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Office tale of Madeleine Gagné , graphic designer& artist

Office tale of Madeleine Gagné , graphic designer& artist

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Who are you :
I’m Madeleine. I’m a graphic designer, artist, podcast addict, and mother of a pretty awesome two year old.

Your current job :
I’m currently a graphic design co-op student and a freelancer in my spare time.

In which city are you located?
Ottawa, Ontario

A word to define what kind of worker you are :

What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)
Besides the obvious (laptop, Adobe Creative Suite, etc), I am constantly using Spotify for music, and Pocket Casts for podcasts. I also like to have a notebook and sketchbook, and pens and pencils.

What does your office space look like?
I do my freelance work from a small bedroom in my home. The walls are white and there’s a lot of sunlight during the daytime. My desk is relatively clean and I have a cork board in front of me to pin photos of family and friends, artwork, and anything else I find inspiring. Sometimes there’s some painting supplies or other craft things on the floor, but I cleaned up for the photo.

What kind of music do you listen when you are working ?
My go to is folk, indie, and alternative music. I love anything acoustic. Lately I have been listening to Twin Forks, Ryn Weaver, The Wind and The Wave, Elle King, and The 1975.

Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work ?
I try to always prioritize the things that need to be done first. Once I start working, I tend to jump around between things a lot, but at the end of the day, I make sure that I’m doing what I need to be doing to meet deadlines.

What tips would you give to improve productivity ?
Resist the urge to social media.

You’re better than your colleagues to :
Honestly, since I am a relatively new designer (been doing it about 4 years), I know that I still have lots to learn, so I don’t really have an answer to that. I try not to compare myself to coworkers and peers, but rather learn from them and their experiences.

What is the best advice anyone has given you ?
When it comes to design: “Don’t make me think”. This is the title of a book I have not read yet, but those four words are such valuable advice on their own. I try to keep things simple and put functionality first.

What is your best tip for saving time ?
It’s important to keep your files organized and named correctly, especially if you’re working with other people. I also try to do everything correctly from the start instead of scrambling to clean up files at the last minute when they’re finished. By this I mean always using paragraph styles, creating swatches and deleting unused ones, making sure photos are all in the right colour modes, etc.

What is your routine start and end of the day ?
I don’t really have a routine. Typically I need to ease into my work day with coffee and a little bit of social media time before attacking urgent emails and tasks. During the day for the past few years I’ve usually been busy with either schoolwork or being with my daughter, so I would freelance in the evenings. If there’s time, I like to end the day with an episode of a TV show (or two!).

Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without?
I have to have a pair of headphones with me at all times.