Who are you?
My name is Alex Dang. I’m a young designer who always has a craving for arts and design. Most of the time, I try to describe myself as a visual storyteller since I love to listen, stay connected with people and tell their stories in designs and illustrations.
Your current job?
I’m working as a graphic designer specializing in branding, editorial, and web design. Besides, I also train myself as a freelance illustrator. My specialty is watercolor painting that is also my hobby.
In which city are you located?
Oh, I want to say I’m located everywhere (internationally?) because I don’t want to limit myself to a specific area. Frankly, my recent lovely home is Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
A word to define what kind of worker you are?
It’s hard to define myself in only a word because I have more to tell you about me. However, I may see myself as a flexible designer. That is what I’m proud of. The flexibility is revealed in my working process, my communications with clients, my skill set, my design styles and also my diverse ideas. Maybe the eagerness to learn has built up my versatility.
What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)?
I always start every project with the simplest tools that you can buy everywhere. They are a pencil and a sheet of paper. To me, working with a pencil is the fastest way to transfer the ideas from my mind to the note that can be easily used and reminded later. I also love the tranquility and continuity while my hands quickly sketch out my ideas. Sometimes, I also quickly note my ideas on the phone if I have nothing to write.
What does your office space look like?
Pretty simple. As you can see, I work effectively within a tiny space. However, my top rule of my workstation is that it has to be very clean and tidy. This rule helps me to move forward faster in my process without wasting time to look for tools. Moreover, the risk that can ruin your works with dirty ink splash will never happen. To me, if you want others to respect your works, you have to respect them first.
What kind of music do you listen when you are working?
It depends on my mood and what I’m working on. I usually find the playlist that matches every different project. I used to listen to the traditional Japanese folk songs in a week while finishing a sake branding. This kind of method somehow gives me the inspiration and emotion that can positively affect my works.
Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work?
I usually set up a work plan based on the priorities of projects with the to-do-list format. I will tackle the urgent cases first before moving to the less important and more enjoyable projects. The good thing is that I’m still single so I may easily organize and control my workflow at ease.
What tips would you give to improve productivity?
First of all, I usually focus on only one specific task. It is very hard to keep your full attention and productivity if you perform the multitasking process. You may have more things done but you cannot push your creativity to the highest efficiency.
Secondly, take everything easy. I don’t underestimate or overemphasize any job to free my creativity and stay aware from over-stress. Besides, doing more experiments can help you to find out the better solutions. Or at least, you have a good time trying new things.
You’re better than your colleagues to:
I’m better than my colleagues to treat well to myself and to deal with my own problems. However, I also need their help sometimes haha.
What is the best advice anyone has given you?
That is the mechanical eraser from my close friend. That is one of the best discovery that changed my life haha. Thanks to it, my pencil drawing is better and more detailed.
What is your best tip for saving time?
The top rule of saving time is not to save it. Use all of your time.
What is your routine start and end of the day?
I start my day by hiding myself from the sun (in my blanket) and end my day by saying goodbye to it.
Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not go without?
My earphones. These buds are my best friends that help to seclude and send me to my own imaginary world. Most of my good ideas come from this solitude state.
Toronto x Alex Dang