Digital Emotion is Still Emotion
Today was an odd day at best. I'm in NYC for User Experience training and learning a lot. After the first full-day course of this training, I took off on the R train to Brooklyn. I was headed to Brooklyn to meet up with a friend, Andy, that I haven't seen in a very long time. Over the years we played music together, toured through a few states in various bands and hung out a lot. Like with a large amount of things in my life, including my Wife, music brought us together.Andy is now living in Brooklyn and working in Manhattan. A super different life than what we both knew of North Carolina and growing up there, but he seems super happy here and is going to do huge things.
Along with this comforting reconnection in this extremely overwhelming area, I was notified of a disconnection of sorts. A long time freelance client, solid dude and overall great person to have in one's life lost his fight with cancer today.
At 4:25pm, Dominic "Dom" Mancuso passed away. The world lost a tough soul. Tough is an understatement. He took absolutely no crap from anyone, had a strong mindset for business, getting things done and putting 110% into every venture he started. He was driven.
Roughly eight years ago, I designed a small project for Dom's MMA Fighting Forum project. It was a little out of my realm of design and was hesitant to take a project where my style of design may not have been appropriate. I took it and did the best I could. He loved my concepts and we began an outstanding designer/client relationship.
Over the years, I designed and built a small website for his clothing line, a much larger website for his high-end wheel business and other various "consulting" work. As strong-minded as he always was, he was always willing to listen to me as the expert. There were a few times in particular that a small project from Dom helped with unexpected expenses on my end. He knew some things had come up and even threw in a little extra. His note within the payment was "thought this would help out a little more. keep your head up." Simple and to the point. That's how he rolled.
Similar to music bringing tremendous things into my life, design has done the same thing. I've travelled the country for both and have met a ton of great people. I've had a lot of freelance clients and love each and every one of them but Dominic was the absolute perfect client. Many would argue there is no "perfect client" but that's simply because people like Dom are rare. Very rare.
There's one odd thing about it all. I never met Dominic in person. It didn't matter. We built trust, we built a solid business relationship and things just clicked. Since January of 2010, Dominic has fought like hell to overcome cancer. In and out of the hospital for three years, he would keep me updated, keep his businesses going and stay dedicated to his business but more importantly, the people around him, no matter the extent of being a "face to face" relationship. So with this, digital emotion is still emotion.
All in a day's time, I've learned even more about user experience, reconnection and loss. All the while, I've put a stick in the sand to climb higher, go farther and be stronger.
Rest In Peace, brother.
Dominic "Dom" Mancuso November 2nd, 1985 - March 17th, 2013