Think Different.

The news last night of Steve Jobs' passing affected me way more than I thought it would. I had to force myself to get off my iPhone because everyone's comments and all the videos shared were just too overwhelming to me. I lay awake last night thinking of how I could blog this without sounding too pretentious or making it all about me. I even debated not blogging it at all but then I thought, how could I not pay tribute to the man who changed the world? I didn't know Steve personally, I never met any of his family members or friends and I can't pretend to know what his effect was on the rest of the world. I only know how it affected my little world. So here it goes...

Growing up in Costa Rica in the 70s and 80s, I didn't have much (or any) exposure to computers. It wasn't really until I attended UCF and got my first job as a student assistant in the Art Department in 1989 that I had my first real experience with a computer. It was a Mac. I believe it was the Mac SE/30 but I may be wrong. My memory is kind of foggy. The screen was white and black (no colors) and I believe it only had two applications: MacWrite and MacPaint, but I thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread! I typed exams and reports for the professors on this machine. The year after that we got a Classic and I thought it just couldn't get any better than that. haha. In the years and decades that followed, I'm pretty sure I worked on almost every version of Mac available out there... I fondly remember the Quadra, the Performa, the iMac G3 (tangerine, of course!) and so many others.

Today, I can honestly (and proudly) say that MODKID is an Apple-based company. I am typing this on a MacBookPro 17". All of our fabric and sewing patterns are designed on a Mac. We communicate with each other on our iPhones. We entertain our kids with an iPad. We blast iTunes at Modkid HQ every day. Even our resident PC user (Jon) has an iMac on his desk for designing our website and email blasts.

One of my favorite Steve Jobs quotes is this one from his 2005 Stanford commencement speech:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

I believe this with all my heart and live it every day. I was lucky enough that my parents didn't force me to choose a career I wasn't passionate about. They never told me they wanted me to be a doctor or a lawyer. They never made me feel like I was making a poor choice. I knew from as far back as I can remember that I wanted to be an artist. I can't imagine my world without art. I can't imagine being or doing anything else.

The "Think Different." campaign is all about that. It's about the people who made a difference in the world because they were different. Because they were rebels. Because they were crazy enough to do what others were too scared to.

If there is anything I hope I pass on to my two daughters is this desire to do something that makes them feel good and proud inside... a desire to not conform to anyone else's opinions or expectations of them. A desire to follow their passion and intuition.

Rest in Peace, Steve Jobs. You were an inspiration to us all and you will be greatly missed.


  1. Thank you! Well said. I'm feeling the exact same way today :(

  2. Great post! Yes, Steve Jobs was one of our most creative innovators of our time. My husband still has his first Apple IIe. He's also a graphic designer ( like you ), and he chuckles when he looks back at how he used to re-create his mom's needlepoint art on his little mac pixel by pixel ( since apple didn't even have a drawing program back then. He's always been such a mac geek. So much so that he's kept all of his macs up in our attic for many many years, until I finally convinced him to donate them ( except for his Apple IIe). When my husband decided to drop out of college (he's a self taught artist) to pursue a career in graphic design, his family was not at all supportive ( sadly ). They blamed me for being his instigator, but all I really wanted was for him to pursue his passion and not settle for what was "expected" of him. That was over 20 years ago, & till this day, he's been doing what he loves to do ( & he even gets paid for it, imagine that! ). I finished my degree in poli-sci, but didn't pursue law school to help run our business and have no regrets. It's helped me stay creative myself in my own way. 5 years ago I revisited my own passion, which is sewing, and now my hubby is just as supportive.

  3. Thanks so much, Cindy and Marsi.

    Marsi, that's so cool that your hubby kept all of his old Macs. I wish I had... or at least some of the cooler ones! LOL! Well, I don't know if my parents would've been as supportive if I had decided to drop out of college. I think they were just supportive of my career choice. haha. I got my BFA in Photography and Graphic Design, but I never did work in the Photo field. I went straight into Graphic Design and I'm glad I did because it allowed me to segue nicely into fabric design and now I use Photo as my hobby and a supplement to our business (pattern covers, catalogs, etc.). I'm glad to hear you and your hubby are both following your passion... that's the way it should be! :)

  4. Great post, Patty. Like you, I found myself so sad to hear of his death. I read about it on my iPad, about to watch a Pixar movie with my kids. My first real job was as a tech writer; I had never seen or worked with anything like a Mac Plus and was heady with the power of changing fonts with abandon. (Sometimes too much abandon.) We all giggled over the flying toasters and Talking Moose. I think whether or not any of us knew Steve Jobs, his influense in all of our daily lives is irrefutable. Thanks again for the great post.

  5. Ohmygosh! The flying toasters! I almost forgot about that!!! Thanks so much for bringing it up, Slowish Food. AWESOME!

  6. Well said Patty. I think it is such a tribute to him that he affected people so much and on such a deep level that I think a lot of people feel the way you do today. He impacted so very many people in his life. He made things so much better for so many people. It is just crazy and so inspiring to see how far reaching one person's positive impact can be.

  7. Thanks for your comment, Mo. I completely agree. I am still mourning... days later... :(

  8. Very well said! Thank you!

  9. I, too, was surprised by my reaction to Steve Job's death. As a matter of fact, I wasn't quite able to put my finger on the real reason that I felt quite so affected by it.

    Reading your post, I now realize the answer. The support that your parents gave you is special. The fact that you were allowed to be who you were meant to be is a gift. Unfortunately, I did not have the same experience. Through love, my parents pushed me in a safe direction and it did cause me many, many years of anguish. Only as an adult was I able to find the courage to break away and follow who I needed to be. That is what Mr Jobs represents and that is why I felt such a reaction.

    I want you to know that I have followed your inspirational story for a long time, now, and I thank you for your strength and positive attitude towards hard work and family values. It gives me strength to know that I am not alone in living a dream.

  10. Lisa, your comment touched me deeply. Thank you so much. I followed your link and checked out your blog and just wanted to say that you should be very proud of what you have accomplished and that you are using your creative abilities to make so many people happy. That's the way is should be! Keep up the great work. :)



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