Office tale of Chris Vallée, Graphic Designer

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Chris Vallee Photo

Who are you :
Chris Vallée

Your current job :
Graphic Designer

In which city are you located?
Somewhere between Toronto and the so-called ‘great white north’

A word to define what kind of worker you are :
Perfectionist. Painstakingly so.

What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)
Adobe Illustrator and any device with which to use it. Though most importantly, Oh Henry bars. They are essential to keep me both alive and in a constant state of nougaty bliss.

Chris Vallee Office

What does your office space look like?
My office space can be wherever I lay my computer down. I am always ready to design, but peace and quite and a distraction free zone are optimal. My actual office, however, is a culmination of my life’s work, so to speak. Crammed into a tiny corner, my collection of music, books, comics, knick-knacks, and other gems amassed over the course of my life are all on display, ready to remind me why I am doing what I do.

What kind of music do you listen when you are working ?
Music often drives the creative force behind much of the work that I do. Whatever I might be listening to at the time can have a significant influence on my design choices, or my approach to a project. Conversely, my design work can also elicit a particular mood or feeling in me that calls to mind a specific song, album or artist. They are intrinsically linked in my brain. I cannot look at any art or design without ‘hearing’ it as well. For me 80’s music tends to tick the right boxes for a successful project most often, though specifically, “The Visitors” by ABBA is essential.

Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work ?
Inspiration flows asymmetrically. The OCD in me likes to structure my day in a fairly regimented fashion, but that doesn’t always mean I will be productive. Early mornings and late nights seem to be when I am most in tune with my designy senses.

What tips would you give to improve productivity ?
No distractions. But more importantly, take a break! Too much designing can often leave me feeling tapped out. Take a walk, leave your environment for a bit and come back with a fresh perspective.

You're better than your colleagues to :
I wouldn’t say better necessarily, but perhaps I’m more focused on the finite details. 500% zoom, nudging, aligning, adjusting, pixel by pixel is where you’ll find me on the eve of any due date.

What is the best advice anyone has given you ?
Just say no! This applies to way more than drugs.

What is your best tip for saving time ?
This might be stating the obvious, but shut off the internet. I am not big on social media, but there are plenty of other internet shenanigans that can easily put me off course if I am having a slow day.

What is your routine start and end of the day ?
Food, Design, Food, Design, Food, Design, Movie, Design. More or less.

Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without?
I am not much of a gadget guy, I have only just bought my first smart phone this past week! But I really couldn’t survive without my iPod and a good pair of headphones! The dance party in my head can only suffice for so long before I am just that crazy guy dancing in the corner. Music feeds my soul, and my soul feeds my work.