Original Art on Canvas



Invest in creativity, hard work and imagination.


I paint, if you like it, you can buy it.


Hugo Smith





Blog - Hugs from Hugo!

By hugosmithoriginals, Jan 10 2019 01:52PM

So I am 18 years old. My parents have taken out a loan against the mortgage of the house to allow me to get my first car. I am working in retail, earning a lot less than what is now considered minimum wage. The loan is a grand total of £2,500 which is being paid back at £100 per month.

So first of all, I need to explain. This isn’t a mere learning exercise, teaching the young fella how to budget, and manage money. The loan was something that could’nt be written off by my folks. They had always provided for us, and I never felt that I missed anything, but they were not in the financial position to just go and buy their kid a car.

Me and my Dad started looking around second hand car lots. In my haste to get my wheels, I jumped a bit quickly. The car was clean, straight, no bumps or dings, fairly low mileage, one lady owner! All sounds good. My Dad said it made sense, so the deal was done.

I was the proud owner of a 1 litre, 5 door, 3 cylinder hatchback, white, with and blue stripe, and one wing mirror. A car that nervous parents are happy their son picks. Not one with a lot of street cred! As with a lot of my hastily made decisions, the novelty soon wore off, and I started to look at other cars that the loan could have got me had I been more diligent in my search.

Around the same time, my boss in work was looking to purchase a car for his wife. As I said, mine was clean, straight, no bumps and low mileage. Perfect car for Mrs Bossman. He made me an offer, quite a bit less than I had paid 2 months earlier. By this time, I had drawn up a list of much better, desirable and sweet cars that would impress the lads and ladies in town.

So I head home from work, and break the news to my Mum and Dad. I’m selling the car. To say they were not impressed would be an understatement. I hadn’t appreciated the effort and expense they had went to in order to secure the loan, I hadn’t realised how much they worried about the youngest son heading out on the roads on his own. Now, like a little prick, I was arguing that I knew better and that they didn’t know anything about cars. Words were exchanged, and I headed off to my room to make my point in a totally mature act of sulk.

About half and hour later, I hear the front door opening. He’s home, my older brother. I hear the muffled voices of my parents telling him what was going on. I mean this guy is my hero. He done all the real big brother stuff. Plays football, beats people up, goes out with girls, drinks beer and most of all, he always looked out for me. With no doubt, I sit in my room knowing that he is telling my folks that I am in the right.

The footsteps come down the hall and my bedroom doors open.

‘What’s wrong with you?” He asks.

I reply defiantly “They don’t want me to sell my car to my boss!”

What he said next is hardly Shakespeare, it won’t win any literary awards and its probably closer to a bar room banter than a quote of genius. There was a look on his face as he said it that I cant really explain. Part disappointment, partly pissed off that he had to say anything at all.

“Stop being a dick!”

It’s pretty poetic. Gets straight to the point, no hidden meaning or complicated play on words.

With four words, I changed. He didn’t say anything else. He turned and closed the door on his way out. He never spoke about it again, and he didn’t need to.

After about five minutes of pretty intense guilt and shame, I walked down the hall into the kitchen, apologised to my parents. I called my boss and told him the deal was off and my street cred remained unchanged for another year. My one wing mirrored babe magnet remained on the road.

Maybe it was the tone of voice, the look on his face, the surprise that he wasn’t on my side, but it was like I had suddenly saw the other point of view for the first time in my 18 years. He made me realise in four words that my actions could have a profound and lasting impact on those around me. I had managed to piss off an entire house without for one second thinking it was even possible. You realise quickly that being a dick can come naturally, you don’t need to learn how to do it, you simply have to think of only your situation.

So, lesson one was delivered with the subtleties of a sledge hammer and it left a similar mark.

Lesson two was worse. Within a year of lesson one I was in a very different situation. The hero described above was no longer with us. Killed in a tragic fire I would be left with memories of someone who never got beyond 23. Someone who never bought his first home, got married or had kids of his own. Someone who who could frustrate you and make you admire him at the same time. My Mum and Dads first born, the main man, my go to guy. I had always identified myself as his wee brother, not me as a person in my own right. 25 years on, he is still 23 and I am still his wee brother. The family were in bits, and perspective was sometimes in short supply.

Maybe this period of time deserves its own book. What we went through at the time was difficult, and we were tested and stressed to limits. I could talk about him all day, and we still do sometimes. There hasn’t been a day since 1994 that he hasn’t been thought of. He is regularly in my dreams and it hurts to wake out of those dreams sometimes.

So, I’m 19, pissed off with the world and one hero short. Some might say this is the perfect dick storm. You have a free pass at dickdom! Perfect excuse to drink, take funny substances, go a bit mad, go off the grid. Who is going to challenge you? “Hey, my brother just died. So fuck you!”

That isn’t the path I took, I couldn’t hurt my parents anymore than they already were. At no point was the advice “Stop being a dick” more important. That is the thing, it is a choice. Dickness comes naturally to most of us but we can choose not to accept it, and not to force those closest to you to have to watch on as you do it.

So, for 25 years I have lived by this principle. I am sure I have not always been successful and that I have been a dick on regular occasions, but I always check myself. I will always remember the look on the face and the stark reality that hit me that day. As I struggle to bring up the next generation of our family, I like all parents have hopes and fears for what lies ahead for our kids. There is a long way to go, but I am so proud of my two boys already. School will teach them maths and english, girlfriends will break their hearts and life will give them some tests. I will teach them to “Stop being a dick!”

So, after 25 years of benefiting from these wise words and watching as people move more to the fringes and edges of ideologies, I wonder if we could all benefit from adopting this four worded, simplified view of the world. Let’s be honest, we all could do with one less dick in the world! I bet you can think of someone in this split second who could benefit from hitting the dick reset button.

So if we start a chain reaction, removing the dicks one at a time from our communities through self rehabilitation we have a chance to make this world a better, more prosperous and easier place to live.

By hugosmithoriginals, Jan 1 2019 04:38PM

Abstraction is the opposite of Artificial Intelligence.

I don't know what is going to happen when faced with a blank canvas. I don't know which paintings will be kept or which ones will be blank out to start again. If I don't know, how will a machine programme itself to match this.

No lessons, no teaching!!! My paintings are a working experiment, and only are finished when I decide I am happy with it. This can't not be replaced by machine.

Masterpieces may be duplicated using algorithms and techniques taught through colleges and universities. Eventually, the machine might replace the portrait artist, and VR may replace performance art and dance.

Abstraction will always exist because it is pure creativity, not representation of anything else that exists in the world.

Abstract 1 v AI 0

Hugs from Hugo

By hugosmithoriginals, Dec 31 2018 01:58PM

I have worked in business for 25 years. Working from the bottom up to a Director level position, I have been fortunate to work with some great people. I still have my day job, and I love it. I work in a customer driven environment and I totally believe in putting the customer first. Exceeding expectations rather than simply meeting them. We look after our customers and develop our services to meet their needs.

About 7 years ago I decided to pour my efforts into something that could create my own business opportunity.

I wanted to produce something of value. I wanted to show my kids that creativity is as important as learning. I wanted to show that hard work, and effort could lead to building a brand and a market that understands you.

I have always loved art, loved the creative process. I get it. I started to create some pieces and started to develop a platform to share with people. I jumped on the social media carousel with this website, twitter, facebook and Instagram and taught myself a few tricks along the way. I don't have the formal art education, I don't know the language and I probably don't have the depth to communicate with art aristocracy, but I know what I like. And I think that is what is important. I haven't learned a technique, or studied a curriculum to tell me what I like. My school didn't encourage me to paint. I don't have a scene to support me. I work hard in my studio, and I try to share content with those that are interested.

So, I set about building the business. 7 years on, I have delivered some decent numbers. Sales have been steady and interaction through social media has been building organically over the period. I now want to reach more people through an increase in activity and content creation to share with all those who are interested in my work.

Please share this blog and help me reach out to your friends and family.

Hugs from Hugo

By hugosmithoriginals, Dec 28 2018 01:35PM

I am building on the content and the value offered through the site. I would like to add a few other products. I will always be a painter, that is what I love doing. The other bits i would like to offer are around lifestyle products and travel.

Apparrel - I would like to get some gear out there with my design and logo. Brand awareness and advertising the works while walking along the street. The design will be subtle. There will be no enforced hugging policy in this label. The range will be clean, crisp, and durable.

Travel - I want to offer little pieces of Belfast to people who long for the old country or those that have visited and want to take a piece home with them. I have ideas and prototypes, and I think there is a scalable business idea in there.

I want to get the kids involved. I want them to learn how to turn an idea in to value. I want them to learn more than the text books and old age schooling system offers them. I didn't do great at school. Average at best. The school system is designed to train thinking and behaviours that may not be compatible with the societal changes over the last 20 to 30 years. The system produces students with qualifiactions with little or no prospect of employment. The students then take cross over degrees, at additional cost to transfer their learning from one area to another to give them a actual chance of employment.

I want my kids to go their own way. If they choose college, that is great. If they choose another route, as long as they are happy and are working hard towards something, I will be equally happy.

Let me know what other things you would liek to see on here. Is there interest in video for example.



By hugosmithoriginals, Dec 21 2018 11:54AM

I am starting the blog again.

This will include my opinion, for what is is worth, on any subject or topical movements. A little bit of politics, a little bit of sport, a little bit of art and a lot of other random nonsense.

If you have any ideas of the content you would like shared, then let me know!

I want to encourage any visitors to this site to create. Invest in yourself! The one certainty of Brexit is that we are going to have instability for a prolonged period of time. The government won't be investing in you anytime soon as they try to unravel the mess we are in. I don't believe Brexit will happen! It won't be allowed, but I'm not waiting about to see what my next step is.

I am doubling my efforts to produce content and products of value. I am going to paint the stuff that I like, I am going to approach galleries I respect, and I am going to focus on encouraging the Belfast art scene to develop into something different. Our history in Belfast, conflict and pain, gives an amazing back drop to develop art that inspires and transforms the city and the people. Belfast is the new New York, Berlin, Paris.

We can do this! Create value, create hope and create faith in human ability through hard work and imagination.

miss you everyday