Odori Park, by Chris Watkins Odori Park - Blog


We still rent. We’ve been saving up to buy a house for a goodly while, but we’re continuing to save so that we can make a big hunk-a-hunk-a burning down-payment. As my son was getting bigger, our apartment was starting to feel smaller. Much smaller. So, about a year ago, we switched to a rental townhouse. We chose one with a semi-finished basement (concrete floors) and three bedrooms. That’s one bedroom for us, one for our son, and one to use as an office/studio.

Well, the time has come, as I suspected it might (and as followers of my Twitter feed have seen clues) for the upstairs office to make way for a third bedroom. (Yay! but Boo!) Last weekend, I moved my studio into the dank recesses of the spider-infested basement. Sort of.

See, I’ve worked digitally for a long time, and for years that meant drawing first on paper, at least for pencils/initial inks, and then finishing with a Wacom tablet on my desktop PC. But then, about two years ago, I bought a tablet PC (a Toshiba Tecra M7, to be exact). The Wacom caused an evolutionary leap in my working methods, and the tablet PC did the same. Today, location matters much less, because my studio is really this:

To make things a little more comfortable, I often like to use:

It’s because of the tablet PC that I was able to keep up making comics during numerous trips to Japan in 2008 (it was a bumper year for travel), without having to drag around a bag-full of art supplies, oversized paper, etc. I still like working in traditional media, and someday I think I’d like to graduate to a Cintiq on the digital side, but for now, this is a great set-up for producing a thrice-weekly comic strip.

FYI, I’ve not yet finished the basement set-up, so if anyone’s interested in seeing photos, let me know, and I’ll try to post some. Same goes for details on my experiences with the tablet PC–if you’re interested, I’d be glad to drone on endlessly about it :)


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    [...] Odori Park » Archive » The Art Dungeon :: A webcomic comedy of …Odori Park is the webcomic story of Japanese Arisa Nishimori, from snowy Hokkaido, Japan, and American Colin Easton, from Suburbia, USA, navigating the culture shocks of romance, parenthood, family, friends, and making a living in an … [...]

  2. Bearman

    I thought about tablet pc since I am on the road alot too. Now I just pack the Wacom with me but I miss being able to look down and draw.

  3. Chris Watkins

    I hear you, Bearman. My friend Drew Baker (www.drewbaker.com) often travels with a ThinkPad and a small Wacom, which he seems to like just fine, but given the option, I think we’d all rather draw on and look at the same place. Expense is an issue, but tablets are already common enough to be a bit reduced in price. For my money, it was definitely worth saving up the sheckels and biding my time to finally get my hands on one–I’d wanted it for years before I bought it.

  4. Drew Baker

    Actually, Chris, my Thinkpad is an X60 Tablet PC. Before that I traveled with a laptop and a Graphire and even though I think my 12″ screen is smaller than ideal, it’s a huge improvement. And much easier to pack.

  5. Chris

    Oh, yeah–I forgot you’d upgraded. I do remember your computer being significantly lighter than mine. I wonder if it gets as hot as mine does…?

  6. Drew Baker

    I made a custom power profile — power saver, with the screen brightness turned up — so it generally stays pretty cool. Photoshop 6 is pretty easy on the processor, after all. The only time I really notice the heat is when I’m charging the battery.

  7. Chris

    Ah, I see. I think I might follow your lead, Drew.

  8. Odori Park » Archive » Art Dungeon Update :: A webcomic comedy of culture shock in love, life, and family, by Chris Watkins ::

    [...] promised a while back, when discussing my new studio space, that once I had the space spiffied up a bit, I’d take and post some photos. The time has [...]

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