Doug Lefler

Following Passion

With Facebook’s impending IPO many of its employees will become wealthy. Among the potential nouveau riche is David Choe, a graffiti artist who was hired to paint the walls of the social network’s first headquarters, and took his payment in stock options. The New York Times is predicting those shares to be worth around $200 million when the company goes public. I enjoy imaging the conversion Choe might have had with his mother years before.

“You want to do what for a living?”

Although becoming a multi-millionaire by creating art with a spray can may be a once in existence occurrence, there are a lot of reasons for following your passion. If you love what you do, you are likely to put more into it, thereby increasing your chances of success. Also, you pay more attention. The world changes fast. If you are passionate about your work, you keep your eyes on what’s happening down the road, thereby anticipating trends and changes.

Following passion doesn’t negate pragmatism. Doing something you love often requires more planning, budgeting and scheduling than just doing what you’re told. The degree to which you are willing to commit to an undertaking determines whether it is a passion, or a passing enjoyment (I’ve noticed that the interests acquired when young tend to endure longer, so choose wisely).

You may never earn you a $200 million paycheck, but I believe success is more likely when you do what you enjoy rather than doing something you hate. And if you’re going to be poor either way, may as well have fun along the way.

BTW – The image posted above has nothing to do with what I just wrote; it‘s from the story I’m currently drawing. But wait – this is what I love doing, so it directly pertain to following your passion. Nevermind.


  1. I have two comments, today…
    1- The illustration of the girl in yellow falling through the cloud reminds me strongly of the “look” or “feel” I get from Chris Van Allsburg’s work. Controlled simplicity? Color and Light?

    2- I would like to share your presentation of “My Process of Complication” with my Medical Illustrators’ group. May I send a link (least complicated method) in a post to them? It definitely strikes a nerve with me.

  2. Nicely written. We all hope by following our passions that we will get a 200 million dollar payday, but I am happy to be able to live a comfortable life doing what I love, drawing and travelling.

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