Yesterday evening, shortly after I came home from work, I came to learn that a student and friend of mine, Angel “Inqy” Yates, had passed away. I found out about this incredibly sad news the same way I had learned about the deaths of Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, and Billy Mays.

Via Twitter.

At first I couldn’t believe it. But the grim reality became evident after I checked her DeviantArt page.

The news of Inqy’s death hit me incredibly hard.

Only a few short weeks ago, she had graduated from the Art Institute of Tampa. I was there the day she walked across the stage to receive her diploma. It was an exuberant moment. Regretfully, I never got a chance to congratulate her in person.

Inqy was not only an amazing student – (she excelled in every single course I taught) – she was also an supremely talented and prolific artist. Her talent was matched only by her super-human work ethic. She took 5 classes, balanced a full-time job and family, and set the bar in every course she took. She was an active participant in class, offering feedback and she would often go out of her way to help other students who needed it.

She had SO much going for her…

The world has been robbed of an amazingly talented artist. And a truly wonderful human being. My mind is still reeling from the news.

Rest in peace, Inqy. You were an amazing person, and you will be missed.