It’s taken me a while to figure out the right words to tell someone who has made a huge impact in my life, and here I am, still trying to put my words together without sounding like a broken record.
From the endless amounts of “thank you’s,” not once did I ever really express how I truly felt when saying them. Was it for fear that I might end up crying? Most definitely. But I’ve always wanted you to know how grateful I was to have had you as my instructor, and now’s my chance.
You started out as just a regular instructor – a really tall and intimidating one at that. Never would I have expected you to be so much more. You became a mentor and a friend.
You became someone I never knew I needed in my life.
Someone who pushed me outside my comfort zone. Someone who never sugarcoated anything. Someone who saw the meanings behind my work, sometimes even before I would understand them. Someone who helped bring out the true designer in me and discover how I can allow my work to help inspire others.
I didn’t believe in myself, yet you believed in me.
When you first told me this, I wanted to see what you see. I wanted to believe in myself. I wanted to – and now always will – make you proud. In fact, whenever I’m in a designer’s block, I instantly remember your words and convince myself to keep going. Surely I may still stumble and hit roadblock after roadblock, but ultimately I find myself recapturing my spark.
You have always spent extra time sharing advice with all of your students. You constantly helped us improve our work using our individual strengths, styles, and passions. You do more than just teach – you guide, you inspire, and you motivate. You go the extra mile to ensure that we create and design projects that not only reflect what we learn in school but also shape who we are as rising designers. You encourage us to embrace uniqueness and understand more than what we see on the surface.
You are and will always be someone I look up to. I will forever admire your passion for design, theatre, and teaching. I admire the bountiful knowledge you have with history, spirituality, typography, and a multitude of other subjects. You have a heart that’s so kind, so happy, and so loving. You’re patient. You’re sarcastic. You listen. You understand.
You were there when I was struggling. You were there when I found my voice. You were there when I started taking on this new journey. And I’ll be messaging you with any future achievements because I want you to still be there as I continue this journey.
I wouldn’t know what path I would’ve taken had you not been there to guide me. You taught me to be unafraid of designing outside the box. You made everything that seemed impossible for me to achieve, possible.
You are someone who believes in me, and now I finally believe in myself.
Your Former Student