The Day’s Full of Opportunities…Shall You Sink or Swim?

sink or swim cartoon

I love word pairings. To and fro, give and take, meat and potatoes, ebony and ivory, apple and oranges – there’s a million of them out there.

So one day, when I heard “sink or swim” in a conversation, it suggested the paperwork in and out trays and this cartoon wasn’t far behind.

It’s an easy sort of transference joke, but I was surprised how much research the art ended up requiring. It took a screen full of naval officers, ships, anchors and whatnot to get this to read visually.

Sometimes those easy ideas aren’t so easy.


Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson Mark Anderson's cartoons appear in publications including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. His business cartoons are available for licensing at his website,

3 Reactions

  1. Hehe!, I like the Sink/Swim trays! Clever!

    If you knew how much it would involve to create this cartoon, would you have followed through or gone on to something else?

  2. Aira Bongco

    Me too. I love them. It’s nice to use the words “Sink or Swim” instead of the typical words of “Yes or No”. Really nice idea. I even thought of putting it on my desk haha

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