With reverence

[Originally posted Sept., 2004]

There are a lot of great marketing books and blogs out there. That being said, I still think the best marketing stories come from personal, first-hand experience.

Here’s a favorite one of mine:

Back when I lived in New York there was this fabulous, crazy-ass juice bar on West Houston called Lucky’s Juice Joint. I think it’s no longer there. I hear it’s moved.

It was the most out-of-place business south of 14th Street. Hard to describe, except as a “hardcore hippie haven”. Just had this weird, crazy, psychedelic-rainforest vibe. But damn, it had the best juice in town. It was amazing stuff. Tasted like the fruits and vegetables were picked that morning. Fresher than anything else I found in New York. And yes, I had searched high and low for even better alternatives, but never found one. In New York, this was really it.

The boss was this crazy looking tie-dye wearing guy who looked and talked like he had done too many drugs back in the ’sixties. A big ol’ middle aged, acid-head teddy bear. One day we struck up a brief conversation. I complimented the hell out of his product. “Wow,” I quietly gushed, “Your stuff is the best. It really is…”

“Sure it is,” said the guy. “That’s because we make it with reverence.”

You don’t have to get a job with a famous company or hot-shot industry in order to have a spectacular career. You just have to do what you do with reverence.


New drawings, 22nd February, 2019


Edinburgh

[A recent letter to an old friend.]

Hi Colin,

As we discussed, I spent the last 20 years working on what I call “The Manhattan Series” Thousands of drawings, all drawn on the backs of business cards.

I would eventually like to get the piece shown somewhere in Edinburgh, then donate it to a national arts organization for posterity. It’s important to me that it ends up in Scotland.

Not only is Edinburgh where I grew up, it’s where I learned my trade, where I learned how to walk around the city and get inspiration and figure out how to translate that into an art form. Back when David Mackenize (the film director, and one of my best friends) and I were kids circa mid-80s, he was living with me in the New Town. We’d make it our business once a day to go out “and get some culture”. That early attempt at being proactively cultural served us both well over the years.

I’m also looking for gallery representation and publishers over there.

It’s important to me the body of work gets displayed somewhere at least once as a single, vast piece, preferably in Edinburgh, either in a large room or perhaps a large corridor.

Anyway, I think it’ll be an interesting art project. Cheers!

Hugh


New work, 2nd February, 2019