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Thiago “Steka” Gianni, freelance animator/illustrator

Thiago “Steka” Gianni, freelance animator/illustrator

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Who are you:

I am Thiago “Steka” Gianni, a 32 yo pathological daydreamer who likes to do a lot of things but excels at none.

I love to spend time around my beloved ones and I have a massive crush on problem-solving.

Your current job :

I’m a freelance animator/illustrator working from home and I’m also a director currently represented by Roof Studio NYC.

In which city are you located?

I’m based in Lajeado which is a little city in South Brazil.

A word to define what kind of worker you are :


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

Adobe stuff, headphones, Wacom Intuos and any notepad software.

What does your office space look like?

It’s quite minimal. I’ve been working from a little corner under the stairs in my living room for the past 4 years, so there’s not much room to get crazy and messy.

It consists basically in 2 large screens and a bunch of gifts my daughter crafts in school.

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

I’m wildly eclectic within the rock spectrum (and its endless subgenres) but I often find myself enjoying different music styles like Hip Hop, Jazz, Electronic and even some Classical from time to time. It all comes down to how I’m feeling or what kind of state of mind I’m looking for. I’m super sensitive to music and I actively use it as a resource for my projects – each job has its tunes.

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

Every morning I make a simple list in a notepad with all the stuff that needs to get done, then I just ride it for the rest of the day.

Even though I’m at home, I try to respect working hours (10-7 in my case) just as if I were in a studio. But I always have a hard time letting it go at the end of the day – I’m often “in the zone” in the evenings.

What tips would you give to improve productivity?

Get rid of the easy/quick stuff first. Always.

On top of obviously getting more stuff done (even if they’re minimal), you’ll feel more productive and that will boost your confidence to tackle the bigger/harder tasks.

You’re better than your colleagues to :

Being humble. And joking incessantly.

What is the best advice anyone has given you?

Every new project might be your best one ever.

A wonderful guy that was my boss for just a couple of weeks has told me (a less polite version of) this way over a decade ago and it just stuck with me.

To this day it pops in my mind every time I create a blank document.

What is your best tip for saving time?

Don’t be afraid of letting go and starting fresh when you feel something isn’t working. The earlier the better.

I’ve lost track of how much time I wasted early in my career running in circles while trying to overcome a problem I’ve put myself into. Be it a technique, an idea or even a creative decision.

What is your routine start and end of the day?

Well, I get up, get some breakfast with my wife and daughter and then spend up to 45 min browsing the web before I start working depending on how much stuff I have for the day.

At the end of the day, dinner with the fam, followed by some time with my daughter (gaming very often) and after that I slowly start to morph into a couch potato.

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

As much as I’m a tech enthusiast, I rarely carry other gadgets with me besides my phone.

I’m recently in love with wireless headphones though. |