The Spaces We Work In: Adjusting to the new Normal

April 24, 2020

The Spaces We Work In: Adjusting to the new Normal

As the new normal takes a foothold, keeping our work and home life separate has become almost impossible. The place where we find ourselves at ease has also become our workstation. While these pivots are already adding a lot on our plate, it’s also important to take a step back, breathe, and reassess how we respond to these changes so we can be better equipped in the future.

In this series, we take a look at emerging habits that are carving the spaces we live (and now work) in through straightforward conversations with people in the creative industry. From the time that they feel like their best working self, to the little touches that keep them engaged, each profile is a glimpse on not only our creative habits but also the dynamics of what we consider important during these trying times.

Lia Savillo — Writer & Editor

Can you share a little bit about yourself and what you’re currently working on?
I'm a contributing writer for VICE and i-D. Today, I'm writing a story about our frontliners then I'm pitching some fashion-related stories about the Philippines. After I work on my editorial work, I do copy for advertising agencies.

What’s one thing you always keep on your desk and why?
My notebook, it's where I write down my daily to-do lists (because apps don't seem to work for me) and keep track of meeting notes.

What makes an ideal creative space at home?
While it gets really lonely not being able to have face-to-face interactions with colleagues during stressful moments in the day, I feel like having a pet around really helps.

What time of the day are you most inspired, and why?
It's usually during the wee hours and I think it's because of the quiet. As much as I've tried to adjust to being a morning person, this is really the time ideas come to me. Sometimes I'll even ride out these creative bursts until sunrise, feeling sluggish but content with what I've produced. 

Reena Mesias — Creative Director, Serious Studio

Can you share a little bit about yourself and what you’re currently working on?
Hi I’m Reena. I’m currently working on managing my anxiety dealing with the Covid-19 situation on top of other things like a few content, editorial, and branding projects. To anyone reading this, I hope you are well.

What’s one thing you always keep on your desk and why?
The book/magazine I’m reading at the moment. It's a constant reminder that there are other things I can still preoccupy myself with apart from work. Right now I'm switching betweenFactfulness by Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Ola Rosling andA Velocity of Being: Letters to A Young Readerby Maria Popova. When I have to be on the grind, it's coffee, which I don't have because of slight apathy to go out and get some.

What makes an ideal creative space at home?
An ideal work-from-home setup is one that has:

  • High-speed internet access (which I regrettably don’t have)
  • Natural lighting
  • A clock to make sure you don’t lose track of time
  • Bed that is far away from your desk

Mine is a “home office” that’s not up to par for maximum efficiency because of the cozy condition. Moving around from my WFH desk to the dining table, and then to the living room helps with my productivity.

What time of the day are you most inspired, and why?
Dusk to night. I'm pretty much useless before lunchtime. I've (tried but) accepted the fact that I'm not a morning person.

Kara Chung — Visual Artist & Producer

Can you share a little bit about yourself and what you’re currently working on? Hi, I’m Kara! I am a visual artist and producer working on a solo music release and a zine.

What’s one thing you always keep on your desk and why? 
A glass of water, because the heat index reports reminded me.

What makes an ideal creative space at home?
Working on having a good mental space has been more important to me than a physical area, especially while a lot of my belongings are still in transit. Having simple practices to mark the start and end of “work” and “personal” time has helped me get into a flow. (I like to journal and make myself tea.) 

What time of the day are you most inspired, and why? 
I’ve tried to be the type of person who wakes up and sleeps early, but I can hear myself think better after midnight. Watching the sun rise is an added bonus.

Koji Arboleda — Freelance Photographer

Can you share a little bit about yourself and what you’re currently working on?
I’m a full-time freelance photographer. I mainly focus on shooting fashion, portraits, and objects. To be honest, there’s not much work for us freelancers right now. I’m currently editing what I’ve shot before the quarantine, including the cover forPreview.

Aside from that, I’ve been working on myself. I had big plans for 2020 but because of the pandemic I postponed it for next year, and i’m currently just preparing by researching and fixing requirements. 

What’s one thing you always keep on your desk and why?

Water. I always keep myself hydrated when working. I dunno, it’s like a break to keep myself calm and focused.

What makes an ideal creative space at home?
A good seat. I like working close to the ground where I can easily fix my posture and legs to keep myself comfortable from hours of editing.

What time of the day are you most inspired, and why?
I’ve always been a morning person. I like editing early in the morning, so by lunch or early afternoon I can chill and relax.