Lasso


Volume One

  1. Personal Archives
  2. Finding Footing
  3. Lone Traveler
  4. Pod Rotations
  5. Communal Material

My Tools

  1. The Magic Boxes︎︎︎
  2. Federico
  3. Image Index

Info

Lasso is a digital zine that compiles a selection of my graduate work over a six-month period as I explore “place,” collective practices, and personal tools in the field of graphic design. 

Mark

How To Be A Post-Pandemic Workhorse

August 2021



When you are working alone, in a place by yourself, it is part of the course to create tools for support. The more we design for ourselves, the more it impacts where we work and how we work. Looking towards a collective mindset after extended time in the home, we have many shared values about what we want for our future and how much of ourselves we will give to our employers.  Developing a daily practice that is individualized can help grant ourselves the acknowledgment for our personal successes and small victories, as opposed to the outward-facing feats that feed our egos and personal brands.

Being a “workhorse” is a characterization focused on hard labor rather than how one experiences life. The way we integrate daily work can become a rewarding practice with limited hours for as long as we see it as a means to enjoy our lives, rather than completely centering it. If we don’t work, we don’t get paid. If we leave projects to fall to the wayside, we may face consequences. But without the strict, merit-based structure of the workplace, it becomes our responsibility to be present and give ourselves joy, purpose, and rewards, regardless of which industry we work in. It is possible for our personal workspaces to offer us a comfortable setting for making and being.

This practical guide offers tips to remote graphic designers in particular. It is made for such creatives who find themselves weighed down by production work and left with little time to build new designs to share with others. For those of us who work in corporate environments, it is not impossible to carve out time for ourselves, but we must understand how our values align (or don’t align at all) with those of our employers. Here are some of my suggestions that can support an efficient practice in today’s digital age whether you are on the move often or needing a change of scenery.






My basic requirements that make a remote work station possible are pretty standard. They include a sturdy chair that you’re able to sit in for 8 hours a day, a table that is a suitable height for your chair, reliable power, WiFi, and a window. After spending almost a year in a dark basement, I’ve decided that it’s important for your sanity to see the outside world, know the weather, and be tempted to take a walk outside.

Laptop and Laptop Stand
I use this laptop stand. It’s fabulous and cheap. It folds up nicely if you like to travel light (who doesn’t at this point?). I position my computer screen ergonomically for good posture. This makes the keyboard and track pad difficult to use, but leads me to my next items...


Wireless Mouse
I like the Apple Magic Mouse because I have brand loyalty. I also spent the entirety of undergrad designing with a track pad and may have given myself early onset arthritis. It’s small and charges with a USB-c. Very important.

Wireless Keyboard
I use a Logitech keyboard because I left my Apple keyboard in my work office and have not been back to retrieve it. These keys are quieter for when I’m working on things during meetings and forget to mute. Having a small keyboard achieves ideal ergonomic body positioning. I have less back pain these days, if you’re curious.

Hard Drive
I keep this hard drive with me in case of unexpected, company-wide layoffs. It’s a good principle to back up your work regularly, anyway.

Apple AirPods
I pop these babies in when I have to take meetings or listen to things around other people. I blast my music and podcasts as much as possible in private spaces. I also keep airplane headphones in my travel bag so I can watch low-res movies with terrible audio in-flight.

Water Bottle
I use a Swell water bottle because it was free from my work, but it also keeps things cold for a very long time. Not listed is the copius amount of iced coffee I drink in a day.

Other items I like to have:

  • At least three different notebooks with different paper quality for a range of journaling, scribbling notes, and drawing.

  • Writing tools: pens, markers, pencils, paint.

  • My iPad and Apple Pencil. I use my iPad solely for sketching and reading books that are too heavy to put in my luggage.

  • Light books that help me move away from my workstation.










Mark