As much as I struggle with what social feeds have become, yesterday was an example of when I love them.
Striking portraits that he captured of others and heartfelt testimonies of Claude Shade overtook my Facebook feed. It was the most beautiful tribute to our dear friend.
I started my advertising career behind the curve. And to step into GSP during its agency of the years/decade run, it was incredibly intimidating. Claude cut through all of that and was a big part of helping me feel like I could make an impact.
As a then seemingly fish out of water visual maker in the strategy department, Claude helped me understand and believe that I didn’t need to do things the traditional way— as he was anything and everything but traditional himself.
Claude was a role model, a mentor from afar, not one that I leaned on daily or was very close to but someone to aspire to become— a hero.
We didn’t work closely together, but after reading everyone’s stories about him it makes sense as to why he always wanted to help me and everyone around him.
He didn’t care about your title, what you did before or where you came from.
Claude just cared about wanting you to put your best and most authentic self out there to the world, be it something you made or how you were connecting with him through his lens.
He had the magic of being able to extract the grace in all of us. And with swift wizardry, preserve that perfect moment in time.
Even in his passing, his spirit and raw human ability is what united and still unites all of us that were fortunate to know him.
May he rest in peace and may we always find the courage to be more like Claude.