My workspace and tools...
Since I went freelance full time I’ve been slowly but surely making adjustments to my workspace and gradually investing in new equipment to make my work process more efficient and my workspace more comfortable. So I thought I would cover some of that today incase anyone is looking for ideas!
Cork board & white board.
Rock salt lamp.
Gaming mouse mat.
Wacom Cintiq 13HD.
Clip Studio Paint
So I’m going to break it up in to 3 different sections covering the hardware that I use, the software I use the most and also the extra bits I’ve got on my desk/make use of to make everything easier.
For about 6 years I had an iMac which I bought while I was in uni, it was by far the best computer I’ve ever had and I highly doubt I’d ever go back to Windows after using it, but I did recently upgrade my setup because I wanted a bigger screen to work on. Unfortunately the iMac with the bigger screen was too out of my price range, so instead I bought myself an Mac mini and a 27” standalone monitor. I also invested in a wireless mouse and wireless keyboard, I think anyone who’s swapped from wired to wireless will know how much easier everything becomes! Both my keyboard and mouse were super cheap, they actually came in at less than £20 for both, as long as you check if they work with your operating system and have decent reviews they’ll probably do the job! I’ve also recently invested in a flatbed scanner for when I need to scan in any drawings etc.
One piece of hardware I always wanted when I started out was a Wacom Cintiq, I struggled to be able to afford one straight away, but I saved up for a good 2 years and was able to afford a Wacom Cintiq 13HD, it was definitely a worthy investment and I’m extremely glad that I bought it. about a year ago I also bought an iPad Pro and Apple pencil which I also use pretty much on a daily basis. Although it will never replace my Wacom Cintiq it again was definitely a worthwhile purchase and has helped to improve my workflow a lot, especially in the sketching stages.
I’ve always had a pretty standard desk and it’s never really been a problem, but since going full time I wanted to look after my health a bit more so one thing I asked for as a Christmas present was a stand up desk (adult life) so that I could adjust it when needed. It’s definitely made a massive difference, although I can’t really get the hang of doing digital work stood up, it’s really good for when I need to sketch something up or write some notes.
I try to keep my desk really tidy but do keep a few things on there that is for my own comfort or that put me more into work mode. I always have some wireless headphones to hand, and of course I always have a wired pair as a back up. I never really used to like normal mouse mats because of how small they were so I bought myself a big gaming mouse mat which is perfect for keeping both my keyboard and my mouse on. I wanted to make my desk space a little more cosy so I also bought myself a plant and a rock salt lamp. I think I’ve now managed to create an atmosphere which makes it much easier for me to focus.
Up until about 18 months ago I exclusively worked in Photoshop (it’s actually pretty cheap to have if you just go for the Photography plan with Adobe). I still use Photoshop primarily but always use Clip Studio Paint for the line work, and Photoshop for everything else.
When using my iPad Pro I have tried a fair few apps, including Clip Studio Paint, but for me personally Procreate outweighs everything else. I can usually work on a piece from start to finish in Procreate, sometimes only adding a few finishing touches in Photoshop near the end. I’ve also recently bought Astropad to use with my iPad Pro and both my Mac Mini and Macbook Pro, I struggled to get to grips with it at first but I’m starting to get the hand of it now, and trying to use in instead of my Cintiq on a more regular basis.
thanks for reading guys! if you have any questions please feel free to email me and I hope this gives people some ideas for a workspace and also that not everyone's workspace is the same or even similar, different things work for different people :)