Do you see
or do you look?
Do you hear
or do you listen?
Do you touch
or do you feel?
Do you know
or do you learn?
The process is often as important as the product. And while the products that we create are important, even more so are the products that we become.
Similar to the development of our art and design work, life is a process. Of struggle and triumph, humility and experience, change and understanding. Our ability to find curiosity in our surroundings, question our work, and face challenges help define who we are.
Whether we head back to our hometowns, become prominent on the world’s creative stage, or pick up and move across the country, we must continue to learn and be aware. We must discover what pushes us forward, understand what perplexes us, and search for what fuels our deepest desires.
I am forever grateful for the experiences I have enjoyed. The past few years, I’ve built some amazing friendships and an understanding of the global impact that we as designers and artists can achieve.
Work diligently to create a life that drives you to become your own best product. When you think you have reached success, know that you can always be better—a better person, a better designer, a better artist; a better student of your unique process.
Look and observe your surroundings. Talk less and listen more. Feel for others. Never stop asking questions, and learn as much as you can.
Every second spent unaware is an opportunity missed.
Hug your family and thank your loved ones. Right now. Because this moment will never happen again. I want to send a hug to you, mom and dad. You are my inspiration for finding happiness in my life and work.
Feel this moment and appreciate the day. Congratulations graduates.
That was a speech I gave as Graduate Delegate at RIT commencement, 2012. It still holds true.