“Since 1997 I’ve drawn thousands of “Hughcards” [cartoons drawn on the backs of business card], just to give me something to do while sitting at the bar. Over time they have become increasingly religious, over time they became The Jerusalem Series.”
Ben Franklin once famously said that ignorance is the beginning of wisdom.
I remember having my first Franklinian dose of wisdom-acquiring ignorance around the age of seventeen or so.
This feeling hit me most in the art & culture department, rather than, say, science or politics or business.
I suddenly realized how little I knew about “High Culture”, how little I knew about the works of Beethoven or Duke Ellington or TS Eliot or Matisse or Dostoyevsky or Sylvia Plath or Sam Peckinpah.
So began my path to becoming cultured. I started reading books, going to museums and art-house cinema, buying records, all that good stuff.
This process was accelerated when I got into the advertising business, where having all these cultural references in the back of your head made your job as an idea-scavenger much more interesting, and was encouraged by one’s bosses.
It was accelerated even more when I became a professional artist, ‘natch.
So after a couple of decades later, what do I think?
Hard to say. Though I’m glad I did it, I’m not sure if all that effort was worth it, frankly. Sure, it enriched my life, but at what price? Can you actually put a price on it, anyway? Had I had the same level of interest in say, financial markets, I’d probably now be living in a much bigger house. Like I said, hard to say.