Meet Sara Nicely, a freelance designer and illustrator based out of Los Angeles, California. Sara’s illustration work has a fresh energy to it - much like the feel in her home office space. She takes us through her office setup and explains how working from home helps enable her creativity.
Where do you work? Tell us about your space.
I work out of my home in Silver Lake. I live in a sunny little duplex on a hill, with a view of Downtown Los Angeles. I love working from home because I’m naturally a homebody so its perfect. It’s nice to have all of my tools accessible at all times. I bounce back and forth between my desk and my living room area where I concept and sketch at my coffee table. My dog Pootie likes to stare at me while I work or sunbathe on the ottoman by the window.
What hardware and software do you use to create your designs?
I have a Macbook Pro and a Thunderbolt display and I use a Wacom Intuos Pro Tablet to design and draw digitally. I’m hoping to upgrade to a Cintiq very soon! I’ve been hijacking my boyfriend’s lately, whose desk is right behind mine, but it’s about time I get my own. I typically work in Illustrator and Photoshop.
Tell us about your routine (or lack of one.) How do you structure your days to get things done?
I’m lucky to have a flexible routine. I worked for a few agencies and firms at the start of my career and I knew early on I wanted to find a way to break free from the typical workweek. Having the freedom to set my own schedule allows for me to work at times I might be most creatively productive and also allows me to go for walks around my neighborhood with friends when I have some downtime. Typically, I wake up at around 7am and go for a run or practice yoga. Then I get dressed and ready for my day, as if I were going into an office. I find this helps me stay focused and more efficient. I then just work through the day and take mini breaks for things like walking my dog and snacks!
How do your space, tools, and habits benefit you? What about those things do you think needs improvement?
I feel so comfortable in my space because it’s also my home. My favorite part about my space is the amount of natural light that comes in, and when it’s cooler out I can open up all of the windows for a fresh breeze. Being comfortable in my workspace lets me be more free and creative with my work and helps me explore more. I like having the freedom to manipulate my settings and space as I need to. I hope to one day expand to a larger studio, perhaps with other freelancers, but for now I’m so happy and grateful for my sweet little space.