This phrase ‘ART is WAR’ has been milling around in my head for the past week. For those of you familiar with the work of Steven Pressfield, there is a book he wrote called ‘The War of Art’. This post runs alongside the central theme of that great book. So I’m not saying that art is violent or anything. What i am saying is that Art is War.
The Creative Pursuit is thrilling, fulfilling and wonderful, but oh, so hard. It takes time, it takes effort. It is a battle. I experience this warfare in my design process. When I sit down to design a poster for instance, which usually takes an average 0f 2 – 3 hours to complete (The longest time I’ve spent on a Poster was 24 straight hours with a 3hr nap break, I was designing the 2008 Strictly Hiphop: Backdown Poster). The first hour, everything I design is crap. Its like watching an inept, bumbling novice struggle across the Adobe interface desperately seeking something that works. That first hour is hard, in fact excruciating, especially if i’m unsure of what direction I’m gonna take. However it gets easier, a dozen false starts later, I stumble upon an interesting solution and slowly, the work begins to take shape. By the 2nd hour, I’m in the state of ‘flow’, and the genius begins. But getting to that point takes a lot of work, it demands reading, scanning, sketching, thinking, researching, trying…it’s work.
I have ideas, like everyone else. I have some really interesting ones too, like concept books, a streetwear line, posterArts and so on. And they are pretty exciting, with potential to become remarkable projects and connect with thousands of people. But none of them would happen, if I don’t sit down, for hours, for days…and work, and struggle with this obstinate mistress called design, cajoling, pleading, seducing, ignoring her until she yields me her fruits, the reward of my search.
So the idea that ‘ART is WAR’ helps me steel my nerves every morning, and go into the battlefield of my workstation, go HARD, unrelenting untill I return hours later, days later, weeks, months, years later…with the spoils of war, a remarkable product, an excellent design, head turning ART.