Well, it’s that time of year again. In less than a week, digital artists, web developers, innovators and tech-nerds alike will gather at the Toronto  FITC , to share and learn. It’s always a great turn out and the presentations are sure to inspire and educate. I for one, am over the top excited about this conference and not too sure how to fully express it. Perhaps a photo will illustrate my emotion best:

OMG! I can’t believe I’m going to FITC!!!

This is most certainly a sign that I need to get out. Although I have had many great opportunities for collaboration this year, the majority of my time is spent on my own, coming up with new ideas, drumming up more business, meeting with clients and doing my best to delight folks with every project I ship. Freelancing is a demanding gig, so having one or two events a year that thoroughly wake up and revive the creative soul, does the morale (and the sanity level) good.

What I find interesting is how my focus has changed from last year’s conference. I had no idea what to expect then and I felt that my business was all over the map. Honestly, I was just trying to survive. I attended any presentation that offered insight, information or inspiration on how to get a creative freelance business humming. I got so much out of every presentation I attended, the overarching theme being: do what you love, share your work the world, connect with your audience and, in turn, more work will come. Great advice that I’ve tried very hard to keep as criteria for goal planning this past year.

This year, my focus is all about the interactive digital space. I’m all over the web dev and creative coding presentations and anything to do with new and exciting uses of technology. Here are the top 5 presentations that have peaked my interest.

The Onions of Interactive Infographic Design: Using Edge Animate along with HTML to create some cool, interactive Infographics. This is a no-brainer for me since it’s something I’ve been interested in for quite awhile and plan to offer this as a service in the near future.

The Journey, not the Destination: I am a huge fan of James White, you can see his artistic talents over at Signal Noise. He’s had quite a successful journey as a freelancing artist.  He’s a great speaker and let’s not forget, he’s Canadian too which automatically boosts his “cool” factor. I am sure I’ll gain a great deal of insight from hearing about his tough patches and how he pushed through them.

Technology: A Means to an End The tech nerd in me is looking forward to this talk. I am excited to hear more about new technologies and some expert opinions on where it is going. What is in store for digital artists tomorrow and how can we prepare to step out of our comfort zone? Those are the 2 main questions I’ll be look to get answered in this talk.

The Java Scripter’s Tool Box As a newbie to coding, I think this will be a great talk to attend. Any information that can get me on the right track to stay organized with workflow is paramount. Habits form very quickly when learning something new and nothing is more painful than unlearning bad habits, so if this talk can offer more insight into a good workflow, I’m all over it.

Getting Along with Clients I truly enjoy talks focused on business, especially at FITC. They are tailored to the creative community and I’m sure I’ll get a ton of great advice from these professionals. The topics discussed: “ strategies on handling Scope Creep, Delays, Budget Increases, Presentations and ideas around stopping issues before they start.”  I’ve dealt with every issue on this list in the past couple years, and I’m sure they will come up again and again.

Other stuff I’m looking forward to at FITC

Stefan Sagmeister – Being in the same room as the great and legendary designer himself will be quite an honour. Just the title of his talk, “Design and Happiness”, is enough to have designers and artists alike lining up at the door.

Meeting up with tech gals at the GeekGirls Networking Luncheon – Always a great way to meet a few other women into digital nerd stuff like myself. I am thoroughly looking forward to this!

Hanging out with my good friend Andria of Digital Messenger. We always have a hoot and it’s really nice having a friend to share the conferenced experience.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter as I’ll be Tweeting all the comings and goings of the conference.