We've known Hilton Graham through the Pauls for a number of years. Lately, he's gotten into some really incredible creative work at Love Affair Content House. Join us as we hear a new and improved (!) 3 questions from Hilton.

What do you do and what do you find most rewarding about it?

I am the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Love Affair, a brand architecture and film agency in Richmond, Virginia. While a portion of my time is spent on the branding side, most of my focus is on directing, writing, and producing. I cut my chops doing political communications in the late 90’s but a nasty bout with cancer in 2009 gave me a chance to reexamine what made me happy, professionally. I realized that I loved the storytelling aspect of communications, and the creative path to finding a great story. I’m not a very emotional guy, for whatever reason, but film sort of allows me that outlet. It allows me to portray a range of emotions, anyway I want to, without actually having to be responsible for them. I should probably see someone about that.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

A lot. I have a 10 year old daughter who thinks she’s 20, and I always think of advice for her. Most importantly, I always tell her to "bend, but don’t break." Just this morning I was reminded of a quote I’ve always loved…. "Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.” - Bruce Lee. That’s a pretty amazing quote to live by. Other more practical advice? Read more. Drink less. Hug tightly. Spend as much time as you can outdoors. Learn about the land.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Having had a few tangles with cancer and a stem cell transplant, I’m perfectly happy just to be here! But what I really want is eternal health and happiness for my wife and daughter. And a big ranch in Montana, but mostly the stuff about my girls. P.S. Hilton asked that we note the fact that he ate an entire sleeve of Double Stuff Oreos during this interview. So, there you go.

Shop The McNeely Corduroy here. Photos by Kate Magee.

September 21, 2018 — Graham McNeely