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Office tale of Hatem Aly, illustrator and cartoonist

Office tale of Hatem Aly, illustrator and cartoonist

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Who are you:
My name is Hatem Aly , I am an illustrator and cartoonist. I am Egyptian, currently living in New Brunswick, Canada, with my wife, my son and pets. My work ranges from editorial illustration to children’s books, storyboards and comics with clients from all over the world.

Your current job:
Illustrator, cartoonist and collaborating on a graphic novel this year!

In which city are you located?
Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada

A word to define what kind of worker you are:

What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc.)?
Ink, brushes, pens, Wacom tablet, sketchbooks, Photoshop, Manga Studio, Illustrator, books, the internet, spotify, soundcloud, audiobooks, podcasts and music.

What does your office space look like?
Currently messier than it should be. But I could say busy and comforting. Books, sketches, sketchbooks, pens and notes (along with my computer, iPad and scanner/printer) can be seen around me through the day usually until I clear everything and start fresh. And that happens usually when I am done with a project and starting a new one. You can tell I make a little tornado of stuff around me when I work.

What kind of music do you listen when you are working ?
I usually put on random list of music or a radio/spotify/iTunes/ YouTube service… Mostly jazzy music or something overall instrumental and intuitive. I get sidetracked by words especially when I am into it or find it catchy .. BUT if I am not working on a text or no need to super focus on specifics I put on podcasts or audiobooks.

Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work?
I get up early and try to deal with whatever’s not work related first… Feed the dogs, bring them out, have breakfast and drink tea with my wife; then I’m up for a productive day. And be wise with time on social media, wise meaning not to eliminate it but also don’t over do it.

What tips would you give to improve productivity?
I find creating a to ­do list helps… may it be on paper, boards, calendars or an app, even if you don’t follow it exactly you still know what needs to be done next at least. Also take breaks and take a walk… it helps.

You’re better than your colleagues to:
Since I work from home I can say I am better at: “taking the dogs out”!

What is the best advice anyone has given you?
“Try your best to be yourself. Everyone is the protagonist of their own life story. “

What is your best tip for saving time?
Not the best at this but (for now): No or less TV. ­Write down what can’t wait. Use

What is your routine start and end of the day?
It depends. I am really not consistent with a specific routine and I am slow in the morning. However I try to get up early and do what needs to be done (mentioned in a previous answer) then I check my emails and social media for any messages or comments I might have received. Then start working till noon. Have lunch and take a break then work again taking breaks on and off to read something or share something or take a quick walk. I leave my desk around 6:00 pm and spend time with my wife and son. In some cases I work a little bit more at night if needed.

Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without?
Pens, sketchbooks, Ipad , books, wireless headphones.