10 Things to Have at Your Desk as a VFX Artist

You have just started working in a visual effects studio. What do you keep at your desk? You look around and see what other people have at their desks. Here are some things that you are likely to see…

1. Snacks – The energy-giving, friend-making companion. Healthy options: nuts, fruit, carrots, sliced cucumber. Just don’t leave them in the open overnight or you might attract insects, pests, or hungry but shy coworkers.

2. Mug/Tumblr – Choose a unique one so everyone will know it’s NOT theirs, but also one you won’t mind seeing someone else use if that happens. I personally recommend Swell bottles, as they keep your beverages hot or cold for a long time. Stay hydrated.

3. Humidifier – Breathe clearly, avoid dry skin, and pretend you have a dragon.

4. Anti-Fatigue Glasses – Embrace your inner geek and protect your precious eyes. Take them off for color-correction work since they block out a percentage of blue UV light. I recommend ones that block 40%, rather than 20 or 70. Mine are from: Spektrum.

5. Medicine – Always have what you need and keep pain/headache and nausea relief just in case. The studio may not have what you need. Check expiration dates too.

6. Toys/Figurines/Vehicle Models – Not to play with. You are a serious professional so you simply look at these occasionally for inspiration. They’re good icebreakers for conversation too.

7. Phone Charger – Because you’re not sure how you would survive if it died.

8. Headphones – Earbuds if you need to interact with others often at work, noise cancelling if you need to avoid distraction.

9. Pen and Paper – Even if you have a photographic memory, writing stuff down shows others that you care about what they say. Plus crossing things out on 2-do lists feels so good. Good to have at least 2 pens. Some studios provide you with paper.

10. Lens Cloth – to clean your glasses and/or monitors. Some studios provide monitor wipes.