Up to Lately

It’s been nearly a month since Jeremy and I moved to Chicago. Jeremy is still working on his time-lapse, but I’ve posted all about the Grand Adventure we had.

I got a job right out of the gate and have been working freelance for an agency down town. The position is only temporary and I will soon be on the look out for more work. Jeremy and I have almost unpacked every box, and have replaced everything that the horrible movers broke or lost. YES they lost and broke things, and damaged the walls in BOTH apartments. But that’s another rant on its own.

Our office area is nearly complete, and it’s starting to feel like home. Along with cleaning and furnishing our apartment, we’ve been doing a wee bit of exploring and tons of eating.

Of course we had to have some Gino’s East first thing! The cornmeal crust has grown on me…

I still am looking for a good bookstore that has design books. I guess I was spoiled with Alexander Books, Green apple, and William Stout Books in San Francisco.

I’ve also gone to my first AIGA mixer, held at Twisted spoke, this cool biker/cyclist bar.

There I met some really cool people like Lou Medel (below), and Trish Garcia, both of which seem like really passionate and fun designers.

Creative Mornings  Chicago (@chicago_cm, #creativemornings) with Shawnimals was this Friday, and I managed to snag a ticket. The event was hosted by Mig Reyes, another great chicago designer known for his deep connections to the design community across the country and his awesome side projects like humble pied. The Art Institute of Chicago was gracious enough to sponsor the event and let us hang out in one of their spaces.

There I saw a few faces from the mixer as well as met a few new ones including Nate Burgos, a charming and friendly designer with an awesome blog called Design Feast.

Shawn Smith from Shawnimals was an awesome guy. He discussed his journey from a small startup of a guy that liked to make “simple yet interesting” stuffed monsters to an ever growing company that has spread to not only plush, but vinyl toys and is beginning to enter the animation and game world. He spoke about being “purposefully naive” at times, not designing for just their followers, but trying to keep in that “cute, cool, weird, or funny” vibe, without over thinking it. While he was handing out some swag, I snagged the wee devil. It now sits on my bookshelf and reminds me to always remember that if im not smiling at the end of the day, im not doing my job right.

This has been a great first month. It started out rocky (and very hot), but the people here are so much friendlier than I could have imagined. The Chicago area is definitely warming to me (no ridiculous heat wave pun intended). I think I could be here a while.. we’ll just have to wait and see if I feel the same way come winter.

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