Who are you:
My name is Mitch Larsen, and I am a graphic designer from Regina, Saskatchewan. I have a passion for anything related to design: art, publications, architecture, typography... You name it, I love it. The chance to create something stimulating or thought-provoking from a blank canvas is so exciting. Design is something I could never want to be without!
That and cheesecake. Let's not overlook cheesecake.
Your current job:
I am currently the Creative Director of Klear Design Studio, a freelance graphic design firm that makes unique, creative, and innovative designs.
In which city are you located?
I work out of Hualien City, on the beautiful east coast of Taiwan.
A word to define what kind of worker you are:
Just one? Let's go with dedicated... And add just a pinch of procrastination. I always seem to push things off to the last minute, but once I get invested in a project, I don't want to stop until it's just right.
What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)
I would be lost without my Adobe family... InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. They are the powerhouse of every project I am involved in. I would also feel lost without my camera, it's with me wherever I go.
Also, tea. It's impossible to do design work without tea
What does your office space look like?
My work space is very basic and minimal... Too much clutter makes me anxious. Big, bright artwork around my desk helps keep me inspired, and a large monitor allows me to get lost in design projects.
What kind of music do you listen when you are working?
That's a tough question. I like to listen to a variety of all types of music; each genre puts me in a different mood and can translate into a different feel for each design project. One genre I go back to again and again would be electro-swing... The sweet sounds of 1940's jazz with great toe-tapping beats.
Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work?
Lists, lists, lists! I try and organize all my objectives into a list, and then tackle them one by one.
What tips would you give to improve productivity?
If you find yourself stuck on a certain design and seem unable to move forward, take a break and move on to something else. I find it's much easier to come back to a pesky design problem with fresh eyes, rather than trying to force something that just isn't there.
Also, did I mention lists?
You're better than your colleagues to:
Belt out an off-key power ballad while I work.
What is the best advice anyone has given you?
"There's only one first time for anything." I know that may not relate to design work very much, but life is full of first experiences that make us nervous or anxious... Moving new places, meeting new people, giving speeches, making plans. But once you've mustered the courage to do something once, you'll never face that "first-time" fear again. You've already done it, so keep moving forward!
What is your best tip for saving time?
Don't let yourself get too distracted by other things... Work breaks are great to rest your mind, but don't let your quick work break turn into a 6-hour Netflix marathon (I'm currently still working on applying this advice).
What is your routine start and end of the day?
I start each day spending time with friends in the great outdoors, visiting and taking in the beautiful scenery around where I live. I usually end each day with some half-hour sitcom and a piping hot cup of tea. A day isn't complete without a cup of tea!
Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without?
Is tea a gadget?
I guess I couldn't go without my television... Seeing as it also doubles as my computer monitor. For work or relaxation, that television is there for me!