Michal Migurski's notebook, listening post, and soapbox. Subscribe to this blog. Check out the rest of my site as well.

Jan 15, 2013 2:34am

week 1,835: leaving stamen

I am in Denver. Wednesday I will be in Chicago. Friday night I will be back in Oakland. Here, I am visiting JS.Geo conference catching up on all the Javascript map-making I’ve missed over the years. In Chicago, I hope to meet with folks from the campaign now that it’s all over, and some new people.

On the last day of Baktun 13 of the Classical Mayan calendar, we held our annual holiday party. The next morning, we pushed the couches into the big room with the projector, screen and speakers, and spent most of a workday watching season three of Arrested Development and snacking on popcorn and lunch from Pancho Villa. It was the last day of the year, and my final day at Stamen.

Leaving is difficult. I’ve worked with Stamen and Eric Rodenbeck in particular for nine years. I’m sad to not be able to spend much time with new Stamens Mike Tahani and Beth Schechter, and I’m over the moon that Eric and Shawn have brought on Seth Fitzsimmons as my successor. Seth’s worked with us on projects in the past, knows us from the old office, and will fit right in.

In retrospect I’m shocked at how young I was when I joined. I’ve learned firsthand how a world-class design studio is run from one of the best creative directors in the industry, instigated, participated in or merely watched innumerable high-profile public research and client projects, and I’m proud to have seen us grow to a position of prominence and respect in the public’s perception of art and data. The work has never not been good, and my colleagues from over the years are some of my closest friends.

Still, nine years is a long-ass time.

It was like graduate school, art school, and business school all rolled into one and I feel ready to explore in some new directions. For the moment, that means catching up on things: sleep, books, hacking and design projects, exercise, regular blogging, and more. Soon, it will mean looking at new possibilities. For the moment, I don’t know what awaits me in the after but if you’re up for lunch I’m probably game.

Comments (8)

  1. Wow, I'm not sure if I should express condolences or congratulations on such a remarkable tenure. Though I was only an intern at Stamen for a short period, I took away so much from the experience. Particularly your knowledge and passion for your work, it is one of the things I've continued to go back to for inspiration and it has guided me quite far. I wish you the best on your future adventures and thanks for sharing the work that you have. You continue to be a talent of great significance to me and it's nice to take a moment to reflect on that.

    Posted by Taylor Wright on Tuesday, January 15 2013 4:50am EST

  2. If you're going to be in Chicago on Tuesday night, stop by 1871 from 6 to 10 PM for OpenGov Hack Night. http://opengovhacknight.eventbrite.com I go almost every week and I'll be there tomorrow. A lot of great apps and hacks have come out of there. And now that the Obama campaign is over, some peeps from there stop in.

    Posted by Steven Vance on Tuesday, January 15 2013 5:00am EST

  3. Best of luck in your next adventure Mike! I really loved working on the Walking Papers projects with you guys and always enjoy your writings here, so looking forward to new chronicles. Let me know if you are up for drinks in East Bay anytime. Cheers- Martha

    Posted by Martha Pettit on Tuesday, January 15 2013 10:57am EST

  4. The only limit is yourself.

    Posted by Tom Carden on Tuesday, January 15 2013 11:45am EST

  5. Taylor, Martha, Steven—thank you! I won’t be in Chicago tonight but I will be there tomorrow afternoon through Friday afternoon. Coffee maybe, Steven? Martha, yes. The unattainable is unknown. You can do anything.

    Posted by Michal Migurski on Tuesday, January 15 2013 1:22pm EST

  6. So excited to hear what you'll do next, and you're always welcome in Portland.

    Posted by Andy Baio on Tuesday, January 15 2013 1:52pm EST

  7. As a long-time lurker of your RSS feed, and admirer of the data visualization hacks you've done over the years, I have to congratulate you on the move. I'm looking forward to what you do next. Your name came up in conversation yesterday at a meetup, and I didn't know you left Stamen. Hence my delay here ;) --Joao

    Posted by Joao Prado Maia on Wednesday, March 20 2013 9:05am EDT

  8. Joao, thank you!

    Posted by Michal Migurski on Wednesday, March 20 2013 12:55pm EDT

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