#WFH Diaries: Phil Spitler of Bonfire Labs

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc around the world, we're checking in with people in the creative industry to see how they're doing. Here's an update from Phil Spitler of Bonfire Labs in San Francisco.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

Creative technologist and partner at Bonfire Labs as well as a part-time artist and fabricator. I use technology to make cool shit.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

Living in my apartment in the Mission District of San Francisco with my wife Victoria, daughter Daria, and Pickles the cat.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

Busy. I thought it would be a little slower than this, but we are figuring out new ways to tell the stories that need to be told.

Describe your socializing strategy.

Plenty of Zoom happy hours, online dance parties and Netflix watch events.

How are you dealing with childcare?

Our daughter is 13, so the biggest battle is keeping her interested in school work. We bought her a used electric piano and she is doing online classes, which is a great distraction.

What are you reading?

Tech and maker blogs, plus the nonstop Google Chat, Slack, Facebook Messenger, text messages and Zoom comments.

What are you watching?

Tiger King, Crashing (the U.K. show), Ted Talks and videos of my friends' Zoom parties.

What are you listening to?

House music DJ mixes, Dolly Parton's America podcast series, and the constant notification sounds from my phone, laptop and desktop.

How are you staying fit?

Cycling every day, heading out to the Bay to clear my head from the nonstop notifications and meetings.

Have you taken up a hobby?

Nope, I have way too many hobbies already.

Any tips for getting necessities?

Be patient, wait in line, and support your local independent stores.

An awkward moment since all this started.

No awkward moments yet. Waiting for that to happen any day now.

Best work email you got since all this started.

Not sure this can be considered "best" best, but one of our artists let us know that he had chicken pox and that was why he has been ill for several weeks. #NoCovid

An aha! moment since all this started.

Working from home full time isn't the same as a vacation. Although vacation drinking rules are in full effect.

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

I think this pandemic is going to cause a major shift in how people work and how people relate to work. Freelance workers (and gig workers) are going to get hit pretty hard here, and a lot of them will be looking for full-time work, or to unionize once this is over.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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