At this time, everyone has probably heard the sad news. Hillman Curtis has passed away…
But I didn’t came here to talk about his death. I came to talk about his life.
The first time I saw him personally was at the OFFF Festival in 2007. Oh man, what an inspiration he was at that time (already). I remember seeing the Movement Study movie he made and just be… wow… But the first thing that made me never forget about him was his will to get out of his confort zone. He went from graphic and webdesigner in his early days to became film maker ’till his last days. And he started because he wanted to. For the majority of the common mortals, it’s not an easy switch. Basically it’s a “start from scratch” situation. But he embraced change. And won.
In my talks I always mention him and particularly one situation on one of his Artist Series films. I heard this from Hillman itself. He was interviewing Mark Romanek for his film and they were trying to find the better place to shoot. Mark chose a wall full of pinned pictures and Hillman followed with a natural question: “The pictures must mean a lot to you”, wich Mark answered: “Sometimes theres no other reason to put something on the wall than it’s beautiful”. You can not imagine how this simple answer drived me through al this years… We, as designers, are always searching for answers and justifications and sometimes forget that there are some things that don’t have an answer, just a feeling attached to them.