Who are you?
Valerie Myronenko, photographer and graphic designer based in Toronto.
Your current job:
For the last few years I’ve been managing a creative space /photo studio in Toronto’s East end called Working Proof, while being a photographer there as well. We rent out the space to creatives in the city for various projects, ranging from photo and video shoots, to art exhibits and events.
In which city are you located?
Toronto! I moved here from Eastern Ukraine, 4 years ago, and although it was a huge difference for me, it was certainly worth a move.
A word to define what kind of worker you are:
I’m a tinkerer. I need to switch activities every hour, otherwise I get bored. Since there is nothing I can do about it, I tried to use this trait to my advantage and picked a job that requires extreme multitasking.
What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc.)?
All Adobe everything.
What does your office space look like?
Our old converted factory 18-feet-high ceilings and two rows of North-facing windows provides the perfect setting to be inspired. The studio is a work/live space, with production and client facilities on the first floor and my living area with my work desk, bedroom and 2 cats on the second floor. It certainly makes a huge impact on your life as you are so fully immersed in what’s happening at the studio, and have people in your space all the time. But I can’t imagine my life without it.
What kind of music do you listen to when you are working?
I’m afraid to trust most of online playlists as they can start with few great songs but then drift away in a super weird direction. And then after few hours into the shoot the whole team all of a sudden goes: "Wait, WHAT is playing right now?" I like to listen to MIA, FKA Twigs, MØ and Odesza to keep me going, but mostly let my clients choose, as I like to discover new things.
Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work?
Hide your phone away!
What tips would you give to improve productivity?
Get lots of demanding clients with crazy deadlines and you’d be surprised how much you can do in a day. Also don’t have your cute pets in your work space like I do. Very very distracting.
You're better than your colleagues to:
Not sure! We all add value to the mix, and I wouldn’t be where I am without them.
What is the best advice anyone has given you?
Trust your guts. Always try to listen to everyone’s advice but at the end of the day if it feels right do it! At least it’ll be your mistake, not someone else’s.
What is your best tip for saving time?
Good strategy. It’s easy to do things faster when you don’t have to figure them out as you go.
What is your routine start and end of the day?
Being in a live/work space, makes it really difficult to establish a routine... I usually wake up, feed my animals, get a coup of coffee and then go back to bed. I’m certainly a night owl, and mornings are very rought for me. I usually start working around noon, and finish at night.
Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can't you go without?
Definitely my camera. It got broken once... Was a disaster.