Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Andrea Bell

Andrea Bell

Illustrator, comic artist

in cartoonist, illustrator, mac

Who are you, and what do you do?

Hallo! My name is Andrea Bell and I'm an illustrator, comic artist, and maker living in Chicago through the best and worst seasons. I have self-published works such as Fair Voyage and Still Waiting and have also gone onto illustrate the Diary of a Fifth Grade Outlaw" series with Epic! Creations/Andrews McMeel as well as the anticipated 2021 title The Leak with First Second.

What hardware do you use?

Ya know I'm so bad at remembering the details about my hardware. At the moment I'm on a refurbished MacBook (circa 2015?), a hand-me-down Cintiq tablet, and my newest tool is a refurbished iPad Pro I got about a year ago. I am definitely not a techy-type of person. When I am looking to buy a new piece of equipment I do a bit of research and then approach more knowledgeable friends in the industry for their help. If you asked me what version my iPhone is I don't know if I'd be able to answer you without checking. I just want my machines to work.

And what software?

As far as software goes I am about 98% digital with my process at the moment. Depending on the project I may do preliminary work in Procreate on my iPad Pro (thumbnails, sketches, inks) and then finish the work with color in Photoshop. As far as the 2% of my process that is still analog.. I write a LOT! Not only list-making to keep me on track (oh the sweet sensation of crossing something off one's list) but for idea generation for concepts, I find a good ol' fashion free-write session with pen and paper works best for me. It is way less daunting than opening a fresh, blank, Google Doc.

What would be your dream setup?

In my dream of dreams I'd love a cozy, quiet cabin in the woods. Right now I'd settle for my own studio space out of the house. In this scenario we could maybe throw in an extra monitor, one of those big-screen Cintiqs, and a bunch of cabinet space to organize my pins, patches, and comics for my online shop.

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