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Fall Design Issue

Being your own boss

How Eight Angelenos Punch the Clock

September 29, 2002|Barbara Thornburg


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.''



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.''



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.''



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.''



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.''



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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