Classes resuming marks the end of winter break and the beginning of a new semester. Unfortunately 2016 has had a rocky start, particularly in regards to the passing of legends. International superstar David Bowie passed January 10th and you could almost hear the entire world crying out. Thousands of people from all over the world paid tribute to the late singer. Personally on my Facebook feed, I saw hundreds of status updates, videos shared, stories told, and art created to commemorate the loss of such an icon.
And today I learned of the passing of Alan Rickman. Being a huge Harry Potter fan myself, hearing of his passing was deeply saddening. A strange thing about taking part in pop culture things such as the phenomenon of Harry Potter gives you a personal connection to the stars, even if you have never actually met them. Hearing the news of Mr. Rickman’s passing was like losing a childhood friend.
I know you must be reading this thinking, “Okay, but what does this have to do with design?”
Having experienced my fair share of grief, I have felt an urge to create something as a sort of coping mechanism after. Apparently this feeling is not exclusive to myself. Today the Alan Rickman tag on Tumblr is filled with hundreds of people creating gifsets, graphics, drawings, and written posts as a way of remembering the actor’s many accomplishments.
People have always said “I want to be remembered after I die.” We want to accomplish something great that will outlast time and death itself that validates our lives. Some people create art, others music. Some people create families to pass their traits, DNA, or what-have-you on to.
But what happens when people we care about die? This, I think, is what drives that creative instinct I mentioned earlier. We want to create on their behalf and send out a message that their lives mattered.
Whether they were a musical icon, a star in one of the most beloved book-to-movie franchises ever, or someone from your own life, hopefully it can be a comfort to you to create something in their honour, on their behalf, to help them outlast time.