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Office tale of Luis Nessi, illustrator

Office tale of Luis Nessi, illustrator

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Who are you:
I’m Luis Nessi, an artist that remained silent for a long time, now finding my own voice and learning how to whisper, talk, and shout; hoping to connect with other people through my work, no matter how alike or different we might be from each other. Let’s say that I’m waving and saying hello with my arms wide open. I love designing, and If I manage to be paid for it, even better 😉

Your current job:
Self-taught student on traditional and digital media. Available for commissioned, freelance and contract work in areas like concept art for the entertainment industry (creature, character, and prop design), editorial illustration, and fine arts.

In which city are you located?
Valencia, although I spend some time in Caracas, once or twice a year.

A word to define what kind of worker you are:

What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)
Graphite lead holder, lead sharpener, kneadable eraser, paper, Wacom tablet, coffee, herbal infusions, internet.

What does your office space look like?
It’s my bedroom, actually, so there’s a bed, two drawing tables (one small, one large), an improvised stand-in desk (needs some adjustments), a cumbersome homemade metal easel, and art supplies everywhere. It looks like an organized hoarder’s nest, with white walls (to get the best from the natural light that comes from one window), and with just enough space to walk around.

What kind of music do you listen when you are working?
I browse through my different playlists, depending on the mood. They have indie rock, hard rock, progressive rock, post-rock, reggae, indietronica, synth pop, dream pop, shoegaze, ambient, dark ambient, blues, soul, assorted soundtracks, and contemporary composers (Wojciech Kilar, Arvo Part, Ludovico Einaudi…) and occasional podcast/videos about artists, illustration, concept art, film production, etc.

Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work?
I have a guide or list of themes, subjects, and ideas I want to work on, for practice, improvement, and to build a portfolio. I choose one, two, or even three of those (some creature design on the computer, and a large figurative drawing on the easel, for example), and work on them, one at a time (never multi-tasking), moving to the next one when I feel blocked, tired of it, unhappy with the sketches, etc. That keeps me moving, working, exercising the creative muscle, making good use of the time available.

What tips would you give to improve productivity?
Leave Facebook/Instagram/etc. peeking for the night or the holidays, no video games (watch gameplays on YouTube instead),  take a power nap (after lunch, maybe?), keep your tools organized and in good shape, organize your files (physical and digital – rename if necessary, create folders and subfolders), if there’s too much stress to handle, walk away from the desk for water/coffee/snack and get some fresh air; do some stretching every 30mins or so (you can’t do much with a sore body), get proper sleep.

You’re better than your colleagues to:
I like to think that I’m not a master on anything but a permanent student, so I’m better at being a sponge.

What is the best advice anyone has given to you?
Watch and listen first, talk later.

What is your best tip for saving time?
As I mentioned before, organize your reference files or whatever material you use for research. Looking for a particular kind of image or information should be quick and effective, not a slow and painful task. Oh, and keep an updated inventory of your art supplies, so then you know exactly what you have, what’s left of it, and how much of each item you need to buy next time you’re out for shopping. Emergency trips to the store are not fun, and you waste valuable time.

What is your routine start and end of the day?
From Monday to Friday, it starts with a cup of coffee, reading the news, checking email, then breakfast and drawing/painting/designing until lunch; zone out, then coffee again, more work, dinner at 6/7pm, and movie(s) or TV show(s) until midnight. On the weekends, I spend some good time on Behance (uploading work, giving feedback, all that). I also check saved bookmarks, a bunch of favorite sites, and do some home improvement every now and then.

Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not live without?
If a Wacom tablet and my drawing kit cannot count as gadgets, then I would say it’s an old Galaxy Player (4.0) that I like to keep charged and loaded with music, ebooks, and silly games, in case of a blackout (not too frequent, but they can last up to 12hrs sometimes!!!).