“remember who you are”

["Small Places". The cartoon I sent out to the "Hugh's Daily Cartoon" list a day or two ago...]

The unofficial tag-line for the gaping Gallery is “Remember Who You Are”. We’ve been using it internally for a while now. It goes back to what I said on the Cube Grenade page:

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.

My adver­ti­sing buddy, Vinny Warren, grew up in a Roman Catho­lic hou­sehold in Ire­land. He was telling me that his parents would always have a few reli­gious icons han­ging on the wall somewhere. Pic­tu­res of Saints, Mary & Baby Jesus, that kind of thing.

Why? Says Vinny, “To remind us who we are.”

Art that reminds you who you are. Exactly. What applies in Catho­lic hou­seholds also applies in pla­ces of busi­ness. Sha­red Mea­ning. Exactly. Social Objects. Exactly.

My work has never been about getting the approval of the New York art gallery mafia. My work has always been about “What Really Matters” to people, especially to my peers.

Which is is why I’ve not minded sending out schamaltzy, cutey-pie “Love” themed cartoons on my email list this last week.

Valentine’s Day might be corny, it might be crassly commercial, it might be vastly overdone…

But Romantic Love is important. It matters. And by taking the trouble to send your loved one a Valentine’s card or whatever, you’re reminding both yourself and the other person that yes, you haven’t forgotten that it matters.

Hence why it fits in nicely with “Remember who you are”.

Once Valentine’s Day is over I’ll return to my usual heartless, cynical shtick, of course. Just in case y’all were worried…

[Bonus Link:] “When life gets really tough, just remember the white pebble. Just remember who you really are. Just remember the person that only God can see.”

[P.S. Big Props to Vinny for helping to move my thinking forward. Dinner is on me next time, Buddy!]

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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