Goodnight Classroom, Hello World

We are so excited to announce our new full-time member of the Cathy Heck Studio team. Julianna Heck. Yes, she is related. Julianna (sister to Ellen and Margaret) has been working for the studio part-time for two years. When she first began her college career, she was headed down the athlete path. But, lucky for us, and although it was hard at the time, we are so happy that she set aside her lacrosse stick to pick up a pencil and a mouse. Graduating with a graphic design degree this weekend, Julianna will continue to help us develop new collections, as well as use her skill with all things digital to update our shop site. (And, we might still utilize her fast legs at trade shows to run back to the room and get more flyers.)

For Julianna’s first official assignment, we have asked her to write a guest blog post.


Goodnight Classroom
by Guest Blogger, Julianna Heck

The day that I thought would never come is finally here.

It’s over. After two college degrees, one high school diploma, one 8th grade certificate, a couple of gold stars, and several huge sighs of relief from my teachers throughout the years, I am finished with school. In a few days, I will be graduating from VCUarts with a graphic design degree. In order to graduate from the graphic design program at VCUarts, all graduating seniors are required to present their work in a collaborative show.


Here is my display. I presented a piece inspired by a children’s book I wrote and illustrated for one of my classes, The Apartment at the End of Stitchington Lane. I chose one of the characters and recreated him to be the size of my allotted space within the gallery, and included three copies of the book, so that viewers could read the masterpiece if they wanted, since it’s not published … yet.


Opening night is now over. The angst-riddled days preceding the show have now transformed into feelings of complete shock. The first-grade me would have been so excited for this time in my life to come and go. However, things have changed since then. I can now read, which is great. And mixing up letters while reading doesn’t bother me. I now view my Dyslexia and ADD mind as a ‘gift.’ (Well, my mom and dad do, at least). I didn’t realize it was really the last time I would be in a classroom until thirty minutes before my last class was about to end. I looked up, and instantly felt like I needed to say goodbye to everything in the room. Not just the people, but the things too. So, my inner Goodnight Moon came out.

Goodbye desks.
Goodbye tests.
Goodbye to all my midterm reviews.

Goodbye pens.
And to the stinky bathrooms.

Goodbye fluorescent lights.
And to the janitor who works at night.

Goodbye teachers.
And to the noiseless speakers.

Goodbye art school.
Goodbye classmates.
It’s time to put on my big girl shoes.

Part of me thought I should be sad. I remember asking myself, “Are you sad? Should you pretend to be sad? How about a tear?” The answer is, “No!” Hallllelujah! I made it. I did it! It is time to move on to new adventures in the cutest place on earth–Cathy Heck Studio, of course!

P.S. I know this isn’t a letter, but if it was, I would like to say thank you to all of my teachers, homework enforcers, mentors, coaches, friends and family over the years who have watched me struggle and now succeed. Your help has made me who I am today and I am so grateful that I wasn’t ever left behind. (Mentally that is, because if this was a foot race, we all know who would win).





  1. Brittany December 12, 2013

    So proud of you Jules! Watch out world!

  2. Elizabeth December 12, 2013

    Oh, Jules…you were the gift to all of us! Being a member of your “pit crew” was always fun and exciting and rewarding. I’ll always be watching for “what’s next” for you, but I hope you enjoy this precious moment of accomplishment. You had a great team, but you always set the tone for us and let us know who was in charge – as it should have been. Onward and upward, talented, vivacious, silly, and kind, Jules…the world needs you!

  3. Lisa Giberson December 12, 2013

    What an inspiration you are and have been to our family. The world needs more creative minds like you!

  4. Cecily December 13, 2013

    Hallelujah, you made it! There was never a moment of doubt from any of your fan base that you would. I hope that the first-grade you never goes away, and you feel every bit of excitement come out that this moment deserves.

  5. Sharon Wilson December 13, 2013

    Julianna, The image of you that I hold in my heart is an adorable, curious, wiggly, funny, wildly creative, first grader. And I see you are just the same – only taller. Congratulations and best wishes on the next leg of your adventure.

  6. Doug Rucker December 13, 2013

    Congratulations Julianna: You have achieved so much since First Grade. I love the VCUarts program and have hired several grads from there over the years. This will be your last “guest” post on the blog. Next one will be as a team member. Way to go. Do great work. Oh, and give your folks a hug from me.



  7. Hilary Carlson December 13, 2013

    HOORAY for Jules. Of course, I never doubted your success…because I knew the rest of the tribe. I like that your character is even taller than all of us. Enjoy Austin and your wonderful workplace. Merry, merry.
    Hilary Carlson

  8. Malia December 14, 2013

    Oh Jules…you are a gift to everyone who gets to be part of your life. You have a smile that keeps giving and a heart with no end. 9th grade with you was full of laughs and encouragement (I feel certain those wouldn’t be the words you would use!), but never once was there a doubt from those around you of your success and your gifts. To now have you realize them and celebrate them makes my heart so happy! Goodnight to school and Hello World!

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