I have something I’m so incredibly excited about that I barely have the words.
Joey Roth has been one of my artistic heroes since I first discovered his work. His prints hang in my office and I look at them every single day. We first met a few years ago when he randomly emailed me about books and we were going to try to get drinks but the scheduling didn’t work out. My blog was very small then and I just thought he was some nice guy that I would occasionally chat with. I remember very vividly sitting at the porch of Dov Charney’s house reading the New York Times and seeing the name Joey Roth in the design section. How cool is this, I thought? I bought his first poster about hustling when it came out.
So it feels very fated that we would one day collaborate on something. It’s even cooler to me that the collaboration involves one of his famous prints and our mutual fascination with stoicism and strategy.
This very limited edition print (only 1,000 are being made) is loosely inspired by the stories in The Obstacle Is The Way about Grant’s siege at Vicksburg and Eisenhower’s turnaround at Normandy. It’s the timeless idea of how military obstacles can be turned into advantages–and how advantages can so quickly be turned against someone. It took a lot of iterations to get it right and I think we did.
Here is Joey’s explanation of the images:
The poster shows that when the competition is established, dug in and secure, it looks like an insurmountable obstacle, but in fact gives you freedom maneuver. This mirrors the agility of a startup vs. an entrenched player, or the beginner’s unencumbered approach beating the expert’s finely tuned but rigid technique. It’s also a reminder to stay flexible as you advance in your work and develop processes and expectations.
In other words, the obstacle becomes the way. And conversely, the fortress becomes a prison. It’s something I try to think about constantly and now this print is a daily reminder in bright color.
It’s very easy to say something in words in a book (or in a blog post), but communicating it visually is another story. I think that’s what makes Joey so unique.
I hope you like this poster and I hope it helps with your obstacles.