Where you work, the physical space you’re in when you try to create, is for many as important a tool as anything else. Jason Aaron writes about how once he had a room in his house that he could call office, his productivity went through the roof.

I wasn’t always so lucky. For the first four or five years of my writing career, my “office” was a laptop and a lapdesk. Actually, before there was the laptop there was just a desktop computer in my son’s bedroom. But most of my comics were written on that lapdesk. When I had the house to myself, I’d sit in the living room. Sometimes when the wife and kids were home, I’d sit on the bed next to the few shelves I had crammed with books in our bedroom. Once everybody else went to sleep, I’d usually take over the kitchen table.

Even now, I have a hard time writing when my family is home. When there’s a TV blaring in the next room or people coming and going, I just can’t focus. When I’m alone, I work in complete silence. I can’t listen to music or the radio, nothing. I get too distracted. My brain is too weak. I just can’t focus with any background noise going on.

About a year and a half ago, my wife and I were able to move to a bigger house, and at the expense of a guest room (sorry friends looking to spend the night) I was able to make my dream of an office come true.

Work-wise, it made me feel like a new man. Seriously. There is no substitute for having your own space in which to write. It’s one of those things, like a DVR or a smartphone or, I don’t know, viagra, that once you get it you wonder how the fuck you ever lived without it before.

I am in a building full of different businesses and professionals. This got me thinking about my work and me. Am I just someone in the building drawing some books? Or, am I a business? I learned that I am a business. I now have a full corporation for my comics work and am learning how to maximize the money I make and the expenses I can write off. As a freelancer, you are a business and need to treat it like one

I am a better Father/ Husband and a better cartoonist.

Probably the best thing that’s come out of my studio is the separation of work and family. As an artist, I can’t put the work away. When I was working out of this house, I would come downstairs for dinner, but my brain was in my work I would eat my dinner as fast as I could, waiting to get back up to fix that busted drawing. I was vacant during family functions and such. Now, when I leave the studio, I leave the work. When I’m at home, I’m a father and a husband. When I’m in the studio, I’m a cartoonist. It’s all about balance, and I’ve found it.
Shawn Crystal
Artist, Wolverine & Deadpool: The Decoy

The whole article is worht a read. Tony Moore and Jeff Parker also chime in about their work spaces. Click HERE.

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