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A picture of Rekka Bell

Rekka Bell

Illustrator, sailor

in illustrator, mac, sailor

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Rek, and I'm an illustrator and sailor. I live on my sailboat Pino and have no permanent home in the world - the scenery out my window changes all the time and I really enjoy that. Moving around and seeing different places is great for inspiration. The limitations of living in a small space, with the ever-looming threat of salt water corrosion, has changed how I work and think - in a good way. I work a lot less than I used to, and I really believe that other creative mediums, like cooking, feed back into my other works.

On long passages between places - which can be over 20 consecutive days at times - I plan projects and brainstorm with my partner. I enjoy these forced vacations. A time away from constant connectivity helps me re-align my thoughts, to figure out what I want to do next. I do art for the projects that I produce with my partner under the studio name Hundredrabbits, which include games, tools and books. In 2014, we worked on our first game Oquonie together, and we are now in production on our next project Markl. I enjoy writing fiction, and I do it as much as I can. I also do a lot of writing for our sailing adventures on our blog.

What hardware do you use?

My primary computer is an old 2010 MacBook Pro, an amassement of recycled parts from two other laptops that were donated to me. I use the Mac if I need to finish illustrations using my Intuos4 tablet. Otherwise, to sketch artwork or to do simple works I draw on my old iPad 2 and index finger as a pen - it works well, really it does!

I write almost as much as I draw. When I write stories, I do it on my Raspberri Pi using a TADA68 mechanical keyboard.

And what software?

To draw on my Mac I use Photoshop CS6 and Clip Studio, and Autodesk Sketchbook on my iPad. To write, I use our in-studio app called Left and GitHub for source control.

What would be your dream setup?

I'd like to move away from MacBooks, on to a device that is modular and that draws little power. Pino - our sailboat - is already set up with solar, with enough to power our laptops, but I'd like us to consume even less... again, in the spirit of simplicity.

Our studio Hundredrabbits produces tools that are open-source, and we have our own ecosystem, which includes writing, vector and music tools. One day I'd like to have a drawing tool so that in turn I can stop using Photoshop/Clip Studio entirely. I want to lessen my dependence on expensive and closed-source tools. My ideal computer would be modular, something that is easy to upgrade or fix. I believe in the right to repair, in the spirit of curiosity and to reduce my carbon footprint.