The Fool

I think America’s present predicament is ample evidence of this phenomenon.

If you would like to see more of my drawings of The Orange Man, check out the series on POWER.

Drawing © Marty Coleman | napkindad.com

“He who is born a fool is never cured.” – anonymous

Being Misunderstood – Design #1

Design is Communication

Have you ever tried to explain yourself but have done it so badly you dug yourself into a big hole trying to do so?  The initial explanation usually isn’t that bad. A few wrong words, a few things left out and voila, the wrong message is sent. The message isn’t that far off but it’s missed the mark enough so that you have to go back and explain again.

From Ditch to Hole

Design is like that. Create the wrong initial impression of your company or idea and you are in a ditch.  Compound that with more bad design choices and you’re not just in a ditch, you are in a deep hole.  Getting out of that hole means building a ladder to get yourself out. Work that could have gone towards building staircase up a mountain instead.

From the Beginning

How does this happen? By not evaluating the initial design result. Was the first design element understood properly? You have to investigate that or else you might be digging a hole with further design elements. If you don’t get feedback at the beginning you are moving forward blindly. Maybe you will be lucky and the design was spot on, but just as likely your could be digging a deep hole with each subsequent design iteration.


Drawing and commentary © 2017 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com

“You can be misunderstood once. After that you are just communicating poorly.” – Adapted from a quote by Josh Collinsworth


Three Essential Things – Zen #3

One of the things that annoys me about my religion (Christianity) is that lip service is given to doubt. Doubt is put forth from the pulpit as something we all have, but just like an addiction, the church likes you better if you are already over it. You aren’t expected to keep doubt with you. You struggle with it, then decide what the church teaches is right and get over it.  But to have doubt that stays is dangerous. Doubt is like a virus or a bacteria that can infect others around you and that can endanger the village, which can endanger the city, state and world.  Doubt that is in the past however, is a different story. It’s now a story of redemption, of overcoming, of faith. But it’s not is alive. And if it isn’t alive it can’t threaten anyone or anything.

Because of this, doubt is rarely ever talked about except in the most abstract of terms.  And this abstraction means there is no ability to wrestle with actual real doubts about anything.  Say you have doubts, ok. Say specifics, not ok. And if you can’t say what you REALLY have doubts about, is that really great faith?

Great faith meanwhile is extolled and talked about all the time in church. It’s the mountaintop to which we all wish to ascend. It’s the most admirable of qualities. You can talk all day about the specifics of your faith and it is embraced because there is no threat involved.  But is that really great faith?

The key for me then is the third essential. What is critical, before you have great faith or great doubt, is to have great perseverance. Just as an artist won’t create consistently great work without great perseverance, so to we humans will not produce great doubt and faith without it as well.


Drawing and commentary © Marty Coleman | napkindad.com

Quote is a Zen Proverb


The Good of Not Being Satisfied – Zen #2

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The Yogi and the Passerby

The Yogi asks the passerby, “What does it mean for you to be well & whole?”
The passerby answers, “It means I am content with my body, mind and spirit.”
The Yogi asks the passerby, “Are you content?”
The passerby answers, “No, I am not.”
The Yogi responds, “That is good.”
The passerby asks, “Why do you say good? Aren’t I supposed to be content?”
The Yogi answers, “No, you are supposed to do the dishes.”
The passerby responds, “What dishes?”
The Yogi answers, “Wise question.”


Study Questions:

  • What gender is the Yogi?
  • What age is the Yogi?
  • What gender is the passerby?
  • What age is the passerby?
  • What Dishes?

Drawing and dialog © 2017 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com

“They who are not satisfied with themselves will grow.” – Hebrew Proverb


How To Be A River – Zen #1

What river are you part of?

How do you know?

Do you love the other drops of water?

Is there a river if there is no flow?

Do you know where the river is headed?

Do you get to decide the part you will play?

Do you love the river you are in?


Drawing © Marty Coleman | napkindad.com

Quote is a Zen Proverb


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