Office tale of Andrei Serghiuta, freelance CGI Artist

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Andrei

Who are you :
My family immigrated to Canada back in 1994, when I was just 15 years old. By now, at 36 years old, I have lived here most of my life. Drawing has been a favourite hobby of mine for as long as I can remember, however I also very much enjoy technology and troubleshooting. This put me on the path of 3D graphics while I was studying computer science in university, and I haven’t looked back since. The unique blend of left and right-brain requirements by the 3D field captured my imagination. In conjunction with that, I am also an avid photographer, which helps to complement my 3D work.

Your current job :
Freelance 3D Artist and part-time Instructor at Algonquin College in the Animation Department (I teach 3D courses).

In which city are you located?
Ottawa, Ontario

A word to define what kind of worker you are :
Dedicated

What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)
Autodesk Maya and the Adobe Creative Suite.

Office

What does your office space look like?
My office takes up half our basement, while the other half is taken up by my wife’s Hair Salon. It’s a little scary to think about it, but I think we spend most of our time below ground level. However, there are certain undeniable benefits to it when it comes to computers – consistent lighting and cooler temperatures.

What kind of music do you listen when you are working ?
These days I mostly listen to podcasts while I work. Otherwise I prefer mostly instrumental types of music, in a wide range of styles – from bluegrass to jazz to classical.

Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work ?
With a one-year-old toddler at home, my schedule has been a little bit all over the place lately. However, order seems to be evolving from chaos, and I’m slowly figuring out how balance it all out. It’s still a work in progress.

What tips would you give to improve productivity ?
Avoiding time-wasting activities that do not help further your goals. If your goal is to be a successful artist/illustrator/designer, then playing computer games for hours on end would be a big no-no.

You're better than your colleagues to :
I love challenges, and I’m pretty good at figuring out solutions to problems. This also makes me an avid learner, as there’s always something new to be learned in the quest for a solution.

What is the best advice anyone has given you ?
Something that I constantly remind myself of every day is that time is the most valuable commodity, and starting a project is winning half the battle. This helps me a lot in overcoming the tendency to procrastinate.

What is your best tip for saving time ?
Staying organized. Lack of organization and planning is the number one cause of wasted time. It is a very general concept, and it affects many different aspects. It can be as little and mundane as always putting your things back in the same place so you can always find them and not think about it, or more specific as always getting a concept sketch approved before starting on the full production. Automating repetitive tasks also makes a huge difference – such as using a formula to automatically calculate tax and totals in an invoice, or using recorded Actions in Photoshop.

What is your routine start and end of the day ?
I always start with a quick email check (no more than 5-10min). This gives me time to think of the replies over breakfast. shower, lunch etc.
On the other hand, the end of the day varies a lot. I always have supper at around 7:00 - 7:30pm with my wife and daughter, but I often go back to work after we put her to bed.

Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without?
My camera, first and foremost, but I also find myself quite inseparable from my tablet. I found that I prefer a 7” screen for tablets, which make it just small and light enough to easily take with me pretty much anywhere, but large enough that I can comfortably use it to browse the web, read, view images etc. I don’t even bother with a smart-phone because of it.

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