Light room The US comic book artist and penciller takes us around his rural studio, which he shares with his wife Rachel Dodson, who often colours his art
This is my full-time studio that I share with my wife and co-worker Rachel Dodson. I’ve worked in this rural location for well over a decade, although I also have a studio in the city of Florence, Oregon, that I use for the occasional human contact and tech advice. It’s always helpful to have an answer to a tech problem…
The studio is in my home, which is convenient for commuting and for the cats. It’s over 300 square feet in size, has a high ceiling, and has north- and east-facing windows, which enables me to watch birds nesting in the springtime. The space itself is open and roomy with lots of natural light. It’s a space I enjoy being in.
The studio is on the top floor of my house. I like it being upstairs
The north- and eastfacing windows means I can watch birds nesting
because I get extra exercise every time I want to take a break: I need to go down a minimum of two flights of stairs to go anywhere! I have a second studio in the basement, which I use for painting and storage.
I’ve been working for myself for over 25 years now and so my working day is structured and organised. I paint pretty religiously between the hours of 9am and 12pm. I’ll take an hour for lunch and try to get some fresh air if the weather is decent. It’s back to work from 1pm to 4pm, then I’ll exercise outside if possible and at the gym if not. Then we prepare dinner. I’m back in the studio from 7pm to 9pm Monday through Friday, and 9am to 12pm most Saturdays.
I generally begin the day by responding to emails and social media until 9am, and then illustrate for the remainder of the time, only tackling emails and social media as necessary. I try to limit my next session on social media until after lunch and then before I work in the evening.
I mute my phone and computer so I can’t hear messages and emails coming through. However, I generally have some kind of sound in the background – mostly music, but it can
I get extra exercise every time I want to take a break: I go down a minimum of two flights of stairs to go anywhere!
be the radio, a podcast, a sporting event that I’m interested in, a film or TV show. I also like having commentaries from films or other media playing in the background.
Up on the walls are some original artworks from my favourite artists, which is inspiring to look at when I need a mental break. I have a number of books, comic books, toys, statues dotted around the room, files for storing art and a leather chair to sit and relax at. I draw at a seated table and I do all my digital work (scanning, colouring and design), emailing and web surfing at my standing desk.
Terry is known for his work on Harley Quinn, Spider-man, Star Wars, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman and X-men. His wife Rachel inks his artwork. Terry’s creating his own graphic novel series Red One with writer Xavier Dorison and the upcoming Adventureman! with writer Matt Fraction. See his art at www.terrydodsonart.com.