Meet Alex, a designer and illustrator who works while traveling the world. With such an unconventional office space, Alex explains what his daily routine looks like and his overall experience working nomadically. He also shares meaningful advice on becoming a successful designer and how this has allowed him to live out the lifestyle he desires.
Where do you work? Tell us about your space.
I prefer to work nomadically from any place that has a Wi-Fi connection and a good vibe. This year I’ve already worked from Thailand, Bali, Sweden, Tuscany, Russia and more to come. I don’t have a home office or anything similar - all of the tools I need I store in my backpack. I usually stay in one place for 1-2 months living in hotels or Airbnb apartments.
What hardware and software do you use to create your designs?
I bought my iPad Pro 12.9’ almost 2 years ago and it literally changed everything. I use it for sketching in Procreate app which is the most amazing thing that has ever existed. I also have a Macbook Pro 2012 retina for Adobe Illustrator and After Effects. It’s quite an old device but it does the job and I’m not too anxious to lose it during my travels since it’s not a new and expensive one.
Tell us about your routine (or lack of one.) How do you structure your days to get things done?
I’ve been working everyday since I quit my 9 am to 5 pm job two years ago. Some days I work for 12 hours straight and other days for only an hour (though not that often). I wake up usually at 8 am and check emails, then I go out for breakfast and make a plan for the day while having a cup of coffee. The plan consists of a list of small tasks that I really need to focus on. I think this is the most important thing to do because depending on these tasks the day can be either productive and you feel happy in the end or not productive and you may feel stressed out with no progress done.
After I’ve planned my day, I find a place where I can focus on work. It can be Starbucks, any other coffee shop, or my hotel room. I can visit a few different places to work and have lunch and dinner in 1 day. It really just depends on the mood and if I feel like I want to go to a party, go on a hike, take a trip somewhere, etc… I just go for it because the happier I am, the more productive I am and the other way around. I don’t try to find the work/life balance because I enjoy this lifestyle. That’s actually what freedom is for me - to be able to continue living this way.
How do your space, tools, and habits benefit you? What about those things do you think needs improvement?
I have a friend who is my business partner and we’ve been working together almost everyday for 2 years already. We work on different things but the fact that we’re doing this together benefits us a lot as a team and individuals as well. Having someone who has the same goals, dreams, and way of living as you helps to get through any possible obstacles or hard times.
Also, I think it’s really important to travel because it helps get out of routine, to see things differently, and sometimes to think out-of-the-box. I really enjoy living a healthy life, working out at the gym, and eating good food. But sometimes it’s hard to do that when you are on the road. That’s something I’m working on improving right now by creating a better schedule for my travels.
In the end, I would like to say just 1 thing that I’ve learned since I started this fun journey as a designer: Hard work beats talent. So for those of you who are struggling to become a successful designer, just focus on making one small step towards your goals everyday (everyday, with no excuses). I also had this kind of a struggle but I didn’t have time to get upset about it because I was busy making progress. It sounds corny but I had to say it because this little thing changed my life for the better and it will surely change yours if you believe in it.