Snoopy on Success: Draw Every Day



If you want to be a cartoonist, draw every day.

~ Charles M. Schulz

I grew up in the 70s and loved watching the annual Peanuts specials on prime-time TV.  This past Thanksgiving my eleven year-old daughter asked my mother-in-law if she could borrow her video copy of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.  I smiled when I realized my own daughter now looks forward to that same holiday tradition as I did when I was about her age.  We enjoyed watching the program together as a family the night before Thanksgiving.

My mother-in-law came to visit on Thanksgiving and brought a book to share called Celebrating Peanuts: 60 Years that further enhanced the Charlie Brown theme this year.  The 544 page 7.9 pound book is a 60th anniversary tribute to Charles M. Schulz organizing Peanuts strip highlights by decade and sharing the development over the years of the beloved characters such as Charlie Brown and Snoopy.

Mr. Schulz is a legend.  His first publication of Peanuts happened October 2, 1950 with his first Sunday strip on January 6, 1952.  “Diagnosed with cancer, Schulz retired from Peanuts at the end of 1999.  He died February 13, 2000, the day before Valentine’s Day – and the day before his last strip was published – having completed 17,897 daily and Sunday strips, each and every one fully written, drawn, and lettered entirely by his own hand — an unmatched achievement in comics.” (From Author Biography).

The book shared quotes from Mr. Schultz and his personal thoughts regarding the characters and his career.  The quote above struck me as profound.  “If you want to be a cartoonist, draw every day.”  Think about this quote in terms of the principles of success.  If you want to be the best at something, you have to work at it consistently.  You have to make a commitment.  You have to sacrifice and work through the hard times and mental blocks.

17,897 daily and Sunday strips.  Wow.  What an example of persistence and commitment.  What an example of passion and purpose.  His characters are loved around the world.  Charles M. Schulz achieved greatness.  We can learn from Mr. Schulz.

Just for fun, here is a link to a minute and a half segment from A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving where Snoopy is preparing the food for Thanksgiving.  A classic!  If anything, I encourage you to watch just so you can hear the brilliant Vince Guaraldi Trio.  I love their music.  It wouldn’t be the holidays without it.

I encourage you to go after your passion and “draw every day.”  As you do so, you will begin the see the fruits of your efforts.

Choose to do the work to achieve success.  Choose greatness.




One thought on “Snoopy on Success: Draw Every Day

  1. Reminded me of one of my favorite stories. Goes something along these lines:

    “For Sparky (his uncle called him “Sparky” after a comic-strip horse name Spark Plug) , school was all but impossible. He failed every subject in the eighth grade. He flunked physics in high school, getting a grade of zero. Sparky also flunked Latin, Algebra, and English. He didn’t do much better in sports. Although he did manage to make the school’s golf team, he promptly lost the only important match of the season. There was a consolation match. He lost that too.

    Throughout his youth, Sparky was awkward socially. He was not actually disliked by the other students. No one cared that much. In fact, he as astonished if a classmate ever said hello to him outside of school hours. There is no way to tell how me might have done at dating. Sparky never once asked a girl to go out in high school. He was too afraid of being turned down. Sparky was a loser. He, his classmates, everyone knew it. So he rolled with it. Sparky made up his mind early in life that if things were meant to work out, they would. Otherwise he would content himself with what appeared to be his inevitable mediocrity.

    However, one thing was important to Sparky; drawing. He was proud of his artwork. Of course, no one else appreciated it. In his Senior year of high school, he submitted some cartoons to the editors of the yearbook. The cartoons were turned down. Despite this particular rejection, Sparky was so convinced of his ability that he decided to become a professional artist. After completing high school, he wrote a letter to Walt Disney Studios. He was told to send some samples of his artwork and the subject for a cartoon was suggested. Sparky drew the proposed cartoon. He spent a great deal of time on it and all the other drawings he submitted. Finally, the reply came from Disney Studios; he had been rejected again. Another loss for the loser.

    So Sparky decided to write his own autobiography in cartoons. He described his childhood self, a little boy loser and chronic underachiever. The cartoon character would soon become famous worldwide. For Sparky, the boy who had such a lack of success in school and whose work was rejected again and again was Charles Schultz. He created the “Peanut” comic strip and the little cartoon character whose kite would never fly and who never succeeded in kicking a football, Charlie Brown.”

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