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Interview

What do people use to get the job done?

Lily Nishita

Lily Nishita

Graphic designer, illustrator (Naughty Dog)

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Lily Nishita, a graphic designer/illustrator living and working in Los Angeles. I work at Naughty Dog during the day, doing everything from product design to in-game assets. My after hours are spent on a mix of freelance and personal illustration. I'm also getting really into drawing tiny comics, and I'm hoping to do a longer one soon!

What hardware do you use?

For my home setup I'm on a 2012 MacBook Pro, and I use a Cintiq 22HD tablet to do a lot of my drawing on, and use it instead of a mouse for convenience. I also have a Razer Nostromo gaming keypad with a few different sets of keyboard shortcuts mapped to it for whatever I happen to be working on. It doesn't replace the main keyboard, but the keypad speeds up my workflow immensely and saves me from bouncing all over a keyboard. I also have a Logitech G502 gaming mouse for 3D that I love the feel of, since it's pretty hefty but still fits my hand. It's unfortunate I like it so much, since the software doesn't work on Macs so I can't turn off the flashing rainbow lights!

I also keep a few sketchbooks stashed around and an assortment of pens for quick ideas. My favorites right now are the Kuretake Fude brush pen no. 55, Pilot Pocket brush pens, Pilot Hi-Tec-C .3 pen and Mildliners. The brush pens have a more rubbery tip, so I can get a lot of nice line variation with clean edges. For sketchbooks I usually have 2 or 3 going at once. Right now I keep a Moleskine blank notebook in my bag for notes and doodling when I'm out and about and a Cottonwood Arts sketchbook by my desk.

I also have a pair of slippers to wear while I work at home (and an extra pair for the office) because I get distracted if my feet are touching the cold floor. Having my dog close by is great too - he's a perfect reminder to take little breaks :)

And what software?

I primarily use Photoshop, Illustrator and occasionally InDesign in that order for everything. For illustration I use a lot of Photoshop brushes collected from friends and blogs, as well as Kyle Webster's stellar brush packs. For design work I usually start sketching in Photoshop then move on to Illustratorm since I don't keep a scanner around.

When starting a new project I make Pinterest boards for inspiration and brainstorming. To stay organized I use a mix of Google Docs, the Fantastical 2 calendar app, and Dropbox. I also usually have iTunes or Spotify open to have some background noise while I work. TweetDeck (follow me), Slack, and Messages are usually open too.

I've also been experimenting with MODO for 3D to incorporate into my work, but I've only scratched the surface, so hopefully I'll be able to do more in the future.

What would be your dream setup?

I'm really looking forward to getting a faster home computer - this one has served me well but is nearly 4 years old!