Lella & Massimo Vignelli

I cannot resist posting this story on the husband and wife aspect of the Vignelli’s. For me – right now – this is something to aspire to…


Lella and Massimo Vignelli are among the world’s most influential designers. They have brought clarity and coherence to innumerable projects.

Massimo Vignelli began his training as a 16-year-old draftsman at the Architects Castiglione in Milano. Here he learned Adolf Loos’ axiom that an architect should be able to design everything from the spoon to the city.” Massimo has said, “From that day, I wanted to design everything…and I have…no cities yet, but lots of spoons!

Lella Vignelli, born in Udine into a family of well-known architects, had architecture in her blood, and when she met Massimo they discovered a shared vision of design which has since guided all their work. In their 2004 book Design is One, they write: “The basic concept is that the discipline of design is one, and if you can design one thing you can design everything. The methodology is the same no matter what the subject.” According to the Vignellis, design should be “semantically correct, syntactically consistent, pragmatically understandable, visually powerful, Intellectually elegant, and timeless”.



Are you THE ONE?

The Matrix. I love this movie! Its got so many angles to so many aspects in life that whatever I’m about to write here, has probably been written a thousand times before.

Whichever way you look at it, we all find ourselves in one or both of these worlds. The freelance or office worker. Or both. And whichever one you’re in, the reality is, you believe in the one you’re in to survive it. Just as Morpheus. He believed in Neo to be The One to save their world.

What if Neo wasn’t The One? What if Morpheus’s belief in him made Neo to be The One?

Why do I write so much about believing when I don’t believe myself most of time? Maybe because if I wrote enough about it, I’d come to believe… well, me!

What Neo says at the end of the first Matrix movie is powerful. Talking to the world. Whichever one needs saving: corporates or freelancers? Who are the real slaves of work? And which world is the real or dream world?

Which world do you believe in, and how far would you go to save it? Or be a slave to it?

I know your out there
I can feel you now
I know that your afraid
Your afraid of us
Your afraid of change
I don’t know the future
I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end
I came here to tell you how this is going to begin
I’m going to hang up this phone
And then I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see
I’m going to show them a world without you
A world without rules and controls and borders and boundaries
A world where anything is possible
Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you




Unlike Dr Sheldon Cooper, from the Big Bang Theory http://bigbangtheory.wikia.com/wiki/Sheldon_Cooper, I like to think of myself as someone who will admit to mistakes. Or come up with a theory believeable enough to convince the next person that in fact they are the one’s who are wrong, and that you’ve just helped them from a pitiful display of stupidity 🙂

But this post is not about Dr Sheldon Cooper.

I could have, and perhaps should have, deleted my previous post. But I like to see growth, and mistakes, and realisation of those mistakes, is growth.

I was tied between writing on lessons learnt on bad clients and doing work just for the money. Somehow, both ideas wanted to surface. Bad idea to pull two completely different scenarios into one blog post.

So here’s the thing.

I need to rectify what I said in my previous post.

Bad clients are bad clients. As long as you learn your lessons and share those lessons along the way.

In doing work for the money …

… as a friend of mine said, it may land you more jobs with that client, and it may even land you one or two really cool jobs too. Freelancing is a gamble. We all know this.

She’s so right, but there’s one more thing I failed to see about paying work.

They are tickets. Tickets to help you get closer to your dream. Tickets that help pay towards those dreams. We all need those ‘only do it for the money’ jobs. But, as I said, I wasnt all that wrong, because the most important thing to remember is….

… as long as working for the money is not the only thing you do as a freelancer.

Work towards something. Towards a dream or goal. A place you picture yourself in. A place you picture yourself doing the kind of work you always wanted to, and get paid for it!

Imagine yourself in that place. Every. Single. Day. Eventually your dream will turn reality.

All you have to do is be disciplined, patient, have good friends to help you along the way, and believe.

“I’d rather DIE standing, than LIVE on bended knees”


A quote by Emiliano Zapata Salazar (8 August 187910 April 1919) was a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution against the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz that broke out in 1910.


It holds a truth all freelancers should live by.

You choose who, what and where you want to be in this world.

I recently had a client. The job that was supposed to take a couple of hours, but ended up running over a week. Yes, we’ve all had that. A small job. An easy executable job. I took this job for the money, and I took it for the experience of doing something new. But as many of us freelancers experience, you never know what client you’re taking on. The problem I had? They could not explain what they wanted.

Lesson 1: Never send a person to brief a supplier if they don’t know how to communicate what’s in their head. It only leads to frustration, time and money wastage.

Worse of all, I undercharged the client just to secure the job and get ‘my foot in the door’ for future work…

Lesson 2: Don’t sell yourself short! It only brings down your worth, and the worth of your industry.

We’ve all had this kind of client. We’ve all had jobs that should have taken this long, but ended up taking THAT much longer.

Why is it that we hear this story so often?

Lesson 3: We teach people how to treat us.

We are to blame. Freelancing is a field we choose to be in. So why choose to receive anything less? And you don’t have to ‘suck it up’ because ‘thats just the way things are’. Take a stand for how you should be treated.Or consider yourself not living a life at all.

For the most part, I choose quality of work and life over the money. Sometimes its a lonely choice. I get strange looks and even stranger comments. The choices I make may lead me to not survive the freelance world, but at least if I have to wave my goodbyes to freelancing, I’ll do it with some dignity.

Would you rather DIE standing, or LIVE on bended knees?