Happy gapingvoid Birthday! My Blog Turns Eleven…

Over the weekend, gapingvoid.com turned eleven years old.

I won’t dwell on it too much, other than to say,

1. Yes, it has been an amazing trip,

2. Thank you very much for all the love over the years and,

3. Looking back, I consider “Personal Faves” (2001) to be the best thing on it that I ever wrote. Written as I was setting the blog up, it set the tone for what came after- “How To Creative”, “The Hughtrain”, “Evil Plans”, “Freedom Is Blogging”, then the actual gapingvoid business itself, the “cube grenades” and the great team of people I work with etc- it all came from that. And I  honestly, honestly doubt that I would had come this far without it:

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.


An artist is quite a f*****-up thing to be, and to be honest I’m not sure if I would recom­mend it to any­body. Still, in my collec­tion there are a cou­ple of exam­ples that, in some sick and twis­ted way, make the whole thing seem worthwhile. For the first five minu­tes, at least…

Anyway, for those who hadn’t seen it before, I thought it was worth sharing [Here’s the link again]. Again, thanks for all the love, and Godbless. Now I have some more cartoons to draw. Rock on.


  1. O man. You are not only the inspiration for art and marketing world, you have programmers in your audience. The thing I like about your art, it’s not about the message that has some kind of expiration date. They are universal. I already see far future where people are using Steve Jobs quotes and yours too. It’s not about the money, it’s not about the popularity. You are leaving a huge legacy.

    Thank you Hugh.

  2. Kathy Sierra says:

    Thank-YOU for all you have given US! And Happy blog birthday. I would never have had anybody reading my blog were it not for yours (I first dipped my toe in the blog water here at Gaingvoid). Between this post (well, re-reading your faves) and your new book reminding me of what I lost when I quit blogging, I’m nearly inspired to start again.

    You’ve inspired so so so many of us, and here you are, still doing that.

  3. Such an overachiever: a new venture (social object factory), a new book, and now the birthday of your blog! What’s next? Oh, I know – world domination.

  4. Andrew Paterson says:


    First of all, thank you for all your gifts.

    You have and will continue to be an inspiration for thousands of people (and probably many more as time and sharing goes on); your angle on life as a whole is unique and I can only urge you to keep it up.

    I guess there’s no better way to thank you than saying that I will continue to spread your drawings and words of wisdom as far as I can reach and will pursue scouting my email inbox each day in search for your bots email.

    Once again, bravo and thumbs up !

    Andrew 😉

  5. Yep – got that in my office ‘Hugh’ collection.

  6. 7 already! So your blog is in first grade already!!

    We were talking at your Videochat event and you mentioned a friend that did a post-it show a couple of years ago.

    Would you mind passing me his name? I want to profile a couple of artists that work with post-it notes.

    Many thanks


  7. LOL happy birthday!

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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