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After nearly a decade of working as an art director at several leading Toronto advertising agencies, Ronnie Lebow went freelance and has since won several international awards in both advertising and design through his virtual shop “LEBOW”.

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Why Freelance? (Part 2)
by Ronnie Lebow
Today, I woke up to sunshine after 4 gloomy, rainy days. I ate a leisurely breakfast, read the newspaper cover to cover, and walked my daughter to school. I came home, made a pot of coffee, and sat down to peruse my email and make some phone calls.

Today is one of those days where I am in transition. Some projects are already in for French translation (for the Quebec market), some are still waiting for the green light, and then there’s the one where I am simply waiting for feedback on my work (I’ll bet my client is out on a golf course). Basically, I realized that I didn’t have to worry about much today.

I looked towards the sunshine in the window, switched to my cell phone and walked out into the city and warm sunshine (with my coffee in hand) to run a few errands.

Walking up the street, I smiled to myself as I passed all the cars sitting in traffic on a main artery in the city. There were people of all backgrounds trying to make it in to work (it was 9:30 and they were most likely late). Very few of them looked happy. At one point, I stopped into the drugstore to pick up a birthday card for my grandfather. I allowed an old gentleman to skip ahead of me in line because I was in no hurry.

I made a few more stops and came home around 10:15am. I logged back onto my email and a new brief had come through. I had a conversation with the marketing agency about the project I will be working on.

Left around noon to have lunch with my grandfather at a card club. Several of his friends came over to sit down and chat with us while we ate. There’s nothing like hearing old stories about the Great Depression and how they were there to storm the beaches in WW2. The card room was remarkably packed for a Thursday. I lost track of time while I cherished the moment, acknowledging that there are only a few grains of sand left in the hourglass before that generation and their stories are gone forever.

I made it home from lunch at 2:00pm. Back onto my email. Back on the phone. Speaking with clients, trying to find some new clients, typing up and sending a proposal for the brief I had received with some quotes...I dedicated a serious 2 hours.

4:00pm...my buddy rolls up into my driveway. I switch to my walking shoes and we head for the Toronto Ravine System. We walk a number of kilometers through the urban forest and wetlands listening to a spring symphony of birds looking to start a family. The sounds of dozens of Red Winged Blackbirds, Robins, and Woodpeckers (hammering on trees) made it seem almost sacrilegious to speak. We walked without saying much. Thinking our silent thoughts.

It was at this point that I looked towards the office buildings in the distance and thought about the people stuck in cubicles under fluorescent lighting. Barking into the phone, running downstairs to grab a quick sandwich, climbing each day of their short existence on the rat race treadmill and I began to somehow reminisce about the old days. The idea crosses my mind about what it would be like to go back but disappears quickly as I walk in the front door of my house and into my office.

The signed proposal for the project I sent out earlier is sitting on the fax machine.

They are calling for more sunshine tomorrow.



2007, Ronnie Lebow
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