Wacom Presents: How to Take Care of Yourself When Working From Home

WACOM PRESENTS – A Work From Home Series

In a brand-new sponsored series on ArtStation, Wacom is featuring 10 artists who will share their tips and tricks on how they find inspiration and motivation while working from home. Check out ArtStation Magazine weekly to discover new featured artists and get inspired!


CS Jones is a Philadelphia-based writer and illustrator who’s worked from home for three years, if not all at once. His work is best seen at thecsjones.com or @thecsjones on Instagram.

 

 


 Ideal Quarantine by Miss Holly

French Twitter’s biggest art meme right now is #coronamaison, or “corona home.” Started by bestselling comic artist Pénélope Bagieu, the challenge is to take this template—

Ok voici le template que @acupoftim nous a fait pour la #Coronamaison ! On dessine l‘étage/la déco/la compagnie/les animaux/la bouffe/les fenêtres, enfin l’endroit idéal pour être confiné(e)! Et si on fait du noir et blanc, que les coloristes n’hésitent pas à reprendre les images pic.twitter.com/7BvqQOA9GU

— Pélénope Bagieu (@PenelopeB) March 15, 2020

Translation: Ok here is the template that @acupoftim made for the #Coronamaison! We draw the floor/ the decor / the company / the animals / the food / the windows, finally the ideal place to be confined! And if we do black and white, colourists do not hesitate to use the images.

—And draw your dream room to ride out the quarantine in. So, the artwork in this article will be from this hashtag to showcase their incredible work.

By Marine Franiak. Tweet.

This article was supposed to be part two of a series on working from home, with part one being on productivity. But since Patrick LaMontagne released his article on that subject a few days ago, and with lockdowns stateside and anxiety escalating worldwide, I think the following tips might be more useful right now.

Set Your Own Hours, but Watch Them

Those of us who naturally keep odd hours might find working from home to be a godsend. Scheduling when you’re only being paid for the finished product is less about setting rigid hours for when you’re on and when you’re off, than making sure you have enough time to get both your work and your personal stuff done, without:

  1. Letting your work go.
  2. Letting your personal life go.
  3. Suffering burnout or RSI’s from 12-hour stretches at the tablet.

Within those constraints, feel free to make your work times as buckwild as you want.

Try to avoid cramming, though. “Make sure to include stretches/small exercises and emphasize taking a short break every couple of hours,” says illustrator Julia Lichty. “A lot of people who were only doing this recreationally or occasionally will overextend and hurt themselves in numerous ways.”

Eyestrain is no joke either. Turn your screen brightness down to the minimum you need to see it at any given time, and if at any point you feel your eyes burning, take a break from your laptop and smartphone use that second.

By Luppi. Tweet.

“Light is Making Your Body Later”

Speaking of your eyes, I highly recommend f.lux, a simple and lightweight background program that tunes your color settings for the time of day. There are plenty of alternatives, but I’ve found this one has everything, and for free.

Color temperature and changing times are fully customizable, and most important functions can be done from the taskbar. If you’re using a flat tablet, you’ll want to turn it off when painting to avoid losing color fidelity, but if you’re on the Wacom One or a Cintiq, you can permanently disable it for that monitor. I recommend you use it for your primary display whenever you’re not arting—or if you’re drawing something black and white, even—and set your color temperature warmer. It’s the blue light that really gets you.

8 Hours Sleep a Night; Lay Off the Coffee

Or, however many you’d normally get. (Some people say they only need 5 or 6. Studies show they might be wrong, but it’s their life.) One of the biggest upsides to working from home is that you can sleep in odd patterns, or even keep a reverse schedule. A lot of articles advise against this, but especially now, no one’s judging you. Just make sure it adds up to the number you’d usually get and that you’re not feeling tired while you work. Burnout can become a problem if there’s no one to tell you when your shift is over.

It’s tempting to make a pot of coffee and consume it constantly throughout the day, but if you’re not the kind of person who does this normally, a time of high tension is absolutely not when you should start. Keep coffee consumption to what you need to stay awake and motivated. And, now seriously isn’t the time to develop an energy drink habit either. Just don’t.

Make sure to get several non-caffeinated drinks to keep on hand as a backup, especially teas, juices, and water. You might not be as active as normal, so ease up on the soda.

By Aurélien Jeanney. Tweet.

Go Outside for Some Exercise

But, just because you can’t go to the bar doesn’t mean you have to become a hikikomori. 

Always first check to see what the health authorities say you can or cannot do, but if you’re not under lockdown, not sick, not immunocompromised or in close contact with those who are, and need exercise you can’t get at home, it should be fine to go outside. Just make sure you maintain the recommended distance from people, don’t go into stores unless you absolutely have to, and I know it’s hard, but try not to lick any sidewalks.

If you’re able to, get out in nature instead of hanging out in urban or suburban common areas. If you have access to woods or trails, you should probably be able to go hiking; just do it either alone or with a single trusted partner.

Or if you can’t, there’s this. By Gaelle Hersent. Tweet.

Don’t Neglect Your Hygiene, Either

Once you learn to enter a flow while you work, time can lose all meaning. Under the misguided notion that you’re being super-productive, it can be easy to stop showering until you smell yourself and forget about brushing your teeth until sweets feel like they’re made of knives.

Work on Your Thing As Well

There’s literally no better time than now to start a personal project. Not only do you have all the free time in the world, your potential audience has more time to find and consume new forms of entertainment, especially on the internet.

By Xavier ColletteInstagram.

Keep Social Through Group Chats

It feels like I plug Discord in every article now, but group chats on artist channels really are the most fun way I’ve found to pass the time during long pieces. Drawing streams have often been great draws, and I’ve gotten just as much actual engagement—even if not a higher viewer count—through Discord Live than on Twitch some days.

Managing Anxiety

For much more information on this topic, see How to Beat Anxiety and Get Started Drawing.

As I extensively covered in that article, procrastination is overwhelmingly caused by fear, not laziness. In such extenuating circumstances, I believe you should allow yourself some of it, and if you find you’re too anxious to focus on work, stop and practice detensing techniques.

 

By Christina Hibbert

Faced with job insecurity, some people are saying that the lesson they’re taking is that work, productivity, and earning money are not the end all be all. I couldn’t agree more. By all means keep yourself afloat, yes, but allow yourself time to stay up on current events and process trauma. Time spent following the news is not wasted, because it both keeps you abreast on developments and can provide vital advice and even some reasons to be hopeful.


Find the perfect Wacom tablet for your "working from home" style and space

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Wacom Cintiq 16

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All the features you need for drawing, sketching and photo editing. Great tablet for more spacious surfaces.

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Wacom Cintiq 22

Large 21.5” HD display perfect for creating detailed illustrations, paintings and animations.

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