“An artist’s workspace reflects their personality and also influences them” Joel Meadows on his new book Masters of Comics
Ever wondered what your favourite comic creator’s workspace looks like? Chances are it is as unique as the work they create. In his new book Masters of Comics, journalist Joel Meadows takes a look inside the studios of some of comics most famous names. We ask Joel what he has learnt about an artist’s workspace and also about how his own compares!
Your new book Masters of Comics brings together a collection of interviews with comic creators discussing their work space and showing how they work. What is it about a creators workspace that is so interesting to you?
Joel Meadows: For me, an artist’s workspace is fascinating. It both reflects their personality as an artist and also influences them. They have things in their studios to help them work but also to make them feel comfortable and inspired to create their best work.
What did you learn from the creators about what makes the perfect workspace? Do they have anything in common? Or is it as different as the artists themselves?
JM: What I learnt is that everyone’s workspace is different and unique. There is no such thing as the perfect workspace. It is somewhere you enjoy working in and that facilitates you to create your best work and it is somewhere you don’t mind spending hours workjng in too. So yes each artist’s workspace is different and unique to them. Frank Quitely has a tiny workspace but he is still able to create his amazing images while Posy Simmonds for example has a big workspace downstairs in her house in London.
How did you choose who would be included (personal choice or creators with an interesting story to tell?) and did you photograph them all yourself?
JM: It was a mix of people I know and people I thought would be interesting to include in the book. I also wanted to make sure that we had a range of different artists represented, from different backgrounds with different kinds of work. I took quite a few of the photos myself but I admit I didn’t shoot everyone in the book. I would have liked to but budget concerns meant I couldn’t visit everyone in person.
How do the comic creators workspace compare to your own? Have you picked up any important lessons on how to arrange your own workspace?
JM:I have a slightly shambolic space where I work, to write and do my journalism. I also like to have things that I find inspirational around me. As I said, every person’s workspace is unique to them almost like a fingerprint and I am surrounded by books which I guess isn’t bad. I also have a couple of pieces of art and posters in my workspace too.
How and where can people pick up the book?
JM: In the UK people will be able to get it from places like Amazon and their local comic shop as well as places like Waterstones and all good booksellers. In the US, it is on Amazon.com and all good booksellers and comic shops.
There will be early copies available that we shall have on the Tripwire table at the Portsmouth comic con on 4 and 5 May and I shall also have some with me at Comics Salopia in Shrewsbury on 1 and 2 June. The Portsmouth Comic Con website is portsmouthcomiccon.com and people can get their copies signed by myself, William Simpson, Sean Phillips and Laurence Campbell who are all in the book and at the show.
You can find out more about Joel’s work at www.tripwiremagazine.co.uk