From the desk of #4: Kate Beaton

Look at this mess!!  Whose garbage can is this??

Aw nuts, it’s mine.  A hundred water bottles and other trash plus some art I guess!  Well let’s go through it anyway.

So what is Kate up to today?

shhh no, not that, don’t look at that!  Just busy yourselves for a second, I’m gonna close the laptop and..  pk.  phew.  ok:

Here are the things that I am never without, wherever I go.  Even if I am not going somewhere to work on comics, I usually take them with me, just in case.  Bristol paper, clear ruler, laptop, ipod, pencil case with all my pencils, erasers, pens and brush pens.  I got so used to being mobile with my work before I had a studio that I can’t help but minimize the amount of tools I use and am loathe to get into the habit of needing more space or using more tools.  But I should.  Hopefully I will.

I ink with brush pens.  This is because inking with brushes takes patience and practice and is altogether more visually appealing and beneficial to the artists, BUT, I am too lazy and I like to carry brush pens in my purse so I can ink wherever and whenever I darn well please.  Professional!  The black one is a Pentel brush pen and can be found in most good art stores, and the blue one can be ordered from “jetpens dot com.”

Here is some more “art supplies!”  I shade comics with a mix of watercolor and greyscale markers, depending on the day.  There is a scanner in the background and a pile of books which is anything from reference to something I picked up and never read.  Piles of books follow me around, I have a weakness for books but I do not have a weakness for bookshelves.

Until Pen Ward visited last week, the only thing on my wall was an angry message telling me NEVER TO FLIP THE SWITCH.  I have not yet flipped the switch, it is very sinister.  Bare walls are a thing I should probably be ashamed of, I never have anything on the walls of my studio or my bedroom or my apartments in general, what the heck is my problem?  Send any ideas you like.

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23 Responses to From the desk of #4: Kate Beaton

  1. Kingofsiam says:

    Seriously, you are my hero. I hope that noun is now officially gender neutral, because I think people might get me wrong if I said you were my heroine. You are something of a drug to me, however so

  2. ashleyw says:

    I know this is the “from the desk of” series, but when reading this I wondered what kind of bag you use to carry all of that around? A backpack?

  3. ROLFE says:

    Yes OK, Brush pen 1 is the Pentel.

    Brush 2 is, I think the Zebra, brush pen. That’s a mighty fine pen. I use mine loads.

    Jet Pens ROCK!


  4. scalzilli says:

    plastic plates! someone is ready for an eventual surprise bbq at least ;D

  5. Sean Palmer says:

    An idea for the wall: how about a bookshelf?

  6. Relbo says:

    Do you all own a copy to Empowered? or are you playing some kind of practical joke on us?

  7. Sandy says:

    I plaster my walls with as many originals as I can get my hands on. It is alternately depressing and inspiring, mostly inspiring.
    (I have one of your originals, but sadly it’s on the inside cover of your book, and I haven’t had the heart to tear off the cover and put it on my wall.)

  8. misuba says:

    Pen 2 is not the Zebra but, from the looks of it, a Pilot Pocket Brush Pen (Hard). It’s actually a pretty loose pen IIRC.

  9. misuba says:

    Gah, I screwed up the link:

    The Zebra Sign Brush Pen is good too, narrower and firmer, better if you want to letter with it too.

  10. Megan says:

    I really like using both of those pens! You can actually buy both of them at Kinokuniya near Bryant Park in NY as well (they’re in the calligraphy section)

    I’ve been loving all these studio tours, by the way!

  11. Kathleen says:

    On your wall, there should be a mural of you triumphantly astride a horse, with a giant ruff, with people dying in some war in the background. Also, you have wings like a falcon and are ripping off the head of a pirate. Or, perhaps, some Canadian prime minister of note?

  12. Alex Clark says:

    My wall was bare until I realised “I should put pictures on it… where do you get pictures from… oh wait, that’s a resource I have no shortage of”. So now it’s got pictures on it. Also getting house-paint-swatches and drawing a picture of its humorous name on it. And little to-do lists and library due-slips.

    I also agree with Kathleen’s suggestion. Kinda want to make that too.

  13. I totally like to carry brush pens with me for the same reason. I used to carry a brush and a dip pen and a jar of ink in a zip lock, but I had too many disasters and gave up on it. The ink pen is not as good because I really need to use the crowquill a lot, but at least I can get a lot of the inking done.

  14. Ronnie says:

    I cannot imagine or even being to fathom… how great it would be to be in the same room as Pen Ward plus also Kate Beaton, and I am probably over-reacting, but that just is the coolest thing ever on the planet and I can’t believe it and I want to BE it.

    • Hat says:

      I gotta agree with Ronnie, it is just too much awesome to even fathom but OSDJGHISEUGHSEG I am going to try *___*

  15. I LOVE that you use disposable plates for your ink and watercolor. You’re so full of maverick awesomeness! Don’t ever change, Kate, YOU ROCK!

  16. Audrey says:

    I’m pretty sure you need a really big pencil so you can sketch some history on that wall. Oh, I see one’s already en route to your Island.

  17. bradydale says:

    RE: Stuff on walls.

    So, I’m in the middle of selling my place in Philadelphia. It’s in North Philadelphia, which is becoming loaded with artist studios so… hey! new york artists! buy my house! Your mortgage on my house would be less than you pay for studio space in NYC!


    I’m selling my house.
    So, I’ve been cleaning it up and taking things down and boxing things up… but it’s taking forever, right. Anyway, since my house is a three bedroom, one of the rooms has been a studio for a long time. I’ve had lots of stuff on the walls and lots of stuff on my desk… but I took it all down to repaint the room and … I gotta say, I like it better all just white and bare. I’ve simplified it like crazy and I’m a lot happier doing work in there.

    I’ll be using it for six more weeks before I MOVE out, but the next place I live I intend to have an empty, barewalled drawing space. Somehow, I like it. I always think to look for my ideas in my notebooks and never pay my walls much attention, so I think it’s fine.

    Don’t feel bad about the bare walls!

  18. TJCoolguy says:

    I went to the Adventure Time panel at WonderCon in San Francisco a few weeks ago, and I asked Pendleton Ward about you. I said I was a fan of yours and asked if the episode with “that pony” meant that you guys were pals, and if there were any other episodes with references to artists he knew. His answer: “Yes. And no.” So apparently you are unique.

    Also, when I said your name, a round of applause went up from the room. So, just letting you know, I’m far from your only fan in the area!

  19. LolitaFatale says:

    Man, that’s my favourite post-it on a wall ever.

    Oh, Pen Ward’s post-it is cool too I guess. *writhes in jealousy*

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