March 29, 2011
Cartoons drawn on the back of business cards
March 29, 2011
March 27, 2011
January 30, 2011
Like Loic and I discussed many years ago, the best thing about being a blogger is the people you get to meet. It’s also true of being a cartoonist, as well. Cartooning opens doors.
Three weeks ago, the whole cartoonist thing somehow led me to Santa Monica, CA, sitting in the office of Dr. Gian Gonzaga, PhD.
We sat there and talked for about 3 hours. It was one of the most fascinating conversations I’ve had in… like, forever.
Gian’s research, both in academia and for eHarmony, asks very simple questions: What makes for successful couples? What makes for good long-term relationships?
And yeah, as someone who spends a lot of time every year designing fine art Valentines, I find the whole thing absolutely fascinating.
The one big takeaway from the conversation?
It’s called “eHarmony” for a reason. It’s not called “ePassion” or “eSex” or eHookUp or “eRomance” or “eOneNightStand”.
True love, lasting love, cannot exist without some sort of inherent “Harmony” in the relationship. And no amount of sex or passion or romance or money can make up for that. Hence the cartoon above [I actually drew that cartoon well over a year ago, long before I met up with eHarmony. Great minds think alike etc.].
And so eHarmony tries to match single people in a “harmonious” way, to give them a better chance at being in a happy relationship. Visit their site and dig around a little, you’ll see what I mean.
Another big takeaway from Gian?
People are designed for harmony.
We’ve evolved over millions of years to be a certain way. And if we act in such way that is not “in harmony” with this long-term evolved self, we will make ourselves unhappy.
We are made to be good people. We are made to love. We are especially made to love our children. We are made to care about one another (at least in close proximity). We are made to live good lives. We are basically programmed for goodness, and not evil.
The things that make us happy are the same things that made our prehistoric ancestors happy. Our true nature is hard-wired; our true nature has been evolved over millions of years. No amount of “Drugs & Hookers” is going to make you happy, no matter how much money you spend on them. Nature simply didn’t make you that way.
Funny: The day after our meeting, I then found myself in Las Vegas, attending CES on behalf of one of my clients, Intel.
It was REALLY interesting to be in Vegas the day after Dr. Gian. Walking around the bars and casinos, I witnessed a COMPLETELY different worldview from eHarmony’s, to say the least.
I really, really, really enjoyed my meeting with Dr. Gian. I left his office feeling totally energized with my brain on fire. Whatever your take on eHarmony may be, I’m always elevated by people who, in their own way, tried to build their lives and their work around something that isn’t trivial, something that actually matters both to our individual selves and humanity in general. Something not enough of us do. Good luck to him, I say.
[PS: I’m doing a wee Valentine cartoon promo with eHarmony. Watch this space…]
August 3, 2010
[Recently I completed one of my most ambitious pieces in a while– a private commission from Tara, for her boyfriend, Remi’s birthday. Go here to check out all the photos and the complete backstory.]
Though I haven’t talked about it too much on the blog, yes, I do private commissions. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to discuss further, Thanks.
April 5, 2010
Are you a “Waker”?
If the answer is no, I’m sorry to hear that. Wakers are my favorite people.
A waker is someone who is very good at waking other people up from their metaphorical slumber.
Some people just have the gift. Being around them or their work just makes you feel more alive, more inspired, more motivated, more awake. The best wakers will make you do crazy-ass things, like quit your boring job and start your own business, write that song, move to Thailand, forgive that someone who once hurt you, or finally tell that girl that you love her.
A waker reminds you on a constant basis, just how alive you really are. Just how much human potential you really have inside of you. And there’s something about their influence that makes you utterly unable to go back to “sleep” ever again, in spite of your best efforts.
Wakers can be great artists– Jeff Buckely, Picasso, Harper Lee, Beethoven, Charlie Parker, Leo Tolstoy, Tilda Swinton, Louis Armstrong, Ralph Steadman, Saul Steinberg etc– but they don’t have to be.
Wakers can be great spiritual leaders– Jesus, Gandhi, Mohammed, Buddha, The Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King, Joseph Campbell etc– but they don’t have to be.
Wakers can be great public figures– Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill, Simone de Beauvoir, Diana Vreeland, Carl Sagan, John Peel, Susan Sontag, Alistair Cooke, Margaret Thatcher, etc– but they don’t have to be.
I know great wakers who are bartenders, bus drivers, teachers, receptionists, plumbers. Theirs is a gift, not a job title.
If you are a waker, I’m happy for you. There is no better way to spend one’s life than being a waker, I truly believe that.
The human race needs you, like flowers need sunshine. The human race would die out within three generations without you. Thanks for being here. Seriously.
If you’re not a waker, don’t you think you should be? Serious question.
[The “Remember Who You Are” archive is here.]
October 7, 2009
“Commitment” [First published here.]
Within 1 week of meeting this person you realize that not only have you found your soulmate, but you’ve found your soulmate who likes to have sex 4 times a day in the bed, on the dining table, on the kitchen floor, in the changing rooms at Bloomingdale’s etc.
Within 2 weeks you’re already talking about moving in together.
Within 3 weeks you’re talking about having babies together.
Within 4 weeks you realize this person is a complete psychopath.
Within 5 weeks this person also thinks you’re a complete psychopath.
Within 6 weeks you’re sitting at a restaurant with an old friend who is giving you the “How come you only call me when you’re single” speech.
Last night I was in the West Village bar I drew that cartoon in, back in 1998. The cartoon ended up in the book…
[Backstory: About Hugh. E-mail Hugh. Work with Hugh. Twitter. Cartoon Archive. Newsletter. Book. Interview One. Interview Two. EVIL PLANS. Limited Edition Prints. Essential Reading: “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About ‘Cube Grenades’ But Were Afraid To Ask.”]
March 2, 2009
[Click on Paypal button to make $100 deposit etc.]
I first heard 1 Corinthians 13 read out in church when I was about nine or ten. Like a lot of things in the Bible, as a kid I found it puzzling at first. And over the years, it kept on giving new meaning to me. It never got old.
Paul’s most-quoted passage from his letter to the Corinthians is one of those things in the Bible, like Psalm 23, that just gets better and better, the longer you live.
In Anglican circles, it’s pretty much required reading at weddings. I remember when they read it at my sister’s wedding, ten years ago, and how much happiness and depth it added to the occasion.
Anyone who has ever had it read out at their own wedding will know– it’s powerful stuff. Which is what inspired me to make a drawing out of it.
When we asked people for feedback on the next gapingvoid print, “We Need To Talk” came out the winner. It’s now in production and the pre-orders are now sold out.
That being said, there was a lot of backchannel interest with “Corinthians”, as well. It was by no means a distant second. Not to mention, it was a damn fine design and the message is timeless.
So what they heck, we decided to make Corinthians available as a limited edition, as well.
Here are the details:
1. It’s going to be a smaller edition. Instead of an edition of 85 like with “Bluetrain” and “WNTT” We’re doing an edition of 50. [UPDATE: BEcasue demand for this print far exceeded our expectations, we made it an edition of 75 in the end.]
2. Once its printed, it’ll retail for $450 [plus shipping & handling]. Like last time, you can pre-order the first 30 in the edition at a discount, i.e. $250 [plus shipping and handling]. To secure your order, please use the PayPal button above and make a $100 deposit. The PayPal form will ask you for all your details [including your preferred shipping address], which of course we’ll have for our records. Why are we asking for a deposit? To weed out the spammers, flakes and trolls out there [This is the Internet, after all], leaving only committed buyers in the mix. No other reason. This shall be our standard practice from now on.
3. The print will be ready to ship in 4 – 6 weeks. We’ll send you another PayPal for the outstanding invoice once the prints are packed and ready to be shipped.
4. The print will be the same size as the others [i.e. large, approx 21“x32”], hand-signed by me, and it goes without saying, the same high-quality inks and papers will be used.
5. If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me an email at email@example.com, and either Laura or Me will answer them.
I’m excited about this one. This Biblical passage has always meant a great deal to me, and as I’ve been delighted to find out via blog comments and emails, it turns out it means a great deal to a lot of other gapingvoid readers, as well. So it’s looking like it’s going to be a great little project.
Once Again, thank you for your love and support. Rock on.
[PS: To keep up-to-date with the prints’ goings-on, please subscribe to my “Crazy, Deranged Fools” Newsletter, Thanks.]