Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The War of Art – Visual Book Summary Part I and II

Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art left an indelible impression on me (and many others I’m sure), so I decided to memorialize some of the lessons in a visual format. Both visuals were done by hand in one sitting, with calligraphy pens, no white-out and no first-try pencil marks. On occasion I would forget to breathe because I was trying to be so still. The first graphic visualizes principles from the first section of Pressfield’s book about what Resistance is and what forms it can take. The second graphic references how we, as aspiring artists or anything else, can defeat Resistance – by going Pro. I absolutely cherished the process of creating these because the principles are universal and timeless and because we all need a swift kick in the pants from time to time. This is the first of many visual book summaries I plan to do – all of them on books that have meaning and practical application in my life. Enjoy.

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    1. Sunni Post author

      Christopher, our conversations and some goading from others were the inspiration for this graphic. So thank you for that. And also, is this even in the ballpark of what you were thinking or would yours have been more flowcharty?

      Reply
    1. Sunni Post author

      Thank you, Jess! I’ll do more of them. It helped me to visualize the content and I hope it’s of value to others. Cheers.

      Reply
    1. Sunni Post author

      Me, too. It was like a manifesto and a call to action. Beautiful work by Pressfield. I hope you see part two as well – turning pro.

      Reply
  1. PaulDz

    Really nice Sunni. I like the definitions of being a professional.
    I found your blog via the workshop you did on visual note taking. You all are awesome.

    Reply
    1. Sunni Post author

      They’re Steven Pressfield’s definitions of professionalism, FYI. But yes, they resonated with me wholeheartedly. What workshop on visual notetaking are you referring to? I’ve done many.

      Reply
  2. PaulDz

    It was the Visual Note-taking 101 at SXSW ‘10. It was basic but fun and gave me some ideas. I just started taking notes that way after making my own odd L shaped notebook. I had no idea that others took notes like that until I saw the video. Made me want to get a job doing what you all do. :-)

    Reply
    1. Sunni Post author

      Paul, anytime I hear that someone has gotten struck with the doodlebug, I’m happy. I’m glad you came to our panel and I’d love to see some of the work you create. Keep drawing!

      Reply
  3. Christopher Hastings

    Sunni,

    I think I showed you the result of what I had a few artists sketch up – even when combining flow chart mode & heavy illustrations – it seemed tough to follow. The beauty of your graphic is that you can start anywhere. The way I was advised by smart people like Dave Gray was to do a screen capture and record the sketch process. But I don’t have a voice like Bob the painter dude from Channel 8. So…

    Resistance got me on this project because I haven’t yet developed the competence in visual thinking to push hard and I couldn’t figure out how to monetize the result. (I love it as a hobby but…) So you wonderfully enough, are significantly better equipped on both challenges.

    Reply
    1. Sunni Post author

      Chris, I thought your artists did fine and I do think the idea is a great one. Let’s keep plugging away and we’ll see if there’s a way to make a project happen in the future…

      Reply
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    1. Sunni Post author

      I’m glad you asked. Now I’ll have to come up with a way to do that – you would officially have the 1st. I’ll write Hugh MacLeod and ask him – he’s got selling prints down to a science. Please standby. Thank you!

      Reply
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  14. Colin Schedler

    I found your site from a link on Ed Dale’s (The Challenge 2010) site as he’s a big fan of “The War of Art”. Your visual book summaries are a fantastic idea and very well crafted which have inspired me to buy the book.

    Cheers

    Reply
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  16. Antwan Stabone

    Sunni..

    Those illustrations were great!!

    I’ve been listening to The War of Art on audio, in my car for about 3 years now and I always seem to get something out of it with each listen. I will certainly add these illustrations to my arsenal of weapons I use to encourage me to fight the good fight against resistance. Thanks :-)

    Reply
  17. Steven Belanger

    Sunni, what a great idea! I haven’t checked out the products yet, but I’d love a copy of the first doodle of Resistance. I just wrote an entry about it now in my journal and I’m currently fighting it. And I’ve been paid and published for my writing, too! That makes me sad and frustrated, that I’ve somewhat succeeded with my writing and yet still have to severely fight the Resistance. Oh, well. Here I go…

    Reply
  18. Rochelle

    This is wonderful! I, too, was deeply inspired by Pressfield’s book. Hopefully you won’t mind if I link to your visuals (with credit, of course!)

    Thanks again!

    Reply
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