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Halldór Ragnarsson, visual artist

Halldór Ragnarsson, visual artist

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Who are you :

I´m Halldór Ragnarsson, 35 years old artist living in Iceland.

Your current job :

Visual artist.

In which city are you located?

Reykjavík, Iceland.

A word to define what kind of worker you are :

A bit obsessive with a dash of carelessness. So: obbsessivecareless?

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

I can´t do anything without some simple carpenter tools that I have in the studio. My work is mostly done in my hands and I follow my works all the way to the end, for example building frames out of raw wood, cutting glass for the frames and so on, because in my opinion that is also crucial part of the process. So I am not much of a software guy in that matter. For example, if I can´t find my ruler, my day can be ruined.

What does your office space look like?

I think it looks very normal for the job I do. A bit controlled, but at the same time bit messy, with of course with a little sofa that is not “too” comfortable to sleep in.

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

All sort of music; from indie to ambient to techno. But I mostly listen to podcasts and the radio; probably to hear some voices because I am mostly alone all day.

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

I try to be at the studio at 10 am and be back home around 7 pm. I always set up plans for every day, for the week, and try to finish these plans before the next Friday. I also work on few works at the same time so I don´t get bored with one thing. It is also crucial for me to do so, so I don´t dive too much into one thing; because sometimes it is necessary to step away from things. Even when you are doing them well, because sometimes works can be completed before your eyes without you kind of knowing it. That´s why I switch between works; and from the “new” one I can see the previous in a better light.

What tips would you give to improve productivity ?

Make your own time, time that suits you, for the things you do. Be curious, work for yourself, in your own tempo because you should be happy when you are working. 9-5 doesn’t work for everybody. That´s a fact. But if it does; that is great of course as well.

You’re better than your colleagues to :

Not sure I am getting this question right or not; but why should I be better then my colleagues? We all do different stuff because we are different people. And after all, we share our works and minds through exhibitions and so on. And that is a great set-up to get inspired, wheather it is through works or talks, or when you are alone in complete silence, tiptoeing around. So being better or worse doesn’t apply I think in this line of work.

What is the best advice anyone has given you ?

Hmmmm…. there are so many good advices I have been given during my lifetime I don´t even know where to start. Some of them are from teachers I have had in the past or from colleagues or friends. But I can say I haven´t always taken these advises, because I tend to be quite stubborn. But of course, in the end, all brilliant advices tends to stay with you through your life. So the best advice I ever got: “Well, listen…”

What is your best tip for saving time ?

Go home and do nothing when you have had enough in the studio! You are always better off the day after, when you have done so. I don´t know how many times I have continued after I was “blank” and should have gone home. You save no time at all working like that. Plus, you just waste more time getting frustrated when you see how much damage you have done to your works.

What is your routine start and end of the day ?

I wake up 40 minutes before I head out to the studio, have a smoothie and bicycle my way to the studio that takes about 15 minutes. There I have coffee and read emails/news before I get to work. Usually I am home around 7 pm, go to the swimming pool for a sauna where in most cases I get most of my ideas and then eat dinner and try to do something that is not connected to art. In most cases I just watch movies/documentaries or something with my girlfriend and cat. I usually go to sleep around 2-3 am. Over weekends I try to take time off from the studio.

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

I am not a big gadget guy at all and still have my old Nokia phone. Also I got my first computer in 2012 or something, so I am not the best guy to answer this question. Well, I bought a brand new Nikon camera for the studio, so maybe that is my new favorite gadget? At least for now.