The office/studio of Rafer Roberts and Plastic Farm Press
Our house is about 100 years old and at some point one of the previous owners put a 10’x10’ addition on the back. This was a huge selling point when we were house hunting and I believe I declared this addition to be my new studio during our first walkthrough. One of the walls is brick and was originally just the back of the house. If I ever get motivated I plan to strip the paint off to reveal the brickface.
Here are some highlights:
1 - Corkboard. Contains random scraps of paper, mostly notes or ideas for stories. A lot have already made their way into comics and remain on the board because I don’t know where else to put them.
2 - Toolbox. Filled with extra ink, brushes, nibs and paint. Extra inventory.
3 - Filing cabinets. Filled with stacks of finished pages. Eventually I’ll spring for portfolios to put all these in, but for now the cabinets works.
4 - Floor. Where my paper lives, apparently. (I use Strathmore Bristol, both vellum and smooth, windpower when I can get it.)
5 - Drawing desk. I’ve had the same antique drawing table since late middle school. I bought it at a garage sale from someone who had bought it second hand and who had used it for 30 years themselves, so it’s hard to say how old the thing really is. It’s wobbly and the surface is pocked and grooved (I have a piece of smooth particle board sitting on top of it) but I’ve carried it with me through high school and college and a dozen or so moves and I’ve drawn nearly every page of comics I’ve ever made (all the good ones, anyway) so replacing it isn’t something that I’m eager to do. On the other hand, the slant isn’t very steep and the nearly flat angle is killing my back.
6 - This stool came with the table. My ass has worn out the padding and so it has been replaced. Now it is a seat for the cats so they can watch me draw.
7 - Entertainment. I listen to music, audiobooks, radio and sometimes play old movies and TV shows in the background while I draw. The TV is also wired to the computer so I can use it to display reference pictures at a larger size.
8 - Books. Mostly “how to draw” style books and giant books filled with pictures of single subjects. A big book of guns is prominently displayed.
9 - Mailing supplies. A big ugly pile of boxes and mailing supplies that block the door to the outside (which I never really used anyway.)
10 - Whiteboard. One of the most useful things in the office. Helps me to not miss deadlines and to draw things in order.
11 - Technology. Computer is a Mac. Printer is a duplex that I sometimes use to print out mini-comics. Scanner is the MIcrotek ScanMaker 9800XL. (I draw big and got tired of cutting up my artwork or scanning in multiple passes.)
12 - Letters from Dave Sim and Larry Young. They were really cool letters so I hung them up.
WHERE I SIT
13 - Circles within reach.
14 - Assortment of drawing utensils, some used more often than others (details later)
15 - Wrist glove. Fights hand cramping and helps with keeping my sweaty hand from smudging my artwork.
16 - Sketchbook. It sits in this spot while I am in the penciling stage.
17 - Light table. When it’s not helping me to draw cars or buildings, my light table lives behind my desk.
18 - In this big mess of drawing tools you will find:
Brushes: Mostly Loew-Cornell 7000 round, sizes 2-4
Nibs: For cross-hatching and some lettering
Ink: I use a variety but have been mostly stuck on Speedball Super Black for a while
Ames lettering guide: for lettering
Toothbrush: for drawing stars or blood
Also in there somewhere: rulers, various Pitt pens, razor blades and scissors. There is also a clay sculpting tool in there, but I don’t know why.
19 - Pandora. The cat who likes to watch me draw. She will claw at my leg and meow if I am drawing, but if I put her on the old stool she will be a good girl and just quietly sit there.