Who are you :
I'm Loren Giordano, a freelance multi-disciplinary graphic designer, with a strong focus on branding and motion graphics, but very passionate towards typography and illustration.
Your current job :
Freelance graphic designer and animator.
In which city are you located?
A word to define what kind of worker you are :
What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)
Pencil & eraser, brush pens, sketchbook, tracing paper, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and After Effects
What does your office space look like?
Very visual space, I frame and hang art and graphic work that that I like around the walls to feel myself surrounded by graphic inspiration. I also have all my tools for designing spread around my workspace: pencils, brushes, crayons, paint, sketchbooks, books and magazines.
What kind of music do you listen when you are working ?
Depends on my mood but mostly indie bands, alternative rock and r&b.
Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work ?
Yes, but its hard to follow, I hate routines. I try to leave my work done the night before 'cause its when I'm more productive, and then I can have the morning to myself or just to answering e-mails or getting in touch with clients while I enjoy breakfast.
What tips would you give to improve productivity ?
Work without interruption in short periods of time. Never plan on working for hours because you always end up loosing focus and doing lots of other stuff while you work. Plan ahead and use a timer. For example, you can set the timer to 20 minutes and say "I will work on this task without going on the internet, checking emails or getting up to grab a snack for exactly 20 minutes, after that I can do whatever". This is how I find I'm the most productive.
You're better than your colleagues to :
I guess in being versatile. I like trying different design fields, so its very hard for me not to get involved in projects with different needs or design subjects, and this might not be every designers' cup of tea. In a moment I can be taking on a project focused in motion graphics and at other times I might be involved in developing a restaurant's complete branding or I might be making illustrations for a brand, or animating them.. really anything that draws my attention and creative curiosity at the moment.
What is the best advice anyone has given you ?
Probably "Learn to say no and value your own skills"
I try to think about this advice every day because its easy to forget it when you're dealing with difficult clients. I think it's important to know that at the end of the day you're serving this client because you can do what they need, so you can say no whenever you feel consumed, unhappy or just annoyed by the client or the project itself.
What is your best tip for saving time ?
Sketch or draw rough drafts of what you have in mind before you sit down to design on your computer. Having a rough sketch of the composition or the idea you have in mind, will save you lots of time in the process of design when you're trying lots of possibilities to find what works and what doesn't for the composition. Also, if you're working for a client, you can show this quick draft from the start to give them a glimpse of what your proposal will look like, and therefore get their input from the business owner/manager point of view. This will help you save lots of time in tweaking and adjusting the layout or even getting your final design rejected (the one you spent hours working on) and having to start all over again.
What is your routine start and end of the day ?
I try to start my day slowly by preparing coffee and a nice breakfast when I'm not rushing to an early meeting. In order to do this, like I said before, I work during night-time because its also when I feel more productive and less interrupted. I try to schedule any meetings in the morning so that I'm not stuck in traffic during the afternoon. If I don't have any meetings scheduled, I like to enjoy breakfast and have "me-time" during the mornings, then I would check and answer emails so that I'm not doing it when I'm designing (I feel its a BIG distraction and hard to concentrate on work when you're checking your mail constantly). At the end of the day, I usually make dinner and have everything set to sit down and work without getting interrupted by phone calls, emails, getting up constantly, etc...and I usually stay up late till 1 or 2 am, sometimes later, depends on deadlines or how inspired I feel to work late :)