2011 has been a bit of a rollercoaster year, but certainly one I won’t forget! Here’s a brief recap of the highlights, things I learned, and my goals for 2012.
Early in the year, I worked with Anthony Calzadilla and Andy Clarke on Madmanimation — a CSS3 animation for Andy’s talk which was featured in all six An Event Apart dates across the US. I worked on the design with Anthony, who animated the scenes, while Andy progressively enhanced and provided fallbacks for less capable browsers. The great thing about watching this talk evolve throughout the year has been browser support — in April there was only support for Webkit-based browsers, but by December, both Firefox and Internet Explorer 10 added support. You can watch the full demo on the Madmanimation site.
In May, I finally launched this website, hellogeri.com. I’m still quite pleased with the result, although my next version will definitely be responsive. You can read about my experience designing the site in an older blog post.
This year was another great year for travel — I was lucky enough to visit both Seattle and Boston for An Event Apart, and England for a trip with my parents. There, I got to spend time in London, visit one of my best friends in Sheffield, attend Update Conference (and dine in a royal palace) in Brighton, and see Beachy Head — the beautiful white cliffs in the South Downs that I’ve wanted to visit for years! While the conferences were great learning experiences, nothing beats the friendships I’ve made with so many inspirational and talented people all around the world.
Things I Learned
It’s safe to say that I learned more about the web in 2011 than I have in any other year to date. While I learned quite a bit in 2010, too, 2011 was the year that I put most of this knowledge into practice with results I feel proud of. Coming from a formal background in print design with only a casual dabbling in web has made for a definite challenge, but one where I’m happy to say I’ve made much progress. I made my first responsive website in 2011, and also learned the basics of the ExpressionEngine CMS thanks to some mentoring and a few great tutorials.
In addition to my web study, I managed to squeeze in more illustration this year than any other year to date. My retro caricatures have definitely been a hit and I’ll be continuing to do them in the new year.
Most importantly, I learned a lot of important life lessons. I’m happy to say that I’m ending the year on a high note — stronger, more confident, more optimistic.
Goals for 2012
As for travel, I’m already making plans to return to England with a quick trip up to Scotland in the new year. I want to find more time for photography — one area where I feel like I didn’t improve in 2011. I want to teach more web design, especially to younger students, and contribute more to the community. In early 2012 I’ll be launching a website to help bring the local web community closer together through meetups and other events.
I’ve also started a new blog with my lovely and talented friend Dave Hynes. We love pushing each other to improve, and although he’s mainly interested in film and VFX and I’m more into web, we both share a love for sci-fi, fantasy, comic art and illustration. Keep checking Pure Mad Like for updates on our collaborations!
And finally, I have my first consultation next week with a Japanese teacher for private lessons, something I’ve wanted to do for years. It’ll be an interesting change of pace, especially with learning how to balance between study and freelance.
Happy New Year, and hope to see many of you in 2012!