stuff like hand eye co-ordination, finite movement etc) At my age that came as quite a shock! It was something I'd never known I'd had so I'd just got on with it. But the good folks at Uni sent me a wee care package and in among the bits and bobs were these little pencil grips. I was rather skeptical but I tried them anyway and OMG!!! Just having something a little bigger to grip onto (ohhh errr) made a HUGE improvement to my line work! I saw the results straight away and now I never draw without them.
6 - My Family
Yes I know I said five things but without my wonderful supportive mother and my constant source of inspiration, my son, I would be nothing. I am reminded every day how lucky I am to have these guys in my life. Thank you both for everything!