Michael Tuck, freelance illustrator and comic artist

Toronto - Canada
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Who are you : 

My name is Michael Tuck.


Your current job : 

I'm a freelance illustrator and comic artist. Recent projects include work for the fourth volume of the Toronto Comics Anthology and the indie RPG Bedlam Hall.


In which city are you located? 



A word to define what kind of worker you are : 



What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..) 

Photoshop, Illustrator, various pen nibs (especially the Hunt 512) and those fiddly little watercolor brushes that get absolutely destroyed when used with India ink.


What does your office space look like?

Cramped, semi-organized chaos. When I'm working on a project I like to spread out everything within arm's reach that's relevant to the project, including sketches, reference, finished and unfinished work. As I work on a project this material forms ever larger mounds around me until the project is finished and it all disappears back into a drawer.


What kind of music do you listen when you are working?

Varies greatly. Anything from Bach to Steeleye Span to Tame Impala, depending on my mood. However, I mostly don't listen to music while I work. Instead, I listen to podcasts, documentaries, and audio books. They seem to distract the language part of my brain so the rest of myself can pay attention to drawing. That might sound odd I guess, but it's what works for me.


Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work?

I write down a list of everything I need to do in a day, breaking it up into tiny tasks, and jump from one task to another. That's unless I have a deadline. Then I work straight out until it's finished.


What tips would you give to improve productivity? 

See above. But keep in mind that everyone works differently. It's cliche, but you have to experiment to find what works best for you.


You're better than your colleagues to : 

I wouldn't like to say I'm exactly better than anyone else. Art is too subjective for that. I feel I have strengths, like historical research, or expressionist flourishes, but I'll leave the question of better or best for more objective observers.


What is the best advice anyone has given you? 

Persistence is key. Expecting the worst and going through with it anyway.


What is your best tip for saving time? 

Avoid social media during work periods. Easier said than done.


What is your routine start and end of the day? 

Morning: coffee, then food, then shower. Night: a good dinner, then maybe some TV, movies, or a book. Pretty standard stuff!


Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without? 

That'd be my scanner I suppose.