Where They Draw

Blog showcasing the work spaces and tools of artists

Curated by Jordan Shiveley

Submit to: jordanshiveley@gmail.com

Christopher Adams

I don’t have pictures of the two places I worked the most. For two years I was a guard at the Baltimore Museum of Art and during lulls drew on index cards with pens. Last year I lived in Tucson and in a small guest house completed a comic book about a standup comedian. I worked in the kitchen on a large desk from Goodwill. I left it when I moved.

Before heading west I worked on a cheap but sturdy wooden table. There I drew a comic for the City Paper. Usually the table was covered in paperwork so I did most actual drawing standing up at the BMA. 

Out west I lived in a tiny house for two months before moving into the guest house. In the first house the bedroom had only an air mattress and a folding chair and the kitchen table was a crate so I worked on the floor. I used Winsor & Newton brushes, two 24-color Pelikan opaque paint boxes and Canson watercolor paper. I don’t remember how I got the brushes. One of the paint boxes I bought in Sarasota. 

I’m not too particular about materials. This can lead to unnecessary obstacles. The comedian book is in three sections and each was made with different paper and media. For one section I used crayons from the University of Arizona bookstore. Later I spent a week finding clear plastic sleeves to slip finished pages into so I could scan and store them without smearing the wax. I had to cut off the hole-punched margin on each so I could fit the sleeves on my scanner. 

In Baltimore I’m working on comics that’ll be easier to format for printing. I live in a studio apartment and have two workspaces. Both are tables cobbled together from Ikea parts. The cluttered one is where I’m working on ideas for a new book. The clean one with bananas and a boombox is the kitchen table. There I worked on a comic for Smoke Signal and a comic for a marriage equality anthology called Little Heart. For both I used just the black from the Sarasota Pelikan box and a pencil. I think a Papermate. 

This week I’m going through work. On that cheap but sturdy wooden table I made some watercolors on cardboard while still living with my folks. The first few I made on a big styrofoam block on the floor but soon got the table. The cardboard was from a stockroom where I’d worked. The paints were those same damn Pelikans. 

I’m not good at setting up a solid work environment. I don’t think it’s all that important. I remember reading once that James Joyce would sit on his bed and write on a sheet of paper on a suitcase on his lap. That seems like enough. 

Thanks for reading! See some more work HERE.

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