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Fall Design Issue

Being your own boss

How Eight Angelenos Punch the Clock

September 29, 2002|Barbara Thornburg

EURO-CLASSIC

JAMES VINCENT, advertising executive, TBWA/CHIAT/DAY

''Knowledge-based workers will be working increasingly from home or anywhere they have a laptop. The challenge is to get over feeling guilty because you're not in an office.''

Home Office: 21st century loft, Venice.

Music: Hotel Costes Stage 4--a compilation of music produced annually by the Costes Hotel in Paris.

Dress code: Jeans and a T-shirt.

Office Ritual: ''First thing I do is log on, go brush my teeth, return, read my e-mail, then take my Great Dane, Ajax, for a walk so there won't be any accidents in the house.''

Favorite object: Apple Powerbook. "It has all my work stuff and everything in my personal life as well. It's a bit frightening. Actually, I think I'll go and back it up right now.''

Perks: ''I no longer pull in long hours in the office.''

Drawbacks: "I'm constantly available anywhere in the world.''

*

HIGH-RISE HIP

DAWN HAYNES, CEO, Dawn to Dusk Image Agency (artist representation)

''Working from home allows me to be creative in the most relaxed environment that I know. I'm in my comfort zone.''

Home Office: Room in a 1960s high-rise condominium, Hollywood.

Music: Cafe del Mar Volume 6; Buddha-Bar IV.

Dress code: "Comfort clothes, such as 7 for All Mankind jeans and fitted T-shirts. I also love Gucci.''

Office Ritual: ''Before I start my day, I walk my 11-year-old Boxer, Malcolm, and pick up an iced macchiato at the Cyber Java Cafe.''

Office hours: ''East Coast calls start at 7 a.m. I stop at 6:30 p.m. to meditate on the terrace as the sun sets.''

Perks: ''I'm never late.''

Drawbacks: ''Sometimes I think it would be nice to come home from work, but that feeling doesn't outweigh the thought of having to sit in traffic to get to my office.''

*

CABANA CHIC

MICHAEL RIVA, production designer

''My whole life is in the office. It's like walking into my eccentric brain filled with all my crazy stuff.''

Home Office: 1930s pool house, Brentwood.

Music: "Nora Jones and Bob Dylan to Big Band wartime music--it depends on what I'm working on. And I can play it as loud as I want--no one can hear me."

Dress code: T-shirt and skivvies.

Office Ritual: ''I fly the red-and-white maritime danger flag when I want to be alone, but it's rarely up.''

Favorite object: ''A 1910 music box that belonged to my grandmother.''

Perks: ''It's all mine--a place to escape and be quiet and peaceful.''

Drawbacks: ''It's freezing in the winter. I have to wear three sweaters and my apres-ski boots to keep warm.''

*

VINTAGE ECLECTIC

LARRY LEVIN, screenwriter

''If the soup's too hot, I can go back to my office and tell my wife to call me when it cools down.''

Home Office: Former artist's studio in garden of 1960s Rustic Canyon home.

Music: ''I don't listen to music when I write; it's too distracting.''

Dress code: T-shirt and khakis.

Office Ritual: ''I light scented candles to get rid of the smell of a tomcat that's adopted my office.''

Personal touch: ''My 'Hand in a Suggestion' wooden hand my wife, Sasha, found at the Rose Bowl. I use it to hold index cards for my story outlines.''

Office Hours: "Very early--around 4 a.m. By 6:30 a.m. my youngest daughter, Isabel, comes out and I know it's all over. Also, I work late at night after the girls go to bed.''

Perks: ''I'm home for dinner every night with my children.''

Drawbacks: "Sasha comes out to ask me where the trash bags are. If I were a lawyer taking a deposition or a brain surgeon operating, no one would interrupt me.''

*

MASTERPIECE

LAUREN STEINER, stay-at-home mom (former cable TV executive at BHTV) and consultant in development of a parenting center

''When I was a small child I use to play in a treehouse. I never dreamed when I grew up I'd be able to work in one.''

Home Office: Master bedroom suite in Beverly Hills home.

Music: "Station WMVY from Martha's Vineyard I pick up over the Internet. They play an eclectic mix of old and new rock."

Dress code: Sweats in the morning, a nightgown at night.

Office Ritual: ''Before I start work I have to push away piles of paper to make a clean work area."Favorite Object: ''Pictures of my two beautiful boys.''

Perks: "The ability to work at a time convenient for me as a parent, which is generally after I drop the kids off at school in the morning or after they go to bed at night."

Drawbacks: "If I'm in the middle of a business call and the kids are fighting in the background--it's a little embarrassing.''

*

MID-CENTURY ORIGINAL

JULIUS SHULMAN, photographer

''Working at home is a doctrine I propose for anyone interested in leading a normal life.''

Home Office: Photo studio in a 1950s home designed by Raphael Soriano, Los Angeles.

Music: ''All classical music and light operas. No rock 'n' roll--who needs it?''

Dress code: ''I'm partial to Hawaiian shirts. I have several of them from the '50s--they last forever.''

Favorite Object: ''A July 6, 1950, letter from Frank Lloyd Wright thanking me for photographs of Taliesin. He wrote: 'I admit that no better photos have been made of the Camp than those you send.' ''

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