Artist in residence
Happy medium The illustrator on painting a full tarot deck and the joys of sharing a home studio space with her husband
Our studio is located on our covered porch. My husband, Scott Murphy, is also an illustrator and he works right behind me. Since moving in together in 2010, we’ve always worked back to back.
Before we moved to our new home in Massachusetts last October, we lived in New York City and our tiny studio was also our bedroom. Now we’re in a bigger space with lots of light. We fortunately don't get sick of each other, and I’m actually much more productive when he’s around.
As a freelance illustrator I make my own time, but I still try to maintain a ‘normal’ schedule. During the average work day, we wake up at 8:30am (it’s a struggle to wake up earlier) and go to bed around 1:30am.
The first thing we do is make a big breakfast. I also check my email and various social media in the morning, and I’ve just started drawing in a One Sketch A Day book, so that gets me warmed up.
From 11am to around 6pm I work in my studio on various projects. Right now I’m illustrating a tarot deck for Llewellyn Worldwide, so I’m either sketching, inking or painting images – or making time for a personal piece or other commissions.
I love my studio arrangement. It’s in a corner and I’m surrounded by windows. I have plenty of room for my traditional art set-up and my digital set-up, because I sometimes work digitally.
We usually exercise before dinner, using a workout DVD. Then it’s back to work! I continue until 9 or 10pm. Then I need to relax before bed, with TV, a book or a film. Elisabeth is a freelance illustrator living in western Massachusetts. You can see her work at www.albaillustration.com.
These sheets of paper block the sun out of my eyes as it travels. Ugly but necessary. Snow! I love having windows for occasional refreshing gazing. In bad weather, they serve as a reminder that I’m warm, comfy and working from home! Though in good weather the view taunts me. My daily routine includes these books: One Sketch A Day and One Line A Day: A Five-Year Memory Book.