‘If I have a deadline, I’ll be up by 5.30AM’

Daniel Cilia is a photographer and book designer with over 142 books under his belt and a further eight in the pipeline this year. He reveals why his weekends are not so different from his weekdays.
Daniel Cilia. Photo: Marie Louise Calleja

The weekend starts: I don’t really have weekends. I’m a freelancer so I’m always on the go. My weekends, just like my weekdays, are always spent out and about photographing something or at my desk designing a book. Having said that, weekends in the summer tend to be somewhat busier due to festas, which I enjoy photographing. Of course, my partner and I also tend to meet up family at the weekend, so that’s something that could be considered ‘different’.

Early riser? I don’t like sleeping too much. If I have a deadline, I’ll be up by 5.30AM but, most times, I wake up at 6.30AM or 7AM. I don’t like setting an alarm, though. In fact, I never do.

I’m at my most relaxed when: I love what I do, so I do it to relax, too. One of my favourite things is to go for a walk and taking my camera with me. It’s great to do so without having a deadline, be it a date on which I must deliver something or even the time the sun will set. It’s also nice to do this with friends, both because I sometimes get to show them locations they’d never been to before and because I can ask them to be impromptu models for me. 

Go out or spend time in? Going out is always preferred, but my work is what it is, so I have to spend time in front of the computer editing images, designing, and so on. 

Guilty weekend pleasure: I love having a museum-cultural weekend, especially when I’m in my second home in Tuscany. I’m also quite the foodie, so I like going to food-related events. Love and food are what we should be living for!

Saturdays give me time to: Work with fewer interruptions. Although, pre-COVID, I used to host my friends for dinner on Saturdays… Maybe it’s time I started doing this again!

Sundays are for: Working with even fewer interruptions.

My childhood weekends were: Defined by time as a Scout! We used to hike, have meetings, go camping… That was how most of my childhood weekends were spent and they have given me lifelong friendships and values.  

I close off the weekend with: I normally set book deadlines for a Monday so I can spend the weekend before they’re due checking for typos and so on. This is a regular thing, so it’s many of my weekends!

For other Sunday Circle features check out how Francesca Balzan and Matty Cremona spend their weekends.

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