Val Head - Designer, Consultant and Speaker.

2013 – Impressing My Parents!

2013 in review according to me:

It’s funny, I always have hard time recalling what I did in the last twelve months. When I looked back through my calendar to make this list, I had actually forgotten about a few things. It’s really helpful to look back and appreciate where all your energy went in the past year. So here’s my list!

CSS Animations Pocket Guide

I wrote a book!

I wrote the Pocket Guide to CSS Animations for Five Simple Steps! Writing a book wasn’t something I ever though I’d do, but it was a hugely rewarding experience. I’m psyched to be a part of the wonderful Pocket Guide series and the folks at Five Simple Steps were a pleasure to work with.

Writing a book, as it turns out, is also a really great way to impress your parents. Web design is understandably a bit of of a mystery to a lot of parents but books are not! My dad even read the whole thing. (He says he liked it but he doesn’t think CSS is something he’ll ever use.)

I did a lot of speaking at conferences!

And I loved it! Most notably, I was invited to speak at my first ever An Event Apart! (And they’re even having me back in 2014, yay!) I also spoke at my first FOWD event in New York where my slides were projected on a screen larger than some apartments I’ve lived in. Other highlights included Rustbelt Refresh, Converge SE, CSSConf, and Interlink. It was a great year for sharing ideas and meeting new people!

I taught a lot of workshops

I really like teaching workshops, that’s probably obvious. And I sure taught a lot of them in 2013.

I took over teaching the CreativeJS for designers workshop from Seb, and ran a two day course in New York. That was a blast! Keeping with the theme of teaching designers how to make art with code, I also ran a code to print workshop with the help of the great folks at Assemble and Commonwealth Press. Teaching people to code and then print all in one day. I loved seeing what everyone made. I was also invited to be a guest lecturer for a few weeks at an actual University to teach art students how code can be used to make data-driven art.

Back to regular web design geekery, I ran a sold out CSS Animations workshop in Vancouver. Later in the year, I teamed up with my friends Josh and Andrew to run a class on Web Design for Designers which was some of the most fun I’ve had teaching. I even managed to fit in a workshop on Designing for Responsive Design for the awesome Girl Develop It Pittsburgh.

I recorded two video courses!

Outside of workshops, I also recorded two Lynda.com titles (CSS Animations and the upcoming Responsive Typography Techniques). Conveniently, I recorded both of these when it was wintery on the east coast and the trip out to the studios in California could be best appreciated. Planning!

Web Design Day Turned 5!

2013 marked the fifth Web Design Day conference. FIVE! Running a conference is a lot of work, but it’s also hugely rewarding to get so many of your peers, friends, and just generally wonderful people together for one day to share what they know. It’s still my favourite day of the year. Even if I do have to get up a 5am and break out my “best” jokes on stage while waiting for lunch to show up.

I got to help make really big art again!

Seb used my PixelVector font again in the latest version of pixelpryros. This may not seem like much of a big deal, but this time around it meant my logo and font got written in lasers and lasers are always a big deal. LASERS! I also designed a title sequence for the project that got projected at building-size. Pretty cool! One of my goals for 2014 is to actually make it out to see some of this stuff I’ve contributed to in person.

I started a podcast!

I’ve wanted to work with my pal Jenn on something for pretty much forever, and this year we finally figured out just the thing! Jenn and I started the Ladies in Tech podcast in November and released a whole season before the end of the year. It’s a short show all about encouraging folks, especially ladies, to take the stage at conferences and similar events. It’s been super fun so far!

I got to work with talented friends!

Believe it or not, I actually fit in a few client projects this year too. While doing those I got to work with some of the most talented and generally awesome folks I know of in our industry. Some of whom I am also happy to call my friends. I feel amazingly lucky that I get to say things like that when it comes to work.

I moved across the state!

We packed up our house and pets and moved to Philadelphia from Pittsburgh at the very end of August. That is all the way across the state, if you were wondering. (They’re not as close or as similar as their names suggest :) ) It’s so great to be closer to our Philly friends (and New York friends) but it was also sad to leave our Pittsburgh friends behind. Philly has been great so far and I’m nearly at the point of getting around without looking at a map every 5 minutes.

So that was my 2013. All in all a pretty good year I think! And now that I see the whole list in one place I don’t feel so bad for being a bit tired at the end of it all!

3 Comments

jennlukas Says:

Super high fives on 2013 and more high fives for 2014! So happy you are in town and we can have lunches and make things together!

aman anderson Says:

Wow!

valhead Says:

Yes! I think 2014 needs to be the year of brunch meetings and making things!

Comments: