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November 4, 2015

Surface Book – the ultimate canvas for artists

The Surface Book with its incredibly accurate screen, pen, and detachable screen is an amazing tool in the hands of artists like Jordan Crane.

I first met Jordan Crane, comic book artist, during the Transformation Challenge. For that project, Jordan worked with the winner of a DeviantArt competition to create a collaborative piece, both using Surface.

I personally really enjoy Jordan’s style and work. After a bit of a hiatus he is about to publish another book. I know that his fans are super excited for the release of Uptight, and we are also looking forward to reading it ourselves.

I had a chance to visit Jordan a couple months ago and spend some time with him, both in his home studio and at Family Industries – a really cool screen printing business in downtown LA. When you see Jordan’s studio it is full of notes, sketches, meticulously hand drawn images, and a ton of books for inspiration and for capturing his ideas. You can get a glimpse of how Jordan works in the video above.

Jordan has a process that starts with fast sketches, massaging ideas on page after page of his notebook, and finally working in digital. Working from a rough sketch, in greater and greater detail to the final piece.

There are two things that really stand out to me about Jordan, specifically about his use of technology. He works slowly and methodically, and color is king.

Comic book artist Jordan Crane sketching on his Surface Book.

When you watch Jordan work he is often hunched over his notebook or Surface. Drawing lines slowly, refining his work over and over. When you see a print of his work or read one of his books you can see the labor of love.

Countless hours go into his work to get it perfect. There are very few people, I think, that match his intensity and focus. Then you meet Jordan, you get to spend some time with him, hear from the man himself how he approaches his work – and you see that Jordan is just plain cool. Laid back, relaxed, and a true family man.

The other thing that stands out about Jordan’s work is his passion for color. I learned very quickly that there are yellows and then there are yellows. There is blue, and then there is a real, clean blue.

It turns out that the fact that every Surface is individually color calibrated when we make it is a really big deal to an artist like Jordan.

When Jordan creates a poster or colors one of his images – his passion is color. More specifically color accuracy. When Jordan goes to Family Industries to print his work he mixes his own colors, something unique about his work with them and something very important to Jordan.

I hope you find Jordan’s work as inspirational as I do.

How is Surface Book helping you unleash your creativity? Let us know on Twitter via @Surface and use the hashtag #surfacebook.