2017 Year in Review
A reflection on my milestones, achievements, and favorite moments from the past year.
(click on images to see the live projects)
I had privilege of working on a variety of print and digital projects this year. A perfect mix of full-time, freelance, and personal projects helped whet my desire for creative variety.
The artistic thinking of coming to a problem and dreaming up a few solutions was both challenging and rewarding this year. Several projects had me in over my head, but I'm grateful for the community of designers around me that chipped in at the right moment to move me from blocked to inspired!
A project spun up in January to help my wife and I ship frequently and think more intentionally. Each week we sent out three, 100 word emails to a list of people we spent the year growing. Each post helped articulate a concept or idea that we were personally thinking through. The audience regularly opened and clicked on these emails throughout the year.
In the end I wrote over 6,500 words but more importantly, I learned to edit for the format and think about my daily life a lot more.
What happens when you find a group of people that teach you, celebrate you, and help you stay accountable? You flock to them and don’t let go! In 2016 I found a group like this through Seth Godin's altMBA, but this year was given the privilege of coaching two sessions. This community has pushed me to be a better professional and all around human.
Beyond just coaching this year, I got to meet Seth, have breakfast at his house, and travel to both coasts to spend time in real life with these internet friends. They even let me play a role in a promotional video for the course that is now live on the homepage.
Speaking on stage is a thrill for me, and I was honored to get two chances to do so this year. Both talks were through my role at AWeber and revolved around marketing through email. The first event was Digital Summit in Philadelphia where the audience and experience were incredible!
The other opportunity was at a financial content creators conference called FinCon, in Dallas. While the venues were quite different, it is awesome to hear the questions and ideas from the audiences.
100 Days of Jart
Some projects come out of a silly desire to just create for no reason. That’s what happened one evening on my drive home. I thought, “what would it look like if I illustrated a jar of pasta sauce?” That jar lead to 10 more and then a full fledged 100 day project illustrating various jarred goods.
Affectionately called ‘Jart’ (jar art) by its followers, this project helped me to draw daily and master an illustration style that I really grew to love. It has a dedicated instagram profile, although now that the 100 days are over that feed has gone pretty silent.
New life! That’s right our little family of 3 grew this year with the addition of another little girl named Story. The transition from one kid to two was a bit of a shock factor for us. But thanks to family close by we are adjusting well and everyone is healthy!
Yup, I turned the big 3-0. The coolest part of 30 though was raising money for charity:water. Through the generous donations of friends and family we were able to raise $270 for clean water. While a bit short of my $3,030 goal, I was happy to be able to make even that small difference for those in need.
We moved into a new (to us) house at the end of 2016 and began some renovations in January. One project that was major was the master bathroom renovation. It was a complete rip out, move walls/plumbing/electrical, and put everything back together again type job. Thanks to my dad and brother, we were able to do the work ourselves and have a much nicer and larger space now.
The other much smaller renovation was giving the fireplace in our living room a facelift. A sheet of MDF and some 1x lumber and the heavy stone monstrosity is looking classy and modern. Now all I need to do is build some shelving on either side and we’ll have a nice focal point in the room.
Sleep Well Beast, The National
Wonder, Hillsong United
Chef’s Table, Netflix
Brooklyn 99, Fox
Revisionist History, Malcolm Gladwell
The Robcast, Rob Bell
Masters of Scale, Reid Hoffman
There is no way I could have accomplished all this on my own, so a special thank you to the following people:
- Lindsay for all your patience and support as I constantly have new ideas.
- Dad, Mom, and Andrew for helping in big and small ways on the house projects!
- AWeber team: Chris, Brad, Kelsey, Kim, Karen, Jay, Jordan, Jermaine, Tom, Rebecca, and more (in no particular order of course :))
- My altMBA family: Seth, Kelli, Marie/Joe, Shannon, Laura, Vince, Dean, Nick, Peter, Brent, and Sam to name a few; with a special thanks to Kristen and Sarah for your amazing co-coaching skills!
- All the freelance clients that trusted me with your projects.
Want to work together in 2018?
Get in touch and let's talk about your project!