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Office tale of João Castro, Art Director at The Royal Studio and teacher at ESAD Matosinhos

Office tale of João Castro, Art Director at The Royal Studio and teacher at ESAD Matosinhos

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Who are you : 

João Castro

Your current job : 

Art Director at The Royal Studio and teacher at ESAD Matosinhos

In which city are you located? 

Porto, Portugal

A word to define what kind of worker you are : 


What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..) : 

I need a good romance (one of the spicy ones with a sexual and narrative criminal); Adobe Creative Could as a whole; a gram of Processing and a tremendous ammount of adrenaline tasks tracked in iOS Swipes. I see life through iOS’s Clock GMT’s, VSCO cam to make fun of it, Google Classroom to keep with the students, Sunrine app to make it on time, Notes to make sure I am not missing a thing from too much sleep deprivation, Spotify to hit the deepest bass drops and IFTT to make sure all is in sync!

What does your office space look like?

Our office is the mothership of We Came From Space, a project that we call a “knowledge transfer platform”. The office is OCD clean, but it shares the pixel grid with a letterpress, a screenprinter and Riso setup complemented by loud music, good coffee and 15 creatives round and round again. The Space is well-treated with a nordic tone, complimented with a foosball table and an ounce of good athmosphere. Live, full and vibrant; woody with a neon touch and dedicated to jazz and funk.

What kind of music do you listen when you are working ?

On a hectic and furious playlist, I eclectically choose my audio masters to stay between soul, jazz, old school breakbeats and drum&bass. One would say we have a thing for the deep bass instrumental, but if it doesn’t make you bounce, then it would be out of the workspace playlist. It needs to have a mix of speed with vertigo, caffeine and good will: positive Royal.

Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work ?

I keep it simple: track down the tasks and do them one by one. There is a secret to organization: cut the crap and do it. Morning: take care of business. Afternoon: take care of design action or follow-up print runs. Nighttime: keep it fun and make it a killer project — but only if it matters and it does need to make you heart go nuts, otherwise, go to sleep after a cool beer. The trick to stay organized is to be utterly methodical on organizing e-mails, streamline paperwork and keep track of the timezones to manage good income and project management. All we need to use is the simpliest notes, the even simpler to-do list and a spreadsheet. Other than that: cut the crap and do it — you have a day, make it count.

What tips would you give to improve productivity ?

Stay focused, keep it organized, never let go on your sleep, and by all means: be retenssly curious. I would say one can only be as happy as it gets but you can be energetic your whole life if you seek for the new, the unusual of the unexpected. There is a tremendous amount of drama and poetry in Biology. You can learn Quantum mechanics. It is interesting to catch up on politics and economics — the Euro-crash is such a storyteller! You can not achieve an active life by focusing on focusing: make it go live – kill it – stay curious and give it harlem shake. Work it. Take time off. Afterwards, work it double.

You’re better than your colleagues to : 

Argument. I am the master of reason.

What is the best advice anyone has given you ? 

“You have too much brain, and too little nerve”. Life changer.

What is your best tip for saving time ?

Cut it. Do it. Keep on doing it for 48h straight and rejoice on your exceptionality.

If you are not inspired: do a mood board and call it research. Anything else: either do it or take the day off. If you take the day off, take it and feel ashamed. Everything else is psychology – how beautiful it is that there are no answers to that, you silly organism!

What is your routine start and end of the day ?

— Hit me caffeine, cold shower me up, hold up Metro – you are running too fast, silly!

— Feed me a whiskey, not too cold, please, sing me a melody and make me fall in love while I struggle to sleep deep in romance.

Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without?

Oh! That little Nike Fuel Band? I quadrupling my goal today. Hit it!