Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Hiller Goodspeed

Hiller Goodspeed


Posted in illustrator

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Hiller Goodspeed. I do many different things but I'm most known for my illustrations. I have a website and an Instagram and a Tumblr where I share my artwork. I have a Twitter too but mostly use it for fun and not art related things.

What hardware do you use?

I work primarily with physical mediums and have a whole studio full of tools and resources I use in my art.

For drawing I like to use Tombow pencils and Prismacolor Premier colored pencils. Tombows are well-made and smooth and I just kinda got used to using the Prismacolor pencils because that's what they sold at Michael's when I started drawing with colors. I like the white plastic-y erasers and have a few of them laying around.

My partner Erin introduced me to gouache when we first met, and I use it every now and then in my artwork. Holbein Acryla is a nice brand, it's expensive but the pigments are sharp and consistent and little tube can last a long time. One of my favorite daydreams is of owning the mega set of all the Holbein gouache colors.

The paper I work on comes from all over the place. Sometimes I work on new paper, but I find most of my paper in recycling bins and in the school supply sections of thrift stores. I salvage end papers from library discards as well, which is my favorite kind of paper. I grew up drawing on intensely white printer paper, so anything that isn't that is preferable.

I also collect ephemeral materials and use them in my artwork. I get the best collage material from old books and pamphlets and long-forgotten things. McCleod's bookstore in Vancouver has a massive and impressively cluttered basement, poorly lit with narrow paths that meander though piles of books stacked to the ceiling. I used to spend hours down there digging for stuff. There's so much great material buried in places like that.

Collage work might be my favorite medium. I love finding the source materials, and taking it all apart and trying to rearrange it into something nice. It's just so satisfying when everything is balanced and working together. I have a self-healing mat, X-acto knifes, and glue sticks on hand for working with those materials.

One of my most important tools is my scanner, a Canon LiDE 200 that I bought for cheap 10 years ago. I have considered getting a new scanner but the one I have still works and at this point I have an emotional attachment to it so I've decided to let it stick around. It does a good job.

And what software?

I use Photoshop to make colors nice and edit things I have drawn. I also like making GIFs every now and then so that too. I use InDesign on occasion and Illustrator only when I have to. I was heavily into creating vector artwork for a couple years but grew tried of it and returned to pencil and paper.

And I just use Preview for my scanner. There may have been software packaged with the scanner itself but all I usually just need a raw scan of whatever it is I'm working on and Preview works fine for that.

What would be your dream setup?

Right now I have my studio in the dining room of my apartment, which is maybe 12' x 14'. It's actually a nice space, and convenient because I live there. Erin and I share the studio and are always changing it to better suit our purposes. Just this weekend we bought a bunch of pine and shelving brackets and expanded the shelf space in our studio by 12 square feet, which will help us clean things up.

I'm generally more comfortable in small spaces, though a larger room would be nice, where we could have workstations dedicated to different types of activities. I would have a desk where I sit and work and a desk where all of the computer stuff would be. I'm not great at using space efficiently though, and tend to create piles of stuff everywhere I go. So maybe less space is a good thing for now, until I can get that tendency under control.