Dare to be Different and 10 Creativity Quotes from Hugh McLeod – A creative entrepreneur who built a business based on cartoons drawn on the back of business cards

I didn’t know who Hugh McLeod was until I saw his name as an illustrator in Seth Godin’s latest book V is for Vulnerable: Life Outside the Comfort Zone (2013).

Out of curiosity, I immediately googled Hugh McLeod. And what follows was an exciting discovery of provocative ideas and wonderful arts from this creative entrepreneur who has built an unlikely and utterly idiosyncratic business based on cartoons drawn on the back of business cards.

Here, I am sharing with you some of the arts and wisdom of Hugh McLeod.



When other zig it’s time to zag. When the world around you says no, it’s time to say YES! You can follow the sheep, or you can get the flock out of the way, go off on your own and find a way to stand out from the crowd. To get noticed. To be the greatest at whatever you choose to be great at.

After all, it is much better to be seen, and not part of the heard. – Hugh McLeod



  1. Nobody suddenly discovers anything. Things are made slowly and in pain.
  2. Don’t try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether. There’s no point trying to do the same thing as 250,000 other hopefuls, waiting for a miracles.
  3. The idea doesn’t have to be big. It has to be yours.
  4. I don’t necessarily find the human condition shallow and meaningless per se. Just our egos and pride sometimes force us to act like it is. I think we’re all strive to find meaning in life, we just don’t always elect to take the high road when doing so.; we’re often far too willing to look for shortcuts.
  5. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dray, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you ‘I’d like my crayons back please.’
  6. Nobody can tell you if what you’re doing is good, meaningful or worthwhile. The more compelling the path, the more lonely it is.
  7. Boring can be a lot of fun. Especially if it’s on your own terms.
  8. Have a story. And make it sure it’s a good one. A DAMN good one!
  9. Never compare your inside with somebody’s else outside.
  10. The best way to get approval is not to need it.

To know more about Hugh McLeod and learn from him, it is highly advisable for you to visit gapingvoid.com and grab a copy of his book Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity.

Below are the 2 Manifestos written by McLeod. Click each title to get you directly to the site and download them for free.

“How To Be Creative”

“How To Have Smarter Conversation”