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

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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 at­bail­lus­tra­

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.

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