How to be a Card Designer According to John Madden

I have been a fan of John Madden for years, not just because he coached a local football team, but because he was the first sports announcer I ever saw who drew pictures all over the TV screen during a game.

I never liked football until I had that "artistic experience." It liberated me from the mystery of the game. I then became a fan of John Madden. I didn't care what teams he discussed. I would have watched a knitting show if he was the commentator.

Even though John has retired, every morning on KCBS, I listen to his 10 minute podcast interviews and find much of his humble, yet funny wisdom very applicable to being a designer.

Here are a few quotes by John Madden with my commentary:

"Don't worry about the horse being blind, just load the wagon."
(Don't wait around until your art is perfect before submitting your designs)

"Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something."
(Draw what really matters to you, not just what you think will sell)

"In order for this team to win the game, the QB has to at least throw the ball"
(DO something, don't just stand there)

"Coaches have to watch for what they don't want to see and listen to what they don't want to hear."
(As much as we don't want to see it, rejection can be an opportunity to get good advice.)

"The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer."
(Being an artist sometimes involves eating beans, and having people tell you to go get a "real job" whatever that is.)

"The fewer rules a coach has, the fewer rules there are for players to break. "
(Don't be hard on yourself and think you have to stick to one media or style. Try new things. )

"What's the toughest thing in a professional football game? It's being the mother of the quarterback."
(Remember, there are many people who care about you and your art. They are rooting for you even in the toughest times.)



Jesse said...

I love the "load the wagon" quote especially!

Carolyn said...

This post is excellent! Very funny, and true. John Madden is a trip!

Pat Finley said...

I loved these quotes as applied to Art! Perfect!!!

Beverly Hayes said...

Great stuff! Thanks so much!

Purple Pony Art said...

Awesome! I love these quotes. Happy new year Kate!

Andi Schroeder said...

Thanks for the inspiration and the gentle reminder of what is so true!
Happy New Year! Thanks Kate for all you do to help!

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