Who are you :
I'm Louise Mertens, a 27 year old female creative + art director, obsessed with details and full of passion.
Your current job :
I've started 'Louise Mertens Studio' almost 3 years ago and I'm still working as a self-employed creative + art director. I practice various design-works for different clients, creative + art direction for campaigns and collections as well as personal artworks which I exhibit and sell. Let's say I work very visually and I get many different applications which I see as challenge and experience.
In which city are you located?
Antwerp in Belgium
A word to define what kind of worker you are :
I'm a perfectionist and very loyal to my style. Everything that leaves my hands needs to feel good to me. For who or what ever it's made. Details are very important to me and time is a precious material I like to use.
When I'm in a creative process, I'm not working. I'm passionate and extremely curious.
What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)
Wunderlist; I write everything down, I make lists. I have so many impulses on a daily base and I have a very bad memory so it really helps organizing both my mind and life.
I'm a big fan of Google Business (E-mail, Drive, Docs, etc.)
Fun fact: I'm one of the few digital natives that still uses a manual Agenda. I love the smell of clean paper and it reminds me of me being a kid and pretending to have an office. One of my favorite games.
What does your office space look like?
Very white and minimal. I need rest around me while working. My office space is still quite new so it surely needs some touch-ups. Basicly a 16square meter white room with a white table, big Apple screen, a lot of books and a lot of plants. One small closet where I store up all my print- and paper-work.
What kind of music do you listen when you are working ?
I listen to all kinds of music but while I'm working I really love some jazz music. It calms me down an it's not too distractive. When I'm in the middle of a good creative boost, I love some deep house
Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work ?
Still a challenge to balance between being creative and answering many E-mails at the same time.
Let's say I'm finding my ways. Working at night during the week is something I accepted while being young and building up your own things but I like to make sure I do have at least 3 weekends per month to do anything but work.
What tips would you give to improve productivity ?
When you have time off, really take time off. Don't read any E-mails, don't think or talk about work and try to focus on other things as it frees the mind. Never compare your work or process with others and take your own time. Time is something we often forget as people expect so much from you at the same time and it's easy to loose it at some point when pleasing everyone and forgetting what truly comes from inside. It's a hard lesson I've learned this year. It's good to be hard on yourself but know your limits.
You're better than your colleagues to :
No one will ever be better. Everyone is different and that's something I look for and love. I never compare or take inspiration from similar artists. I admire people that practice crafts I look up to and can't manage myself. I find it very inspiring to see passion in people, whatever they do. I try to work as hard as I can and to do as many things I can at the same time, both for clients as myself and that makes my work stand out to some but never better, just different.
What is the best advice anyone has given you ?
To avoid negativity and negative people. Seek optimism and try to always see the best in all things. I'm very sensitive and impulses strike me very fast. Positive energy is extremely important for me to look forward and productive. It is true confidence that gives people this gift and I admire that.
I try to make my work as fun and positive as possible and I'd like to step out of it once in a while to not forget there are other things making me happy.
What is your best tip for saving time ?
Having a manager like mine ;)
What is your routine start and end of the day ?
I never start without a clean bedroom and having some good breakfast. I love to read the news and design-blogs while having breakfast. As soon as I open my E-mails, there's no chill-time left.
I finish around 6:30 (when I'm lucky) and I have my daily glass of red wine. I love to have dinner as long as possible, mostly with family and friends. I'm a table person.
Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not go without?
Is Netflix ok?
I usually never watch TV but I do love some Netflix series and nature documentaries!