I was shocked at how deeply the news of Steve Jobs’ death affected me. There I was, standing in the back yard, looking up at a blue October sky blurred by tears. I had to look inward a bit, try to figure out just why this man I’d never met – whom I had no personal relationship with, and new nothing of beyond what his publicist and the tech punditry presented to me – had such a profound hold of my heart. Wandering around the internet, I found loads of people whose connection with him started with their first positive experience of computing on an Apple ][ or an early Macintosh. Many others cited the new freedom their iPod brought to their enjoyment and experience of music. But for me, I realized that Steve Jobs had nurtured a radical and transformative seed that had already germinated in my mind in 1988 when I bought my first Mac. That seed was the idea that beauty MATTERED – that the esthetic quality of anything and everything was the differentiating factor between a good experience and a bad one. His dedication to infusing mundane gadgets and heretofore boring and drab computing with style, grace, and capital-B Beauty was instrumental in forging my understanding of art and my desire to make it. I am an artist today at least in part because Steve Jobs made me feel it was something worth doing.
Thank you, Steve.