Get to know Lindsay Muir, a Graphic Designer for an outdoors brand based in Philadelphia. Take a peek into Lindsay’s lifestyle as she shares all of the different ways she incorporates both work and play into her daily routine!
Where do you work? Tell us about your space(s).
Currently, I work full-time as the Senior Graphic Designer for United By Blue’s Product Team in Old City, Philadelphia. It’s a very small, casual space: an old trinity house full of outdoor enthusiasts, dogs, and remnants of a coffee shop—the first floor used to serve as our flagship store/cafe hybrid. There are flannels, enamel mugs, and mannequins everywhere you turn, and on really nice days, we’ll squeeze through the third-floor window to eat lunch on the roof or head down to Race Street Pier. I’ve met some of the quirkiest, hard-working people here and not a day goes by without some serious laughter. We’ve gone rock climbing, axe throwing (I used to compete in a league!), and dancing together on multiple occasions.
Outside of United By Blue, I work as a freelancer in my South Philly home, mostly focusing on brand and identity projects. Shared spaces like coffee shops are a bit too distracting for me, especially on the weekends. Instead, I remain at home to design, surrounded by plants and blasting whatever music I’m digging (Toro y Moi has been my jam lately) to fuel my design work for the day.
What hardware and software do you use to create your designs?
Macs are my computer of choice, and since I do a ton of illustration work nowadays, I’m constantly hopping back and forth between Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. I recently began using EFI Fiery DesignPro for textile patterns which has been a game changer, and I’m excited to learn more about this program. Mister Retro Permanent Press , a kick-ass Photoshop plug-in, is also one of my favorite tools for achieving the old-school, vintage look I love so much.
Within the last year, I started using a Wacom tablet and it has been hands-down the best decision I’ve ever made (Shout out to Kyle T. Webster for making this experience even more amazing). It’s actually baffling that I haven’t used one until somewhat recently and I cringe at the amount of time I could have saved during past projects! Hopefully, I can hop on the Procreate train soon as well. When I need a break from digital illustration, I turn to my favorites—watercolors, India ink, chalk pastels, and pen. I’m hoping to start working with linocut again soon as well.
Tell us about your routine (or lack of one.) How do you structure your days to get things done?
While I’m a pretty organized person, I am not one to follow a strict routine. I definitely like to keep a balance between design-heavy weeks and others where I barely touch the computer outside of my full-time job. For my own sanity, I make it a goal to work out several times a week and I also like to go to a few concerts a month—they leave me feeling energized and creatively refreshed. Once summer rolls around, I tend to limit (or completely stop) my freelance workload so I can travel more frequently and enjoy the warm weather. Life’s too short to be glued to a computer!
When I’m deep in a project, I set aside a few nights a week to work through ideas so I can truly buckle down on the weekends. I’m very much a night owl so it’s easy for me to stay focused even after a typical nine-to-six workday. To keep myself on track, I utilize the task manager Asana to organize project information and deadlines. I recommend this program to anyone I talk to! Maintaining a clean workspace and cooking meals ahead is also very important to keep me motivated and stress-free.
How do your space, tools, and habits benefit you? What about those things do you think needs improvement?
As I mentioned, keeping a balance between work and play is key! I used to take on larger projects back-to-back pretty frequently, and on top of my full-time gig at United By Blue, this quickly left me feeling perpetually burnt out and uninspired (Jack was right about all work and no play). This reflected in my work at the time and learning to say ‘no’ was a hard thing for me to learn when it came to freelance and new opportunities. I still enjoy the hustle, but only taking on work that truly excites me has been the best thing for my creativity and has actually presented me with even more cool projects.
In terms of improvement, I still struggle with focusing at times. I live with roommates, so my “office” is actually a desk space in my bedroom which definitely skews my work/play balance. I’m hoping to separate these spaces in the near future. The goal would be to secure a personal studio in some sort of shared creative space, but a girl can dream for now!