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the person i was born to be | gapingvoid

the person i was born to be


When I lived in Chicago back in the early 1990s, I had a friend who owned an art gallery, David Leonardis.

One of the top people Dave represented was the hillbilly folk artist, The Reverend Howard Finster, best known for for his Talking Heads’ “Little Creatures” album cover.

Dave would always be telling me stories about this lovely person- this rather eccentric, crazy-ass artist, living out in the boondocks, who’d he go visit once or twice a year.

“This rather eccentric, crazy-ass artist, living out in the boondocks,” I remember telling myself, “I want that guy’s job one day.”

I admit it was a weird thing for a twenty-something advertising guy to be aspiring to, but I genuinely felt that this was where I wanted to be headed in the long run. I never really told anybody about it (until now, even). I just kept it to myself:  a strange dream which back then, I firmly believed would never happen.

Fast forward over 15 years later, and I’m starting to feel that I was wrong, that the dream is finally starting to come true. I’ve been in Alpine, Texas for just under two years, and I think I’m here to stay. My big-city days are well and truly over. Every day, I can feel myself becoming more and more like Howard.

I believe the next phase of my life has begun. I believe after many decades of being distracted by social convention, I’m finally becoming the person I was born to be.


[Backs­tory: About Hugh. E-mail Hugh. Twit­ter. News­let­ter. Book. Inter­view One. Inter­view Two. EVIL PLANS. Limi­ted Edi­tion Prints. Pri­vate Com­mis­sions. Cube Gre­na­des.]

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Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

Seth Godin
Best Selling Author

His work acknowledges the absurdity of workaday life, while also encouraging employees to respond with passion, creativity, and non-conformity...   MacLeod’s work is undeniably an improvement over the office schlock of yore. At its best, it’s more honest, and more cognizant of the entrepreneurial psyche, while still retaining some idealism.

The New Republic
Lydia Depillis

Last year my State of the College address was 76 slides loaded with data. This year it was 14 cartoons that were substantially more memorable.

Len Schlesinger
Former President, Babson College

"There are only two daily newsletters that I look forward to opening and reading every time they show up to my inbox: Seth Godin's and gapingvoid."

Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

In moments of indecision I glance at the wall [to Hugh's work] for guidance.

Brian Clark
  • Seth Godin
  • The New Republic
  • Len Schlesinger
  • Tony Hsieh
  • Brian Clark