Shop Talk: Only pack what you need when working remotely if you want to get shit done.


Only bring exactly what you need, not what you might want.

I like to work away from the studio as much as possible. It gets me out of any creative rut and in New York, there are countless places to plonk yourself down and get stuck into a job without distraction.

The only problem is, to work remotely, you need to pack a bag with not just things you’ll need for the job that needs doing, but things you MIGHT need just in case. You know, like that book you’ve been meaning to read, and that magazine you saw the article in, and your iPad, Oh, and the legal documents you’ve been meaning to read through. Yes, maybe now will be the time you get the time and focus to read those. OH! And make sure you bring a whole range of pens, pencils, brushes and watercolours just in case you need all of them. You never know. OH! And make sure you pack that digital drawing tablet. And the charging cable. And the cables for the laptop to connect to the tablet. Oh, and the different kinds of stylus. Just in case.

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Packing everything for every possible contingency of what your brain might feel like doing is not recommended. In fact, even having a bag/tote/backpack can interfere with completing your task.


The Tyranny of Choice.

By having everything in your backpack, it means you could do an infinite number of different things you’ve been meaning to get to, just in case you feel in the mood. With endless choice comes crippling uncertainty, and inevitably, you, hanging out in Starbucks, scrolling through your Instagram feed, liking photos of pugs holding bottles of wine… I mean… procrastinating.

Simplicity breeds productivity.

If the job really only requires you to bring a sketchbook, a pen and a phone (to scan it in.) then just bring a sketchbook, a pen and a phone. That’s it. Don’t even bring a bag. Carry the things so they’re the only thing you’ll be doing while you’re out. It helps you focus, and it stops you from potentially returning home frustrated that you wasted another day and got nothing done.

Back in 2010, there was a trend in the minimalism community of photographing the contents of your bag from above, all perfectly knolled to show how efficient you were at packing. I’m not going to lie, I had a Pinterest board of them… they were organisation porn. But many of them had way too much stuff — plus, they never showed an aerial photo of the owner of the backpack crippled with anxiety over what item they should take out next to get shit done.

Mmmm… knolling.

Mmmm… knolling.

Try it at home, too.

The same principle applies when you’re not working remotely. If you work from home and do all your work from the one spot, try switching it up.

Maybe if you have laptop work to do, get it done while sitting on the bed with no other distractions around you. If you have drawing work to do, do it at a drawing desk with nothing but drawing equipment around you. If you really want to read that book, find a chair and sit with just the book. No phone, no tablet, no laptop. Just the book. Preferably in a room separate from the one where you usually do your work.

We live in a time where the attention economy saps all our focus. The least we can try and do is limit the amount of willpower we spend making decisions on what we’re going to do where, and when.

Is There Something In This? LIVE with Mystery Special Guest: April 9

New York-based Australian comedians Scott Dooley and Jason Chatfield return for their first live podcast for 2019. The guys will be joined by a HUGE special mystery guest: a Hollywood movie and TV celebrity to be revealed on the night. Other Live Podcast guests have included Comedy Central/Netflix’s Roy Wood Jr and long-time New Yorker Cartoon Editor Bob Mankoff.

Come along for a show full of jokes, live cartoon drawing on the big screen and deep rumination on New Yorker cartoon ideas over a couple of beers, along with cartoon live idea suggestions from you, the audience. 

Doors 9:00 PM, show 9:30 PM.

Tickets $10 Presale at or $15 @ Door

This event is mixed seated and standing room. Seats are first-come, first-served.
REFUND POLICY: Tickets maybe be refunded up to 24 hours before the event. Within 24 hours we may take exchanges for other events at our discretion. No refunds after the event.




Appearing at MoCCaFest 2019 this weekend!

I'll be appearing at MoCCA Arts Festival in New York this weekend. It's not some kind of chocolate coffee festival (although, I'd probably get a table at that, too) it's the Society Of Illustrators' "Museum of Cartoon and Comic Art" Festival. 

I'll be at the NCS table and doing a Wacom Demo on Saturday. Come by and say hi! Buy a New Yorker cartoon or have something else drawn. If you say you heard about it here I'll knock off 20%.

The MoCCA Arts Festival is a 2-day multimedia event, Manhattan's largest independent comics, cartoon and animation festival, drawing over 7,000 attendees each year. With 400 exhibiting artists displaying their work, award-winning honorees speaking about their careers and artistic processes and other featured artists conducting workshops, lectures and film screenings, our Festival mission accelerates the advancement of the Society's broader mission to serve as Manhattan's singular cultural institution promoting all genres of illustration through exhibitions, programs and art education.

Warm-Up Sketches: The Magic Pudding

One of the great Aussie characters, created by the even greater Norman Lindsay.
Read more about this little bloke here.


Episode #40: Goth at a Kid's Party

April 9th @ Caveat, New York City: Special Mystery Guest Tix:

Welcome back to another episode of Is There Something In This? with your old mates Scott Dooley and Jason Chatfield.

Subscribe, rate and review in on iTunes!

  • Brand new sweater

  • Jason wears Steve Jobs 

  • Your body isn’t weird enough for a sample sale. 

  • Wonky body

  • Little thin Dad legs

  • After she was shot, she wanted to go back to school 

  • Queens night spot

  • Women of a certain age comedy, Fran Drescher

  • Even Ariana does promo

  • Bumping mics

  • Phone seal

  • Goth at a kids party

  • Honey there’s another Morrissey here

  • Sophie’s hates a waitress

  • Rich and Brave 

  • The riddle of Scott Dooley

  • Placebo dentist drugs

  • Everyone in Gilmore girls talks like their leaving a voicemail for another character

  • This will hurt slightly less than being lied to about the amount you floss. 

  • No plaque, no tarter, no collusion

  • A shark started this rumor

  • Melatonin for birds

  • Two homing pigeons asking for directions. 

  • Glamorous corpses

  • Cruise ship comedians

  • Back to the middling pod

  • I think I could be friends with JZ

  • Mr Z and his wife drinking lemonade

  • A lightbulb with a mustache

  • But I’m a night light

  • “Im sorry I was still in airplane mode”

  • Florida man challenge 

  • Worst avenger

  • Hasn’t slept since Easter '86

  • Mostly right now I teach yoga

  • Noodle shop - Pho Pas

  • Shakespeare - dude this is lit

  • The worst of your personality

  • Surprise party and a fancy dress party

  • Victory party in the dark

  • I believe that I ordered the vegan.

  • In case of national emergency break glass

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We're inviting you into our living room, don't walk out with our lamp. Please don't steal our jokes. All original content is © Copyright 2019 Jason Chatfield & Scott Dooley for "Is There Something In This?" All rights reserved.

We welcome you to download and play the podcast and share with others for personal use; please acknowledge "Is There Something in This?" Podcast as the source of the material. You may not, except with our express written permission, distribute or commercially exploit the content.