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Office tale of Erla Maria Arnadottir, illustrator and co-owner at Studio Erla & Jónas

Office tale of Erla Maria Arnadottir, illustrator and co-owner at Studio Erla & Jónas

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Who are you :
I am an illustrator, a human, a mother, a wife, a woman, a feminist, an environmentalist and I go by the name Erla María.

Your current job :
Illustrator and co-owner at Studio Erla & Jónas.

In which city are you located?
Reykjavík, Iceland.

A word to define what kind of worker you are :

What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)
I can not work without some kind of a pencil and surface to draw on. The brand, size or quality of it doesn’t matter, it just has to be something that leaves a mark when I move it around on a surface that will display the mark.

What does your office space look like?
It’s an open studio space that we share with Noumena Films. My desk is an organized chaos. Drawings, equipment and tools all over the place, but I know exactly where to find and keep everything.

What kind of music do you listen when you are working ?
It depends on the season. Fall is melodramatic Scandinavian artists. Winter is rock, experimental and blues. Spring is mostly electronic and summer is upbeat golden oldies.

Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work ?
There’s a Monday meeting where the week is planned, we tick off what we finished last week and focus on prioritizing the current projects. I then do this same little ritual individually every morning. Flexibility is the key though, the system can’t go before the unseen urgency of a client.

What tips would you give to improve productivity ?
Accept the fact that not all days will be super productive. No one is always extremely creative, energized and productive during the exact period when you need to be. Accepting that, will make those moments where you are in your best game even more productive.

You’re better than your colleagues to :
My career is not a competition with others. I aim to do my best and hopefully my personal touch and honest approach will allow me to live off my privileged career for as long as I can.

What is the best advice anyone has given you ?
“There is always someone better than you at everything” – It’s not about being the best, it’s about being true to yourself and having something to say.

What is your best tip for saving time ?
When possible, work offline.

What is your routine start and end of the day ?
It starts with a coffee, picking music,  organizing the day. It usually ends with me rushing to finish something and running out the door at the last minute.

Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go ?
My Wacom tablets and extra driver for backups.