Like many connections I’ve made over the last few years I can’t pinpoint exactly how or when I became aware of ‘Marketoonist’ Tom Fishburne and his distinctive cartoons. I think we met briefly at a drinks party Todd Sattersten hosted at SXSW 2010; Tom also came along to my Unplan Your Business ‘core conversation’ I co-hosted with David Sloly in Austin that year. Then later that year Google Alerts told me about a Neil Perkin blogpost on Unplanning that referenced Tom and a cartoon he’d created called ‘Waterfall Planning’ off the back of my SXSW talk (that incidentally Neil had stumbled upon serendipitously). So yes, it was all pretty random.
Starting out doodling at Harvard Business School, today Tom sets his stall out simply: to “create cartoon campaigns that help businesses communicate”. I’ve always liked Tom’s work - just as Seth Godin’s blog posts consistently resonate; Tom’s pictures always seem to nail it. He is based in San Francisco but is in the UK this week because he’s just been speaking at The Do Lectures (whose founder David Hieatt, we happen to feature in the Unplan Your Business booklet).
We met up in London yesterday and grabbed a quick chat on video on the power of visual communication to break through the content clutter. In the video below Tom also has some interesting thoughts on ideas generation: rather than thinking of your capacity to come up with ideas as a well that will one day run dry; think of it as a muscle, that so long as you’ll exercise it - ideas will keep flowing.
"Only a reckless fool would rebel against his government on the second day of a general election. I should know, I did. And Ian Sanders helped me achieve this notoriety. An opening paragraph in his book hit me like a slap around the face. So thanks Ian. You helped me rediscover the inner rebel and life is good."