Meet Scott Biersack, a full-time freelance lettering artist, graphic designer, and type designer currently living in Phoenix, Arizona. As a lettering artist, Scott tackles a wide variety of projects from skateboards, packaging, print collateral, apparel and much more! See how he’s changed up a few things in his lifestyle to help balance his personal and work life as a freelancer.
Where do you work? Tell us about your space.
I used to work from a home office for a little over two years (photographed below). I was slowly beginning to feel like Will Smith in I Am Legend when he goes to the video store and talks to the mannequins! I very rarely got out and only saw my girlfriend since I have yet to purchase a car after moving back to Phoenix from NYC a couple years ago. It wasn’t until somewhat recently that I began renting a desk at a shared studio space with other creatives.
The home office consisted of a little bit of everything I love. Action figures, everything Nintendo related, video games, inspiring artwork from friends, and of course, natural light! Personally, I knew I needed an inspiring yet effective space to get my work done. My new studio space is the exact opposite oddly enough. Only my desk and computer exist with very little natural light (we’re in a loft area above a coffee shop). This kind of setup is rather nice because it’s free from the many distractions I had at home and allows me to focus on the work a little bit easier.
What hardware and software do you use to create your designs?
It has certainly been a while since my last upgrade! I’m currently creating stuff from my late 2012 iMac as well as most of my illustrations on a Surface Pro 4. I’m very thankful to have the Surface Pro 4 actually because Microsoft gave it to me to “test out” a couple years back and now it’s a huge part of my everyday process…Never thought I’d say that! A recent project I wrapped up for Atlassian was all drawn on my Surface Pro 4 and it hasn’t let me down!
As for software, I actually use a little bit of everything it seems. I put Photoshop and Illustrator to work on all of my lettering and illustration work while Robofont is used for everything typeface related. InDesign gets some lovin’ as well when I need to test my typefaces and/or create promo material! I’ve even been experimenting with After Effects and Cinema 4D Lite to take my work to other universes that are currently unknown to me.
Tell us about your routine (or lack of one.) How do you structure your days to get things done?
Being freelance, and I’m sure many can agree, a routine is nice but isn’t always possible…And that’s perfectly fine! With that being said, I try to maintain a similar schedule so I can get in and out of “work” in a timely manner. I’m a morning person and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I start my day at 5:00 am (sometimes 4:30 am) and I prep my breakfast and lunch for the day, take the dog out, get ready for the day, etc. so I can ride my bike to work and begin the workday at 7:00 am. Since I start my day early, I tend to end my day around 3:00 pm. I’ve experienced the burnout phase way too many times and have learned to have a nice work/life balance. This means I also take weekends off entirely—no more working crazy hours!
I tend to begin each day with a little emailing, checking in on my to-do list, etc. so I don’t have to think about it too much later in the day. This then allows me to spend the entirety of the day completing various ongoing projects for clients. Being a morning person, I lose my focus shortly after lunch so it’s important for me to get a majority of the heavy lifting done before then.
How do your space, tools, and habits benefit you? What about those things do you think needs improvement?
That’s a great question because I’ve never really thought about it too much. Having an early start sure is helpful when working with clients on the east coast. I’ve taken many calls at 7:00 am – 8:00 am when they’re just getting into the lunch hour and I don’t mind it one bit! Another benefit is I generally beat the morning traffic when I’m commuting to my studio space and returning home for the day. It’s nice to reduce the number of frustrating moments in the day!
My one habit that needs improvement is (and again, I’m sure many can agree) constantly checking social media! If it wasn’t a crucial part of my business I would probably delete my social channels because I hate how much of a time suck they can be. I’m slowly working on creating a healthy balance but it’s a never-ending struggle.