Monday, February 18, 2013

On-The-Go Studio -by Maple Lam

Once in a while, I pack up my "on-the-go" gears and work at a nearby coffee shop.  I like to pick and choose my tools, depending on what I will be working on.

The key is to travel light but still have all the things you need.  :)

The tech stuff:

•  I use a small Artograph lightbox
•  I save everything on the external drive and put it back in my desktop when I get back to the studio.

The idea stuff:

•  I like HB & 2B for pencils & Zebra Clip-On with 4 colors + mechanical

The watercolor stuff:

•  I bought the small water color containers at a Japanese dollar-store.
•  I use the lids as water containers.  Fill both lid-containers with water.  Use one to clean up the brush, and the other one should always have relatively clean water.  When the water gets murky, I pour it into the "dirty" container and refill the lid with clean water.  It saves me time running back and forth the coffee restroom to get clean water.
•  For watercolor pads, I switch between Canson and Arches.
•  I bought the spray bottle at a local Target.

The other useful stuff:

•  I bought my mini scissors in Hong Kong, but there are some really neat ones online, like this one.

The entire studio:
(I can fit them all in my backpack if needed.)


My "on-the-go" gears are an accumulation of trials-and-errors as well as observation of how others work. I am sure through time, you too will find your personal perfect "on-the-go" gears.  When you do, please drop us a line on the comments below.  We would love to learn from each other!

Note: If you only have room for two things, bring your sketchbook and a pen/pencil.  They are your best friends!

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Maple Lam illustrates and writes for children's books.  You can check out more of her work at www.maplelam.com.

9 comments:

  1. So amazing Maple! Is your backpack the size of a fridge? Great post

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    1. Thanks, Brian! No, no, I don't carry ALL my gears at once. I pick and choose the things I need for the day. (But I can flee with my entire on-the-go studio at moment notice.) :)

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  2. That is great! I just wonder what you do with the light box when you are on the go?

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    1. Sometimes I do quick sketches on 8.5x11 papers. When I see one of the images work, I use the lightbox to transfer the image onto my watercolor paper. If I don't have the lightbox with me, I just re-draw the image on the watercolor paper. The lightbox helps save me time to re-draw and erase.

      I also use the lightbox when I do graphic novel concepts. I like to draft character placements on the computer, print it, and use that as a guide when I use my lightbox.

      (I do the printing part at home, as I don't have an on-the-go printer.) :)

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    2. Thanks for sharing, it is interesting having an insight into your process.

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  3. Maple- Looks like you're ready for anything! I love this!

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  4. This is an amazing post! Love how you've laid everything out. It makes me want to get my own on-the-go studio and head to the nearest coffee shop!

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    1. Thanks, Kim! Glad you find it helpful. :)

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