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Office tale of Michael Mason, graphic designer

Office tale of Michael Mason, graphic designer

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Who are you :
Michael Mason

Your current job :
I’m a full-time Designer at Character. I usually have a handful of little projects happening on the side as well.

In which city are you located?
I’m a Montrealer, living in San Francisco.

A word to define what kind of worker you are :

What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)
Moleskin, Macbook, Adobe CC, Intuos 5, Grid Paper & a fineliner.

What does your office space look like?
During the week I work at Character. The space is lovely; A large loft in SOMA with white-brick walls, tall windows and generous amounts of sunlight. Work culture’s highly driven but easygoing.

I work on my personal projects from home, or from a coffee house in my neighbourhood. I like to keep things simple — my workspace included. My tools, my journals, and a window with a view.

What kind of music do you listen when you are working ?
It depends what I’m working on. In the early, conceptual stages of a project I’ll put on something ambient or instrumental. When I’m working on something that’s more production-heavy, I’ll put on something more up-beat and rhythmic. Outside of work though I’m listening to a lot of mellower music these days — I think it’s the summer fog. The Tallest Man On Earth, Leif Vollebekk & Phillip Glass daily.

Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work ?
I always write weekly & daily to-do lists.

What tips would you give to improve productivity ?
Set your goals for the day, and tackle them one at a time. I always try to avoid multi-tasking; I’m far more involved, productive, and genuinely excited about a project when it’s the only thing on my mind. It may sound rudimentary — but it’s incredible how closing everything you don’t need affects your headspace & work process.

You’re better than your colleagues to :
Oh, it’s not a competition!

What is the best advice anyone has given you ?
Don’t sleep where you work. If you’re a freelancer, get a studio, have a coffee shop, or set up a special work-nook at home.

What is your best tip for saving time ?
Getting a good night’s sleep.

What is your routine start and end of the day ?
I wake up around 7 and bike to work every morning — taking a detour by the water, when I have time. Once I get in, I have a coffee and an apple for breakfast, and write my to-do lists for the day. I usually finish work around 18h, and then head to a park, or to a coffee house if I have a personal project I’m working on.

Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without?
I’m not all that big on gadgets.