Tommaso Nervegna Interview
You are currently writing a new productivity and creative organization methodology. What should the readers expect to take away from it?
In the last months I’ve been researching the best and more effective ways to have productive workflow keeping creative, not only during work time, but also in private life.
More than a “new” methodology I’m assembling and aggregating what I recon to be the best production tips, life hacks and creative organization techniques by trying them out in the wild, refining them, and teaching them to who I work with so that user experience would help define these methods. I’m also developing a project management web application that will lunched soon.
Readers and users should expect to learn how to eliminate their stress and understand what is the core of their projects, stripping all the not essential stuff that builds around them. They will learn how collaboration is the key to success and how less is actually more, making them understand that it’s useless to multitask on a large scale only for the feeling of being more busy. Doing less but with more efficiency and organization is the path to success.
How has your knowledge of project management help further your career as an artist?
As a project manager I know how much being organized and productive is important in a creative workflow. Knowing exactly where I’m going to, what are my objectives and selecting my target ranges helps my construct a better output formed out from research, deep analysis and of course creativity.
It’s interesting also how having worked as a Designer helps me being a better project manager; I know what works require more attention and curation, I know how much time a specific design related task will require. Most important of them all, I know how to interface myself with a design or development team, what are their urges, their usual habits, and common problems that they encounter. Being also a multidisciplinary designer makes me understand that at early stages, project planning is a myth, they are too many changing variables and you need to keep elastic and agile to quickly change direction if things go wrong.
Your photography is full of emotion. As a project manager, what is your methodology for planning the perfect shoot?
Research, analyze and then research again. When I start shooting I have in my head and on my sketches a quick draft of how I imagined the final output. I know exactly when to shoot outdoors since I’ve already foreseen the lighting quality and checked online when the golden hour will start in that particular area.
Before shooting I make a research as if I’m creating a new brand image. I analyze scenarios, make a concept cloud, do a reference and iconographic search, do individuate the mood I want to give and how, through body language, environment selection, composition and, of course, color editing, I will reach my objectives. I often even write a screenplay to help the model focus better in the mood. Before shooting I have a long list of task I need to accomplish, like cleaning the lenses, have a chat with the model to get more close so that we can work better together, scout the location, talk eventually with a scenographer if needed, and usually do a quick brief between each outfit/location change with the whole team to learn what are their feelings and thoughts about the project.
What are some of the web services or sites that you regularly use to promote yourself and to help make you a better artist?
Behance Network is the place to be as far as promotion and visibility goes. The great artists on this network are a goldmine of motivation and you can find great collaborations to improve your work by experimenting with others to create something unique and distinguish yourself.
Also I highly recommend Dribbble, a work in progress sharing network. It really helps you to find the motivation to reach to the standards of the great designers registered on it.
Throughout your career, you have worked with big clients. How do you stay focused and maintain your artistic vision when working with high profile clients?
I never had the issue of not being focused during my projects, usually I dedicate myself completely to them and I don’t accept works that I am not interested in. To work flawlessly I need to stay motivated, and usually, the only way to keep motivated is to always move the ball forward. Motivation gathers especially when you complete objectives and feel proud of the result, but with big clients and projects often the end seems light years away. To avoid the “Project Plateau” I try to come up with a new idea or solution to the project always considering what has already been done and what still needs to be executed. It’s all about self discipline and keeping active.
Big clients usually have their own personal workflows and usually projects have already a severe and well defined creative direction generated by years of experience. What I think is that you can learn from their experience as much as they can learn new creative directions offered by the ones who start working with them. I always try to push new concepts and new workflow methods to keep fresh and not stagnate on old ideas.
What are some of the important lessons that you’ve learned working with large clients?
I learned that planning is guessing. You always need to stay agile, Gantt diagrams and early plans are useless. It’s ok to organize each project but it’s also vital for everyone to understand that project management must be done with a bias towards action, meaning that you need to plan tasks when it’s the right time to execute them. There are just too many things that might change during time, so you need to keep yourself ready for a rapid change of direction. I also learned that it’s useless to work eight hours straight. Think about it, in the creative world, inspiration doesn’t come up at the exact moment you sit at your desk in the office and tasks may take ten minutes or ten hours to complete, so why sit in the office waiting for somebody to tell you what to do? Get back home and relax or use your time for personal projects. In the modern world you need to become a digital nomad and abstract yourself from the old eight hour work time. It’s simply obsolete.
What is next for Tammaso Nervegna?
I’m looking forward to expand my Art Direction skills and keep working as a project manager. I would like to start getting serious with film and add direction trying new creative experiments with digital film making, seeking world collaborations to create something completely unique and distinctive.
I’ll also keep on working on my productivity project that should be completed soon. My aim is to teach how productivity can be easily enhanced digitally to create a better working environment for everyone while staying creative and open minded.
Tommaso Nervegna (24th June 1986) is a multidisciplinary Designer, Art Director and Photographer. Digital Comunication expert and analyst in the 6 years of commercial experience he has developed a unique creative workflow, that he now shares as a project management and art direction consultant, making him a productivity guru. He has been working for a wide ranging client list including Sky, Vodafone, Danone, Disney, Adobe, Mtv, Google and Mercedes AMG.
His work has been featured many times in fashion and design magazines such as like Harpers Bazar, Computer Arts and Advanced Photoshop Magazine.
He is currently working at a project management workbench and writing a new productivity and creative organization methodology. He currently lives in Milan – Italy.