From improvisation to something solid:
I had a cross-country move a year ago and I had been putting most of my energy into taking the laptop out to various cafes and parks around New Orleans instead of worrying about getting a new desk to replace the one I didn’t feel like shipping from Seattle. Then suddenly there was a plague and here I was with my monitor sitting in some bookshelves, with the backup drive, keyboard, etc, also in there. That screen was wayyyy too damn close for comfortable use.
This is my horrible improvised workspace circa mid-May, using one of the bins that still hasn’t been unpacked from my move as a place to sit and stream drawing horny commissions - it got slightly better after one of my fans insisted on buying me a laptop stand that let me bring the screen up to an ergonomically proper height, then it only made the bottom of my spine ache instead of the whole thing. Sit on cushions, tablet in my lap, keyboard on the edge of the bin with a couple of notebooks below it to compensate for the big depression in the bin’s lid, iPad as a second screen for stream stuff on the right, it worked, but it wasn’t great.
But I used some of the money I got streaming horny commissions to hit up Ikea, and those parts finally arrived near the end of May. I still gotta find a decent stool to perch on when I want to work but don’t want to stand. And maybe rig up some kind of curtain over the low shelves, I dunno. But my screen’s at a comfortable distance! And I have it back on the arm so I can switch it to portrait orientation sometimes!
I would have been doing something like this eventually anyway, there have been days where I really just wanted to laze around the house and work instead of hitting a cafe and/or the park but I couldn’t because the room we’d designated as “Peggy’s studio” was still just a bunch of piles of boxes. But it was low priority, and I was just kind of occasionally wandering through used furniture shops in town waiting for the right piece to appear and say “hello, I will be your desk for your time in New Orleans”. Instead I have some more Ikea particleboard.
I have decided to cover most of the empty surface of my desk with my hoard of Mardi Gras doubloons. There are more in boxes somewhere and they’ll probably also end up on here too when we get some more storage to do another round of unpacking into. I had them on the floor of my bedroom and living room in Seattle but this feels like the right way to fill up this huge expanse of space.
I still haven’t really found a good working rhythm, to be honest. I open up unfinished comics pages, sigh, and close them again. Sometimes I spend a week doing commissions to replace the funds I’m not getting from putting comics on Patreon - it pays better but it doesn’t make me as happy. Streaming those helps give me a kick in the pants to get it done instead of having it linger, when the servers aren’t dropping 95% of my frames, but I’d really rather not try to manage a chat along with drawing stuff. Sometimes I just endlessly scroll Twitter hoping for another protestor victory or something (every photo of a slaver statue coming down is a delight) and am struck with the weirdness of having been a regular student at a dance studio that’s just outside the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone now. Sometimes I go out to the park with my computer. The big project’s at a standstill.