My Year That Was

I don’t think I’ve ever written something to sum up a year in my life before, and I feel like I kind of abandoned this blog a few months back. But now that it’s officially 2012, maybe I’ll start out by doing something new, and reviving something old, even though my eyes are the only ones that will most likely witness these events. Whatever, I like to write.

2011 was a pretty eventful year for me. The biggest thing that happened–which is also one of the main reasons I often didn’t have the time or energy to write on this blog–is that I started a new job. In August I took a full-time position designing books at St. Martin’s Press. I’m working exclusively on interiors, but I feel those are the unsung heroes of book design elements. Everyone notices a cover, but unless there’s something really catchy inside, most of that work goes unnoticed. Which is a shame, because there’s some really good, fun stuff going on in there sometimes.

The books I design are of a wide variety. They’re everything from saucy mass-market romance books, to the autobiography of Barack Obama’s half-sister, to (my favorite) trade fiction titles from Picador. I love all the different subjects; It helps me push myself to be versatile as a designer. And after working exclusively from home for nearly five years, it’s pretty nice to get out of the house and be around the living again, especially when it all takes place in the historic Flatiron Building. The commute though? Eh, I could do without that. But the health insurance alone would be worth it.

Last year my freelance business picked up a bit as well. I got a lot of work through small presses that I hadn’t worked with before, which is great. I love working with new clients and new projects. Most of the jobs I got were books, but also a lot of web work for some reason. I guess that’s more in demand than book design. But hey, I’ll take what I can get. If I can keep Steven Seighman Design moving forward in 2012 and keep building a bigger client base, I’ll be very happy.

I also took a lot of photos last year and started an Instagram account (my username is stevenseighman–follow me!) to share them through. That’s been a lot of fun and I’ve seen many, many great photographs from other people as well. This year I hope to have a better cameraphone to do all my shooting with, because mine is an iPhone 3G, and it’s just not cutting it anymore. Fingers crossed to more freelance work!

One of the things I talk about on this blog quite a bit is films. I even had a running total for everything I watched in 2011. That died off when I started the new full-time job, but up to that point I had amassed a pretty great collection of movies that I’d watched. And it did keep going after I stopped cataloging them, I just didn’t have the time to maintain the list anymore. I’m beginning again for 2012 though, and while the list might not be as long this year, it’s still going to be awesome. So far, only one movie: The Future. But that’s a great way to start off the year. I’m hoping for quality over quantity this time around.

Also in 2011 I celebrated my one-year anniversary as a vegan. This is something that I am very, very excited about, as you might know if you’ve read past entries in this blog. It’s a lifestyle that I am incredibly proud of, and hope to celebrate many, many more anniversaries of as the years go on.

There were some great highlights for Monkeybicycle last year, too. Aside from putting out one really terrific print issue (what should’ve been the second is coming out this month), we held what was probably one of my favorite readings that we’ve ever done over the nine years that the journal has been in existence. The Night of 20 Women, happened in NYC in July and featured some really amazing readers–all women–including Dawn Raffel, Deb Olin Unferth, and Shelley Jackson, just to name a few. I think it was one of our most attended events ever. I hope 2012 brings even more great things like that for Monkeybicycle. It’s our ten-year anniversary, so we need to make it BIG.

An only slightly less self-indulgent thing that happened last year, too, is that my girlfriend, Laura Carney, left her job in the trenches at OK! Magazine for the greener pastures of Hearst Tower and Good Housekeeping magazine. This made her very happy and, in turn, also made me very happy.

So there you go. My 2011. I’m guessing no one even made it to this page. But if they did, they surely didn’t make it to the end of this post, which is fine. In 2012 I pledge to write more interesting things that concern only me. Maybe then I’ll have more readers.

Happy 2012 everyone.