Today I discovered Hugh MacLeod, a brand consultant and cartoonist who draws on the back of business cards. I can’t get enough of his work.
His style is bold: minimalistic sketches paired with playful and pithy reflections on business, innovation and, well, life.
He’s also penned a manifesto called “How to Be Creative” with 26 tips on creativity. My favourite snippets are below. Enjoy.
On importance of having sovereignty over your work (p. 5):
“The sovereignty you have over your work will inspire far more people than the actual content ever will. How your own sovereignty inspires other people to ﬁnd their own sovereignty, their own sense of freedom and possibility, will change the world far more than the the workʼs objective merits ever will.“
On originality and tapeworms (p. 16):
“Creating an economically viable entity where lack of original thought is handsomely rewarded creates a rich, fertile environment for parasites to breed. And thatʼs exactly whatʼs been happening. So now we have millions upon millions of human tapeworms thriving in the Western World, making love to their Powerpoint presentations, feasting on the creativity of others.
What happens to an ecology, when the parasite level reaches critical mass?
The ecology dies.
If youʼre creative, if you can think independently, if you can articulate passion, if you can override the fear of being wrong, then your company needs you now more than it ever did. And now your company can no longer aﬀord to pretend that isnʼt the case.”
And on how to love a crowd (p. 46):
“You canʼt love a crowd the same way you can love a person.
And a crowd canʼt love you the way a single person can love you.
Intimacy doesnʼt scale. Not really. Intimacy is a one-on-one phenomenon.
Itʼs not a big deal. Whether youʼre writing to an audience of one, ﬁve, a thousand, a million, ten million, thereʼs really only one way to really connect.
One way that actually works:
Write from the heart.“