Creative Routines with Ross Symons

My name is Ross Symons and I am an origami artist and Instagrammer living in Cape Town, South Africa.

I worked in advertising as a web developer for about 4 years and just had enough of it, so I quit to do freelance work.

The year that I quit I started a 365 day Instagram project where I folded a new origami every day of the year and posted a photo of each figure onto Instagram.

As my account got popular over the year I started experimenting with stop frame animation using origami.

I started getting contacted by brands around the world to do social media campaigns for them.

I am now a full-time artist and I do origami installations, exhibitions, I sell origami products and create stop motion videos from my Cape Town based studio.

I don't have a set structure but my day kinda looks like this:

6.30 am

Wake up and do a 15min meditation and a breathing exercise. If I'm feeling up to it I'll go for a run.

7.30 am

Shower and get ready, play with the cat.

8.30am

Coffee with my girlfriend Nikki at our favourite place down the road from where we live.

Ross Symons believe unicorn
Ross Symons believe unicorn

9 am

I don't have a set routine during the week but I will sit at my laptop and go through some emails or start, or continue on a job I'm working on.

I like to separate my email, social media, YouTubing from my "head down and work" tasks. Generally, a 2-3 hour block of time set aside to work on a job is how I prefer to work.

Work can be anything from folding 100 butterflies for an installation to getting all the set pieces for an animation designed and folded, designing something for a client or working on a storyboard or tinkering with new projects and interests.

I am currently teaching myself After Effects and developing my skills as a public speaker, so I fill my time with as much exciting stuff as I can.

11 am

Coffee - Either I have whatever coffee in at my studio or I take a walk down to the nearest shop to get a cup.

11.30 am

Put on a Podcast - This could be anything from Tim Ferris to Bryan Teare to Joe Rogan or just some good music to fill the background.

I work in my studio alone so I like to make it sound like there is another human doing something near me.

This all happens while I'm still working.

1 pm

Depending on whether I am fasting or not I will have a bite to eat (chicken or vegetable wrap).

I have been doing intermittent fasting(James clear has written a great article on this HERE) since the beginning of the year. I just basically means I only eat for the first time after 12pm each day.

Coffee doesn't count as eating :)

2 pm

Meetings. I try to schedule my meetings for after lunch each day. This way I can get what I need to while I'm still creatively fresh.

ross-symons-process-bulls-head
ross-symons-process-bulls-head

3 pm

Continue with any work keeping me busy.

If I'm doing a stop frame animation I'll generally work from 3-6pm on this. I find that doing repetitive tasks are better for me in the afternoon.

6 pm

Go back home to see my girlfriend.

7 pm

Eat dinner. A nice chicken salad with some sweet potatoes or a great soup. My girlfriend is an amazing cook.

8 pm

Read or watch an episode of something (Thanks, Netflix!).

10 pm

Finally done for the day.

Advice for Makers:

MAKE. "Umm, but isn't that obvious?" It is obvious but so many creatives spend too much time thinking about making things instead of just making them. Planning, talking, meeting, worrying, thinking... Stop all of that and make.

Just make as much as you can as often as you can.

Make a video, make a table, make a joke, make a mess.

The more you make the more ideas you come up with and the better your chances are of creating something you're proud of.

Keep up with Ross and his incredible work on his website or Instagram.

Maker Academy Creative Routines with Ross Symons. If you’re a creative entrepreneur, blogger, business owner you’re not going to want to miss this article. Click to read!

Maker Academy Creative Routines with Ross Symons. If you’re a creative entrepreneur, blogger, business owner you’re not going to want to miss this article. Click to read!