15 years ago a friend of mine in college introduced me to an amazing designer. That designer was doing animation and web design that was so clean and inspirational that I followed all his work like a hawk. If he produced a new website I was all over it. If he posted a new animation or video I studied every second of it like an astronomer studies the galaxy.
Over the last several years of his career he moved into video and film directing. He’s known as the “Father of Flash.” And all 3 of his books about design, animation and filmmaking are best sellers. That filmmaker, designer, author and creative visionary is David Hillman Curtis.
Unfortunately, Hillman’s life ended on April 18, 2012 from a battle with colon cancer.
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to meet Hillman before he passed. I stopped in his NYC office un-announced and he took the time to stop what he was doing to talk with me and sign all 3 copies of his books. I thanked him for inspiring me and for writing his books that gave me some of the greatest knowledge I have about design and process. We talked for a few minutes, and shook hands. I went on with the rest of my New York trip and he continued on with his work day. We exchanged emails a few times about some of the design projects I was working on. The man was kind, honest, and humble. He may not be with us anymore, but he left behind a body of work that changed and influenced many.
So, why am I writing this today? Hillman’s birthday is today, February 24th. I have decided to thank him annually with a blog post. I want everyone that knows me, to know about the person that influenced my creative career the most. I also want you to take the time to say thank you, to those that have influenced you. If your hero is still alive go meet them! Send them an email, call them, drive, fly, travel and talk to them at least once. It will change your life, and theirs forever.
“Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.” -Babe Ruth