It’s Monday again and it’s time to start the week with a good energy!
Monday Productive is a weekly interview format, featuring peak-performers from my network, who share 5 quick ideas on how to boost your productivity and stay at the top of your game.
Today’s guest is Stoimen Dimitrov (Digital Matte Painter at framestore). Stoimen is a person who loves to collaborate with other creative professionals to create stunning visual pictures for Film and TV, while finding a balance with variety of hobbies and enjoying spending quality time with the ones that matter.
1. How does it feel to work for a studio that produces visual effects for some of the major blockbusters in Hollywood. How does your day look like? Lead us through it.
▶ That’s a great question! When I first discovered VFX as an industry back in 2014 and fell in love with the art and then I told myself I will do all it takes to get involved, I was just wondering “..how awesome it would have been if I had to wake up everyday and go to work to be doing it?”
Now I get to do it and I can tell you it feels amazing. It might sound cliche but I wake up every morning feeling more excited than the one before. The job is both very artistic and at the same time requires technical knowledge, which makes the office life very dynamic, filled up with lots of decision making and problem solving. And the bliss is when you get to do it with others who SHARE the same values.
2. You’re one of the most hard-working people I know of. Consistent and determined. What drives you to do what you do? How much do you believe success is about talent versus – showing up?
▶ Thank you my friend <3
There’s a saying about it – “Doing what you love and loving what you do”. Words can’t explain it. You gotta find your thing in life, your rhythm and go do it.
In regards to the drive, I think most career oriented people out there are driven, especially when they get their dream job or are just starting up their career. For me the career drive is like a brand new relationship with someone you have a crush on. In the beginning it’s all pink flowers and after a while things are fading away. This is the moment when everyone has to remind themselves why they are doing what they are doing and how hard they wanted it in the first place and how much work and sacrifice they put into it to be where they are. So the drive for me is the passion and love for what I do and also keep reminding myself that I am working the dream job I have always wanted to work 🙂
Personally I believe success is neither about talent nor showing up. Of course those are part of it. I believe things are much more simple than we tend to make them.
My recipe for success is passion, perseverance, hard-work, patience and integrity. One can’t go without the other. So I say if you are passionate about something and you are willing to put the time into it, it’s just a matter of time to achieve what you want.
But Remember, things take a long time to achieve, Longer than most people can imagine. (I read this somewhere and I loved how true it is :D)
3. How do you prioritise your time? Do you have a system for time management and planning or it’s very much defined by your manager?
▶ Working in an international company with facilities around the globe and collaborating with thousands of artists from different countries, cultures and ethnic backgrounds requires lots of time management and planning. And yet, I think it all comes down to clear communication.
The company has a production department with some strong tools which are taking care of most of those things for us as artists and still it’s very easy for some things to be overseen, that’s why I think we have to be proactive and make sure we provide the necessary communication in order to be on top of our tasks and minimize any surprises.
4. What do you do when you’re feeling overwhelmed (or in a creative block), but still have tons of things to complete?
▶ That is a very common thing in one’s everyday. Dealing with deadlines, workload and clients can be a bad combo which makes us reaching the peak of overwhelming. When this happens to me I find a good MINDFUL exercise is to get away from the office. If possible I go out and take a short walk around the block. While walking I tell myself the things that I experience at the very moment. F. ex. “I am walking down this street. I hear the wind in the trees. I hear the birds chirping. There is a lady pushing a stroller and talking to her child. etc.“ You get the point. Practicing this brings me back to the present and I remind myself it’s just work and it’s not like someone’s life is on the line. This way the feeling of overwhelming disappears, you become aware of your surroundings and when you get back to the office you are able to take decisions with a clear mind. At first you might find yourself feeling stupid, but hey, nobody can hear your voice inside your head. And again, this works for me, I am sure you might have your own ways.
And also remember to take longer vacations at least once a year. IT’S A MUST! We do not want to burn out.
5. Finally – how do you stay at the top of your game? What habits and personal rituals do you practice to keep yourself sharp and productive?
▶ I believe it’s all about balance. Work is work but it’s not everything.
In order for me to be on top of things, first I must be in a good physical and mental condition. My routine to keep this up is – I would wake up very early in the morning, go to the gym and have a workout. It the end I would finish the workout with a nice stretch and while stretching I would express my gratitude for what is important in my life. This is again a mindful exercise which brings me back to the present and here is where I’d love to quote Master Oogway from Kung Fu Panda – “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift… that’s why they call it present”.
It’s proven that when one is exercising their body releases a chemical called endorphins which basically charges you up with some good feeling. This way after an early morning workout before workday you leave all negative behind and you show up at the office with some fresh and positive energy. Some co-workers love this and they want to be around you because it makes them feel nice.
Besides the everyday routine it’s important for me to have different inputs from outside work. This includes my hobbies (reading, draftsmanship, dancing) and spending quality time with the ones that matter.
To recap, find your ways and rhythm, make them a habit and this will keep you sharp and on top of your game.
[BONUS] Name one to three books that helped you to become a better leader?
If you have any questions to Stoimen, please leave your comment below!
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Thank you for reading.
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