Office tale of Jordi Villaverde, freelance illustrator and character designer

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Who are you :

My name is Jordi Villaverde, but everybody calls me "VILLA". I'm an Illustrator from Barcelona.

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Your current job :

I work as a freelance illustrator and character designer, doing works for children's books, comics and animation.

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In which city are you located?

I live in the sunny Barcelona.

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A word to define what kind of worker you are :

Hard-working.

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

I usually work with my computer, I use a Wacom Cintiq and always work with Photoshop.

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What does your office space look like?

My workspace is simple, it's in my own apartment and it has all I need. The walls are white and have some framed art of different artists and friends, a lot of comic books and art books, and different toys around my computer. And I have a little space for my personal assistant, my cat Ron.

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

I'm kind of random when it comes to music. I can listen to Jazz, Soul, Indie, Rock, Electronic Music, Movies OSTs... almost everything sounds good to me. Also, sometimes I listen to podcast by some local radios or conferences about art, movies, music... anything that could be interesting!

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

I wake up around 7.30 - 8, have some coffee on my terrace if it's sunny and start the day checking my inbox and reading my schedule. I have some Excel tables to remind me the tasks I need to do everyday and another one with all the projects I'm currently working on, because I usually work in more than one project at a time.

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What tips would you give to improve productivity ?

I try to clear my daily schedule ASAP, because I love to do something for my own everyday. I love my job, but for me it's important to spend some time doing my thing, even if it's just a sketch, a character, but I like doing it without pressure, just for fun.

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You're better than your colleagues to :

Hmmm, that's a very difficult question. I think I'm not better than anyone, but I try to work in all my projects with my own style, to choose projects where the client gives me the freedom to improve my own style.

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What is the best advice anyone has given you ?

I had a teacher that loved to quote the sentence that the Spanish illustrator Puño said in a talk that he gave for MADinSpain, around 2011: "You need to draw something everyday, because you need to do a lot of bad drawings before you start doing the good ones."

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What is your best tip for saving time ?

I think that working at home is a good tip for that, but organizing your day carefully it's really important too.

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What is your routine start and end of the day ?

I start the day with coffee and then I start working, but I try to finish my day doing something different, maybe go to run or riding my longboard, visiting some expos, going out with friends or watching some movies, TV shows or sports, to disconnect completely from work.

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

I like to have always my iPad with me.

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