Who are you :
I´m Christina Michelitsch, a graphic designer and illustrator from Graz, Austria.
Your current job :
I very recently came back from a 6 months internship at Eddie Opara’s fantastic team at Pentagram Design in New York which was a great experience and a real privilege. It was truly amazing to work alongside design legends such as Paula Scher and Michael Bierut and getting to know and work with all of those talented and interesting designers there. After my internship I now continued working with my freelance business.
In which city are you located?
I am currently located in Graz and am working towards going back to New York soon.
A word to define what kind of worker you are :
I think I am very deliberate and honest in my work. I work hard and try to treat all projects the same way, no matter if it is a small identity for a friend or a big product launch for an international client. I value the trust people put in me and my work and I want to find the best solutions for every client. I love to dive into a project and to do a deep research on the topic. I think it is actually one of the best things about being a designer since you learn about so many new things with every new project – it never gets boring.
What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)
I basically do everything in Illustrator and InDesign, I appreciate project management tools but haven’t really found the perfect one yet. I use the basic calendar on my mac to try to be organized and I recently discovered #Slack which is nice when collaborating on projects but I am mostly communicating via Skype. After all, I always carry a notebook and a pen with me, I guess that’s my real essential.
What does your office space look like?
I mainly work from a shared office space in Graz. I started working with the creative collective Les Avignons when I was still studying in 2013 and rented out a space at the Headquarter in Graz for a good year to freelance and write my master thesis on the side. Since then I am still working with Les Avignons on ongoing projects and am at the office as much as possible. Otherwise my office space can be a café or a friend´s studio space or just my flat!
What kind of music do you listen when you are working ?
I believe it is mostly music that keeps me going. Like some Hip Hop or fun 90`s RnB. I also like electronic music a lot and the old soul stuff. The past month I really liked the new Childish Gambino album. Now it`s Tame Impala. Also, I like the new discover weekly feature on Spotify quite a lot. I am always on the lookout for new artists and I love to create playlists with friends to find new music. We have done quite a few with Les Avignons in the past and I think it was one of the first things I suggested doing with my team at Pentagram.
Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work ?
I like to write checklists by the end of the day to remind me what to start with on the next day. That calms me down after a stressful day and I know I can relax and know what I have to deal with on the next day.
What tips would you give to improve productivity ?
Talk to people. Ask questions. Set yourself personal deadlines and make checklists to be organized. Start from scratch if you are stuck. Keep yourself happy – take breaks and go for a walk or a run or a yoga class.
You’re better than your colleagues to :
I finished Super Mario Bros on our 20 year old Super Nintendo back home in Austria last christmas which was an epic moment, so I think I am quite the pro when it comes down to that now.
What is the best advice anyone has given you ?
That people in general mostly care about their own things and that you should always remember that when you start to overthink anything and take things too personal or serious.
What is your best tip for saving time ?
Try to understand people’s way of working and their processes, collaborate and check in on people a lot. Ask questions. Gather inspiration on the go on Pinterest or wherever so you can reach out on them when you need them quickly. I think it is smart to create your own inspiration library as you go. Have a presentation deck and mockups ready anytime and start a list of photographers and illustrators that you like. As it grows it will be priceless at some point and will save you a lot of time.
What is your routine start and end of the day ?
It very much differs on the seasons. I actually love to run and workout in the morning but I don’t do it a lot in winter because obviously its cold and dark and I prefer to sleep in. A good day ends with good food. I love to cook, mostly freestyle which works surprisingly good and I love to go to good restaurants. After that it is often a movie, TV show (I love Broad City right now!) or a good read.
Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without?
My headphones 🙂