Jeff’s TOP shops, Apps and Tips
Favourite apps related to your practice?
AstroPad Studio – an app that effectively turns your iPad Pro into a Wacom-Style Cintiq tablet, allowing you to draw in Adobe Photoshop on the iPad. At $117AUD per year, it’s not the cheapest app but in terms of the time it saves me it’s worth it.
Best place to shop for gear?
Jetpens for pens and inks. They have almost anything pen-related you can imagine, including great reviews and handy guides.
Most visited websites?
Dropbox, because good backups are life. About a year ago I decided to sync all my working files and folders with Dropbox. It took a couple of weeks to finish uploading but it’s been the best thing I ever did – it syncs everything across multiple locations and keeps previous versions of all files, too. I can generate a link to any file at any time from any device. I also have an external HDD backup just in case.
Xero has changed my life. Having an easy and intuitive accounting system has freed me up to focus on the fun stuff. If I wasn’t using something like Xero, I’d be mentioning Microsoft Excel instead and not in a positive way.
Reddit – fun to browse, but the worst when you have deadlines.
Ozbargain Forums, where people find and share bargains basically – pricing errors, specials, voucher codes etc. and they get voted up/down depending on whether it’s a good deal. It’s really handy to check when you’re shopping around for something. And when you are procrastinating…
Inspiring reference books?
The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman is hands down the best book I have read about running any kind of practice. It’s very agnostic in terms of what ‘business’ means to the reader, so you bring your own agenda to it and come away with loads of good stuff.
What do you listen to when you work?
Spotify is always on. Otherwise I’m listening to podcasts. I enjoy streaming WNYC, Radio Melbourne, The Economist, or Design Matters with Debbie Millman.
What’s something you wish you’d known before you learnt it the hard way?
Your environment shapes your behaviour in mysterious yet significant ways. Having known the 9-5 grind before starting out as an illustrator, I thought working from home would be the Shang-ri-la of working lifestyles… Hell no!
Even though I had a separate room set up as my work space, I would find myself keeping extremely odd hours, seemingly always in PJ’s, not leaving the house for days, and always feeling guilty that I wasn’t doing enough work.
Now I have a hired a studio space, so I’m required to get up, get dressed and leave the house. It means I get physical activity, social interaction and a dedicated space for work. When I leave that space, it’s play time!
I think this delineation is very important for people who do something for work that they also find fun or pleasurable. The conventional boundaries are blurred, so you need to work out where the line is. Inevitably, it will be different for each person and situation.
Catch Jeff on Instagram, and check out his personal and professional illustration work via his website.