Justin was kind enough to take us on a tour of the different workstations in his studio and break it down for us.
A) Coloured lights. The main lights are on in this photo. Normally it looks like a hide-out for Tinkerbell’s sister that took too many mushrooms.
B) There’s a baby monitor here. After having babies, these help remind you where you put them.
C) All pencil, paint and ink work happens at this station. If I’m not sitting there, it’s occupied by Flip the cat. Mow-mow, pussy cat, mow-mow.
D) I like to work late at night and that’s when my feet get cold. This discarded Sasquatch slipper won’t get any love again ’til 1am.
E) Some swords, a Freddy glove and an alien skull. Only the swords are real. The iMac gets turned on only when I think about selling it.
F) If you have a studio, you’ve got drawers full of things that were once well organised. Now they just overflow with useless stuff you’ll need one day, and ‘sorting’ is reduced to finding a drawer with free space.
G) Props for photos & illustrations. There was another SWAT jacket hanging on this wall but I added a gas mask and it fell off. Now they’re hanging elsewhere and there’s a blank bit of wall with a hole in it. Get to that one day.
H) A wireless A3 printer/scanner. Used to scan finished art and comic pages before I play with them using the Photoshops.
I) A baby feeding chair makes an awesome ‘read a book’ chair. This shelf should probably contain books but those have been moved to an adjacent office. Instead, you’ll find a board game called Talisman and some action figures that I’m too old to own, let alone play with.
K) Despite looking super-fly, this chair is cheap, uncomfortable and the arms keep falling off. Red though. Vroooom.
L) Because you can buy a full sized skeleton for about 200 bucks, that’s why.
A) When I’m writing in the studio, it’s usually dead quiet. But when painting, that big screen plays 80’s movies, podcasts and rap battles. If you didn’t see Canibus get smoked by Dizaster, you be trippin’.
B) Home security. Working in the wee hours means you sometimes hear weird shit outside. When you’re in the flow, in that cosy marshmallow bubble of oneness with your work, the last thing you want is interruptions. Ergo, security cams.
C) There’s always a small collection of books from my library here. Often something inspiring (Beksinski, Woodring and Woodroffe are regulars) or something I want to read but haven’t had time to do so.
D) A Wacom Cintiq 24HD drawing tablet of awesomeness. It’s essentially a monitor that you can draw on with very accurate results. It also functions as a place to hang my keys.
E) These cables lead to a fancy digital projector that’s waiting for Dark Souls 3.
F) This green box is going to be my new work machine. It’s also connected to those cables on the wall, helping to make the pretty projections.
G) If you go to Spotlight, you too can write your own Twitter handle in silver puffy letters. The mouse on either side are for two different computers (left is the green box and rap battle screen, right is the Wacom and laptop marked with a J). I grew up using a mouse in my right hand, despite being a lefty. Nowadays I find it easy to use both. If I do it at the same time it makes me look super nerdy.
H) If an idea comes to me, I usually scribble it down and clip it here. Don’t bother zooming in; it pretty much reads, “Show them the death feast… (blah-blah-blah)…when the dude hits the floor… (yadda- yadda-yadda) see how they eat the dying”, etc.
I) This monitor screen is linked to the Wacom drawing screen. Here I mainly display Adobe Bridge while working in Adobe Photoshop. Unless I’m doing something else, like writing about the things in my studio. Right now it’s playing Kill Tony episode 140 and after that, probably something from the Ding Dong Show.
J) Using a laptop means you’re not susceptible to power outages. Lights go out and I’ve got battery life for at least another hour. I dread losing digital files. I ‘save’ every few minutes; under a new version every few hours and on an external backup every few days, but unfortunately this laptop is dying in the ass. It overheats, crashes and restarts 2-3 times daily. Still… immortal to power outages for a solid 1 hour 20.
K) There’s an A3 pad here, used for a to-do list. Doubles as a mouse pad.
A) Once a page has been painted and scanned, it usually joins this pile. When the pile stacks up, I file the artwork away in a separate room.
B) Netflix, Stan or Podcasts make great background fodder. I try to play something I’m already familiar with or something with a basic premise so I can imagine the movie in my head while my eyes are focused on painting. Pretty sure there’s some kind of attention disorder thing going on there but when I paint I like to overwhelm the senses a bit. Years later, I can often recall what was playing in the background (and in my head) when I worked on a certain painting or page.
C) This desk is made of glass, enabling me to strap a light box underneath and convert the entire surface into a light table.
D) Art. Innit.
E) I’ve used this lamp for 20 years. With 2 brightness settings and a bendy arm, I can adjust the intensity] to best match the light coming from the table.
F) A friend hooked me up with a life supply of 0.35 super-polymer pencil leads. All my lines are drawn with these and I’m pretty sure they’re very hard to find now. Don’t tell me they’re not, I enjoy feeling like I own treasure. No you can’t have any.
G) You know those magazines at the newsagency where you get something really cool in the first issue, but then you have to buy the rest to make a thing at the end or complete a set. I bought issue one of the Human Skeleton series so I could turn the first part into a holder for my paint brushes.
H) I make cups of coffee which I forget about because I’m too busy painting pictures and watching movies in my head. Room temperature coffee tastes like poo but cold coffee tastes like a fancy treat.
I) That’s a Facehugger, about to launch on a sequinned teddy bear hanging from a lamp.