Today, I have a special guest in the "How I Work" series. I am interviewing Stevie Moore, an artist, who shares his thoughts on workflow processes for creative work. Stephen (Stevie) R. Moore is a Lexington Kentucky artist and illustrator specializing in paleo-art, natural history subjects and wildlife art. Stevie has a degree in fine art from the University of Kentucky and currently works as a muralist, art instructor, and freelance illustrator out of his home studio. Primarily working in oil paints and digitally with Adobe Photoshop, Stevie enjoys painting Dinosaurs and Paleoart, as well as doing creature design, and concept art. His other interests include aviation, aquariums, nature, photography, art, and history.
Current Job: Freelance Illustrator, artist, and muralist
Current Location: Lexington Kentucky, United States.
Current mobile device: iPhone 5 AT&T
Current computer: iMac 27inch early 2013 32 GB RAM
Can you briefly explain your current situation and research to us?
I am a paleoartist and a huge part of creating realistic depictions of prehistoric animals and plants is doing enormous amounts of research. I have lots of books, library cards, papers, and people on the inside to help me get a hold of published scientific literature.
What tools, apps and software are essential to your workflow?
The internet :) I can actually work with a wide variety of tools ranging from a pencil and paper all the way up to Photoshop CC and Wacom Tablet.
Most of the time I am able to work offsite via internet, so I use google hangouts a lot. My favorite feature of Google hangouts aside from it being free, is the ability to do a screen share with whomever you are talking to.
What does your workspace setup look like?
I do have a few workspaces! I have my digital workspace with a standing desk that I built based on an IKEA hack. It is just two 5 foot rolling metal shelves with a 5 foot long birch board on top bridging them together and held together with simple clamps (for disassembly) :) I also invested in a proper stool, $300 but it makes all the difference. I also have a huge architects desk that I mainly use when doing airbrushing, sculpting, framing, and other messy non digital projects.
What is your best advice for productive academic work?
Stay current and read as much as you can. When I am painting or sculpting on a computer, sometimes I will set the dictation app to read me a scientific paper, and I just suffer through the computer sounding robot voice.
How do you keep an overview of projects and tasks?
I use google calendar, apple notes, and google docs and sheets.
Besides phone and computer, do you use other technological tools in work and daily life?
Wacom tablet and photoshop. These are the biggest two things other than the plethora of software that I use. Also, it's nice to be able to listen to some good music and/or audiobooks. I am also a big proponent of ipads and iphones!
Which skill makes you stand out as an academic?
In my case as a scientific artist, I suppose in looking at my work, I would hope and strive to be as accurate as possible WHILE still maintaining a high level of artistic aesthetic.
The attention to detail, proportion, and all forms of accuracy are what make the professional paleoart stand out from the amateurs.
What do you listen to when you work?
Mostly Audiobooks - mostly Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror! I have a goodreads that can get into more specifics.
I love spotify and my itunes as well, sometimes making playlists based on mood and what I would ideally be doing for these types of songs. Some of course are get up and get going fast paced rock or electronic, all the way down to noise and ASMR type sounds of deep contemplation and focus on concepting, and almost meditative means of making art on the computer.
What are you currently reading?
I'm currently reading the horned Dinosaurs by Peter Dodson, because there isn't an audiobook!!!
I'm Audiobooks all the way now, and that is how I find time to listen! Love my audible account!
Are you more of an introvert or extrovert? How does this influence your working habits?
I'm sort of right in the middle. I do enjoy working alongside others that are also working. I like being able to work remotely and I suppose this spoils me a lot as far as where and when I am able to work as a freelance.
What's your sleep routine like?
Not healthy enough! I do get enough sleep, but perhaps not at the right times! I tend to sleep in and stay up late, working late I often have the best success, depending on how fresh I was when I started.
What's your work routine like?
I take a lot of breaks, it's very important especially if you are sitting at a computer. I get up, stretch, play with my dog, feed my fish, snack, and then get back to work. I sometimes even set a timer to go off after each 50 minute period and then I will take a 10 minute break.
What's the best advice you ever received?
Don't Give Up!