“hugh’s portable studio”

This is everything I use to make my trademark “Cartoons Drawn On The Back of Business Cards”. Clockwise from left:

1. The Marfa bag. A small, military surplus bag I bought at the Marfa Book Co. about a year ago. Lots of pockets. Nice and sturdy.

2. Vinyl business card wallet. Where I keep the drawings after I’ve completed them. Ten dollars or so from Staples.

3. Aluminium business card holder. Holds about fifty blank cards. Bought it at Muji in London circa 2006. All the cards are cut from Strathmore Bristol 300 Series.

4. Silver Ipod Shuffle & headphones. Good for blocking out unwanted noise etc. Bought that from the Miami Apple Store on Lincoln Road. Current playlist consists of mainly Steve Reich and Mice Parade.

5. Moleskine blank sketchbook. Don’t use it too much, but it comes in handy for scribbling stuff down on occasion.

6. A tin of Peppermint Altoids. Always lovely to have.

7. Small X-Acto cutting mat. I don’t use it for cutting; I use it as a portable drawing surface. Not too big so it’s good for drawing on small cafe tables and whatnot.

8. Koh-I-Noor Universal India Ink. Highly permanent. One small bottle lasts for months.

9. My pens. Bundled with an elastic band. Four Kohinoor Rapidographs [0.3mm & 0.35mm], One Papermate “Tuff Stuff” Eraser Stick [good for cleaning smudges etc].

10. Large plastic box of blank business cards. About 250 of them for backup.

And that’s it. Nothing else goes into the Marfa bag- I like to keep it as pared down as possible. I see the bag as a sort of “portable studio”, which travels with me everywhere I go. Sure, I use other things in my office- a Motion digital tablet etc- but what fits into the Marfa bag is THE cornerstone. This is where the adventure starts; this is how it has always done so for the last decade or so.

Thanks and Godspeed.

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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