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 Amazon.com 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.