Work inspiration with Osvaldas Valutis

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Osvaldas Valutis

Web/UI designer & front-end developer

I'm Osvaldas, a freelance web/UI designer and front-end developer from Klaipeda, Lithuania. Besides that, I write about making websites and publish the majority of the articles on my blog. I've also created Readerrr – a web app for subscribing to and reading RSS feeds. To sum it up, I make websites for my clients and do enjoy working on personal projects.

How did you get started in web design, what is your background?

I see the origins of where I am now in the year 2001 when I got my first computer. I was 13 years old back then and besides the computer games, I quickly got interested in using my PC as a tool for creating something. That "something" turned out to be some extremely basic and hilarious software applications, which I am totally embarrassed to remember now. Later on my computer got connected to the Internet and... it did not take me much time to start using the "atomic couple": MS Paint for design and MS FrontPage for development.

Where did you study? Looking back, would you recommend your path for beginners?

I've studied Information Technology at Vilnius University. After 2.5 years of studies I decided to leave the university and to dedicate all of my time for learning new stuff on my own, along with using it in practice – creating websites for clients and bringing my own ideas to life. The main reason why I quit University was that I strongly saw the Web as my professional path and felt that the studies were holding me back from learning the stuff that is actual these days rather than things of the past. Web is a fast-moving phenomenon and the traditional systems of education are not capable of keeping up with the latest technology at the moment. Anyway, I'm not saying everyone should go this way – my case is more an exception rather than a rule. Everybody's case is very individual and should be evaluated seriously by considering as many circumstances as possible.

What is your ideal work environment? Do you work in your design studio all day long or prefer to mix a few activities?

The ideal work environment for me is ever changing environment. That means I try to work at cafes at least every other day, because staying at home for too long drains down my productivity. I spend the most productive hours (08:00-13:00) at home and a couple of later hours at one of the cafes in Klaipeda city. Changing the workplace supercharges me with new energy and enables me to do more. Sometimes you can help yourself by just migrating from the desk to the couch!

Regarding the tools, my workplace usually consists of just a MacBook Pro 13" Retina. When I'm at my table I connect it to Apple Cinema Display 27". I used to have all these gadgets like external Apple Keyboard, Magic Mouse, laptop stand. But since I've been trying to become less settled and found the new MacBook Trackpad with Force Touch to be an outstanding tool, the gadgets I mentioned had disappeared from my assortment.

Where are your favorite places in Klaipeda or outside?

I've got a couple of favourite cafes in the centre of Klaipeda (Lithuania) including Coffee Inn and Coffee Port which share a friendly environment for working. I am going to explore some more places there soon. As for the evenings without work I enjoy beers at Herkus Kantas – you should definitely visit this place if you ever happen to be in Klaipeda (Memel if you are a German).