A Proper work Environment can Equal blazing art
By Ryan W. Knope and Daniel Renner
Aug 8th, 2003

How many of you out there work as an artist… an artist of any kind… your job is being the creative genius behind a company that expects more out of you everyday. The want more speed, skill, and give you less than satisfaction at the end of the day.

Can you sit back at the end of the day and say how much you love your job? I can now and there are a few reasons behind it. You can reach the same point. The main problem that I have seen in 8 years of the digital art industry is that no supervisor understands what we as artists need to create success for them.

Every person is different, some work better under pressure (although abusive pressure is never a helping scenario!), but one thing is always constant. We need a relaxed atmosphere. If we as artists are not relaxed we miss our creative thoughts and our productivity turns to dust. In this article Daniel and I are going to underline some key points that make us comfortable.

There are things that should be a given as a person who works on a computer all day. A comfortable seat and desk is important, this means no pain in the back after many hours of sitting on a chair. The monitor should be adjustable in height so that troubles with the neck and back don’t occur.

The following are things employers some times overlook.

-Lighting conditions are important, as glare can effect the workflow. In our opinion lighting should be dimmed but not dark.

-Noise conditions can cripple the creative mind. The noise form air conditioning and supervisors are yelling it is hard to concentrate. If we cannot concentrate on our jobs, then how are we supposed to be productive. Loud speakers in the cubicle or office next to you can hinder performance… so it is important to keep music low and if you love loud music, then it is best to bring headphones to work. Communication is a key in any project, but shouting across the office should not be an option, a form of communication should be used to ease the workflow of the team. It should be easy and intuitive where people do not need to leave their chairs constantly.

-Personal Items in the office/cubicle is important to most people. If it is your usual work area you should be allowed to have pictures of family, models of your favorite super heroes or cars and so on. This helps ease the mind while at work.

- The Computer is another thing in which should be fitted for the user. As I employ part time help I try to let them make it comfortable for them in both hardware (chair height, and so on) as well as letting them set shortcuts and their own preferences. Nothing is more disgusting than a standard OS. Different people like different resolutions and colors. Blocking settings in my eyes is also blocking creativity, although there are some settings that the artist shouldn’t change.

About the Authors

-Ryan has worked with quite a few teams/companies in the past 7 years and has had both pleasure and pain. He is currently working on a quite a few tutorials for Rhinoceros 3D and 3D Studio Max. He works as a freelance artist doing work for companies like American Axle, Ford Motors, GLS and many other companies. As of right now plans are being made for a book. Quite a few java’s later we will see if it all pans out.

-Daniel has been a freelance artist for 7 years, working for Game Development Companies. He also runs his own project called 'realtexture' and [dbki]. For the past 3 years he did modeling for games, product visualization and technical documentation for
manuals. The two biggest projects he has worked on are 'pharaohs curse' and 'jack the ripper' by galilea. He was working for 5 months for each project in Grenoble / France as senior 3d artist where he was in charge for creating sets, developing solutions for problems and optimizing the workflow for scene setup and lighting. His second 'desk' is the world outside, where he is shooting photographs