Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Jeremy Wortsman and I am the founder and managing director of The Jacky Winter Group, a creative representation and production agency with offices in Melbourne and New York City. Our artists complete thousands of commissions a year for some of the world's leading brands and businesses and we just celebrated our ten-year anniversary!
I also manage Lamington Drive, our bricks-and-mortar gallery space, and most recently, our luxury guesthouse and artist residency, Jacky Winter Gardens in the Dandenong Ranges. I am also the host of the Melbourne chapter of CreativeMornings and a founding member of The Contemplary.
In a previous life, I was the co-founder of the design practice, Chase & Galley, as well as one of the founding publishers and designers of Is Not Magazine. There are some other things that I'm sure I'm forgetting, but reading the question all I can think of is those Arnold Schwarzenegger prank calls so I got distracted.
What hardware do you use?
My 2017 15" MacBook Pro drives pretty much everything along with my trusty iPhone 7+. When seated at my workstation, I'm running a 29" LG Ultra Widescreen Monitor. Bose QC30's are my sanity maker, and are probably in my ears at least half the day. I use an Anker Vertical Mouse and Apple wireless keyboard. All our workstations are also fitted with 12 South Fermata headphone stands and HiRise 2 stands, as we use our mobiles for all telecommunications via Bria. We use Synology units for local file access, with their great cloud sync feature so we can keep portfolios updated via Dropbox. All our desks are standing desks – some of them manual WorkFit-D units from Ergotron, and some electronic ones from IKEA – all with custom tops. We also have a treadmill desk (of course) from Lifespan, which we love.
In our Collingwood office we also run a pretty robust production space, including a dedicated VR room running a HTC Vive off an Alienware 15. That room adjoins our printing operation, New Blank Document, which runs a 44" Epson Stylus Pro 9900, a Graphtec FC8600 plotter and cutter, plus an Riso A2 machine – the only one of its kind in Australia. We also run Ring products for our doorbell and entryway, which have been total lifesavers, except when we actually got burgled when we had to recharge one. Whoops!
We also just started a digital life drawing event in our gallery called Looking Glass, which provides all participants with 12.9" iPad Pros, along with Apple Pencils, which we also use for our in-agency marketing meetings.
I like hardware.
And what software?
Google Apps, Slack, Dropbox, Adobe Creative Cloud, 1Password and Xero run all the day to day stuff, nothing new there. Basecamp runs most of our projects, and it's all hooked up to a custom Filemaker Pro setup which we have been delicately maintaining and developing like a bonsai for the last ten years. We also have a suite of custom-made web apps that we use – some built into our WordPress setup, some totally bespoke. It's all held together with various APIs and plugins so that everything talks to each other, which is really nifty.
Our podcast is recorded with Zencastr, which is amazing for connecting our New York and Melbourne Offices, using Zoom for video meetings. We use Envoy at our reception desk to announce visitors and handle couriers.
Wunderlist is our to-do manager for everything internal. It's so fast and just works. We manage our internal wiki and documentation in Evernote. We're also joining the cult of Airtable and Dropbox Paper to phase out some Google products. Sonos handles all our music, with Spotify for the shared playlists (Like Slate's Summer Strut!) and discovery, with Apple Music for an actual library. Overcast on iOS for podcasts, where I listen to everything at 2x.
Droplr is indispensable for screenshots and markup. I also couldn't live without Keyboard Maestro for recording macros, and TextExpander as well. The Great Suspender is the one Chrome plugin that has also been the best thing I have ever run to improve laptop performance and speed, and I cannot recommend it highly enough, along with the Gboard iOS keyboard for swipe input.
I live and die by my RSS feeds via Newsblur.
Reading through all this, I realise I haven't even scratched the surface of all the actual hardware and software we use on a daily basis, and I think I may have an actual problem.
Of course, this is why I endorse the Insight Timer app for 2x 30 minute meditation sessions per day, so I can try to forget about said hardware and software.
What would be your dream setup?
Honestly, I think it's pretty close to actually being achieved! Typing is a bit of a bummer sometimes. Something that would allow me to type my thoughts would be awesome, but in the meantime voice recognition will have to do, so I'm really excited for it to actually work properly someday. 32GB of RAM in an Apple laptop wouldn't be too much to ask either, maybe? One can dream…
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