Seth Barham Design
Minimal and effective design, inspired by culture.

spartan wanderer

Me in 2018

Ugh, is it time for this again already? It seems like only yesterday I was watching John Oliver’s “Fuck 2016” compilation, something of a hopeful rally for a less terrible time in 2017. How did that work out? Fun fact: the older we get, our perception of time increases. So if you’re 28 like me, you may be thinking, “holy shit, 2017 flew by”. Well, by the time you're 40-something it should be more like ripping the days off a calendar. 

Alright, just wanted to concentrate all the negativity into a single paragraph before moving forward.

That’s what these things are about, right? Moving forward to new beginnings and better selves in the new year. While I’m generally skeptical when someone gives me their New Year resolution - mostly because I’m not the best at keeping them myself - I do think they help achieve a net positive effect in the end. It’s the idea of starting out strong that counts, to generate some positive momentum that at least pushes into the next year with the wind at our backs, even if we don’t 100% succeed in our often overly ambitious resolutions.

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars. Something like that, right?

What’s on in 2018

1. China

As I mentioned in my last post, my time back in the States turned out to be just a little break, unbeknownst to me. They say never say never, and as ready as I was to leave China a year ago, I am just as ready to go back now. If any longtime China hands are reading this, they will instantly recognize this as part and parcel of the sadomasochistic love-hate relationship with the country. Once you’ve had your sanity break, centered your chakras, and eaten enough sandwiches, things get a bit too quiet and that itch for the chaos begins to resurface. I’m excited to get back and continue to explore the culture, for even if you stay there 20 years, you will never solve the Rubix cube that is China. 

2. Take the HSK 1

One of the best and worst things about China is that, depending on where you live, you have to learn Mandarin Chinese. Not very convenient if you’re there for a week or two, but great if you’re living there long-term. Especially as we get older, it’s very hard to commit to learning a new language, but you have no choice in China, and you do eventually pick it up with minimal effort. Well, if you interact with Chinese people, that is (many foreigners choose not to for whatever reason). I am at least okay with speaking and listening, but reading and writing the characters is still quite a challenge. I plan to study and at least be proficient enough in all areas of the language to take and pass the HSK 1 at the year’s end. 

3. Get certified with W3Schools.

It’s getting harder and harder to make it as a graphic designer without any web design know-how. I am pretty well versed in many of the web design platforms like Squarespace, WordPress, Wix, and the like. I also know enough about the fundamentals of HTML and CSS to do little fixes to templates in these platforms when I need to. But that’s not enough. I want to get a firm enough grasp on HTML/CSS that I can code sites from scratch. I plan to study, build some test sites, and then take W3School's exams for HTML and CSS. I will move on to JavaScript and jQuery after that, but I’m keeping manageable goals for now. 

4. Become an Adobe Certified Associate

Keeping with the same theme, I’m also trying to update my Adobe game. I’m at the point now where Adobe Illustrator is like an extension of my being. I can utilize the program to do pretty much any design task that’s asked of me, but I don’t feel like I’ve explored the depths of the program. I’m going to study the program from the fundamentals to hardcore mode and eventually take Adobe’s exam, hopefully becoming an Adobe Certified Associate. 

So that just leaves my fifth goal…

5. Feel good all the time.

 

Happy New Year!