Goodbye Hillman

Brooklyn based designer, author and filmmaker Hillman Curtis passed away. My heart goes out to his wife and small children. What a tremendous loss. Hillman will always be remembered in the creative industry, he was a true force.

24 Comments leave a comment below

  1. Oh my goodness. So sad. Nobody chronicled the design profession and its practitioners in motion as beautifully as he did.

  2. I am shocked! He was such a talented filmmaker and great guy. I only met him once in real life, but he seemed like the model of a modern Brooklyn gentleman. This is sad indeed.

  3. Very sorry to hear it. His films have inspired us for years.

  4. Oh my! I’m shocked and saddened to hear this news :( Hillman Curtis’ motion graphics work was a huge inspiration during my college days. RIP Curtis

  5. Such an amazing, beautiful man. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Sad news. His work will always be remembered ..

  7. A true one of a kind talent. He will be deeply missed.

  8. Hillman is sadly missed. His integrity, kindness and thoughtful consideration were the foundation of his professional work and the delight of those lucky enough to spend time with him. Today I am stunned by this loss and my heart goes out to his family.
    -Buck “The Jackal” Bito, San Francisco

  9. I first met Hillman at Macromedia User Conference in Disneyland Paris in 1998. He presented on workflows for Flash and Freehand. What set him apart from every other presenter was that he was a designer trying to get stories across on the web.

    He always considered his audience, while most people where still on dial up he used all kinds of tricks to never make you wait. I came away inspired and it showed. He and Brendan Dawes were responsible to get me passionate about Saul Bass.

    His later work kept moving away from tech and more towards moving the story along. The last time I saw him speak was at the future of web design, he hadn’t slept because this was the day of the presidential election and most of New York was a bundle of nerves.

    Thank you Tina for sharing that movie, I’ll be diving back in his books and reminisce.

  10. OH WOW! I was just talking about how much he influenced me. he was so inspirational and insightful. RIP Curtis Hillman

  11. I am shocked and saddened!

  12. Hillman was a truly representative figure of our creative world, I’ve lost count of the people to which I’ve played his video pieces as an example of how great creativity is. A source of pure inspiration, sorely missed.

  13. His work was so darn inspiring. This hurts.

  14. Wow, I can’t believe this. Condolences to his family and friends. I remember meeting him at his CreativeMornings talk, it was such a great presentation.

  15. Sad when a great designer dies.

  16. I remember first seeing Hillman’s work in the early days of Flash and being blown away. What an extraordinary storyteller across all media. My heart goes out to his family.

  17. A true inspiration, his influence on the web will never be fully appreciated, very sad

  18. Saw him once, speaking at an American Center for Design’s Living Surfaces conference. He gave a simply stated answer to “Why design?”: To communicate. Will miss his creativity of communicating.

  19. I was lucky to meet Hillman at the first Flash Forward in San Francisco, when macromedia still existed. I was introduced by my creative director at Juxt Todd Purgason, because he knew I was a big fan of his work.

    In an event like that full of people trying to talk to him, he was gracious enough to take the time to talk to me and even comment on our work :)

    I’ve bough all of his books, and was delighted when he started to shoot short movies. I remember when I saw his first “artist series” I told my wife how much of a genius he was. And the “portrait series”…

    He has been a very influential designer and artist in my professional life, I am in shock, and I wish the best to his family.
    Thanks Hillman for the wonderful inspirations you left for us.
    Peace :(

  20. I was lucky enough to meet Hillman Curtis at the Pause NYC (2008) conference where he presented his latest film work. It was inspirational to finally hear him talk about his work and how he was able to innovate his career path.

    After his talk we had a short conversation. One of my questions to him was: “How do you know that what you are doing is good enough where you can take risks and change your career path?”.

    To summarize his answer: It doesn’t matter if its good enough. If you have a passion for what you are working on, eventually someone will notice. Work on projects without trying to satisfy someone else and your passion will eventually turn into a career.

    Thank you Curtis for the inspiration.

  21. Few years ago when I was on the board of a design society, I called up H (as he was known) to invite him to talk to our community. The talk eventually never materialized as there were some scheduling conflicts and my board tenure elapsed over time, but he was gracious enough to take the time to talk to me and exchange emails as to set a possible date.

    Through his teachings, he was, and still is, an inspiration to me. Condolences to his family. Thank you, H.

  22. R.I.P. Hillman Curtis. He will be deeply missed. Condolences to his family as well. Even though he is no longer with us, artist never die—he will live on through his work forever, inspiring the world until the end of time.

  23. my first flash project was with his book “Flash Web Design oder: the art of motion graphics,” which I bought second hand, and all that I learned from the design I have learned by self-study.
    and from time to time I check that new work had cast.
    I will never forget his name, Hillman Curtis, never.

  24. Hillman Curtis truly inspired me creatively, his memory will always live on. My heart is with his family and friends. May he rest in peace.