gapingvoid is interested in start-up culture, because changing business for the better is what we’re about; that’s what Social Object Factory is about. We live and breathe it; we help everyone from lone entrepreneurs, to mid-sizers, to Fortune 500’s do the same. Check out our work here.
We create art that helps companies kick ass, end of story.
I always like drawing a new “Love Cartoon”. That being said, I don’t like drawing them too often, because then they get formulaic; and Love should not be formulaic.
The good news is, over the years they’ve added up. We now have seventy three “Love Prints” avialbale in our gapingvoid Love Store, just in time for Valentine’s Day gifts.
Seventy Three. Wow. That’s a lot.
And while we’re at it, we’re also trying to stretch the meaning of Valentine’s Day. Like I wrote earlier in “Love Matters”,
… why can’t Valentines’ Day (a big day in our calendar, already) be an opportunity to go beyond Romance, to communicate to those who matter to you, that they matter, that you care, and that we are all in this together?
We are nothing without love… We’ll do anything and everything to find it, and for a good reason. It truly completes us.
Countless songs and poems have said it all… But only Hugh could turn it into four words.
“Love, regardless of cost”
Simple, and perfect for your Valentine…
The little red heart represents Love. The squiggly black lines represent all the other external crap that gets in the way, be it other people, other problems. You know, the stuff that tries to swamp your boat on a daily basis.
From I personal perspective, I think love begins with the decision TO love, not waiting around for the right person, job or idea to come along and tick of all the magic unicorn boxes.
Sure, it can be painful. Sure, it can all go horribly wrong.
But as I get older, how much I loved (people, jobs, causes etc) matters increasaingly more to me than how much I was loved in return.
The groovy cats at Rackspace asked me to design a new t-shirt for them; this cartoon was the first (but not the last) idea I came up with.
I know it embarrasses the grown-ups to say this, but… Love matters in Business, as much as anywhere else. Rackspace knows this as much as any client I’ve ever worked with, small or large.
Nothing wrong with connecting ‘Love’ with $1 billion in sales… Without Love, their whole “Fanatical Support” thing (something they built their whole company around) would be impossible. And I doubt there are any high-ups at Rackspace who would disagree with me.
It’s nothing to do with Romantic love, of course. Love equals passion, equals care, equals real meaning and good work etc. Exactly.
This t-shirt gig got us thinking at gapingvoid Central, why can’t Valentines’ Day (a big day in our calendar, already) be an opportunity to go beyond Romance, to communicate to those who matter to you, that they matter, that you care, and that we are all in this together?
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.
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…]
During our conversation, while I was moaning and groaning about the relentless day-to-day pressure of being a small-time entrepreneur, Jerry, in his kind, generous, lucid and laser-focus way, reminded me that in spite of my trials and tribulations, somehow in the past year I had managed to morph from a “marketing consultant” to full-time artist.
I guess that’s exactly what has been happening. I don’t quite know how I managed to pull that off– although long hours, low overheads and a superb business partner certainly helped.
Jerry then talked about his own career evolution– from successful New York venture capitalist, to private business coach with a thriving practice.
Jerry told me that he simply creamed off the part of being a VC that he liked the most– i.e. helping good people make a difference– and forgot about the rest.
During this conversation, I suddenly realized that I’m now trying to do EXACTLY what Jerry has already managed to do for himself. Take the cream off the top, leave the milk behind.
I can think of worse ways to spend the next couple of years. You?
With Valentine’s Day being on Sunday, and my next “Hugh’s Daily Frickin’ Cartoon” not being sent out till Monday morning, I’m happy to report that the run of Valentine-inspired schmaltz that I’ve been bombarding my e-mail list with these last two weeks, is now over. Monday morning I’m going back to “Edgy”. You have been warned.
Love is the easiest thing in the world to do, until it isn’t. Until we get overwhelmed by “Stuff”. The black lines in the cartoon represent overwhelming “Stuff”. The red lines represent “Love”, fighting like hell to keep alive, in spite of overwhelming odds. We’ve all been there.…
I don’t know why, but I really like this one. Maybe because I identify ALL TOO WELL with the wee red bit, trapped there in the corner.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, we thought we’d do a series of prints for all you love junkies out there.
Voila! The ‘Love’ Series. Order them now and get them in plenty of time before February 14th. Exactly!
You did the chocolate and flowers thing last year, anyway…
This cartoon series first came out of the Stormhoek “Love Tour” three years ago, when I was doing some Valentine’s promo for wine at Tesco’s, the large British supermarket chain. That was a very crazy two weeks; watch the video if you don’t believe me.
And Ladies, please always remember The Golden Rule: Men Are Stupid. So if you want your man to get you one of these beauties for Valentine’s Day, do not assume he and his walnut-sized brain will be smart enough to figure it out on their own. Best to drop him a hint. Maybe kick him in the shins. Or something.
I’ll be sending these cartoons out on my “Hugh’s Daily Cartoon” mailing list for the next week or two, then the plan is to do something less “cute and cuddly” after that. Rock on.
[One of the Stormhoek cartoon labels we’re doing for Valentine’s Day, 2008. Click on image to enlarge etc.] [IN OTHER NEWS: I’ll be in Paris in December, speaking at Lew Web 3. It’s quite an impressive list of speakers. Several people attending I’ve been wanting to meet for a couple of years now…]
It’s that time of the year again, when folks like me in the wine business start thinking about what to do for Valentine’s Day.
What we’ve done at Stormhoek is come up with some Valentine’s Day-themed cartoon labels, part of the much larger Stormhoek Cartoon Series we’re currently developing [Blue Monster Reserve is part of that].
So in the back of my mind, a wee voice is telling me, “Hey Kids, let’s do something interesting!“
Fair enough. Only, what constitutes “interesting”? I have a few ideas. How about yourself? I’m looking for input at the mo’. Please feel free to leave a comment below or send me an e-mail. Thanks.
[UPDATE:] Rik from Holland just sent me the following e-mail. Rock on.
Hugh. just read your post about the valentine’s ideas. Some thoughts:
Why not create a gift set of a nice box designed by you, with special valentines edition wine and a postcard on it (on a lovely ribbon of course) with one of your cartoons. Then create a website that lets people send one of these to the object of their affection, and lets them put a personal message on the card.
Shipping these things etc might take some doing, but you’ve got time to arrange for that
Or you could just send over the card and arrange for it to be a coupon for a bottle of wine at select wine grocers. But that may be slightly less romantic.
On a side note, seeing your whole plan to create social objects of/around your wines, why not do a quirky little wine bar in London. The city could use some decent ones, and this leaves you with a lot more options to do remarkable things. Tastings, in-house geek dinners, and when you make it cool enough (e.g. hire an exciting architect to do the interior) it will be a social object in itself.
imho. Have fun!
I like the greeting card idea. The second idea I’m less keen on [we’re in the wine business, not the bar business], although we did think about doing something like that in the past. If we were to open up our own bar, we would make it like Bedales in Spittalfields, only with free WiFi. Secondly, we’d open it in SF/Silicon Valley, not London.
In 2008 I plan to do a LOT more socializing over there…