Here is 10 snippets about the past year, in both my design-life and my recreational-life.
Favorite experience of 2012:
Back in early June, my ladyfriend Daniella and I ventured to Cleveland for the first time and were pleasantly surprised. Being from Pittsburgh, we are taught at a young age to despise our Ohio neighbors. However, our visit for Weapons of Mass Creation Fest was nothing short of fantastic. Granted we were surrounded by other creatives, but the city itself seemed quite welcoming. We got the opportunity to chat with many of our industry heros and were extremely inspired by their stories. The folks behind GoMedia have got something truly great going on in CLE, and I left the city with one thing on the mind: CREATE.
Favorite project of 2012:
Its rare to get total creative freedom on a project, and getting that chance comes from trust - so its a great feeling when people trust in your abilities. I got the opportunity to work with up-and-coming Pittsburgh photographer Noah Purdy on some Identity Design this fall, and I feel I put out my best work of the year. After meeting over some beers at Hough's in Greenfield, Noah and I became quick pals with a handful of things in common. Everything about the project seemed to click, and now we've got plenty of other neat things in the works for 2013. Its great working with other driven creative professionals if for no other reason than feeding off of their hard-working attitude.
Favorite knowledge I gained in 2012:
From holding down the "~" button to adjust patterns in Illustrator, to prepping files for screenprinting, I've learned a ton of things in the past year. However, the most important knowledge Ive gained came from listening to the Bizcraft podcast. Ive got pages and pages of tips jotted down in my notebooks about writing contracts, dealing with problems, having clear communication and much much more. I'd recommend the podcast, especially the first few episodes, to any creative professional.
Favorite concert I attended in 2012:
I went to a lot of great shows in the past year, and most of which were at Club Cafe in Pittsburgh's South Side. Many thanks to them for consistently bringing great acts to their small, intimate venue. My favorite performance of the year came to Club Cafe in July. It was Langhorne Slim & The Law, and their show was, in a word, rambunctious.
Favorite album that came out in 2012:
Murder by Death earned a spot near the top of my "Favorite Bands" list a number of years ago, and they show no signs of slipping. In fact, I'd label their 2012 effort, Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon, their best yet. It's less rock n' roll than some of their past work, but still dark and brooding. And when it comes to story-telling, Adam Turla is tops in the game. 10/10.
Favorite film I saw in 2012:
Thanks to NetFlix, I caught a good bit of "New Releases" in 2012, and Daniella and I frequent movie theaters. While I'd say The Grey and Moonrise Kingdom were probably the most entertaining movies I caught this year, I think my favorite was Being Flynn. DeNiro has done a number of more emotional films in recent years, and he is darn good at it.
Favorite hangout of 2012:
While I used to shy away from 21st Street Coffee due to the higher price tag in favor of places like Espresso a Mano, the shop's new location next to Kaya in the Strip District is hard to pass up. It's a big place with ample seating and I find myself stopping in more and more. It feels spacious and is a great place for meeting with friends and clients... and while that price tag is still up there, its no secret that you are paying for superior quality.
Project I'm most thankful for in 2012:
While some projects are great simply because of the creativity involved, I can't stress enough how thankful I am for the clients that come back month after month for more work. Early in the year, I took on the simple task of resizing an ad for Pittsburgh Mills Mall. While the job took less than 30 minutes, it's turned into a steady stream of creative work, and has led to other new clients through referrals as well. No matter how small the job, it often pays off to lend your expertise to those in need of a little help.
Best purchase I made in 2012:
Astute Graphic's Vector Scribe. I honestly don't know how I drew anything in Adobe Illustrator before I bought this plug-in. Talk about a time saver.
Most valuable life-lesson of 2012:
Even if it's hot outside and you don't feel like carrying your backpack, ALWAYS make sure you have a spare tube on long bicycle trips. It's a law of physics that things won't ever go wrong until you are unprepared.