There are website designers — and there are website designers. While some have put up sites here and there, Benek Lisefski has worked on some 100 websites for clients in the U.S., U.K., New Zealand and Australia over a 10-year career in which he almost never lacks for work. Projects, in fact, usually find him, through word of mouth, referrals, and companies who surf their way to his impressive portfolio.
Benek Lisefski (pronounced li-sef-skee) is a kind of perfect storm of design and tech talent. Many pros today specialize in HMTL coding, graphics design, user interfaces, SEO optimization, or jQuery interaction, but Benek is a rarity in that he’s expert in all of those areas.
Benek, 30, lives in Auckland, New Zealand with his wife and son. He grew up in Fairfield, Iowa, home of MUM, and was MUM’s class valedictorian in 2005 (along with his twin brother, Alek).
“I’ve always been artistic,” says Benek. “In middle school, one of our projects was to build basic web pages. I realized how easily you can publish something online, and the power that comes with it. I decided right then I wanted to make a living at it.”
Benek landed his first web design jobs while a student at MUM, including one for a university in the Bahamas which was referred to him by Media & Communications professor Gurdy Leete. After that, Benek built up a portfolio which grew to include many innovative websites for companies large and small.
Having to be constantly creative for clients, year after year, however, can have its challenges. “You don’t want to be repeating yourself design-wise or doing the same things,” he says. “I see a lot of web designers struggling to come up with new designs day in and day out; many of them burn out or stop enjoying the work.
“I still love it,” says Benek, who has a defense against hitting that kind of wall. “”One of the reasons I can maintain a high level of creativity across my projects is due to the practice of TM and what I learned at MUM.”
He says, “The MUM education grounded me, gave me the self-assurance that comes with relying on a greater power source than just yourself. If you have some contact at that level, you can be more successful at what you do. Nature will support you. Things work out, even when they’re challenging.”
Benek uses the principles of Maharishi Vedic Science in his web design work. But how?
He cites the example of white space. “Designers often feel like they have to fill up the screen and not leave anything empty,” he says. “But empty space can be as important as space that’s filled with content. Vedic Science tells us there can be a lot of power in empty spaces. The relationship between something dynamic and something empty can be an effective design tool. It’s something I use in my work all the time.”
Benek is currently several months into an intense job developing an innovative web app with a San Francisco Bay Area-based start-up, among other projects.
When he’s not in his home office working, Benek enjoys exploring the dramatic beauty of New Zealand locales with his wife, Jenny, a native Kiwi, and their one-year-son, Leo.
Benek’s final word on MUM? “I’m super glad I went. It’s one of the reasons I love what I’m doing so much.”