Every comic artist needs their cocoon of inspiration around them as they plow through the long, sometimes tedious hours of creating and imagining. Or you could just say, most of us like alot of junk and cool stuff to look at and play with around our desks. In order to meet grueling deadlines or to, frankly, get anything done, many of us plant ourselves firmly into our drawing chairs, sometimes forgoing contact with the outside world for days. We need stuff to keep us inspired, motivated and to keep us from cracking under the pressures. WE NEED STUFF!! Sometimes, however, the STUFF can be a distraction so, if you've got an A.D.D personality type, it's probably best not to do what I did to my art station yesterday....
It's been in the plan for a long time but I managed to avoid the trap that so many other comic artists fall into and made up all sorts of reasons to keep the PS2 out of my work area....I was trying to be responsible...but yesterday I decided irresponsibility had to be done....I put my old Playstation 2 at my desk area and connected it to my little TV/DVD thingy.
I had already set up a viewing station to watch/listen to movies, cartoons, TV shows and Prophecy DVD's and sermons while I burn away my life drawing stuff. So 1/2 the setup was already pre-done. The bonus of the PS2 though lies in it's easier to access DVD tray. The little TV was okay but you have to pull it down and open it like a clam to change out disks. Kind of a pain if you have action figures and various chords strewn about all over your work area. So the PS2 would save alot of time and headache in that but also could potentially play some of the copied sermon disks from mom that the little TV/DVD thingy was just not capable of doing. So a double bonus!
But this connecting cool stuff to that TV didn't stop with the Playstation. There was a triple bonus int he works....See, I used to do alot of video recording back in my younger years. I would make movies or just document life and trips and such, often sharing my recordings with my friends and family. Well, these precious memories have been stored away for many years now, and I've been jonsing to watch them once again. Problem is, I've learned it's not fair to subject my poor wife to such things for long periods of time as, what seems like awesome to me, is really kinda boring to her after a while. And being that there are countless hours of these VHS-C tapes of my awesome memories...those would no doubt be countless hours of boredom to her. I figured drawing time would be the perfect time to view these portals to the past....SO...I dragged out my old (but newest as of 1996) video camera and hooked it up to the little TV/DVD as well. Soon I was guffawing out loud at the silliness on those tapes. Me in high school making stupid movies with my friends, me on trips to MN (Before I lived here) visiting family and friends...Road trips, parties, my first Chicago Comicon...The gems encased in that little treasure chest that was once a piece of my grandmother's luggage were endless.....But so was my watching. I soon realized that these tapes could very well be one of those things I need to regulate myself on lest I spend more time watching the screen and less time focusing on the pages...*Sigh*
Above is me lipsyncing to a Dr. Demento track called "Little Toot" when I was 16 years old. Fun Fact: My drawing station at that time consisted of a small dinette table with the leaves folded down, a boom box and a stack of cassette tapes in my bedroom. Good times.
Again...me at 16. Getting into character as I lipsynched to the "Dwayne Stomp" PSA, also recorded from the Dr. Demento show. The "wig" is just a skull with hair tucked under my hat. I had a paper logo of a worm with a skull for a head and the band name DEATH WORMS taped to my chest. This stuff is pure gold people!!
So what other distractions surround my "Creation Station?" (Sorry Commander Mark...had to do it.)
Well, the days of the boombox having a prominent place at the "table" are over. Not that one could fit anyway. But instead, I listen to music/radio/sermons/podcasts either on my iPod Touch, Discman or Walkman. Yes, I still love listening to cassette tapes....I still prefer talking on regular land line phones, buying music on CD and paying my bills through the mail. I'm OLD! Shutup, and respect your elders!
I've managed to attach toys to my desklamp. The little Grim Reaper has magnets in his feet!
My Far-Cry stuffed animals watch over me from the...*ahem*...Shower shelf tower in the corner. Note: I actually bought that thing just for the toys in my desk area. You may call it sad...I say it's ingenuity.
Also, there's a picture of a big ass burger on my wall!!!
More of my toy tower! Countless action figures watch over me as I scrawl on paper.
What time is it? I dunno...I unplugged that clock a long time ago. But it still looks cool and...YES....there are toys on that too!
Also, my corkboard is filled with character reference for the projects I'm currently working on.
More of the corkboard and of to the left of that are some photos of my late uncle Ron and a picture of my mother and I when I was a baby. It was taken by my late uncle, at one of my favorite places in the world, Hatcher's Pass in Alaska. The top round pic is a cartoon version of my uncle Ron that I drew for his "Celebration of Life" service.
Complete with my Suicide Machines workshirt (that is now dubbed my drawing shirt) that I'm wearing in the pic, THAT mass of mess in these pictures is my Drawing Station.
I should probably make a resolution to tidy it up a little better....But first I really should work on kicking this candy cigarette habit.