Art or Doodles?

Over time I have become a big fan of Hugh MacLeod. His work and indeed who he is are both sort of difficult to classify. Part public relations or marketing person, part cartoonist, part blogger, part artist, well, that’s a start. He’s particularly well known in tech circles for drawing cartoons on the back of business cards. He also designed the “Blue Monster” cartoon that a lot of people at Microsoft have adopted as an unofficial social object. Currently he lives in West Texas where he works on his art and consults. He also travels quite a bit. Following him on Twitter is interesting.

So here is the thing. At first glance his drawings, be they larger works or cartoons on the back of a business card, look like doodles. Perhaps something someone would draw while bored. But for many people, including me, there is something more, something artistic, about what he draws. It’s that sort of thing you first think anyone can draw until you realize that isn’t quite true. There is a style, a character, a special hard to put your finger on difference there.

I think that is what makes an artist. There is something about them or their style that communicates something subtle or perhaps larger than life but that is somehow different from the way others show things. I’m not so sure that can be taught.

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