Hugh MacLeod (“Gaping Void”)

Hugh MacLeod is an artist who first made his name with “cartoons drawn on the back of business cards”.

More accurately, he is a cartoonist, sells limited-edition prints, authored Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity (listed as one of Amazon’s Top-10 Editors Picks, Business Books 2009), serves as CEO of Stormhoek USA (which markets South African wine in the States), and also consults, speaks and draws private commissions.

As his artist’s statement reads,

“I’m inte­res­ted in how art affects what some peo­ple call “The Real World”- the work­place, the world of work, the world of busi­ness. That’s what the Cube Gre­nade idea is all about. Art that reminds you who you are. Exactly. Sha­red Mea­ning. Exactly. Social Objects. Exactly.”

Dipping into his story further, Hugh wrote:

“When I first lived in Manhattan in December, 1997 I got into the habit of doodling on the back of business cards, just to give me something to do while sitting at the bar. The format stuck.

All I had when I first got to Manhattan were 2 suitcases, a couple of cardboard boxes full of stuff, a reservation at the YMCA, and a 10-day freelance copywriting gig at a Midtown advertising agency.

My life for the next couple of weeks was going to work, walking around the city, and staggering back to the YMCA once the bars closed. Lots of alcohol and coffee shops. Lot of weird people. Being hit five times a day by this strange desire to laugh, sing and cry simultaneously. At times like these, there’s a lot to be said for an art form that fits easily inside your coat pocket.

The freelance gig turned into a permanent job. I stayed. The first month in New York for a newcomer has this certain amazing magic about it that is indescribable. Incandescent lucidity. However long you stay in New York, you pretty much spend the rest of your time there trying to recapture that feeling. Chasing Manhattan Dragon. I suppose the whole point of the cards initially was to somehow get that buzz onto paper.

Although I haven’t lived in New York since 1999, it still lives in me. Far too much, some would say”

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