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Valentine Olivier's Desk

Valentine Olivier is a French graphic designer from Marseille who runs her own visual communication agency called LÉON.

Valentine submitted her desk a few weeks ago and I was deeply impressed not only by the desk setup, but the whole room in itself. Every corner of this cozy little home office screams inspiration.

Let’s take a look.

Who are you and what do you do for a living?

My name is Valentine Olivier. I’m a French graphic designer. After four years of studying at a virtual communication school in Aix-en-Provence, I joined a company specialized in communication and digital strategy in Paris and worked for them the last five years. Shortly after I wanted to create my own business and my own visual communication agency. So that’s what I did. Nowadays, I’m working very hard for my company called “LÉON”. I have the chance to create print and web projects for customers all around the world who have the same passion for their job as I do.

Can you tell me something about your desk setup?

We always say that creative persons are messy, that’s not visible in the pictures, but yes, I’m a messy person (laugh). Anyway, the decoration in my workspace is more than important to me, it helps me to find inspiration and create a variety of work for all kind of topics. I also get a lot of light coming from the Marseille sun in to my window between 10am and 2pm.

Is there anything you would like to improve on this setup?

I am never satisfied by my equipment, but I have my own lovely desk which already has started to subside (laugh).

Do you switch workspaces during your day? If yes, what’s the reason behind it?

Yes, I’m moving a lot during the day – from my desk up to the kitchen, and from the kitchen up to my desk (laugh). No, seriously, I have to leave my office a lot to meet my customers or meet my printer. Otherwise, I life, eat and sleep on my desk (laugh), that’s why I tried to make my office the best place possible.

Can you tell us something about the items on your desk?

I suppose that’s very similar to what a lot of graphists have in their offices. I don’t have only one, but 3 screens on my desk. Each screen has its own purpose. I couldn’t work without one of it. I use boxes to arrange my stuff, books to find inspiration and a lamp in order to be able to see when the night is coming. And of course a coffee mug. Always full of coffee, tea and a Rooibos drink (offered by one of my customers from South Africa).

What are you doing to stay focused?

Music, yes music is essential for me, it helps me to stay focused and provides me with motivation. It’s more or less like running. Working alone is like running without music. That’s why I’m working with music all day long and opening my Deezer account is the first task of the day.

Is there something on your desk which helps you stay focused? What is it?

As you can see, my desk is well organized, but that’s not an everyday situation. Each object has its own function and is useful in its own way. A lamp for work during the night. Books and pens to draw ideas. 3 screens to do work and a fetish object – my old typewriter named VALENTINE from Olivetti – I found on a flea market. You will also find work I realized for old customers. Those works are taking their place in LÉON’s identity, I like to have those things close to me. I’m convinced that a desk has to have personality and to make you feel comfortable. That’s not always the case in big agencies.

What was your latest self improvement experiment?

I work a lot and therefore sometimes experience some stress, but I love my job and the people who surround me while doing my work so in that case that’s positive stress. This pressure that I put on myself is only so that I can perform better. It helps me to pass through the barrier of my own comfort zone and to work harder and make daily progress.

Where do you see yourself and your desk in the next 5 years?

That’s a tough question! As a business woman who set up her own business I would love to get bigger. A bigger office to create a real place of inspiration and creativity. Although I don’t want to grow to big. A reasonable and humane size would do it, that’s why I called my agency “LÉON”.

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by Daniel Puglisi