The Studio

studio door 2019

My studio is the culmination of a lifetime of daydreaming while working in factories. In fact, I have created something every single day since moving into my studio on April 20th, 2017. My backlog of ideas, plans and projects spans close to 45 years so I could work every day until I die and still not get all those ideas brought to fruition.

Area 51 Studio

The studio is equipped for digital art, graphic art on paper, painting on canvas, video production, music production, printing, etching, air brushing , engraving and copious amounts of coffee drinking.

eclipse

I use Dell Desktop computers running Microsoft Windows for all my digital work and a 2004 (15 year old) Intuos 3 Drawing Tablet that I purchased when it was new.  It still works perfectly and the only issue I have had is finding legacy software to run it that does not conflict with Windows 10.

desk & intuos

I use an older, 2010 standalone version of the Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 in order to avoid the high cost of their newer subscription models. I know I am probably missing-out on a lot of new bells and whistles, but honestly, what I have always gets the job done.

CS 5.5

STUDIO TIP: Always have someone else check your work before publishing it – This is Jack, the Studio’s Quality Control Manager.

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The studio printing department is overseen by the Print Managers – Millie (top) Black and White and Laser (bottom) Color. I chose laser printers over inkjets for their economical superiority, image quality and low maintenance.   I purchased both these printers on Amazon.com  and have never had a moments problem with them. Good management is key and these girls keep things running smoothly. I should also mention – the felines are not sold with the printers, you have to obtain them separately.

Printer Grrls

Millie the print manager.jpg

Prior to this I always had a One Cat Studio Management System. But late in 2019 I went to a Four Cat Management System. The Fourth Manager, Spot, is more of a General Manager as no one is really clear what he’s in charge of  (besides sleeping) .

SPOT

Staff meetings are held weekly to review and prioritize the studio workload –

Family Playtime.jpg

The 3 cameras I use for capturing my studio WIP videos are little Logitech C-920 /922 Webcams. I have them plugged into a USB HUB switcher so I can toggle them as needed. These are great little workhorse cameras and very inexpensive.

C920.PNG

I watch and listen to a lot of other artist’s videos and pod casts and sadly, time and time again, I am assailed by pseudo sales pitches & product placement for expensive art supplies and equipment – obviously sponsored products – that most working artists simply cannot afford. I am willing to bet the artists doing these video pitches can’t even afford them either, which is why they are selling little bits of their souls on these videos to obtain freebies from corporate sponsorship.

Picture 67

We live in a “what’s new and shiny gets attention and must be consumed” world. But that doesn’t mean we have to blindly go along with it. The creative arts have become so “toolcentric” that many creators use the absence of some specially perceived magical tool as a way to procrastinate and not start or finish projects.  So, I encourage younger artists in particular and people in general, to see past the sales pitch and stop and honestly ask themselves – “Do I have what I need to accomplish this task?”  If the answer is “YES”, then get to work.

I save a ton of money by engaging in DIY and the internet makes it so easy – just Google for instructions! I have learned so much about inexpensive art supplies and ways to save money around the studio. I make all my own acrylic inks, air brush cleaner solution and acrylic thinners and all WITHOUT any harsh chemicals or odors because one of my Studio Managers, Jack, is asthmatic.

My Best Tip – Google and The Dollar Store are your friends.

Lastly, good scheduling is vitally important if you are juggling multiple projects and deadlines. I use simple erasable white marker boards and write-in tasks and goals as needed –

 

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