The Hughsletter #80

Good morning!

I announced last night that I am quitting Facebook. Not because I am bad at it, but frankly, because I am very good at it. And that tricks me into thinking I am working. And that is a problem.

So I am pulling the plug. Several dozen of you signed up here because of that announcement, and thus, this is your first edition of The Hughsletter.

Welcome. We are glad you are here.

This project started as a weekly newsletter about The Relentless Pursuit of Beauty as a prophylactic against the ugliness of the world. I send links every week to things I think are beautiful, and tell you about books I have liked or movies that resonated, and along the way share things that interest me.

It’s about teaching yourself to find beautiful things – because they are everywhere.

Here are five things I thought were beautiful.

  • Shepard Fairey, the iconic artist behind Obama’s Hope poster in 2008 released new artwork for the 2017 inauguration. It’s available free and in high resolution (I printed them out and put them above my desk at work).
  • They have finally released the trailer for the movie Loving Vincent – a movie honoring Vincent Van Goh, animated by oil painting in the style of Vincent Van Goh. (This is so cool – check out this behind the scenes video to see how it was done.)
  • I am loving the Analog Streets account on Instagram, ran by Lisa Guerriero. Urban American landscape at its best. I love her eye for detail and neon signs.
  • Alan Williams is a recycled metal artist, and the subject of a mini-documentary. “Trash to treasure” is a category that always catches my eye, especially when it’s done as well as it is here.
  • It’s fair to say that Pixar changed the way we see animation in this country. But did you know that there are hidden references in the films to each other? Disney just released this short that shows how they are all connected.


I just finished The Republic of Tea – a whimsical business book (that probably isn’t a phrase that gets uttered much) that details the history of startup of the company also called The Republic of Tea written in the early 1990’s.

It is epistolary in format – meaning they used letters (or in this case, faxes!) to structure the book. It consists of fax messages between the three founders as they dream of why the world needs this business to exist, and why they do. If you have ever started anything, I think you will find kindred spirits here. And if you haven’t, you may decide to after reading it. (It’s only .99 on the Kindle right now!)


This is issue #80 of this project, and I love doing it. But I have had to make some decisions about it. The list is now at a size where it is starting to have hard financial costs to do it, in addition to the several hours a week it takes to do it right.

I am asking you to please consider becoming a “sustaining member” of this newsletter for $4 a month (or, if more convenient, $48 a year). You will get my undying gratitude and extra content (on occasion) no one else does. You will also get to support something you enjoy, and what we support in this world tends to stay around.

Please Note: It’s entirely optional. If you don’t want to support this project, that’s cool. You can continue to read for free as long as I decide to keep doing this. But if this is important to you – if I am important to you – I am going to ask if you would consider it.

You can get all the details on how to be a member here.

Take care of yourself, and each other.

Hugh Hollowell
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