My love/hate relationship with Routine makes some of my workdays very typical, and others decidedly atypical. Wake up time is about 8am; bedtime about 1am. Breakfast consists of a bagel and a thermos of coffee, which I carry up two flights of stairs to my attic studio, sometimes without even spilling.
On Mondays I tend to come up with an idea for a "Speed Bump" Sunday cartoon in the morning, then draw it and color it in the afternoon...except most Mondays I don't finish drawing it until late in the day and can't quite work up the willpower to color it as well. So I fit that in on Tuesdays, which is a day I come up with 3 daily "SB" ideas during the course of the day, and then draw the rest of the day. There's no time frame except that I have to get them all done before going to bed or Wednesday will be hell...because Wednesday is my deadline day for the dailies, in which I *have* to come up with 3 more ideas (for a weekly total of 6 - see how that works?) in the morning to give me a fighting chance of getting them all drawn and colored by 5:30pm. Which I always do, because I have to - and because I'm turning these things in only 12 days prior to publication. My muse's slogan apparently reads, "Desperation Mistaken for Inspiration."
On Thursdays and Fridays I work on children's books, cartoons for Parade and other magazines, or a different freelance gig. Priorities are based on the proximity of the deadline (deadlines: another thing I have a love/hate relationship with). These jobs often - nay, always - carry over into the weekend. My only rule, which I occasionally break but try not to, is not to work on Saturdays. Sundays are fair game.
Weekend evenings are spent with my wife, Chris and daughters, Alayna & Simone. Usually this means helping with homework or acting as a volleyball target in the basement while Simone serves at me. Good times. Sunday/Monday/Tuesday night I go back to work after everyone's in bed. Wednesday night post-deadline we'll watch a movie or read, and I'll have a Black Russian. They're good and they're good for you.
My work process is embarrassingly simple and school-like: I sit on my studio couch with a lined notebook and daydream. Anything promising I jot down; anything particularly promising I put a star next to what I jotted down; anything really, really promising I draw a tiny, crappy sketch on the next page of the notebook to get an idea how I might layout the cartoon. Once I have three tiny sketches I like, I move to my huge, old drawing board and finalize them. What do I finalize them with? A #2 pencil stolen from one of my kids' backpacks (the current one is a rainbow swirl design), Rotring Rapidograph pens of different nib sizes, the occasional brush, and Strathmore 3-ply 500 Series plate finish paper that comes in 22"x29" sheets I have to cut down to 8.5"x11" pieces every week. When the cartoons are all drawn, I scan them in, attach them to an email that contains coloring suggestions for American Color, and send 'em off.
I told you it was embarrassingly simple.
For the Parade cartoons, and some other work, I'll draw the final art on a tight-weave copier paper so I can color them with warm grey Prismacolor markers. The thinner paper absorbs the marker better. I don't do any coloring whatsoever on the computer. To be honest, the only things I do on a computer are email, scanning, and iTunes. I'm a borderline Luddite.
Every Thursday night I play tennis with a bunch of other ex-college players (I played for Eastern Michigan University). We're a USTA 5.0 team in what we like to call The Nagging Injury League. Otherwise, outside of family time, I spend far too much effort finding new music or rare old music and swapping it with like-minded friends...many of whom are also cartoonists with embarrassingly simple schedules. Not easy, just simple. Coming up with new ideas day after day is both the most natural and most challenging thing I do, and I wouldn't trade it for anything except ten million dollars and a mint copy of the 45 record "Christmas With The Pygmies" by The Jazz Butcher.