Who are you?
Your current job?
Freelance illustrator - I create images for newspapers, magazines and children's books.
In which city are you located?
Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
A word to define what kind of worker you are?
Organized. I love to-do lists, making spreadsheets and being punctual. Freelancing comes with a certain amount of unpredictability but being as organized as I can be helps cut down on unnecessary stress.
What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc.)
Photoshop, my Cintiq, my iPhone, Google, Gmail, Evernote.
What does your office space look like?
I work from home. I love not having to travel for work and I'm a bit of a homebody anyway so the arrangement is perfect for me. I have a big desk in the main living area of our apartment where I do all my work.
What kind of music do you listen to when you're working?
What I listen to depends on my mood and my taste in music is pretty eclectic. Lately, I've been favoring podcasts and audiobooks over music. If I'm brainstorming or have a stressful deadline I need silence so I can really focus.
What tips would you give to improve productivity?
I find taking breaks very important. Without them, my productivity and focus dips and my use of time aren't as efficient. I also find that when I have a number of things on my plate (freelancing often requires that you juggle several projects at a time) that meeting a small benchmark I've set for one project than moving on to something else helps me be more productive. That way I'm not spending too much time on one thing and I'm forced to be decisive and manage my time well.
You're better than your colleagues ...
I don't think I'm better at anything really. I think everyone has their own particular skill set and something to offer. Focusing on how best to use what you're bringing to the table is probably more productive than trying to be better than others at anything.
What is the best advice anyone has given you?
We can't control some situations but we can control how we feel about them. It can be hard advice to follow (I've failed to do so many times) but sometimes bad experiences teach us a good lesson or inspire us to make a positive change.
What is your best tip for saving time?
Don't procrastinate and make to-do lists (and then do the things on the list).
What is your routine start and end of the day?
I start the day by feeding the cat, then walk the dog and feed him too. I make some coffee or tea, have breakfast and outline what I need to do for the day. My end of the day is making dinner with my partner, walking the dog again then I usually do a bit more work or I relax and watch some TV or a movie. I have a hard time falling asleep so I usually read for an hour or so after that.
Besides computer/phone, what gadget can you not go without?
My Kobo e-reader. I never thought that I would like e-readers (and still love physical books) but I find it's glow function perfect for late night reading.