Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My Work Environment

One of the questions I get asked a lot is "where do you work?" 

I work at home where I have an office designated for working that's separate from the rest of the house and only used by me. It's really comfortable, but I try not to relax in it and really treat it like I would if it were an office that I had to travel to every day to work. 

Here's a little tour. The pictures are a little fuzzy, because there was a problem with my camera when I took them, but they should give you an idea of what my work environment looks like. 

I'm very lucky in that my work area is huge, 32 feet by 24 feet in size. Above you can see most of it from the door that I enter to get here. 

Above is what looks like from that same wall, looking across towards my desk where I do all of my writing. 

Here's the view from the opposite corner. 

I keep the majority of the books I use as reference in my office. 

As well as some books that I don't use for work. 

This is the desk I write at. Usually it's covered with notebooks and other pieces of paper that have to do with various projects I'm working on. 

The two filing cabinets are full of ideas for things I want to write, some things I work on a little bit at a time, projects I've abandoned, and things I've finished. I have other filing cabinets that are just for finished projects. The bookcase next to the filing cabinets contains all of my notebooks which are full of ideas for various projects. 

I'm a big fan of classic horror movies, so I have some shelves filled with monsters. I have far more than could fit on these shelves, so I can only display part of my collection at any one time. 

My office has a second desk which overlooks the woods behind our house. This desk I use exclusively for creating the artwork that I make for gallery shows and other projects. 

On the other side of my art desk is another set of shelves full of monsters. The reason it looks so empty is that I had just packed up my collection of Batman toys which had filled it, and was still in the process of filling it with monsters. 

This sofa is a great place to do some reading, writing, watch a movie, or take a phone call or a nap. 

Opposite the sofa is a series of shelves housing some of the graphic novels I've accumulated over the years. there are also some robots, spaceships, and things from the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World. 

There's a large papier-mache octopus and a globe covered in sea monsters on the table at the other end of the sofa. 

This table was meant to also display some toys and statues from my collection, but wound up being used for other things such as this life-size coelocanth in progress. 

I try to surround myself with interesting things that will ignite my imagination, whether it's books, toys, artwork, or oddities like you see on this shelf. The only thing I don't like about this office is that the walls are slanted so that I can't hang framed artwork on them, nor can I put shelves against them that are more than a couple feet high, other wise my office would be completely filled with books, toys and art. 
Instead, I've had to hang my artwork on walls throughout the rest of the house.

What I do like about it is that no matter how bad the weather is outside, I never have to go out into it to get to work. I can even work in my pajamas if I want to. 

A Helpful List for Teachers and Librarians

If you are a teacher, librarian, or parent looking for age appropriate graphic novel suggestions, a good place to start is this new list put together for Diamond Book Distributors. The list is arranged by age group starting with pre-k and working its way up through high school. It's a great place to start, the only drawback being that the list only contains titles and publishers without any mention of subject matter or genre. You can view the list here.