Look at my Desk! Bruce Whatley

I am so delighted to have another creative force show us his Creating Space … so welcome the wonderful Bruce Whatley, illustrator of the glorious Diary of a Wombat, and …. I love the water cup!!!


My studio was incorporated into the renovations of our house in 2000. It’s not a large space but big enough for my illustration work. It’s a long room with a high gabled ceiling. A room with interesting shapes and lots of shelving. I have two Apple computers on desks along the wall opposite a bay window that incorporates my drawing board. The window, the outside of which is usually covered in cobwebs, faces west overlooking tree lined paddocks and the town on the other side. I avoid direct sunlight into the studio but enjoy the winter sunsets.

I’ve recently changed my drawing board using a wooden sloped configuration I made years ago while I was in the US. It’s hinged at the top so I can keep pads and materials in the space underneath. I’m in the process of rethinking the design though – the height isn’t quite right. Though that can be compensated for with a height adjusting chair I like to work standing up sometimes too. Also the trick is having it sloped at just the right angle so to be comfortable without everything sliding off onto the floor! I have used the same water pot for over 15 years, it’s a Chinese cup I guess – only recently did I find out what the writing on it meant – it’s the names of the seasons. I work using natural light 90% of the time but if I can angle a lamp just right so it doesn’t reflect too much off my paper I’ll do preliminary work and sketches under artificial light. When I’m illustrating on the computer I reduce light as much as I can.

Bruce’s latest titles
Monster written by Andrew Dado
Queen Victoria’s Underpants written by Jackie French

Bruce’s forthcoming titles
Nog and the Land of Noses written by Bruce Whatley
My Mum’s the Best written by Rosie Smith and Bruce Whatley

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