Blog No. 6 / Working Smart / by steve joseph

Those of us that have had (or still have) jobs in corporate settings know the meaning of deadlines. Fortunately I came from that background, working in the art department in advertising and magazines. There I learned how to instantly design (as opposed to waiting for inspiration) and how to stick to deadlines. After years of having executives standing inches behind me, I can design very quickly with no stress. I totally prefer to have deadlines with my art.

1. The longer you have been making art, the faster you will make the work, and the easier it is to predict the time it will take to finish a project.

2. If you are traveling bring work with you, I always bring a list of concepts and sketches of future projects with me to revise or redraw.

3. Don’t spend time drawing out an elaborate schedule for your project, just get in the studio and make it.

4. Don’t rush, always produce the best work ever. Make sure the design is up to your standards before you start production.

5. Mix up the day. I find it keeps my mind sharp to spend a couple of hours on designing, then another few hours cutting glass, followed by computer work.

6. Clear your social schedule, but definitely keep some short events just to keep your sanity!

7. Plan a reward for all this hard work.

8. This is important:
While working think... “Can I be doing this faster?”
Constantly ask “Are there any production shortcuts?”

9. Plan on finishing at least a week in advance. Have all materials arrive as early as possible.

10. Find the most comfortable setting for making your work. I find having an iPod with music is better than a radio which I am constantly changing the station. Sometimes NPR is totally distacting.

11. I personally love the design phase. The faster I get to starting my next project the happier I am.