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Art For Work, Work For Art

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - When artist Hugh McLeod first starting scribbling cartoon art with motivational messages for businesses on the backs of business cards years ago he had no idea his work would eventually adorn the walls of some of the top corporations in the world including Microsoft and Facebook.

MacLeod's  unique style of cartoon art  has become "a must have"  for many cutting edge businesses and schools that want to celebrate and  motivate employees on a daily basis.

"The whole idea behind Gapingvoid is that art transforms businesses. It expresses ideas, vision, and beliefs," McLeod told CBS4' s Lisa Petrillo as he gave her a tour of his Miami Beach home and studio.

Watch Lisa Petrillo's report, click here.

MacLeod's unique style of cartoon art has become "a must have" for many cutting edge businesses and schools that want to celebrate and motivate employees on a daily basis.

"What I realized is that art and business are both asking the same questions; what matters, why are we here, why are we killing ourselves on this planet," said McLeod.

At McLeod's studio, some of his signature pieces line the walls. One of his first clients was Microsoft's Bill Gates.

"The piece I did for Bill Gates said 'if it weren't for love none of this would have happened'. He didn't build Microsoft because he wanted the money, he did because he loved it and it mattered and he knew it mattered before anyone else did," said McLeod.

For Gapingvoid's CEO Jason Korman it's all about motivation and inspiration.

"What it does is it creates context and perspective and reminds people what you do everyday might feel difficult but there's an ultimate goal, otherwise we wouldn't be doing it," said Korman.

McLeod started out as a blogger. In 2001, he posted his business-card-sized art on the blog and the tech companies were the rist to catch on. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg was another that received some of the earliest works.

McLeod said the message of some of his pieces is quite simple--if you want to be inspired, inspire others.

Another has the message, "Incredible people, incredible company, incredible times."

"If you work for a company that actually believes this you will put it up on your wall and say 'guys, we're either this or we're nothing."

Recently the University of Miami revealed it's new 80 piece Gapingvoid installation at the Toppel Career Center, a place where students come together to forge careers. It was a proud moment for the school and for the artist who hopes his work will leave an important imprint on the workplace.

"The longer you create art the more you realize why you do it and the reason you do it isn't because art matters, its because life matters, people matter, surviving matters," said McLeod. "Art helps us understand that better."

Prices start at $200 for prints and up to $20,000 for original paintings. You can also go to and sign up for their weekly cartoons and words of inspiration.


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