Pimp my ride From sound-proofed walls to optimum lighting, the Australia-based artist explains his quest for the perfect work space
Over the past few years, my freelance career has shifted from concept artist to a creative-business role. I still design and draw every day, but I also have many other responsibilities, such as sales, marketing, finance, logistics management and team leadership as my business develops from client work to creating primarily for my own brands – and I think my office reflects this.
My method is primarily digital because it shortens the client-feedback process. While I still sketch on paper, I don’t tend to use ‘messy’ media because I keep my main office as clean as possible for client and investor meetings. If I need textures, I’ll create them in the garage where I have a second workspace setup for tasks such as painting, sculpting and woodwork.
The work rig is an open-chassis, liquidcooled monster that can handle almost any task I throw at it, from 2D or 3D to 4k video production. I have three monitors attached to it: two of which are Cintiqs (21UX and 27QHD) for on-screen drawing and painting, and a third that’s a large, 30-inch monitor to place references or do business stuff. I also have a separate television to review footage and do presentations.
I’ve been in this office for about six months now, and it’s on the second floor to the rear of our newly built home. While I love that my son and wife are home most of the time, I sometimes need to hit tight schedules and this setup enables the necessary physical separation when necessary.
We altered the original floorplans with the builder so that I could increase the studio space and I also upgraded a bunch of things to enable my business to function more effectively. For instance, the room has an
NBN connection (the fastest residential internet in Australia), making it possible to upload client files in 10-15 minutes instead of a day or more, and I also upgraded the sliding wardrobe doors with ceiling-to-floor mirrors so that I could use myself as an art reference and practise presentations.
I’m never satisfied and already planning the features for my next office/home, but I do admit the current setup works well. I feel inspired, relaxed and ready to do good work whenever I enter the room.
My open-chassis Monster Rig – I chose this chassis because I absolutely love the rugged beastly aesthetic. The downlights in the ceiling were upgraded with dimming capabilities to adjust for better video exposure if I’m recording video. My dark grey glass table is fitted with a side return to keep everything within easy reach.
The walls have embedded sound-insulation, which means I’m able to Skype international clients at any time without waking my family. Reference and inspirational books on a myriad of subjects. I never had the chance to go to art school, so these books were my education and they mean a lot to me. Lots of screen real estate for easy access to references, to-do lists, email and files.
Thanks to my rear shelves, I’m surrounded by inspiring properties,
art and technology. Found gifts from my toddler and a photo of when my wife was pregnant – to remind me of what’s important.