Office tale of Natasha De Melis, designer at dougserge+partners

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Who are you :
My name is Natasha De Melis. I have an Honours Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies degree (in Political Science) from York University, and an Advertising and Graphic Design diploma (with honours) from Humber College. They say that, ‘Good things come in small packages’ and I believe the same with design in the sense that, ‘Good things are made from the smallest details.’ I am a detail-oriented person, a perfectionist at heart, and I can assure you that the smallest details pack the biggest punch. So, although I may be small in size, my personality and work ethic surpass the boundaries of any box. I mean, I ride a motorcycle, how cool is that?! I live life on the edge, I take risks, and I'm not afraid of a challenge.

Your current job :
I was brought on as an intern at the company doug & serge (now dougserge+partners or ds+p) from May to August of 2013. The company hired me full-time as a Junior Designer after the completion of my internship. After two months, I was promoted to Designer and have been in that position since December of 2013.

In which city are you located?
Toronto, Ontario

A word to define what kind of worker you are :
Disciplined. I'm the kind of person who will not stop until the piece I'm working on is complete (whether that's working long hours, or simply trying to perfect it until I believe it's right).

What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)
Well, I definitely rely on the Adobe Creative Suite software. However, nothing beats pencil and paper (to really get those creative juices flowing).

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What does your office space look like?
I definitely have the most decorated office space at work. It's filled with everything I love: Cars, Motorcycles, and Star Wars (you'll see what I mean when you take a look at the photo).

What kind of music do you listen when you are working ?
I'm a classics girl, so I'll be listening to everything classic rock and soul (The Beatles, The Doors, The Four Tops, Led Zeppelin, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Pink Floyd, Supertramp, Temptations, and much more).

Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work ?
Every project I work on has it's own folder (and yes, it's colour coded by the company's brand colour). I map out every project's timeline and work around what the top priority is (ex: if one project has a shorter deadline than another, I'll work on that first).

What tips would you give to improve productivity ?
The best thing to do is to ask questions. I can't stress that enough. Sometimes designers will get stuck on a project because they simply don't understand it, or they're unsure how the piece is actually used. Account teams are awesome to help in these situations. Also, use your studio team to help you clarify something on the production end, so you don't end up spinning your wheels.

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You're better than your colleagues to :
If you need to know the Pantone, CMYK or RGB colour of a particular client you're working on, coworkers usually ask me. I think I may cause the demise of the brand standards book!

What is the best advice anyone has given you ?
To have faith and confidence in yourself and your work. If you don't believe in yourself or your work, you won't be able to sell anything to your client.

What is your best tip for saving time ?
Be organized! Also, don't be afraid to talk to your creative directors about your workload and what can be done to help alleviate that stress (if you're overloaded) or how you can help out (if you have some spare time).

What is your routine start and end of the day ?
I typically start my day by reviewing all my projects and making a check list of what needs to be done. If I'm waiting for client feedback, I'll loop in with the account team and ask if they've heard anything. At the end of the day, I'll make sure that I've completed everything on my checklist. I'll also loop in with the account team again and ask if they need anything from me before I head home for the day. I'll also clean up my desk so that it's ready to go for the next day.

Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without?
To be honest, I really don't use any other gadget besides my phone or computer. However, if you classify headphones as a gadget, then that's something I definitely can't go without. I love working away listening to my favourite tunes.

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