Beware of the "Big Moments"

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[Diary entry, May 2008]

Though I started doing my “Cartoons drawn on the back of business cards” in December, 1997, it took me a few months to really get into it… as this photo from my old 1998 diary shows.

At first, I thought I should just do a few dozen of them for kicks and giggles, then move on to something else.

That I’d still be doing them 15 years later, didn’t even cross my tiny little mind.

But then it took on a life of its own. Its meaning, purpose and scope snowballed slowly over time.

The lesson here is, be careful of seeking out “The Big Moments” on purpose. Because when the big moments actually happen, they don’t seem very big at the time (like the one in the May, 2008 diary entry above). And too many moments that seem big at the time, often end up going nowhere (“The Failed Superbowl Ad Graveyard” is full of those).

Of course, the more you love your work, the less you need (or want) the “Big Moments” to sustain you. What you really end up needing (and wanting)is just to wake up fresh every morning, and get busy without a lot of fuss.

“Simple. Easy. Happy. Boring.” Exactly.

[So far I’ve drawn over 10,000 of the business card cartoons. You can see the latest ones on my Tumblr page etc.]


  1. Hi Hugh,

    Great reading this. Six months ago today I started drawing a doodle every day as a 30 day challenge. It didn’t cross my tiny little mind either!

    Thanks for inspiring me :-)

    Rock on.


  2. this is GREAT advice, Hugh. Especially the part about waking up fresh every morning. Thanks for reminding us of what’s really important.

    Random story: so the other day, i mistakenly picked up a book thinking you wrote it. Didn’t take more than 5 words for me to realize that i had the wrong Hugh on my hands (literally) Lol

  3. I started sketching and writing silly things in my notebook three months ago and I am still at it. Thank you, I ll continue.

  4. This is some seriously smart, much-needed insight Hugh. It’s amazing how far we’ve come as a society (and species) that we have to constantly be reminded of such sound – yet simple – advice.

  5. This is spot on – thank you for such a poignant reminder! I am definitely going to share this one with my artist and creative friends!