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Little Smashing Stories – Smashing Magazine

Today is the day we celebrate our 300th edition of the Smashing Newsletter. This article is a small celebration in which our little Smashing stories are shared by people working behind the scenes.

This is not a regular article from Smashing. More than a decade ago we tried a truly devastating newsletter with useful tips and techniques for designers and developers. The first issue was sent out in early 2009. And we would never have imagined that we would reach 190,000 amazing people like you, who read emails every other week. In fact, most of the newsletters we send out these days have remained virtually true to our original course that we set out at the time.

Shower in home office
Our friendly Smashing Cat, named Topple, always enjoys a friendly reading in their home office.

Today we have a little celebration for our 300th newsletter issue that coincides with the birthday of our amazing illustrator Ricardo Gimenes who is the creative spirit behind all the Smashing Cats (over 150, and still counting!). Ricardo is probably dreaming in cats at this point. Happy birthday, dear Ricardo! (Please sing along, if possible.)

Smashing Newsletter Issue 14

In this post we show stories of some people behind these weekly newsletters, and our small magazine. We asked everyone on the team to share a personal story, something from their memories, childhood or anything that made a world difference for them. These stories are the core of this article.

But of course, you – yes, you, dear reader, and your story – are also at the heart of this issue. We would like to hear your story on Twitter and in the comments. When you started reading the newsletter, and maybe how a little tip in the newsletter helped you in some way.

And of course, Thank you so much to be and stay smashing. I would love to meet you and hear your story, and I am very hopeful that we will all be able to do so in the near future.

Vitaly (@smashingmag)

When my parents cleaned up the family home last week, they came across a few old pictures that they chose to share with me. Among them was this old photo of my pride on top of an olive tree in the wild spaces that once surrounded my hometown.

Little Esther
Little Esther stands on top of an olive tree in the wild spaces around her hometown.

The photo arrived at the perfect time. As a mirror, it reminded me of who I once was and who I still am. Sometimes when I have to confront my deepest fears, this picture proves to me that I have the audacity to climb and stand without hands.

Iris Lješnjanin (editorial)

At the age of five, my parents and I moved to the United Arab Emirates to escape the Bosnian war. Those years changed the lives of so many – including ours. While my friends and family were scattered all over the world, I remember that they missed them so much that I promised myself to write letters and send photos so we could stay in touch – even if it sometimes took centuries to To get back or Finally I did not even hear back.

I loved collecting stickers, postcards, and found different types of paper to write on, and even found pen pals who also shared my passion for writing and lived in Germany, Slovenia, Australia and even Brunei (just to name a few).

Later, when communication turns into emails and chatting via different messaging programs (can anyone else still remember mIRC, MSN and ICQ?), The handwritten letters slowly stop filling our mailbox and all the writing is changed into endless typing next to it. emoticons and all kinds of ASCII tricks.

Yet I remember print my favorite emails on a continuous form paper (the one with holes in the sides), just so I could always have it on hand and read it along with the other letters in my memory box that I kept on the top shelf. my kas.

Klein Iris
Little Iris sometimes printed her favorite email on a roll of paper.

Now that I’m in my thirties, I still like it snail mail, and especially in times like these, a letter can be a thoughtful and gentle way to reach out to someone and not make them feel pressured to get back to you right away. (Dear Inbox, I’m looking at you.) There’s something special about writing letters. It is a piece of paper that creates a kind of intimacy and connection that cannot be felt online.

This is a sign that someone has really taken the time to sit down and prepare something just for you. It’s a piece of paper with someone’s soft touch who meaning written down in some words while you think of yourself and put it in an envelope that is nicely wrapped – with not just any stamp. It makes every letter I have ever received unique, special and precious to me.

Before I joined Smashing, Vitaly had already started sending out the Smashing newsletter, and what actually started as a fun writing project for the whole team has turned into something so precious and valuable that we can not imagine today. Not only is it a opportunity to call with people sharing their passion for the internet, but it also enables us to contribute to designers and developers by shining the spotlight on those who do not get the honor and attention they truly deserve for their dedication and hard work .

With the same enthusiasm for writing each letter personally, we (on behalf of the Smashing team) want to personally ‘thank you’ with each Smashing email newsletter we send out. A heartfelt thanks to those who share their work online, as well as you, dear reader, for holding on over the years while supporting and inspiring others by simply spreading the word.

Alma Hoffmann (editorial)

I have had a long distance relationship with Smashing since 2010. It all started with a tweet from Vitaly looking out for writers. I replied. The rest is history. Met Vitaly, Iris, Markus, Ricardo, Inge, Rachel, Amanda and many others in person in 2017. It was one of the biggest highlights of my career.

Alma's sketchbook
Alma’s sketchbook she filled with photos of Freiburg.

I walked around with Iris looking for a sweater because I was so cold. We stormed as we wandered the streets to find the shops. She took me to stores to buy gifts to bring home. And we did it all for almost an hour. She gave me a sketchbook I filled out with photos of Freiburg and a canary yellow bag that I still use to carry my art supplies through the city. Love my suitcase! A few years before I had experienced a sad day and in the mail was a gift from Smashing. It made my day!

I like working at Smashing. The commitment to quality is not only impressive, but also a unifying element that binds us all to a single goal: to be the best magazine on web development and design. I therefore became a better writer.

Jarijn Nijkamp (membership)

I worked for a better part of my professional life in the area, and helping people find their way is just the coolest thing. I still feel very happy (and a little proud) when an old student makes contact and shares something with me – personally or professionally.

Jarijn, sit and smile to the left of the first row.

The other day I find this beautiful graduation photo from the first ‘group’ I learned and managed. A lot of international bunch of amazing students who have grown up since then!

Vitaly Friedman (editorial)

I used to travel somewhere almost every week: from one place to another, between projects, conferences, workshops and just random coffee breaks at favorite places in the world. In 2013 I moved out of my apartment without moving in somewhere. I gave up all my belongings in a homeless shelter and decided to run a creative experiment and travel from one place to another. I was privileged to have visited an incredible number of places and met amazing people, and the experiment never really stopped.

Vitaly's workspace
Vitaly’s workspace, which has become a not very tidy but very sophisticated setup over the past year.

Until 2020. It was difficult and remarkable disturbing transition for me personally, but it gave me an extremely refreshing perspective on how things can be. We sometimes move forward with inertia, but it’s such a healthy exercise in self-understanding to stop and look around and look at things. Over the past year, I have rediscovered the beauty of a mouse, secondary screen, and a comfortable external keyboard. I learned the importance of true, meaningful, deep relationships. From letting go, and embracing things that lie in your heart. In my case it is writing, editing, building, designing.

I even start to feel comfortable in the online space with our online workshops, and have more focused time writing, coding, building and designing. I still miss a lot to travel and can not wait to meet dear friends around the world in person. But it’s not as bad as I thought a year ago. The new remote world changed my perspective around myself, and if anything, I can now make a more balanced and conscious choice about how I should shape the future. And this is a decision I will not take lightly.

Amanda Annandale (events)

I’ve been to Smashing for over four years, but it’s all possible because of a small decision changed my life completely ten years ago. I was a stage and event manager in NYC, and decided to take a freelance job managing events. On my first occasion, I assisted in the ‘Carsonified / Future Of …’ event while working on the “Avenue Q” stage. Their team was beautiful, including their tech man, who has since become my husband!

SmashingConf Stage in NYC
Amanda remembers the SmashingConf stage in NYC.

After moving to England to be with my husband, I was able to spend more time with the ‘Carsonified / Future Of …’ friends, and one of them just got a job at Smashing. She introduced me to the the Smashing team, where I joined just a few months later. In an incredible twist, the first SmashingConf I produced was on the same “Avenue Q” stage, where my Smashing journey began almost ten years ago – more than five years before I joined the team!

We’d love to hear your story!

These are just a few of our stories, but everyone has some of them too. We would love to hear yours! What has changed your position around the world? What makes you smile and be happy? What memory do you keep optimistic and excited about the future?

Or maybe you have a story of how you learned about the newsletter in the first place and when you started reading it? We’d love to hear your story, maybe how a tip in the newsletter helped you in some way. And again, thank you for being crushing, everyone!