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Office tale of Jerry Nkumu, freelance graphic designer

Office tale of Jerry Nkumu, freelance graphic designer

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Who are you :

My name is Jerry Nkumu I’m from Belgium and of Congolese descent. I’m a versatile graphic designer, with over 10 years of experience in various fields of design. I love martial arts (should seriously get back to it), video games (although no time to play them anymore), music and most importantly film (looking forward to start a career in filmmaking). I’m also the occasional music composer.

Your current job :

I am currently freelancing but you never know.

In which city are you located?

I am currently based in Liège (Belgium) but this is likely to change. i am a digital nomad.

A word to define what kind of worker you are :


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

Ok so there are a bunch but i’ll list those i’ve been using since i had my first computer in 2001: Photoshop, FL Studio, MS Word, Excel, Vuze (formerly Azureus). On mobile (iPhone) definitely Instagram, the Notes & To-Do app, GarageBand, a few dictionaries. Google Maps saved my life quite a few times.

What does your office space look like?

I work from home so i have a workspace set up in my living room. (see pic). But on lazy days it looks like my bedroom.

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

It depends what kind of work I’m doing. When Painting (Wacom), writing synopsises or ideas for stories I usually play epic music or film / video game scores. Most notably a selection from Hans Zimmer’s Best (inception is def a top 2), and the entire Skyrim by Jeremy Soule and various others. For other work or in general i usually bump any of my 3 fav iTunes radio stations Allegro Lounge, Ambient Sleeping Pill and Ambientesque.

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

I tend to be more inspired at night. So I usually try to save the most puzzling jobs for later unless working hour feedbacks are required. But in terms of daily rituals i’d say watch a bunch of videos on youtube and google news on various topic just to get my brain started, then eat something before any work or i have headaches. If it’s gym day that is done prior work as well. Also power naps.

What tips would you give to improve productivity ?

Repeat after me: “I WILL STAY AWAY FROM MY CELL PHONE AND SOCIAL MEDIA” Googling stuff from your line of work for inspiration, online classes to add skills to your belt is def a must. Never be afraid to learn new stuff that could be helpful on the way. Getting used to Multitasking: Stop a current task to move to another just to snap out of it and refresh your brain cells. Have snacks / fruits / soft drinks around. Going outside once in a while not to turn into a goblin.

You’re better than your colleagues to :

I’d need colleagues for that. But when i do, I’m generally better at having very diverse skills. Yet I’m well aware there is so much i need to learn.

What is the best advice anyone has given you ?

There are so many and they all apply to different aspects of life. But I’d say one that struck me the most and appears almost on all my online profiles is “Successful Men do Daily what unsuccessful men do occasionally”. It was a quote someone shared in my twitter feed years ago. I don’t know who the author is, but it had a profound impact and changed the way I achieve my goals. “Do or Do not” from Yoda is a close match though.

Best tip for saving time ?

Don’t waste time on things that aren’t useful to the goals you set!!! Also invest on gears that are up to the task. I know it’s cliché but seriously if you can buy a Mac.

I’ve been a pc user since forever, but the amount of time I am able to save thanks to better productivity on a Mac is just insane. Furthermore, knowing you have invested quite a budget for your passion is always a good incentive not to waste it fooling around.

What is your routine start and end of the day ?

Start of the day: Reading the news on Mashable, and various independent news channel on youtube to stay in the loop. Gym + Shower and Eat

End of the day: Eat. Watching a movie or various movies news sources such as Collider, Machinima and such. Watching videos / Listening to podcasts about science such as PBS space Time, SpaceRip or specific debates / talks by geniuses such as Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, Lawrence Krauss, James S. Gates and more, until i fall asleep.

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

My Wacom bamboo tablet + pen, Arturia MiniLab keyboard, two pocket sized HDD’s and a USB key are always carried in my backpack when I’m away for more than a day.