Reflections – Part 1

Sitting backstage at ActiveCampaign's Activate Conference

Surrender
Surrender
But don’t give yourself away
.

In Mid-2018, five years after joining ActiveCampaign as employee number 10, I was running a team of 15 people as the company’s product manager for mobile.

The past five years had felt like a blur. We had recently hit several company milestones and I had hit several career ones. We had just launched our first iPhone app and I was preparing to present at the company’s first ever Activate conference where I would announce two more mobile apps.

Cheap Trick’s ‘Surrender’ was booming through the event hall as I snuck backstage to catch my breath and reflect.

Sitting backstage at ActiveCampaign's Activate conference.

My job had changed a ton, as had the company, and there was so much to be proud of, but I was miserable. 

I wasn’t sleeping, I was tired and sore all the time, some days to the point where I couldn’t walk. To make matters worse, I was two months away from getting married and majorly behind on planning. I had been pouring so much of my time and energy into my job that I had entirely neglected myself. 

I had given up all of my individual creative pursuits and hobbies, shut down my previously vibrant LLC, quit boards and community groups I was passionate about, and almost entirely disappeared from my friend circles. Long overdue doctor’s appointments were put off as well as surgeries and I had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism but hadn’t been following up with my doctors to take care of it properly.

Quite simply, I was far from the best version of myself: I was suffering from a serious case of burnout. 

So, after consulting with leadership, and my fiancé, I came to the conclusion it was time for a change.

Six weeks before my wedding I announced I would be leaving the company.

I didn’t have much of a plan but I knew what I had to do: Extend our honeymoon, book a ton of doctor’s appointments, and take care of myself.

To be continued…

Midsommer Flight nominated for 2019 Broadway in Chicago Emerging Theatre Award

I’m so proud to share with you all that Midsommer Flight has been nominated by the League of Chicago Theatres as a 2019 Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theatre Award Finalist.

Midsommer Flight is a not-for-profit theatre company dedicated to making Shakespeare’s plays accessible to all audiences in Chicago’s parks. They strive for diverse casting so that everyone can see themselves in these works and be inspired. 

I’ve been the principal graphic designer for the company since 2012 and I now serve as President of the board of directors and I can’t overstate how proud I am of this company. 

Beth Wolf, our founder and artistic director, has truly created something amazing here and I’m honored to work with her and the rest of our awesome board.

Last, but certainly not least, is our incredible ensemble. I’ve been watching them knock it out of the park season after season and they really bring their all to each and every performance and this nomination would not be possible without their, very beautiful, hard work.

Cheers to all!

‘Baseball’s Dad’ & Infrequent Somethings

Hey Friends,

After the success of the calendar and the poster I’ve started a mailing list for you to get updates about my creative projects. I sent out the first email a little earlier to everyone who signed up for the previous two items and I announced a third which is now on sale. You can read about it below.

If you’re interested in signing up to receive the email I’ve embedded a form to the bottom of this post. I promise only to message you when I’ve got something to say and I promise never to share your info with anyone without your explicit consent. Cheers!


So, yesterday was of course ‘Opening Day’ of the baseball season and it was also the launch day of an exciting project I worked on with my friends Erin Watson and NickD. Erin describes it here to her poetry mailing list:

It’s not exactly a poem, but I’m delighted to present a new zine I created with the design help of my loving partner, my friend John Morrison, and my very dumbassed private Twitter account. It is an extended meditation on the dad zeitgeist and baseball as storytelling through the persona of Baseball’s Dad, an ur-father-figure loosely based on Chicago Cubs Manager Joe Maddon.
The one poetic aspect of Baseball’s Dad as a project, aside from the repetition of the structure, was choosing exactly what detail would be the most dadlike for each scenario. What song would Baseball’s Dad play to accompany his snifter of good scotch when his handsome baseball sons clinched their spot in the World Series? “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince, of course. What cereal would Baseball’s Dad eat straight out of the box in his underwear one late night? Certainly Golden Grahams. It could be no other.
And because I care more about people than baseball franchises, I’m donating half the proceeds from the zine to two Chicago-based organizations that are making the world a little safer for some of the people whose lives are most threatened in our current political hellhole. Check out the great work that 
Brave Space Alliance and CAIR Chicago are doing.
You can buy your copy of the Baseball’s Dad zine right here, or save on shipping and pick it up at Uncharted Books or Quimby’s if you’re local. Or you can wait six weeks and get it at the Left The Prairie table at one of our most wonderful annual events for people who care about independent literature and art, Chicago Zine Fest. (Say hi to me at the Chicago Books to Women in Prison table if you go.)
Happy opening day of baseball to Baseball’s Dad and to you. Enjoy the springtime; reply with any and everything that’s on your mind.

I designed the cover and hand screen printed each of them myself so each one is unique. If you’re interested you should pick one up through Erin’s store. I’m very proud of it and it supports some great causes.

A table covered in screen printed covers to 'Baseball's Dad.'

That’s all for now friend. Go forth and be awesome.
– John

‘Be Alert For Fascist Regimes!’ limited edition poster

Be Alert For Fascist Regimes Wrigley Field Parody Poster

This morning I printed up a small number of proofing posters parodying the iconic Wrigley Field ‘Be Alert for Foul Balls!’ signs and will be giving some out for free to on a first come, first serve basis.

If you like the Cubs but you’re not a fan of divisive rhetoric and authoritarian politics I’d be happy to send you one.

Interested? Fill out the form at the link below and I’ll be in touch.

https://subism.activehosted.com/f/2

Cheers!

2019 Photo Calendar

Update 1/13/19: All 2019 Calendars are now gone. However if you fill out the form I’ll still send you a surprise.

calendar preview

What is the purpose of life if it is not to create, share, and appreciate beautiful things? Somewhere along the way I lost this.

One of my goals for 2019 is to get back to my art, and as such I’ve made a 2019 photo calendar from the shots I took on our honeymoon trip to Australia.

I’d like to offer it to you, my friends, for free. I only have a limited number so the offer is only valid while supplies last. If I run out, I’ll send you something else instead.

Simply fill out the form at the following URL, And I’ll mail it out to you. Cheers! 

https://subism.activehosted.com/f/1