JAMES N. HABIGER
Designer. sOLUTIONIST. Author. Artist.
noun | so·lu·tion·ism | \-sh(ə)n/ˈɪz.əm/
: The belief that all problemshave benign solutions
; especially : followed by one who makes a practice or occupation of solving puzzles
With a focus in digital mediums, I create art and designs heavily influenced by mid-century minimalism and the Bauhaus movement of the 1920’s. Fueled by years of studying art and design, I aim to produce media with a clearly translated message. From concept to form, critical thought and dedication is put into all aspects of the non-verbal voice of each book design. I am passionate about working with authors as Head of Creative at the Minneapolis based publisher 11:11 Press. He guides authors through a visual journey of their written word.
Growing up in a small town in northern Minnesota, I had every opportunity to live the expected life set out before me. I worked 12-hour factory shifts, laid roofing in the mid-west summer heat, and went home to a wife I married at 20. But I was restless. My wife was an equal in her ambition and resentment for our expected life. Together we fled Minnesota and found ourselved in Seattle - a place we both came to greatly love until the natural consequences of a human life pulled us apart. I became disillusioned by the city and once again began looking for reprieve. This time I found himself returning to the rural life. This time I was alone. I found myself in a cabin on the Kitsap peninsula splitting wood and feeding a wood stove, gardening, and limbing trees. Isolated, I again grew unsettled. The quiet creeped in. During my three years in the cabin, I came to shed the inner rejection I had acquired from small-town America and finally came out as a gay man. Learning to live my truth fully, with a greater sense of self, I confidently moved back to the city. But Seattle was indifferent to my existential progress. With bars on my single window, I lived in a cheap apartment slum behind a fast food joint where I befriended disabled veterans, strippers, addicts, and survivors of abuse. Many of them struggling with mental illness. It was here where I began writing SAM. Eleven years later, I returned to Minnesota (2016) to view the mid-west through a new lens of life experience. I am a designer and builder by trade - an artist, self professed solutionist, and reluctantly calls myself a philosopher. I am a University of Washington, Seattle, Analytic Philosophy graduate and have focused on the phenomenology of psychosis. It is this focus which inspired SAM - my first published work. It is published by the Minneapolis-based publisher 11:11 Press. In the apartment with bars and a view of the backside of a fast food joint, SAM was written as an exploration of the inner tension between the common and the unusual. Within the hyperbolic depiction of a modern relationship between "a defect of the city" and a "sparrow who suffered simplicity of heart," the two men followed in this book unfold within a classic, yet nearly tragic, love story. In a series of 125 poems, Sam is revealed through a lens of an invisible narrator, and is written in such a way that the reader has access to the inner states of the two men throughout its entirety.