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An Event Apart Chicago 2012 in Impossible Images

Last week Jeffrey Zeldman and Eric Meyer brought their excellent design conference, An Event Apart, back to Chicago for the first time since 2009. As in previous years I had the opportunity to play the role of photographer for the event. However, this year I decided to mix it up a bit and also take Impossible images to complement the regular digital photos and coincide with my ongoing Impossible Year project.

Without further ado, An Event Apart Chicago 2012 in Impossible images:

Getting up to speed…

Whitney Hess rocking it at An Event Apart Chicago

I’ve been extremely busy for the last month and this blog has gotten the short end of the stick. I greatly enjoyed updating every day while I was in Berlin and then I dropped off. I still have yet to write about Paris or upload my photos. (It’s coming… I swear!) I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things very soon.

Unfortunately today I woke up unable to speak and given that my day job is nothing but speaking, I was unable to do said job. Well there is always a silver lining if you look hard enough so the time I would otherwise be spending in bed will be spent working on neglected projects and doing everything in my power not to get sicker.

So to get up to speed with what I’ve been doing lately…

You may have noticed a redesign of the site is under way, this is because I greatly be expanding it in the near future to encompass much more of my work and who I am. By no act of coincidence I have filed to be, and officially become a limited liability corporation. I’ve sort of followed in the footsteps of my good friend Leah Jones and Subism.com is now the home of Subism Studios LLC. (though I’ve yet to quit my job like Leah did.. she has more guts than I.) This legal status will aid me in my photographic / artistic pursuits but also gets me well setup for my next few big ventures the first of which, has been no big secret but hasn’t been formally announced until today.

Early next year I will be working with Chicago sketch comedy group Long Pork to produce their next original production. The project is still untitled but I’ve been involved in several planning meetings and the boys have come up with some really good stuff that I think people will love. I worked with the group a bit in May to help promote their show ‘Soda’ at the Apollo Theatre Studio and had a blast. Since then I’ve joined the team in a non acting role as their head of marketing which started off by redesigned their website. Taking on the producer role is to both parties a natural extension of our relationship and I’m really excited to work with them.

There are other projects I’m working on but I’ll talk about them when the time comes.

I’ve also had a few other jobs I had the pleasure of working on. The first was for Gals’ Guide where I designed the logo for the first ever Gals’ Guide Summit and acted as the official event photographer. For those unfamiliar, Gals’ Guide is a great website for career orientated women in their 20’s who live in major cities and want to start a network and connect. The Summit was their first ever gathering with lectures and information galore. All of this of course is put together by the wonderful Blagica Bottigliero who in addition to being a master organizer / promoter is about to have a baby any day now.  Her energy and drive absolutely astounds me in that regard. The event went extremely well and although I am a guy and not at all their target market I learned a lot. You can find my pictures of the event here.

The next job I had was only a few days ago and it’s one I was personally very excited about. The past two years I have attended An Event Apart Chicago. For the unintroduced An Event Apart is a conference for people who make websites. Put together by Jeffrey Zeldman and Eric Meyer, An Event Apart features the leading names in the field and offers rich content and astounding insight into where things are going. It’s been a blast every time I’ve gone, I always learn a ton and have wound up making some great contacts and friends from it. This year I got the opportunity to work the event as it’s official photographer and spent my time working on the images throughout the event and uploading them live through the show. This is something I had experimented with at the Gals’ Guide event but it had a much more profound effect at AEA, not only did my Flickr traffic go through the roof, but I had people stopping me in the conference halls to complement me on my work. This was a service I was glad to provide for the guests of An Event Apart and I look forward to more opportunities like this in the future.  You can find my photos here and Jeffrey Zeldman’s post conference wrap up here.

Lastly, next Saturday I start taking Level 1 Improv classes at iO Chicago. I’m not quite sure what my intention of doing so is but I’m really nervous and really excited at the same time.

With the exception of a few other topics that warrant their own entries (like Paris) this pretty much brings you up to speed on all things John. Look for a lot of changes to this site gradually over the next few weeks.

A Photo Apart

On Monday and Tuesday of this week I had the opportunity to attend An Event Apart Chicago, the conference for people who make websites. There I got the opportunity to meet a lot of interesting people, hear some amazing lectures and learn more in two days than I have in a few years.

An Event Apart is a great way to refresh your thinking and get exposed to amazing new concepts in web design. I would recommend it to anyone who does any sort of web design or development work.

I’ve posted some shots of some of the presenters on my Flickr. Please feel free to check them out.

Many thanks to Jeffrey Zeldman and Eric Meyer for putting together a great group of speakers and an amazing event. I went last year and it was worth it, I’m glad I got the opportunity to go again this year.

Planting the Seed

Roman CoppolaKeeping in my ‘seeking out inspiration’ kick, I just registered for the Seed conference with Jason Fried, Jim Coudal and Carlos Segura on October 29th. I’m looking forward to it, I hope to learn a lot. I’m also really enjoying networking as of late. I’ve been astounded by the people I’ve been meeting lately and it started with An Event Apart.

Coming out here to Chicago has been a huge opportunity for me, there is always something new and inspiring going on that fascinates me. So much to learn.

Last week I was lucky enough to attend a screening of Wes Anderson’s Hotel Chevalier at the Apple Store. The screening was hosted by producer Roman Coppola. Afterwards Roman stuck around for Q&A. The crowd was excellent and his rapport with them was phenominal. While film is not my field of choice listening to Roman was really inspiring. He spoke about starting a project, from researching it and making compromises to achieve a vision. I’m really looking forward to The Darjeeling Limited.

It’s weird but I spent years in New York, the “cultural center of the world”, and somehow I missed opportunities like this. I think I’m just more in tune with the world around me now.

I’m excited.

Waking Up

Late last year I noticed I had lost a few things from my life. I had fallen into a rut, I wasn’t happy. To make matters worse I’d fallen into a routine and this routine excluded doing a lot of things that were important to me. Things like designing websites.

Ultimately this discovery lead me to try something drastic and pick up and move to Chicago from New York where I had spent my entirely life until that point. While I miss NY and I miss my friends, I’m happier now and I’m carving out a new niche for myself here. I’ve missed web design a lot and I’ve lagged behind. Well, I made a decision to do something about it and last month I attended An Event Apart: Chicago with the hope it would get me back into things.

Boy was I right! Since the conference I’ve had design on the brain non-stop. I found myself creatively inspired in particularly by Jason Santa Maria, Jeremy Keith and Liz Danzico. I’ve been fussing over a site design for this site here for over three years and it gave me the guts to finally scrap everything I had and start rethinking. I’ve found myself re-energized. The new header graphic treatment is hopefully a taste of things to come as I plan to be a much more active participant in the design community so stay tuned.