13th November 2018

5 Things I Need to Make Great Work


I love taking a peek inside other people’s studios to see what they use.

I’m not talking materials like pens and pencils.

I mean the other stuff.


Here’s 5 things I need to make great work.


Headphones (Noise cancelling)

I have Bose ones just now, but any good, over the ear ones work for me. I listen to podcasts, audio books, happy pop songs or Brain fm whilst I’m working. Here’s some things I’ve listened to recently. But sometimes I just need quiet. It feels like they lock all my ideas in my head till I’m ready to draw them!


LED Light Box

If I’m tracing several layers of paper, I need a lightbox. This LED one is slim and bright, perfect for busy studios.


When I first started out, I couldn’t afford a lightbox, so I traced by putting my desk lamp on the floor, then leaning over it on my Pyrex Lasagne dish.

FYI, it works, but the dish needs to be SPOTLESS!


Anglepoise lamp with Daylight bulb

Good work needs good lighting. There are lots of variations of this style of lamp and in truth, they all work perfectly, I just happen to have this one. The important part is the bulb. Daylight or Craft bulbs emit a white / blue light which mimics natural light and allows you to see colours more accurately. I also find this light reduces my dreaded migraines…



Admittedly, I’m not great at keeping my houseplants alive, but I think they are super important for any workplace, especially a creative one. They enhance air quality and provide that important dash of living green that I think we all need to keep us happy and healthy. Some good options for those of us who struggle to keep them alive are Spider Plants, Pothos, Ivy and don’t forget the Succulents.



I love a good cup of tea (splash of milk, no sugar) and after much taste testing found Clipper Organic Everyday Tea was the best! And in case you are wondering, I like it out of a HUGE mug from Anthropologie.


What do you need?

Can you do great work without them?!

Find the things that help inspire your best work, then keep them at hand!


Have fun and happy colouring!

Johanna x

Before you go…

If you like this, then you should probably sign up for my weekly Inky Email newsletter. No junk or spam, just a weekly letter from me to you full of inspiration, studio sneak peeks and cool projects like this!

And don’t forget, my new book, World of Flowersis out now!


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