Studio Tour – Adam Huber
|This post has been submitted by Webcomics.com member Adam Huber, creator of Bug Martini.|
My name is Adam Huber and I draw a webcomic called Bug Martini. I’ve been drawing it for a little over five years now and I finally (and when I say “finally” I mean “kinda, sorta”) have my studio just the way I want it and I thought I’d use this opportunity to give you all a studio tour – and also use this post as photographic documentation for insurance purposes to deal with the inevitable fire that will break out in my apartment due to my George Foreman grill.
So, without further hulabaloo, let’s go!
Here’s an overview of my studio, or as I like to call it: “the Batcave” due to the amount of screens I have facing me. Feels very command center-ish. I used to draw comics in my living room with a wooden board on my lap so this is a bit of a step up. My main computer is an old iMac which is the only piece of tech I own that hasn’t made me want to pull my hair out. I’m not a Mac fanboy but it’s treated me far better than my old PC which, on more than one occasion, I’ve wanted to take a cricket bat to.
This is my portable drafting table which has only been “ported” to one place – my desk. I wanted to be able to draw my strip and keep my computers in view. I occasionally draw live on Ustream (if you look at the first pic you can see a microphone arm hovering just above my Mac – there’s a webcam attached to the end of it) and this setup allows me to keep an eye on the stream and see if my gut is showing up in the video.
Here we have a pretty boring all-in-one scanner. I used to use a large scanner that could accommodate sheets of paper as big as 11″ x 17″. It was a beast and made me feel very professional. Problem is the sucker broke down and I had to make a special order to get a new one. In the meantime I used this lil’ guy. I had to scan the strip twice to get the whole thing but it sufficed. A week later the replacement scanner showed up and, to my surprise, couldn’t quite scan as well as the all-in-one. I returned the large scanner and decided to just use my little scanner. Not only does this scanner do a better job scanning lineart, but it’s infinitely easier to replace. One quick trip to Best Buy and I’m back in business.
Pen caddy. Not much to say about that. It is nice to be able to move all of my art supplies in one carrier. It is weird to think how long I went before getting one of these things. To the right you can see my iPhone speaker doc (I swear I’m not a Mac fanboy). Having the ability to listen to music and podcasts while I draw comics is a necessity.
This goofy-looking piece of plastic is (I think) supposed to be a tablet holder. I use it to hold up the notebook I write strips in. Yes, an actual, old-fashioned paper notebook.
Voila! The goofy-looking piece of plastic in action. I hand-letter my comics and it’s important for me to figure out how many lines of text I’m going to need. When I write in my notebook I write at the same size as I would for the actual strip. That way I know that if there’s three lines of text in my notebook, I’ll need three lines of text in my strip.
This is probably the single most difficult to replace piece of cartooning equipment I own: an Ames Lettering Guide. I have yet to find one of these in any art store. I ordered this one (and three other backups) online. This, kids, is how the old timers used to letter. You put your pencil lead in one of those holes and drag it across your paper using a T-square as a guide. Do it several times and twenty three skidoo – you have yourself a bunch of lettering guidelines. I know most webcartoonists use fonts and type in their dialogue, but I gotta tell you, there’s something zen about hand-lettering. It’s my anti-drug.
Over here we have my mixer and microphone. I got all this stuff when I started podcasting. I think a lot of webcartoonists, deep down, would also like to be radio talk show hosts. Seems like all of us have, or have been part of, a podcast.
Advice from the late Douglas Adams. This thing has actually kept me sane on more than one occasion. Everyone who wants to succeed in webcomics should have these words in eyesight at all times.
On the opposite wall we have my second desk. This the desk I use when all my other desks get covered in work-related items and/or Go-Bots. I do have a fantasy of one day hiring an assistant who would sit there doing busy work and/or organizing my Go-Bots.
On the second desk is my newest piece of cartooning equipment: a paper cutter. Got this for Christmas last year from my sister and all I can think is: “Why didn’t I get one of these things sooner?” I used to cut my paper by hand like some sort of animal.
Here’s the paper I use. Strathmore Smooth Bristol. Love this paper. I swear this stuff is horny for ink. I used to draw strips on sketch paper. What was I thinking? This is what happens when you’re self-taught. You end up using all the wrong things for far too long. I’m amazed I wasn’t killing buffalo, dipping my fingers in their blood, and drawing strips on cave walls.
And, if you have a cat, one of the most important pieces of cartooning equipment you can have is a second chair for her to lie down on. I suggest folding a comfy blanket to lure her.