I spent my weekend in a cottage with some friends somewhere in Cape Cod. And besides a handful of other cottage dwellers, the beach was essentially empty. It was also devoid of Wi-Fi, so it’s exactly the type of place I’d want to write if I were a more inclined writer, a place disconnected from the rest of the world and wrapped in an abundance of sunshine.

Anyway, my time away from my air-conditioned-less apartment got me thinking. Some of you remember that I’ve blogged a little bit about my creative process in the past, found here (there’s a drawing of me as a ninja turtle in that post, so you should prob’s check it), but now I want to blog about something I feel is just as important to my creative process, and that would be my creative space, along with a few ‘tools of the trade’ that I use.

The picture above depicts a few of the things I use to take a tiny idea all the way to a final product.  I’ll break down each item with a few bullet points to make this read quicker and more manageable for you guys.

Table

  • A no brainer, but essential.
  • The bigger the table, the better. I have a lot of crap and I’m always switching things out for other things.
  • Right now I have a pretty good setup with my living room table. It gets a ton of natural light. I Gotta get that vitamin-D in while I’m workin’ y’all.

Macbook

  • Keeper of illustration software
  • Vehicle of Internet
  • Inefficient grilled cheese maker

Big Sketchbook

  • This is where I do most of the heavy lifting for illustrations.
  • If I’m working on a longer project, I’ll lay it all out in the sketchbook before I even begin thinking of digital work
  • If you squint hard enough, you may be able to tell that the drawing in the sketchbook is of “Drunk: what you THINK is happening vs what is ACTUALLY happening” comic I did recently.
  • Squint too hard and you won’t see anything :/
  • I also sketch non-comic stuff too sometimes, just to keep things sexy. Maybe I’ll show you guys sometime.

Tablet

  • If I didn’t have this thingy, I would have given up on Second Lunch a long time ago.
  • It isn’t by any means an amazing drawing tablet, but it is infinitesimally better than drawing on the track pad.

Headphones

  • When I’m in a drawing groove and need help staying there, I grab my headphones and throw on a playlist attune to what it is I’m illustrating.

Moleskine

  • This bad boy is more than just a mini-notebook. It’s an idea incubator.
  • It houses things from one word ideas, to random sketches, to thought blurbs.
  • Expensive, but worth it. I rock the hardcover sketchbook Moleskines.

#2 Pencil / Micron / Putty Eraser / Sharpener

  • The facilitators of idea to paper.

Not Pictured

TV

  • Typically, when I’m working, it’s the TV that’s on instead of music. I watch a ton of TV without actually watching TV. I’m essentially just listening to audio.

Coffee

  • Without it Second Lunch is just another dead blog on the blogosphere.

So, in short, that’s the breakdown of my creative space when I’m illustrating. The few times when a majority of the post is written (like this time!) I’ll go for my back porch where there’s spotty wi-fi.

 What about you guys? What is your creative space like and what is essential? Tell me, tell me, tell me, so we can talk about. I love hearing about other peoples’ creative environments.

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44 Responses to “If my blog was made by Ikea, these would be the ready-to-assemble pieces”

  1. bigsmileu1

    I blog at my kitchen table with my laptop. I, too, need my cofffee to get going if I am blogging in the morning. I like to blog in the morning, however, life sometimes gets in the way. I have been known to blog at 11:54 P.M. just in time to reach the Postaday status. I actually missed a day on Sat. I hope that is not going to go against me at the end of 2012. Great post! I hope you had a fine vacation. :)

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    • timmer

      Thanks! I don’t think I have a true set time when I blog, though I do prefer to draw in the mornings. I just require the coffee to keep me going.

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  2. sinithwar

    Lol mine is a 1000 watt stereo system and 5 hours of freedom, along with a bamboo pad, microsoft sidewinder, and self built computer.

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  3. emmalaw

    Nice post, it reminds me of “Things organised neatly” and it may well have planted a little idea in my head for a similar post. Thanks :)

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    • timmer

      Thanks! I’m not familiar with ‘Things Organized Neatly’ but I did get the idea from a design website I was looking at. Wahoo! I’m definitely interested to see what kind of post has been inspired.

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  4. Jennie

    all my blogging gets done in the living room on the couch, usually with the tv on for background noise….if it’s a particularly nice day outside I might take the laptop to the front porch

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    • timmer

      Gotta have that background noise. No noise freaks me out and makes my internal monologue really loud.

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  5. Nicolle

    My desk is currently an Ikea table that has the possibility of folding into a triangle (but, it’s rarely in that shape) and stands in a nook in our living room. It has no drawers, which is why I have things piled on top of it always. I look forward to the day when I can have a real desk.

    Other essential tools:
    – Macbook Pro
    – Nikon D80 w/ 18-55mm lens and a flash buffer (for all the wonderful photos I take)
    – Photoshop
    – cookbooks or recipes (found in the wonderful world of internets)
    – one or two notebooks for ideas, sketches etc.
    – any books I’m reading or reviewing

    Depending on my mood, I’ll have the TV on in the background, listen to music (only through headphones. I can’t concentrate if music is all around me – I end up singin along too much), or just work in silence.

    I think that just about covers it :-)

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    • Nicolle

      But, I’m wondering…what kind of mask were you wearing that only the top half of your face got sunburned? Maybe, you were going for a new ninja look?

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    • timmer

      Cool! I use a Canon T2i, but I don’t typically post pictures I take. Maybe I should incorporate them more often? Photoshop is also something I’m interested in learning, maybe someday. The more I read on, it sounds like we have very similar creative spaces, cool cool cool.

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  6. the usual bliss

    I have three coffee mugs on my desk at the moment. I keep reaching for the old ones by accident. A breeze is blowing through the patio door and my dog is licking my ankle. Blog genius is sure to be next.

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  7. CubicleViews

    For me it’s anyplace where the kids aren’t. Beyond that, my laptop, typically some music in the background and a whiskey (or 2) in the foreground!

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    • timmer

      Whiskey, I hear that! I find Maker’s Mark tends to loosen up the thought process, but also severely inhibits my hand eye coordination…worth it.

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  8. supashmo

    For mine, I would need a picture of the air. It’s a magical substance that, if stared into long enough, will sprout an idea on my head like a tiny awesome mushroom.
    I’m also visualizing grilling cheese on a computer and it sounds EPIC.

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    • timmer

      That is a skill I do not possess. You must be a super hero….

      I like to think of my laptop as a Panini first and a computer second.

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  9. dianasschwenk

    My computer is on a desk in my bedroom but my creative space is in my head. Often I have to go for a walk first, then I might jot some thoughts on a note pad. When I finally sit at the computer I just type and type! I usually write my wednesday post on sunday ….. but yesterday I had nothing, zilch, nada but sat down and just started typing about how panicked I was about having nothing and ended up with a post! :) I do prefer to have a post written a few days earlier so I can go back and edit for a few days. Usually I cut out all the extra words…cause i like shorter posts. unlike this comment which must be the longest comment i have ever left on anyone’s blog and you can see i’m starting to get lazy as i am not capitalizing i. :)

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    • timmer

      I really really envy the ability to sit down and just type. Actually writing something is a labor of love me. I guess I’m better at visualizing than articulating. I also go back and try and edit as much as I can, because I agree that short posts are great. But loooong comments are awesome! Thanks,Diana!

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  10. free penny press

    Awesome creative think tank you have there Mister.. The coffee & Moleskin alone are worth their weight in Gold..
    I need a MAC.. My Toshiba looks lame

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    • timmer

      Love the Moleskine notebooks. I have several strewn around my room. And I always carry one with me.

      Mac is good yes, but I’ve often thought about picking up a little Netbook for greater portability and being free from having a ton of other software available. I get distracted very easily.

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    • timmer

      Moleskine! Moleskine! Moleskine!

      There’s an awesome tumblr called ‘fyeahmoleskine’ where people share their sketches. Some amazing stuff. Check it out!

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  11. thesketchybunny

    Wow, it totally looks like my desk! Same laptop, Bamboo, blsck notebook, big notebook, earphones, pencil!
    Wait… are you my alter-ego living in my closet??? :-D

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    • timmer

      If your closet is a giant apartment in Boston with 2 other people living in it, then yes, I am your alter ego!

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      • thesketchybunny

        Damn, unfortunately no… I always wanted my closet to be filled with strangers! :-D

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  12. howtoonlinedate

    Hahaha… looks like you got a little color :o)

    Honestly, a full belly. Otherwise, I spend all my blogging brain cells thinking about food. I don’t even need a table, laptop is placed right on my legs for support!

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    • timmer

      I don’t even know when I’m not thinking about food. I’m thinking about it now! I just might nom nom my phone.

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  13. gingermermaid

    I tend to have most inspiration and best creative thoughts in the most inconvenient of atmospheres, such as work when one should be working, or at the grocery story where one should be focused on free samples, or at funerals when one should be weeping and gnashing teeth. I carry a notebook with me everywhere to jot ideas–for such creative emergencies–to put into a mediocre to outrageous blog post at a more appropriate time in a more conducive atmosphere. I’m waiting to invest in a waterproof notebook in case I’m showering or scuba diving when inspiration hits.

    With the short attention span for things I have to do and an intense drive to blog, I can manage to do it almost anywhere in any atmosphere, regardless of social conduct. Just need a computer to finalize and put out into the blogosphere.

    Keep ’em coming, timmer!

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    • timmer

      Oh, nice. You’re like a blogger with super focus powers! It’s funny how ideas come out of nowhere and you can plot them out in your head. The best ones almost always feel effortless for me, or just more organic in their creation. Thanks for reading!

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