I learned Flash in 1997. I thought I was pretty good at it, until I came across Hillman Curtis’ Flash Web Design three years later. Incredibly impressed at how much more excellent someone else could be, I sent Hillman an email. I made a website—in Flash, of course—that had an admission ticket with his name Photoshopped onto it. Clicking it animated the ticket out and in flew my portfolio. I told him I was still a student, and that I’d love to work for him someday. I don’t remember his words verbatim, but he said my portfolio looked good—a polite lie—and that I had an internship with him waiting if ever moved to New York. Swoon.
That was the first time I had ever sent someone famous an email. And he responded. And he was nice. It gave me the confidence to continue reaching out to people I respected. A small moment that shaped a huge part of my career.
Thank you, Hillman Curtis. The world has lost one more great man.