Cartoon Network's Regular Show follows the adventures of Mordecai, a witty blue jay, and Rigsby, a hyperactive racoon, as they try to escape their boring day jobs. The brainchild of J.G. Quintel (who's also the voice of Mordecai), Regular Show's wonderfully bizarre animation and over-the-top plot-lines have earned widespread critical acclaim, gained a legion of fans and even snagged an Emmy award.
We caught up with J.G. to find out how he works — from the tools he can't live without to the advice that keeps him motivated.
Current gig: Creator/Executive Producer of the animated series Regular Show on Cartoon Network. I'm also the voice of the main character Mordecai. Location: Los Angeles, CA Current mobile device: iPhone 5 Current computer: MacBook Pro One word that best describes how you work: Structured
What apps/software/tools can't you live without?
I still work mainly on paper. I'm always carrying a Moleskine lined notebook. It's gotta be lined so I'll feel like drawing on it — a habit built up in grade school for sure — and a few pens (Uniball 0.5mm to be exact). Post-Its, Tombow Mono 2B pencils, Tombow Mono correction tape and Sakura electric erasers. As far as programs go, I use Photoshop and Word.
Pictured above: J.G.'s tools of the trade.
What's your best time-saving trick?
This is probably not the best thing to admit, but I quit playing video games. It probably saves me weeks and weeks worth of time for doing other things over the course of a year. They're really fun, and I remember them fondly, but they are the hugest time suck if you're trying to do anything productive.
What's your favourite to-do list manager?
Post-Its with a check list, and Entourage. Sometimes the notes function on my phone since it's fun to dictate a grocery list to Siri.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can't you live without?
My coffee grinder, definitely something I use everyday. And at work we have a paper cutter that's pretty important. We use a very specific size of Post-It for storyboarding, and the company discontinued the size, so you can't buy them anymore. We have to cut down the larger size to what we need and use the leftovers for dialogue.
Pictured above: The Regular Show team at the storyboard.
What's your workspace like?
My home office it super tiny. It has an animation desk in it and all my art books. Along with a record player for music. At work, it's essentially the same, but there's also a couch and a laserdisc player, and my entire collection of Sega Master System games from when I was growing up.
What do you listen to while you work?
I have a bunch of stuff on my work computer that I'll listen to like Rush, The Smiths, Pink Floyd, and a lot of '80s stuff. Sometimes I'll go on YouTube and listen to old video game music on loops since there are no words to distract you. Stuff like Zillion from Sega Master System, or Metroid from NES.
Pictured above: J.G.'s desk.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I'm pretty good at stick hockey. We have a table at work and we play all the time. Although my Supervising Director is starting to beat me every once in a while. Maybe I'm slipping.
What's your sleep routine like?
I used to be a night owl but realised that I can't work efficiently when I'm tired. So I go to bed at 12 and wake up at 7. Getting into work early can be a really productive time, since not a lot of people are in to work yet.
Fill in the blank: I'd kill to see ________ answer these same questions.
The richest person in the world.
What's the best advice you've ever received?
"Who cares?" A teacher at Cal Arts told me that after pitching him an idea I had for a student film. It was the first time I realised that it did matter what other people thought beyond you. In school, you're taught to only do what you want, which is important, but if you want to make it in the industry, you also have to make something that other people will care about, so It's important to find something that satisfies both sides.
Pictured above: J.G. recording Regular Show.
Anything else you want to add for readers/fans?
New episodes of Regular Show are on Cartoon Network now. Also, season one is streaming on Netflix. So if you haven't seen it yet, go check it out!
Picture: Mark Hill/Cartoon Network
We've asked a handful of heroes, experts and flat-out productive people to share their shortcuts, workspaces and routines. Every week we'll feature a new guest and the gadgets, apps, tips and tricks that keep them going. Want to suggest someone we should feature or questions we should ask? Let us know.