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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Meet Hugh MacLeod

I'm a cartoonist.
I sell limited-edition prints.
I'm CEO of Stormhoek USA, which markets South African wine in the States.
I also draw private commissions.

I've also written a book:

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…
The ori­gi­nals are drawn on either busi­ness cards or bris­tol board cut to the same size i.e. 3.5″ x 2″. I use mostly a 0.3mm rapi­do­graph pen. Occa­sio­nally I’ll use other things– pen­cil, water­co­lor, ball­point etc, but not often.

Check out his website:

and get to know Hugh -- unless you want to take his advice and ignore him (as well as everybody).

At least sign up for his Newsletter: A Crazy­De­ran­ged­Fool [CDF for short] is, like me, some­body who has the teme­rity to aspire to work in a way that pro­du­ces both joy, mea­ning and con­tri­bu­tion for both them and others, while also paying the bills. It’s about crea­ti­vity, it’s about fin­ding mea­ning, but it’s also about living in the real world. That’s the rea­lity I want to live in, and from the vast quan­ti­ties of e-mails and com­ments I get from y’all, that seems to be your game plan, as well.

Sir Bowie


  1. looks cool - signed up!

    some of the art on his site is hilarious, some bizarre, some touching

    thanks for another way to fill my time...


  2. Oh yes indeedy...I liked this a lotta Lot. Have signed up...:))

    loved the list in the Book which i now might buy...( clever trick to give you 25%, heh, and leave you wanting more ) it polarized a lot of the things that have lain in a dusty corner of the loft of my mind..

    Sir D ( gettin' tuit ) of O

  3. I have always been a Crazy Deranged Fool, now I'm getting a newsletter to confirm my prognosis. Love the "Full of Shit Ideas" card! Reminds me of countless stupid staff meetings of my past.

    Sir Hook Who is Now Free to Create on His Own Terms of Warrick

  4. Yea, I've been in a few of those meetings:

    Boss = I have just this one shit idea, so I'm really open to hearing all your creative ideas.

    Staff = Pouring out tons of creative ideas.

    Boss = I love them! But, what we're going to do is (my idea).

    Staff = Shit on again.