Last week, my former high school art teacher, Del Newbigging passed away after a 6 month battle with cancer.

He was my first art mentor and probably the best anyone could ever have. Anyone else fortunate enough to have had a class or lesson with Del would agree that he was a great influence on his students.

It was because of Del Newbigging that I was well prepared for the start of my animation career. I was fortunate to have a variety of visual art training before entering Sheridan College. Even today, I carry over many of the lessons and skills I learned throughout my art classes from high school.

One of my particularly favourite Del sayings was “Everybody has the same 24 hours. It just depends on what you do with them”. He could be tough sometimes, but it was a means to an end – it made everyone better.

After retirement from teaching, Del did the thing he loved to do – create art.

It was only in the recent past that I managed to catch up with Del. It was amazing to see how far we both had come, both in our artistic works and in our lives. He was no longer the teacher I knew, but a true artist of the world. I was no longer the young boy looking for a road to follow.

I am the person I am, because of Del Newbigging.

RIP and God bless you.

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